Content marketing design is often an afterthought, however without it you’re missing a trick.
Content marketing has evolved ten fold over the past couple of years, with new features, trends and buying behaviours shaping the way for marketers and how they sell. But I feel that whilst everybody is trying to stay up to date with the latest Google update, and realise how this may affect their marketing strategy, marketers don’t have their finger on the pulse of one major element: content marketing design
Why is this so important though? Surely if the content is up to scratch and you’ve mapped out a seamless user journey, then what does it matter that you’ve used a dated Shutterstock image, or the conceptual artwork is somewhat under par? Well, it does matter. According to Adobe, 68 % of consumers move away from or don’t engage with content marketing that is poorly designed. That’s a pretty alarming figure that emphasises why we need to invest time and resource in designers that understand the industry and move with it when it fluctuates.
According to Adobe, 68 % of consumers move away from or don’t engage with content marketing that is poorly designed.
Too many times you see the same old image repeated across various blog posts, or an eGuide that’s fresh out of the 80s, and these are designs that are directly associated with brands! Your brand is your identity, what consumers learn to know and trust. Just one piece of content can be the deciding factor in a sell or fail, so below are 3 reasons why you’d be better off having no design than crap design.
Without Creativity it’s Just Theory
And with that I mean theory that we can all access online from a million blog posts talking about the same thing. Having been involved in the marketing industry since, what it feels like, time began, I’m aware of the marketing chinese whispers. So many marketing professionals out there are merely an echo of other people’s experiential practice, relaying text book theory that they themselves haven’t got any practical education in.
It doesn’t take much for one to look into content marketing, shuffle around the descriptions to make it unique for SEO, and then plonk it on their website with claims to be an expert in the field. It’s naive to think your blog post or website can stand out in a saturated market without being innovative, and even more so if you’ve not got anything revolutionary to share with your target audience.
As marketers we should be savvy and able to turn dust into gold, however with consumer demands ever changing – with the general consensus being ‘I want it now’ – time and resource becomes strained, so having to be creative in ten minutes is becoming more and more a normality. But a quick search and download on stock image sites isn’t cutting it anymore. Attention spans are decreasing – on average, a user will read only 28% of the words on your webpage – so it’s time to stop talking the talk and start catching your audience’s’ eye with smart responsive design.
…on average, a user will read only 28%
of the words on your webpage…
An Illustrative Story Is a Unique Story
The way in which we help brands convey their value proposition is through telling their unique story in the way of content. So why shouldn’t your content marketing design also have story appeal? Consumers want experiences – to be taken on an epic journey of your brand. Smart, compelling and responsive design can help navigate your prospects through that story but also to the solution or product that they’re looking for.
However it’s important to realise that you’re not making up a fairytale here, the story you’re telling is the truth and design needs to reflect this. Too many times I open a website to see a minimum of five stock photos, all staring me in the face with their precision and genericism. This is a major turn off. Not only do consumers want a personalised experience, but they want brands to mirror this and be a personable brand.
Consumers know that the woman smiling at her computer wearing a headset doesn’t work for your company . This isn’t to say that you should never use stock photos, but it’s about choosing images and their placement accurately to best represent your story. Show your consumers who you are. Be bold and brash. Be different. As at the end of the day that’s the only thing that’s going to set you apart from your competitors.
The Start of a Good Experience is a Well Designed Experience
Here’s the most important piece of advice; design shouldn’t be an afterthought. It should help shape your entire inbound marketing plan, from your website design through to your blog. I’ll say it again as it’s doubly important, but how you present your brand is your identity, and your design should reflect who you are as company. This means it needs to be carried through at every stage of your marketing strategy.
If your consumers prefer to digest ‘snackable’ content on Facebook, then it’s a wise move to create engaging or interactive infographics for this platform; or if your audience responds well to email marketing, then invest time in learning the latest email marketing design trends to see better open and click through rates. All of this isn’t just doing design for the sake of it though; Ashley Still, Vice President of Creative Cloud for Enterprise at Adobe, stated that “We believe at Adobe that we are increasingly living in an era of great experiences.” In this digital age we are no longer glued to a desk staring at the same monitor everyday.
70% of consumers expect a brand that they digitally engage with to provide them with not only a great experience, but a unique and personalised experience
We are mobile. We have access to more and more technology platforms that provide different features for different experiences, and it’s the experience that your user takes with you that will be remembered, not the words on the page. And your customers know this. 70% of consumers expect a brand that they digitally engage with to provide them with not only a great experience, but a unique and personalised experience. Only through design can you achieve this.
To summarise, crap design doesn’t work. However, having well designed content and a well designed brand gives you the scope to increase engagement, personalise your user journey and create a seamless customer experience. By truly encapsulating your business’ ideologies and service or product offering into a visual experience, your prospects get a clear 360 degree view of what they can expect when choosing you as their provider.
by Cayven Valentine Project Director at Koncept