We are visual creatures. We’re either attracted to, or repelled by color, light and imagery. When it comes to producing your content, which ultimately you want to be shared, it makes sense for it to be enhanced with by good design and visual storytelling.
Visuals can improve the performance of content on Twitter and Facebook. Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest are also highly visual platforms. With your goal being to not only share your content natively but to have it be shared on with a wider audience it’s worth considering how the various visual assets of your content will contribute to your overall goal?
A consistent approach to utilizing strong design and visual storytelling will elevate your content. It will also ensure you are communicating effectively and will drive your overall goal: as many people as possible viewing your content. It’s these people that ultimately become valuable potential customers.
While metrics like social shares, clicks and web traffic will give you an overview of what graphic design elements contributed the most value, it’s important to take a step back and consider what exactly these elements are and how you can strategically incorporate them into your content marketing.
Typography, Contrast, Color Theory and Shape
Typography is the voice of your brand, defining your overall personality by evoking the mood, character, tonality and intention for your business. Typography draws visitors in and helps to express a feeling as to the content that a user is about to read. It should translate to mobile as well as desktop, and connect with your audience by communicating smoothly and effectively.
Additionally, creating the ideal amount of contrast between visuals and whitespace makes your content, website and marketing materials even more engaging to your customers. Consider contrasting items such as size, color, and typography when you are designing your content.
According to a Quick Sprout survey, color influences 90% of subconscious judgements.
In the case of branding, marketing and graphic design, the psychology of color plays a key role in decision making. However, while choice of color sets the mood for what you design, the real challenge lies in the color scheme you choose. Whether for brands, marketing, websites or graphics, the hardest part isn’t finding the right colors; it’s knowing how to implement those colors to relay your message clearly and concisely.
Next time you see a visual component (such as a brand logo) think about what that logo is conveying about that particular company. What colors are they using, what shapes are incorporated, what typography is used and so forth? Consider how you can apply similar techniques in your content marketing.
Designing a graphic that has a CTA will grab your visitors attention. This allows for continued interaction with the prospect, ultimately moving them along the journey to becoming a lead, or a potential customer. CTA’s are typically placed either within a webpage, blog article, or downloadable piece of content. Their purpose is to encourage the reader to perform an action, such as clicking a link, entering their information, or sharing your content. Strategically incorporating graphic elements such as CTA’s improves the customer experience. When a customer has a good experience, they are more likely to engage with and endorse your brand.
Elevate your visual storytelling through the deliberate use of infographics. Infographics not only stand out amongst other visual formats, but they allow for scalable link building through content sharing.
According to Zabisco, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
Photos and graphics spark visual interest and engagement. Infographics present information very clearly, allowing brands to deliver content in a visually appealing way that speaks to the behaviors of customers. As effective as it can be in conveying meaning to an audience, the written word can often be bland. This is why infographics play a key role in putting color and graphics on a webpage, e-book, or blog post.
Blog Post Graphics
Graphic design is used most commonly in content marketing through the implementation of custom designed images, in lieu of stock photography or other forms of imagery. Custom designed images are visually appealing, help with search engine traffic, increase social media shares, and define the length of an article by breaking up written content with relevant imagery. Best practices include resizing and compressing your images so as not to slow down the load speed of your page and overall website.
Social Media Images
Social media images help to provide a boost in the share-ability of your content. If your audience is reposting the same featured image from your blog post with a link to your content it can become less motivating for them very quickly. Avoid the disengagement of your audience by creating a series of social-only images for each of your blog posts. Not only will the variety of images allow you to determine what your audience responds to, but the unique images will allow you to re-share your content multiple times without it feeling repetitious.
Buffer reports that tweets with images received 150% more retweets than tweets without images.
Effective forms of custom designed social media images include quotes, visual step by steps such as how-to’s, and screen grabs. As each of these will be of value to your audience in different ways, consider a professional designer to ensure the quality of your social media images mirrors the quality of your written content.
With visual imagery playing a large part in how your content is consumed and shared, it’s clear that content marketers who creatively incorporate graphics into their content will see strong returns in traffic, visitors, leads, customers and ultimately revenue. Design is a critical component of any marketing strategy and this stands for content marketing too. Ensure your content is seen by as many of your ideal customer as possible by considering visuals, to when and where the content is going and how it will be shared.