Humans are visual before anything else—in fact, an entire half of our brain works on processing the signals our eyes take in. As such, if you want your brand to resonate with people, you have to appeal to their sense of sight.
That’s why well thought out digital design and effective marketing go hand in hand. Your brand’s image is the thing people recall when they’re choosing which products or services to buy.
If you’re planning to head up any digital marketing projects this year, read on to learn how to make your design choices work for you.
Start With the Fundamentals of Digital Design
Creativity, risk-taking, and out-of-the-box thinking can help your brand’s design stand out from the competition. If you go too crazy, though, you may end up pushing customers away. To break the rules effectively, you have to understand them first.
Take some time to learn about the power of color, line, form, and space. These concepts are just as important online as on a printed page.
The colors and types of images that accompany your content sometimes speak louder than the words on the page. They’re the easiest way to communicate your brand’s personality to someone who’s encountering you for the first time.
Do you want people to associate your company with luxury, power, and affluence? Use bold, saturated colors like red, gold, and black, and use negative space to your advantage. Choose high-quality photos with minimal backgrounds for a streamlined look.
Does your business cater more toward the fun-loving, whimsical crowd? Use cartoon-style graphics and lighter, playful hues.
Whatever direction you choose, creating mockups on paper is a great way to test out your ideas before they go live. Play around with different options until you find one that represents your brand well.
Be Mindful of Your Copy
Images may be the focus of many digital design projects, but the associated text is still important. There are two equally important parts to great text design: what it says and how it looks.
When it comes to content, try to keep things clear and concise. Let your brand’s voice shine through, but make sure that the words you choose align with your target audience’s preferences. All the content you write should help tell your brand’s story and get customers engaged with what you have to offer.
When it comes to appearance, try to avoid long paragraphs and walls of text. If you need to communicate a lot of information, like in a newsletter, break up your content into subsections separated with graphics.
It’s also important to keep in mind that while playing with fonts is fun, it’s easy to go overboard. Try to stick with one or two compatible font families that match your brand’s personality. Avoid anything too curly or dainty—your content should be easy to read at a glance.
Whatever choices you make regarding color, images, font, and text, keep them consistent across all your marketing materials. This is what makes your branding unique and recognizable.
If you’re revamping your web design, starting an email campaign, and creating a digital billboard, people should be able to tell at a glance that they’re all from the same brand.
To make this easier, consider putting together a reference sheet of specific design choices. Include any repeated images (like logos), your exact color scheme, and any phrasing you’d like to include or avoid.
Keep Your Publishing Platform in Mind
Repurposing the things you create is one of the foundational ideas behind digital marketing. Even so, spitting out identical content across multiple platforms isn’t a good way to get results.
When you repurpose content, consider the format of the platform you’re posting it on. Will you be publishing this design as a promoted pin on Pinterest? What about on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn?
Each of these platforms has a preferred aspect ratio for images and an audience with different preferences. It’s best to come up with a base design that you can modify for each channel it’s posted on. At the very least, take time to resize your images to avoid any awkward cropping.
Have Clear-Cut Goals
Gathering metrics isn’t always the most fun part of the design process, but it’s the only way to know if your efforts are paying off. So before you enter into any marketing project, design-based or otherwise, draw up a list of measurable goals you’d like to achieve.
Do you want to use this campaign to increase social media engagement? Are you hoping it will entice more people to subscribe to your email list or download your ebook? Are you hoping for a profit-based ROI?
Writing out these goals in advance will set you up to track the right data once your campaign goes live. If you don’t see the results you were looking for, head back to the drawing board to improve your designs with what you’ve learned.
Don’t Try to Do Everything on Your Own
If you’re a small business with an already busy marketing team (or marketing person), trying to take on a major redesign or digital launch can tank your efficiency. That’s why so many business owners have started outsourcing for design projects and other aspects of digital marketing.
When you hire a dedicated digital marketing firm, you can keep focusing on your vital day-to-day operations while they take care of making promotional content. Your team also won’t have to waste time learning how to use new imaging software or design techniques. They’ll be able to provide input and then watch as their ideas are expertly brought to life.
Ready to Kick off the New Year With a New Design?
If you feel like it’s time for a “new year, new me” approach to your branding and marketing strategy, this guide will get you off to a great start. By combining the fundamentals of digital design with a hefty dose of personality, you can build a business identity your customers will remember.
Looking for some support in the storm that is digital marketing? Let us be your refuge. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with digital design, branding, and all your other marketing needs.