How to Create Design-led Content Marketing
Learn how to create content that has good graphic design from the beginning stage, and how to reuse content in other projects with good visuals.
Table of Contents
Wondering how to use graphic design in order to produce quality content from the earliest stages? Here are some tips that will improve your content creation process and help you get the audiences’ attention.
A blog post contains one fundamental thing that should be well-executed, and that is the writing. Legibility, comprehensiveness, reading value and SEO optimization are all factors that make content writing good and successful in the long run.
But, any type of content can become better with adding quality visuals as well. Here is why:
- They enhance the digital experience and help readers keep their focus
- They help turn a lot of written content into understandable visual data
- They break up large text into smaller pieces, and hence offer a better user experience
- They make it possible to include your brand assets and improve the brand awareness
In this article, we’ll go through the steps on how you can make graphic design an integral part of your content writing strategy, and how it can steer your content creation process.
Plan on how to adapt it for social media
Even before you start writing your content, think about how you might use it in social media marketing. It’s one thing to just paste a URL to your Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and a completely different idea to use your written content as a special asset repurposed for social media.
For example, SEMRush creates quick guides for Instagram based on their long-form content. They have the same visual style on the blog posts in the form of covers and extra visuals, and their whole look is uniform and well-adjusted for a mainly visual platform such as Instagram.
And even if you don’t plan on repurposing your content in a specific way, make sure that when you ask for a designer to produce a cover for you, it looks catchy and follows the requirements for posting. You don’t want your post to look unprofessional and unfinished, or have no cover.
Build a special landing page for long-form content
As any skilled digital marketer will know, a well-designed landing page can convert a lot of visitors into paying customers.
The content on your blog should definitely not be passed up as an opportunity to collect leads, but you should know where the potential reader is in their customer journey, what can make them download your content and how to make sure that they see the value in your content.
But apart from that, some long-form content pieces such as ebooks, white papers, research and infographics need their separate landing pages.
If you are producing such content and plan of utilizing it for lead generation purposes, you should plan that beforehand and write accordingly. Producing an ebook, let’s say, and then trying to fit it somewhere without having a way to create landing pages, will create havoc in your content deployment strategy.
At ManyPixels, for example, we have a landing page for each ebook, and we also add forms for downloading our ebooks inside each article. Most content management systems will allow you to easily create separate landing pages, but make sure all of them are designed according to your brand style guidelines.
Design clear CTAs
To be able to sell any product or service, even through content marketing, you need calls-to-action or CTAs. Apart from having a good design and placement, they also need to be clear and direct.
Your marketers can use their skills and create a clear copy for CTAs, followed by a catchy visual style that will make sure they pop up and attract attention when placed within the body text of your content.
I will use our own blog as an example once again. The forms are not too intrusive, but still have a catchy color. At the same time, they aren’t too long and the call to action is clear and understandable.
Know your target audience
If you have any sort of strategy in your content production, you probably already have an ideal buyer persona that you have in mind when you write.
If you don’t, now is the time to create customer personas, which will help you write and design better. To be able to do this, you should interview customers if you already have an existing business, or research the demographic data and trends tied to them in the form of focus groups and polls.
Having a target audience will help you create design-led content because you’ll understand what kind of visuals resonate with your ideal readers. You can offer them something noticeable, memorable and clear, fitting to their style and preferred content.
Create assets that can be shared on their own
One important reason why you should have the visuals in mind before you even start writing your articles, is that search engines also factor in the graphics used in content when allocating top spots on the search results page (SERP).
Additionally, when you click on “Images” on Google search, you sometimes see a lot of graphics that might lead to original content.
By making them well-designed and valuable, you can help users get to your blog even from the image search.
On the other hand, visuals such as infographics, charts and tables can be a small part of bigger content that is sharable on its own. The article will of course add more context and value, but by making a graphic understandable on its own, you increase the chances that it will be used in other articles and posts, and that way, you can get backlinks from people who used it as a source of information.
Here is an example of a simple comparison table we created for an original article. Several other blogs shared it and linked back to us.
Brand, brand, brand
Thousands of potential readers that can reach your blog articles might not learn anything about your brand if you don’t add any branding assets in your blog. And that would be a huge shame, from a brand awareness building perspective.
The more potential readers see your brand assets, the more likely they are to remember something about your brand and what you deal in.
So, keep in mind from the very beginning that you need to unify the looks of your visuals, have one art direction in covers and other assets, and use brand colors in CTA buttons, forms and other visual elements. Typography, value propositions and tone of voice are also things you need to decide on with the marketing team and designer.
Journalist turned content writer. Based in North Macedonia, aiming to be a digital nomad. Always loved to write, and found my perfect job writing about graphic design, art and creativity. A self-proclaimed film connoisseur, cook and nerd in disguise.