Without a proper strategy, no aspect of your business can survive the pressures of competition.
Any success you achieve will be dependent on pure luck. This holds true for your content marketing as well.
A solid content strategy is non-negotiable. However, even a good strategy needs to be tuned for upgrades from time to time.
Adding a visual value to your content can be your way to improve your marketing strategy. You can lean on design elements for a complete reinvention of even a failing content marketing plan.
8 Clever Design Ideas for your content marketing strategy
When you present information in a visual format, your audiences find it easier to process that information. If you are adding a storytelling element to the way that the design is presented, you will further elevate the performance of the content.
The design does not have to replace your content marketing strategy, but it should be used to complement and enhance the written content whenever possible.
Unfortunately, people tend to overdo a trend even if it shows minor results. You can avoid this fate by simply relying on a core principle for the ratio of visual to written content in your posts.
According to Buzzsumo, the most effective proportion is putting in 1 image per 75-100 words of write-up. You can further use these clever ideas to juice up the way you use visual design to bring your audience’s attention to your content more confidently.
So, let’s dive right in!
1. Create relevant visual elements
Relevance is always important, even when you are designing visual content.
Remember, the point of the image is not just to provide a break in the monotony of the write-up. It is meant to be a part of the information flow.
The image has a responsibility to carry the story just as much as the words.
Relevance can lead to an almost 94 percent increase in views for the content.
If you are customizing a composition, you will have a better chance of making it a part of an existing narrative of your post. However, if you are looking to find an existing image that matches the context, you will have quite limited choices.
Getting customized designs will not be easy on the wallet but you can get a range of prices to take your pick. Weigh the cost of getting the image custom designed against the relevance factor of the image.
The final bulk of the decision will be carried by the increased Return on Investment (ROI) of your strategy as you set the visual content in context.
2. Create image posts for social media
Most people quite readily agree with the premise that a long article needs vibrant images to break the monotone impression of the text.
However, social media posts have barely a few words, and some platforms even limit us to characters. It seems an unnecessary exercise to invest effort in customizing images to publish with these posts.
Just the opposite might be true. Your article can survive without images purely on the strength of the subject matter within the consent. However, social media posts lack the space for enough substance. They have to be on the nose, a direct attack, or incredibly fun to make any real impact on your audience.
Another fact about social media posts is that they require the support of images to grab audiences’ attention in a crowded marketplace. Customized images work best when you want to bring home the message that might be lost in vagueness if you put up only a lonesome text.
3. Provide visual support for steps in tutorials
Writing a tutorial is a smart idea. When you pen down any procedure it is like creating a blueprint for your audience to resolve a similar situation or learn the same skill. However, tutorials can also be quite tricky to follow.
Asking your audiences to only rely on the words of the tutorial to follow correctly at each individual step is a gamble.
The interpretation of your instructions might make or break your tutorial content. Followers will get frustrated if they don’t get the same results that you tout in the posts.
Visual aids with the steps can give them a clear picture of what each finished stage of the tutorial should look like.
You can rely heavily on screenshots and impromptu images to keep the effect more personal and realistic for your tutorials. Simply adding images can make your tutorial a more valuable resource for your audiences.
An effective post can earn you the audience’s trust over your immediate competitors.
4. Create shareable images
A good content marketing strategy bears the burden of traffic generation and networking.
Good content can start conversations and make connections online based on shared ideals.
However, great content can relate to your audience on an emotional level. They are more likely to share this type of content with their friends and family. It creates a high expectation that the content might get viral in the future.
Visual elements can be a quick way to appeal to various audience sentiments. Appeal to their humor shared pain, or joy through original image compositions. You can add some text to these compositions to leave a truly memorable tagline. However, it depends on the image to attract the attention to the tagline enough for the viewer to want to share with his network.
You can add viable alt text and cultivate backlinks for your posts just by including a dynamic image within the written structure.
Courtesy of your content marketing, these types of images also become incredibly effective tools for your SEO strategy. You just cannot discount that double impact value about shareable images.
5. Repurpose old posts to infographics
Content requires so much effort and thought. It is a shame if you do not get some reuse value out of it. Here creativity plays a major role.
Using design tools, you can convert the same content to different formats and repost them to the most suitable platforms. For instance, an article can be converted to an infographic if you have the vision and the right tools to back it.
Canva is a very popular design tool with attractive templates you can use to create infographics and social media posts from repurposed content. However, the service does skew a bit towards its premium templates compared to the free assets. This is a drawback if you are starting your content strategy at a limited budget.
Snappa is another good choice for creating infographics that you can share on social networks right from within the Snappa interface. Pixlr is more affordable than Canva and has a better range of editing options to create more complex compositions.
6. Create marketing collaterals for your content
For a long time, marketing collaterals have been associated with product marketing. However, you can use the underlying principle to promote your content instead.
Interactive content has more value today but this is a fairly new trend.
If you have older content that is no longer tracking well because it has non-visual content, do not just consider it a lost cause. Refresh old articles with memes and embed interactive videos in context to once again get your audience absorbed in the content.
Imagine your podcasts are a product and promote it fittingly. Banners and display ads can alert the world that they will benefit from hearing the podcast. Transcribing the podcast and repurposing it into a visual presentation will get even more traffic through the door for the same old content.
7. Design posts specifically to engage
Ideally, every content you create should engage your audience’s attention.
Realistically, some content formats are just better for customer engagement compared to others.
Visual elements significantly increase the engagement value but the balance of text and image is the turning factor here.
Design the post so the image inside makes people think. Add a trigger text that makes them talk. You want your post to invoke action and relate to a sentiment. It can engender joy, horror, political concern, or motivation.
However, you have to limit the text and use a color theme that suits the sentiment you want from your target audience. The image should play well with the color scheme and be part of the storytelling.
8. Design to boost sales
Sales and marketing have always factored the human mind into the equation.
Harvard has conducted studies on the role of the subconscious mind over your purchase decision. You can use this to your advantage if you plan your design elements to trigger your consumers’ subconscious minds.
Some elements increase the hard-hitting power of your posts. The choice of colors in particular has a highly suggestive association with different sentiments.
Red appears bold and passionate.
Blue invokes strength and Dependability.
Orange conveys balance and positivity.
And Yellow is for a fun and cheerful image.
The ability to customize the designs for your content can be your single most powerful weapon for content marketing.
You can do so much more than simply add interest with design ideas.
Also, you can positively affect the actions of your audience and trigger a predictive response with designs leading your content strategy.
Let us know in the Comments section below which of the above design ideas will you implement in your content marketing strategy.
Atreyee Chowdhury (LinkedIn)
Atreyee Chowdhury works full-time as a Content Manager with a Fortune 1 retail giant. She is also a freelance writer for multiple clients across multiple industries. She comes with several years of web content writing experience and you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org for any content writing/copywriting requirements. She loves to read, travel, and experiment with different cuisines in her free time.