A strong content marketing strategy is the source of business success. The keys to any content marketing strategy are to nurture audiences and build loyalty. One of the best ways to accomplish these goals is by integrating great design elements into your content strategy.
In this article, we look at the ways excellent design can increase traffic, engagement, and sales for your business. We’ll start by reviewing the basic elements of a great content marketing strategy.
The Essential Elements of a Content Marketing Strategy
So, what are the main elements of a successful marketing strategy? The first essential element is to develop a blueprint for your marketing efforts. With a blueprint, you can create a plan, create, and publish content that supports your business strategy and customers, and produce successful results (as in more business and higher revenues). Here’s a quick overview of the essential elements of a successful content marketing strategy; each one is important:
- Establish goals & marketing objectives for the content
- Develop a clear picture of your target market, including customer personas
- Conduct an audit of your current content to find any gaps and issues
- Map out the typical customer journey or sales funnel
- Select the right distribution channels for your content (based on the target market)
- Review internal resources and complete a capability assessment
- Create content ideas
- Develop a content plan and calendar, including creation and publishing timelines (aim to match target market expectations)
- Execute the plan
- Evaluate the strategy and content performance through audits and tests
- Update and refine as needed
Why Design Elements are Part of a Successful Content Strategy
The most important part of your content strategy is the design of the content, along with your website experience. Design needs to be an essential consideration of your content strategy; poor design can cause a poor user experience and can send your website to the bottom of the search engines.
Consider the fact that all content has some design elements, including articles, ebooks, and more. One of the most crucial elements is visual content, including photos, videos, infographics, memes, illustrations, and so on.
However, it’s also necessary to consider other design elements, such as page layout, font choices, colour combinations, heading dimensions, delivery, and the use of your logos. For this reason, your design strategy must be a part of your overall content strategy.
Design Elements That Make a Difference to Your Content Strategy
In this section, we’ve included the design elements that are needed to make your content strategy a huge success.
- Clarify the Ideal Customer
Clarifying the ideal customer means creating a detailed persona of your ideal customer (target market or target audience). This is the critical step in your content marketing strategy. The persona needs to be detailed and must help determine who you’re creating the content for. If the content doesn’t resonate with your ideal customer, you’ll probably see reduced engagement and conversions.
Here are some of the main elements of a detailed persona for your ideal customer:
- Audience demographics: age, gender, ethnicity, income, location, and job title.
- Hobbies, interests, beliefs, habits
- Challenges they commonly face or pain points that cause them to search for your product
- What problem does your product or service solve?
- Where does your ideal customer hang out? Which social platforms do they use? What blogs do they read?
- What Content formats do they prefer?
“Translating” this data into a visual persona allows you to quickly communicate information to your team about the ideal customer. It’s possible to create a detailed infographic with the information to provide a quick overview for you and your team when planning content strategy.
- Build Brand Awareness
Next, the right design elements work to improve brand awareness and share your brand’s story. The key is to create a cohesive message across all platforms and channels your business uses. For example, fonts should be the same across the website and other written content (such as case studies and white papers).
For businesses that largely identify with a single person, having a professional headshot of them is also important. The same image should also be used across all channels and platforms, as well as in the bio section of guest appearances (such as guest posts and more).
In addition, your company’s brand and logo colours need to be consistent, and the sales funnel should be consistent with all design elements.
Without this attention to the consistency of image, it’s almost impossible to communicate your brand image and voice, let alone your products.
- Stand Out from the Crowd
Originality is another essential design element needed to make your brand stand out. Unique elements can engage your audience and drive backlinks while improving your SEO.
When you create original design elements, such as infographics, charts, and visuals, your audience finds them useful and shares them with others across their social networks. There’s a greater chance other people will also use these on their sites and link back to you as the contributor.
Creating well-designed images that others share helps your business build a reputation as a leader in the industry and an influencer.
- Provide More Value
A strong content management strategy also depends on how much value you provide to site users and customers. When you focus on creating a pleasant user experience, it’s easier to build brand loyalty and customer retention. Over time, these efforts pay off with increased sales. The key is using the same visual design elements throughout all your content to increase the value you offer.
Studies show that most people have an easier time following visual instructions over written instructions. This makes video tutorials or an infographic more valuable in presenting information such as product features or instructions. The visual is more valuable for your customers and site visitors than written instructions or guides.
- Efficiently Repurpose Content
There are varied content types to choose from when creating your content strategy plan. In most cases, you won’t use all of these, and that’s OK. It’s not possible to create completely unique content for every platform or network available. However, with powerful design tools, it is possible to repurpose one piece of content into different formats.
For instance, if you create an amazing case study that includes relevant industry research, the information could be reformatted in the following ways:
- Create an infographic of the most interesting research
- Shoot a video or record a podcast on the content in the paper
- Pull out information on one company within the industry and turn it into a white paper
- Write a new blog post that summarises the findings of the case study
- Publish social posts sharing tidbits from the paper
- And more
As you can see, for each of these examples, the content is not added to, updated, or changed. The main work is choosing the right pieces of information and redesigning them into another content type. What’s more, updating old content in these ways can also draw in a new audience.
- Increase Customer Impressions
When content is difficult to read or hard on the eyes, site visitors won’t stick around to read it. On the other hand, attractive web designs can be used to provide a unique customer experience that creates a lasting impression.
The use of high-quality images is another essential element in the content strategy. Studies have shown that web pages and posts that contain no images have 94% fewer views than articles with only one image.
Here, it’s useful to add videos and other interactive content to your website design. These can quickly increase the site’s impressions.
- Trigger Greater Engagement
Well-designed content with high-quality visuals has higher engagement. It’s that simple. Adding powerful, beautiful images increases both reader engagement and social shares.
Designing key images, such as the featured image on posts and thumbnails, can increase awareness and engagement.
- Drive Sales Subconsciously
Research has shown that 95% of the purchase decision-making process happens in the subconscious mind. Design elements that trigger emotions is an effective method to encourage the customer’s subconscious to make those decisions on your website.
You can achieve this by using the right colours and colour combinations. Combining colour choices with clean layouts and limited options also gets rid of decision fatigue and improves sales.
Summing It Up
Design is an essential part of your content marketing strategy. Investing in excellent design elements can clarify what your company stands for and who your ideal customer is.
The key is to stay consistent with design across platforms and content types to build brand awareness and repurpose content more easily.
Finally, quality design also adds value to your customers and drives conversions, which is extremely important to the success of your business.