Content Marketing is Lost Without Design

Content Marketing is Lost Without Design15 April 2015, Richard Smith

IT giant IBM founder – Thomas J Watson, once famously said… Good Design is Good Business. Whilst an absolutely generic phrase, which can be applied to many aspects of business and industry, it made me consider the impact of good design on the modern day rapid rise of content marketing.

Content is increasingly becoming the modern day pinnacle of a successful marketing and PR strategy. Not only because it is the way brands can portray their image and position in the market to their customers, but because when used effectively, this presents possibly the most powerful means of connecting with customers, at essentially the smallest cost. Social media, blogging, digital publications, white papers-all channels which only require the time and cost of the person producing the material, in turn can potentially generate the most traffic and traction.

However, writing the content (whilst being the most fundamental part of the strategy) is only part of the jigsaw. In a world where literally millions of new articles are being created on a daily basis-content quickly becomes a crowded place, making it harder to find and stand out. In fact, according to research from Nielsen, there are twenty seven million pieces of content shared each day. It is therefore important, that design plays an important part in any content marketing strategy.

So why is design so important? A few key reasons have been outlined below:

1. Mobile is top of the agenda – 61% of people have a more positive opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience. If your content marketing does not consider a strong responsive mobile design, you can fully expect the ever-increasing number of mobile users to be switched off very quickly from what you have to say.

2. 65% of people are visual learners – Missing out on this key message through your content marketing, will mean you are not connecting with a large part of your potential audience. A good design can ensure that both your verbal learners (those who are more engaged by reading), and your visual learners (those who digest information visually), are addressed sufficiently.

3. Not everyone reads in the same way – Some readers may like to skim, whereas others may want to read in a very ordered, structured way. Some readers are drawn to article position on the canvas, whereas others may be more engaged by colour or font size. Similarly to the previous message, its about leveraging design variation to meet the needs of as wide an audience as possible.

4. Visual Apathy – A meeting I attended recently with an Email Service Provider, highlighted the potential feeling in the industry of ‘email apathy’, and that large organisations run the risk of switching customers off by sending the same fixed email template again and again. Considerations towards more personalised and varied content driven designs would encourage more engagement and higher click through.

Quality content matters, but quality design matters as well. Most importantly, the design, which optimizes based on the platform it is being accessed on will always be the biggest winner. New York Magazine Director of Digital Design and User Experience, Steve Motzenbecker recently stated that in order for design effort to be worthwhile, its important to Let your content lead.” This is a crucial element and breakthrough in the world of design, where artificial intelligence allows content driven design, rather than have content design be dictated by templates or placeholders. This is particularly important from an advertising and revenue perspective, where a more flexible and in turn personalised content design, can enhance the powers of relevant and target driven advertising.

Richard Smith – Contented New Business and Relationship Manager
Contented is artificial intelligence technology, which powers content driven design, to enable marketers to enhance their content marketing objectives. For more information, or for a free demo-please contact us below.

  1. Jonny Miller

    Great article. Keep up the good work!

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