Why Design Matters in Content Marketing

Why Design Matters in Content Marketing
Stephanie Tilton - Thu Feb 24, 2011 @ 07:00AM
Comments: 52

I’m pleased to present this interview with Margery Stegman of Schenkel/Stegman Communications Design. Margery created a Gear Up for Success eBookfantastic design for the eBook I wrote for AG Salesworks last fall. Here she shares thoughts on the important role that design plays in content marketing and how marketers can get involved in the design process.

 

Q.  Why is design is such a critical element of the content that companies publish?

A.     Design is critical for numerous reasons:

  • Not everyone reads the same way – some want to skim for the top message while others want to dive in deep. With design devices, you can facilitate that. In print, the headline establishes the top-level message. Subheads and call-outs point to secondary messages. And sidebars are used to highlight detail that complements the main body.
  • 65% of people are visual learners. If you don’t plan for this, you’re not connecting with a significant portion of your audience. Verbal learners can take something away from copy, but visual learners can completely miss it. This is tied to the concept of understanding what content types/formats your audience prefers. Just as you might provide a downloadable transcript of a podcast or video for those who prefer to read, you need to address the preference for those who are hard-wired to digest information visually.
  • Design establishes or expands upon a company's visual identity within its marketplace. In any business sector, there are standouts. The companies that rise above certainly have great products or services, exemplary customer service and well-crafted messages. They also have recognizable visual identities. Typography can highlight a certain message, and an image can enhance or further convey the key message/value, whether on a site, in an eBook, or on a trade show booth.
  • Design can inspire your audience to take a desired action by calling attention to your offering. This is an example of how design works in concert with the copy. If we’ve done it right, we compel people by making the initial case via a compelling headline with supporting details that are easy to access and summed up with “here’s what we want you do.”

 

Q.    How can design impact readability and “enjoyability”?

A.     Carefully considered typography establishes different reading levels, leading to increased understanding of the information. From headlines down to captions, type treatment enables readers to scan, capturing the highest level of message down to the smallest detail depending on their interest. Moreover, type style impacts readability and can emotionally engage readers.

 

Similarly, images elicit emotion, reinforce key messages, and can actually help readers remember content. For example, if you want a lighthearted feel, you should use marry images to your headings to capture that. If you pick images that convey humor or a concept and they aren’t cliché or trite, people will associate the images and words, which helps them retain the information. This is a mnemonic device (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mnemonic). The combination of strong copy and images create a way to help brains better remember information. Just like peanut butter and jelly – you can enjoy them separately, but they’re better together.

 

Design can also make the reading experience easier in this age of information overload. Creating a visual/information hierarchy using typography, image, and color can help overwhelmed readers more easily understand the relative importance of various pieces of information.

 

The quality and consistency of images can also make or break a piece of content. For your eBook, I spent many hours looking for photos that would connect with the content.

 

Q.  At what point during the development of an eBook should marketers start thinking about design/talking to a designer?

A. Whether it's an eBook or other communications vehicle, it can be helpful to talk with a designer early in the process. Budget is one reason. An experienced designer can make recommendations on how to achieve communications goals depending on the available resources. If you don’t plan for it in the beginning, you’ll end up compromising.

 

Designers know what subtleties to look for. What are the communication and business goals, and how complex is the information that needs to be communicated? A designer can suggest unique approaches that will draw greater attention to the message and help achieve your goal.

 

What kind of images will best support this concept, and what layout will best help readers digest the information? It can take quite a while to determine how to best present that.  Some people think designers just grab stock images. But we pick images that interrelate through composition, color, and concept – and that takes an enormous amount of time.

 

It can be fine for us to get involved in a project after the content is complete, as long as marketers are aware of the costs to create a document of a certain length. Otherwise, they may find their budget won't cover the cost to design and produce it.

 

At what point you engage a designer also impacts the schedule. Just as the client wants and needs to review copy and make changes until they’re happy with it, the same is true for the design – marketers need to account for that part of the process.

 

Q.    An eBook topic/theme can lend itself to many design options. How can marketers decide on the best design for their eBooks?

A. Know your audience well, and know your communications and business goals and what tone you want to set.

 

We provide a detailed questionnaire that helps clients address these key issues, along with requirements and preferences. For example, what value are you delivering? Are there visual/branding guidelines that need to be worked in? Do you – or your audience – have a preference for a color because it elicits an emotional response?

 

Q.    What should marketers expect when working with a designer on an eBook? Please describe the process.

A. Regardless of the content we’re developing, we start with an initial meeting to learn about goals, requirements, preferences, audiences, messages, time frame and budget. Next we develop a proposal detailing tasks, costs, and schedule. Then we jump into the design phase.

 

For an eBook, we typically show two initial design options. And we usually start with an inside spread because we've found it's the most effective way to present the concept, image style, and typographic treatment. Based on the client's feedback, we develop a revised spread.

 

Once the design direction is approved, we develop two or three covers. Since the cover creates the initial impression, it’s advantageous from a creative and budgetary perspective to choose from several options. Here again, we create a revised cover based on the client’s feedback.

 

Finally, there’s the implementation – or production – process. We acquire images through stock sources or we create custom photos/illustrations. We do the layout with the final copy and images and present it to the client as a PDF for review. Once all revisions are incorporated, we do the final layout, where we add any URL links before creating the final PDF.

 

Though not many pieces are printed these days, if the client wants the eBook printed, we will prepare the files for the printer, write specifications, and get estimates and supervise the press run.

 

Q.    What steps/considerations can streamline the design process?

  • Know your business goals and audience and clearly communicate that to the designer.
  • Be up-front about your budget.
  • Keep to the schedule for approvals and deliverables just as you would with copy.
  • Make sure you get buy-in from any other decision makers along the way. If you don’t bring in all stakeholders until the layout, for example, and they don’t like it, your budget and schedule will be blown.
  • Make sure the final copy is truly final before you hand it over to the designer; revisions add time and cost to the project.

About the Author: Stephanie Tilton is a content marketing consultant who helps B2B companies craft content that nurtures leads and advances the buying cycle. You can follow her on Twitter or read more of her posts on Savvy B2B.

Related Posts:





Comments: 52

Comments

1. Wendy Thomas   |  my website   |   Thu Feb 24, 2011 @ 10:45AM

Stephanie,

What great guidelines you have captured here from Margery. Lots to think about as more and more of our writing is aimed for electronic distribution. Thanks for putting this one up.

2. Stephanie Tilton  |  my website   |   Thu Feb 24, 2011 @ 12:38PM

So glad you found the post valuable, Wendy!

3. Sarah Mitchell  |  my website   |   Fri Feb 25, 2011 @ 09:49PM

Hi Stephanie,

Thank you for the excellent article. I've been writing about Asset Based Marketing - the practice of converting marketing expenses into business assets. The essential ingredient for ABM is you must give equal consideration and budget allocation for both content AND design. When you do that, you really start to build tangible assets for your organisation in ways content or design cannot achieve on their own.

4. Stephanie Tilton  |  my website   |   Sat Feb 26, 2011 @ 11:41AM

Hi Sarah - That sounds like an interesting topic. Can you point me to some of your posts/articles? I'd love to read more about it. Thanks for sharing that angle!

Best,
Stephanie

5. Sarah Mitchell  |  my website   |   Mon Feb 28, 2011 @ 08:34AM

Hi Stephanie,

Of course! (You knew I'd say that, right?) You can find all the articles about Asset Based Marketing at my blog with this link: http://www.globalcopywriting.com/blog/tag/asset+based+marketing

Having said that, I really started exploring the topic with this post:http://www.globalcopywriting.com/asset-based-marketing-where-content-meets-design/

Cheers,
Sarah

6. Quality websites Perth  |  my website   |   Tue Nov 08, 2011 @ 04:59AM

I was just searching around on the net for some inspiration and I came across your blog.  I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading your blog. You have good views, Keep up the good informative info

7. Conceptmarketing  |  my website   |   Fri Dec 16, 2011 @ 05:39AM

Hey I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading your blog. You have good views, Keep up the good informative info.Through this bloge we should know that how can we make our business marketing strategy in year 2011. For more information you can visit ou website.

8. ALone17   |   Sat Dec 21, 2013 @ 03:20AM

For example, what value are you delivering? Are there visual/branding recommendations that need to be proved helpful in? http://valium-diazepam.co 

9. khan   |   Thu Feb 27, 2014 @ 11:22PM

And AG Salesworks are supporting a web seminar in which Pete Gracey, Chief executive of AG Salesworks, and I will discuss the eBook and discuss a research study that describes how one company used the eight steps to better arrange advertising and promotion for improved income.
http://www.global-fashions.com/?p=9

10. ana  |  my website   |   Fri Mar 28, 2014 @ 05:45AM

From this article I understad that marketers can be involved in the design process. I want more informations about this, please.

11. adela  |  my website   |   Tue Apr 01, 2014 @ 03:58AM

It's more than just looking nice. There are a lot of things behind every choice of styling.
<a href="http://sanatatecudetoate.beep.com">sanatate</a>

12. initial   |   Tue Apr 01, 2014 @ 08:37AM

This is an example of how design works in concert with the copy. If we’ve done it right, we compel people by making the initial case via a compelling headline with supporting details that are easy to access and summed up with “here’s what we want you do.” http://www.online-cna-classes.org

13. Aaron   |   Thu Apr 10, 2014 @ 04:23AM

http://www.wv-truck-accident-lawyer.com f you were injured in an accident while driving due to another person’s negligence, you have legal rights under the law. You want to protect those rights after a car accident so that you don’t end up paying for another person’s carelessness – personally and financially.

14. Aaron   |   Thu Apr 10, 2014 @ 04:23AM

http://www.wv-personal-injury-lawyer.com You should seek medical attention as soon as you get injured. Having the proper records can prove in court that you have been hurt and deserve a financial reward for what occurred.

15. Aaron   |   Thu Apr 10, 2014 @ 04:23AM

http://www.wv-medical-negligence-lawyer.com Did another party caused you get an injury resulting from the negligence of their negligence? Are your bills and financial obligations out of control while you having a hard time paying your bills since you have had to miss work?

16. Maydi   |   Fri Apr 18, 2014 @ 06:52AM

http://www.kitchen-fitters-knutsford.com Along with granite, natural stones and laminate, people are increasing being interested in quartz countertops too for kitchen remodeling. Find out about the pros, cons, manufacturing process, price range and popular brands of quartz countertops through this article.

17. Maydi   |   Fri Apr 18, 2014 @ 06:52AM

http://www.latchy-catchy.com We have got to 'step up to the plate' when it comes to our child's/children's education! As a divorced mother of 2, I decided early on that I would take an active role in my children's education.

18. Maydi   |   Wed May 14, 2014 @ 05:54AM

http://www.theonlinepaymentsystems.com Video marketing offers you ways to keep touching your market. Ask consumers to e mail you together with questions in what you offer you, or inquiries about market topics, and response the questions you want best in the weekly video clip.

19. Maydi   |   Wed May 14, 2014 @ 05:55AM

http://www.blog4carinsurance.com Building a significant advance payment helps to lessen the monthly premiums at sbwire. com. As the particular loan sum is reduced as a result of plenty of down transaction, your stress as a result of loan repayments may be minimized.

20. Maydi   |   Wed May 14, 2014 @ 05:55AM

http://www.nsncollegegames.com Join many diverse elective classes. Your initial year regarding college could be the time to look out over a limb and also try some items that you by no means would or may have in high school graduation.

21. Maydi   |   Wed May 14, 2014 @ 05:50AM

http://www.allinfo4business.com Start your home based small business while you might be still utilized. Don’t quit every day job too soon; it will take time regarding new venture to start out turning any profit. Having another revenue stream while waiting to create your home based business is important.

22. Maydi   |   Wed May 14, 2014 @ 05:50AM

http://www.startingaretailbuzz.com Keep proceeding and decide in order to investigate more. Take sufficient time to explore additional options and ensure a quick payday loan is your better solution.

23. candidates   |   Wed May 14, 2014 @ 06:36AM

Some visitors need more insight: Several months ago, Stephanie had an excellent publish that outlined the different factors that I extremely recommend studying the whole publish if you perform on situation research.

24. Robert Elliot   |   Tue Sep 02, 2014 @ 03:25PM

I know I like to quickly browse through posts, but that's usually when I'm reading something totally random, usually I'll take the time to read something, if it was information I was specifically searching for.

Robert Elliot
http://www.autowashed.com/

25. Herman   |   Mon Sep 08, 2014 @ 09:55PM

Thanks a lot for sharing the detailed list of Senate names of farm bill Conferees. Most of the members are new to me. This subject has interested me for quite some time. I have just started researching it on the Internet and found your post to be informative http://www.usafashiontv.com http://www.avignaseoservices.com and http://www.avighnaseosolutions.com

26. merry   |   Mon Sep 08, 2014 @ 09:48PM

Thanks a lot for sharing the detailed list of Senate names of farm bill Conferees. Most of the members are new to me. This subject has interested me for quite some time. I have just started researching it on the Internet and found your post to be informative http://www.usafashiontv.com http://www.avignaseoservices.com and http://www.avighnaseosolutions.com

27. Quick Move   |   Sat Oct 04, 2014 @ 04:20AM

Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful. http://www.quickmove.com/

28. Apple Ibeacon  |  my website   |   Mon Mar 30, 2015 @ 11:32AM

This is truly a unique blog. Literally, this blog is just out of this world. I have never seen anything like this before. Wow! Just keep the quality of your to this extent.

29. Numpang   |   Wed Apr 01, 2015 @ 02:56AM

This interview is very informative for me.
http://numpangpromo.com/

30. Seaside Real Estate  |  my website   |   Wed May 06, 2015 @ 01:18AM

Wonderful job. Thanks.

31. www.zeewebsol.com  |  my website   |   Wed May 06, 2015 @ 06:02AM

Hello! fadedee interesting fadedee site! I'm really like it! Very, very fadedee good!

32. Meath Builders   |   Fri May 22, 2015 @ 11:55AM

Excellent blog post! thank you so much for sharing this on us, I really enjoyed reading all your articles here. I'm looking forward to see more articles. Once again thank you and keep up the good work.<a href="www.attic-conversion.ie">Meath Builders</a>

33. half up half down hairstyles  |  my website   |   Wed Jun 03, 2015 @ 10:58AM

Hair is common in mammals on earth, and almost all mammals groom themselves and their body hair as part of hygiene. But it is only Humans, who pay more attention to hairstyles for the hair on their heads. In the past few centuries, new and fashionable hairstyles have become the rage, especially among the rich and famous. In the modern world <a href="http://halfuphalfdownhairstyles.com/">half up half down hairstyles</a>

34. water clean up dallas  |  my website   |   Sun Jun 21, 2015 @ 01:18AM

I like your great work, I am happy to see this great post, please share with us more informative post like this I get more information to in it keep it up and doing your job thanks <a href="http://www.floodkings.com/">water clean up dallas</a>

35. bhanu   |   Thu Jun 25, 2015 @ 02:03AM

ive been eis blog site for a while and also have a matter probably you'll be able to support its how can i include your feed to my rss reader as i need to observe you Thanks
http://inkpromocode.us
http://inkpromocode.us/category/printer-ink-toner-discount-codes/
http://ecigsdiscounts.com
http://inkpromocode.us/all-ink-stores/

36. taiwan post tracking  |  my website   |   Sat Jul 11, 2015 @ 03:56AM

Great write-up, I am a big believer in commenting on blogs to inform the blog writers know that they’ve added something worthwhile to the world wide web!..<a href="http://emsplanet.com/taiwan-post-tracking">taiwan post tracking</a>

37. ssss   |   Thu Sep 24, 2015 @ 05:11AM
38. Moon Pixlar Bonus  |  my website   |   Thu Oct 22, 2015 @ 09:29AM

Excellent blog post! thank you so much for sharing this on us, I really enjoyed reading all your articles here. I'm looking forward to see more articles. Once again thank you and keep up the good work... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVNOu_pd210

39. value stocks to buy  |  my website   |   Mon Oct 26, 2015 @ 11:32AM

good thing in this that its real.capturing the highest level of message down to the smallest detail depending on their interest. Moreover, type style impacts readability and can emotionally engage readers. <a href="https://www.caesarsfinancial.com/past-issues/">value stocks to buy</a>

40. Commission Gorilla  |  my website   |   Tue Nov 10, 2015 @ 03:11PM

My business is very happy to discover this fabulous website which may have pleasant and beneficial goods for understand. Appreciate it for sharing. Awesome and intriguing post. Good points you've constantly distributed to us all. Appreciate it. Only go on generating this type of write-up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzkslhBMX6I

41. Long term parking luton   |  my website   |   Sun Nov 22, 2015 @ 03:04AM

Besides having their all economic instruments and facts for future predictions, they seem helpless to make a good plan for coming crises. Queen of England asked the same question to the economist.

42. Termografía infrarroja  |  my website   |   Fri Nov 27, 2015 @ 11:29PM

Another interesting development is in the X-ray segment, where flat panel screens and wireless equipment are driving growth of mobile X-ray systems.<a href="http://manpre.com.mx/termografia/camaras-termograficas">Termografía infrarroja</a>

43. werkbladen  |  my website   |   Fri Dec 04, 2015 @ 05:01AM

This website has very good content. Thank you for the great article I did enjoyed reading it, I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back from again

44. graniet tafelblad  |  my website   |   Tue Dec 29, 2015 @ 10:20AM

Unfortunately many of us will fail because we just get lost in all the information . There are countless ways too make money online but there is a lot to learn as well.

45. This website  |  my website   |   Sat Jan 09, 2016 @ 01:00AM

Well, very good post with informative information. I really appreciate the fact that you approach these topics from a stand point of knowledge and information. This is the first time, I visited at your site and became your fan. You are bookmarked. Please keep on posting.
<a href="http://marmeren-werkbladen.nl">marmeren werkblad</a>

47. Resort Injury Lawyer Key West   |   Fri Feb 26, 2016 @ 12:04AM

Preparation as well as organization tend to be chief elements to facilitate an excellent camping journey. You must be sure you are totally prepared prior to going camping.

48. aanrechtblad  |  my website   |   Thu Apr 21, 2016 @ 02:00AM

You can't really say what is beautiful about a place, but the image of the place will remain vividly with you.

49. recuperação de dados  |  my website   |   Sat Apr 23, 2016 @ 10:52PM

Great too the superb examine! Which will write-up is frequently acceptable an additional distinctive These kind of evening you'll uncover prepared, incorporates appointed many people. Keep obtaining of which inturn.

50. klester   |   Sun May 22, 2016 @ 04:20AM

inctive These kind of evening you'll uncover prepared, incorporates appointed many people. Keep obtaining of which inturn.

Survival Life Deals
http://survivallifedeals.com
Survive the end days
http://survivallifedeals.com/product/survive-the-end-days/
Surviving the final bubble
http://survivallifedeals.com/product/surviving-the-final-bubble/
Survival Md
http://survivallifedeals.com/product/survival-md/
Family Survival System
http://survivallifedeals.com/product/family-survival-system/

Previous 1

Post a Comment




powered by Doodlekit™ Free Website Builder