I know what you’re thinking.
Nowadays, digital marketing is very data driven so I might as well define it using some sort of mathematical equation. Promotion of goods or services + any electronic device = digital marketing. Pretty simple, right?
Marketing, for the most part, has gone digital and with that comes the technology and ability to test, study and improve upon advertisements.
But technology is only a portion of the equation when it comes to successful digital marketing. Think about it. Everything promoted online uses some sort of creative to appeal to a target audience. This fact (and because I know little of the technology portion) brings me to talk about another important part of the digital marketing equation: Art.
However, there is one thing that must be ironed out before the design starts: Focusing on one message. It is probably the most important thing about elevating digital marketing.
If a client or your company says they would like the message to be about one benefit but they want to mention a few other things, stand up, push in your chair, and walk away. Or I guess you could also persuade them to focus on one message.
When there is more than one message, you might as well have no message at all. If there are too many, they will conflict and all messages will be lost.
If you need help finding that message for your target audiences, download this free buyer personas template. Intuitive design starts with knowing who you’re talking to and what they want to hear about. This template can help you out.
Now, lets talk art.
- Keep it simple
Simple is always better. If there is too much going on in a layout, the viewer will not know what to focus on and will just ignore the whole thing. While it’s important that a piece stands out, creating a complex layout with lots of elements is not the way to do it.
When a layout is visually complex, it requires the eyes and brain to physically work to decode the message, process it, and store it. You can trust me on this. I’m a scientist.
Okay I’m not a scientist, but I do my homework.
- Make room for whitespace
This element is a designer’s first love. In fact, I love it more than some of my distant relatives.
Whitespace is the space between elements in a composition; it provides visual breathing room for the eye and makes a layout “easy on the eyes”.
It’s an important design element for good reason. It can increase legibility, add balance to a layout, prevent distractions, highlight CTAs, and create separation among unrelated elements.
If there are too many elements on a layout to include whitespace, please refer to “simplicity” (yea, the section you just read) and make some room for this stud.
- Use hierarchy
This one’s “important”… Hierarchy is when an element is designed to be more important than other elements in a layout. With this principle, a designer can control where a viewer’s eye goes first, second, and so on. We’re basically magicians.
Okay, it’s not actual magic. It’s more so the manipulation of the eye to follow a predetermined path. With the help of shape, size, color, and location a designer can establish what part of a design is most important and guide a viewer’s eye to that element.
Now you don’t have to wonder why headlines are larger than body copy anymore. I know that keeps you up at night.
- Carefully select colors
Viewers are drastically influenced by color because it sets the mood of a piece. Using colors ineffectively could drive them away. It’s important to make sure you’re not using too many and that the ones you choose work well together.
That being said, using color correctly can improve the experience and keep a viewer engaged. A contrasting color can pull attention and change the visually hierarchy. When there is too much contrast however, it can be hard on the eyes.
Basically color is a fickle beast that requires a lot of attention.
- Craft your CTAs
A call to action is where we need the viewer to end up in a layout. This button could arguably be the most important element in a digital marketing campaign.
All the design elements listed above will help you create a successful CTA. Though the design is not the only thing to worry about, the actual copy should be engaging. Using “click here” is probably the worst phrase for the button. I bet you’d get a better result by using “Do not click here”.
The point is a CTA should include some sort of benefit associated with the action of clicking. That’s the definition of being engaging and will lead to more people actually converting.
So that’s all you need to know about elevating digital marketing through intuitive design. If you’ve made it this far, then there is literally nothing else you need to know about digital marketing and you can now consider yourself a master in design. Just kidding!
You should probably use this time to test some of the tips I presented above. First start with unifying your message if you haven’t already. Developing buyer personas is a great way to do that.
Click here or click the button below to get started with buyer personas and messaging.