Many small business owners think of graphic design as something they need to find external help with. But with the abundance of online tools available now, there is plenty that you can do on your own.
The trick to designing visuals that work for you, is to make them impactful with your customers. You want to use your aesthetic to create a feeling of trust that allows people to engage with your brand.
When you are creating graphics and designing web pages for your business, there are a few stages of the customer’s journey to consider.
Of course, with a new customer it all begins with catching their attention in the right way. Then further along, you want to encourage those people to buy from you, and return to buy again.
We will look at this journey a little closer. But first, let’s consider the design of your brand overall, as this must be consistent throughout.
When you are looking at the big picture of your brand, consider how you want your customers to feel about your business.
- Do you want them to trust you with their money?
- Do you want them to take your advice?
- Is the aim for them to make impulse purchases from your ecommerce store?
Your branding needs to be appropriate to your industry. This helps the customer to feel they are in the right place when they land on your website, or any of your social media profiles. This also helps a great deal with online advertising.
The aim is to be recognizable for what you do within a matter of milliseconds – and that’s better done with design rather than copy. The words are of course important, but reading comes later.
That first impression you make comes from the look and feel, created by the graphic design you went with. Think about your colour and font choices, and what they say about your business.
The brands that stand the test of time are the ones with simpler, cleaner designs. So aim for simplicity over flare. And one staple that applies across all industries, is the power of white or negative space in your graphic design.
Put simply, this means spacing out the elements in your design – not overcrowding any of your graphics or web pages. Everything from the smallest elements like your logo, to the larger elements like your email newsletter header, are all best kept simple.
Now let’s begin thinking about that journey a new customer takes when they first see you online. The point of digital marketing is to get your material in front of the right people, and show them that you have what they want or need.
The copy you write will of course do a lot of the talking for you – but the graphic design makes that vital first impression.
Studies show that we make a decision about a brand in under a second. This is worth keeping in mind when designing your brand assets.
When you are grabbing the attention of a future customer right at the beginning of their journey with you, where are they likely to be? Most people will find you either by Google search, Google advertising, social media advertising, or social content.
So think about which pieces of content, or which of your brand assets are they likely to see first. It could be an advert or a blog post, or perhaps the homepage of your website. In order to grab their attention, here is something that can help.
Consider the power of showing them a human face. This tip is particularly used in advertising. Selecting a good quality stock image, where the model is looking at the camera, has a profound effect on stopping us scrolling.
The human brain is designed to seek out other humans, so a lot of savvy marketers use this in their ad design. Take a look at some ads on your social feeds, and see if you can spot this.
Once a potential customer has found you for the first time, you are in the relationship building zone. You want to keep showing up on social media, or perhaps by email newsletter if you have managed to capture their email address.
Use your graphic design here to make yourself memorable.
If you have a strong brand design, then your work here is mostly done. It is simply a matter of making sure you keep showing up in a consistent way. The thing to remember is that brand design must stay the same. You are aiming to create familiarity, so that in the long term, this person will feel safe buying from you.
So when you are creating graphics for social media, make sure they always have your brand look. Don’t stray from the path here.
When a customer is ready to buy from you, they have made it to your website. Graphic design can help here too.
As mentioned above, the look and feel should be consistent throughout the customer’s journey. For example, the web page they are looking at must have the same design features and balance of white space as the first advert they saw on social media.
This consistency inspires trust, and that is critical to making a sale or booking.
With digital marketing, you are building a relationship with the people who read your content and visit your website. You are showing them that they can trust you.
Humans are visual creatures. As we get so much of our feedback about the world from our vision, how your brand looks matters a lot. The feedback a potential customer gets from looking at your marketing material online happens quickly, in less than a second.
You could write the most amazing sales copy in the world. But if your potential customers are put off by a bad first impression, then they won’t stick around to read it. So using great graphic design will have a huge impact on your business.
Remember to keep your design simple, clean and professional. It doesn’t need to be complicated, or expensive to create. It just needs to be consistent throughout all your marketing channels.
That consistency is needed to build trust, which in turn results in sales.
This Article is written by Macsen Warren.