There’s no way around it: good design means good business. Visual content dominates online and smart marketers see good design as an investment, keeping it in mind even in the earliest stages of business planning. Today’s audiences expect more. Good design isn’t a luxury, it’s a given. Your design is your first impression, and one your business can’t afford to mess up.
Design continues to evolve, especially where the online world is concerned. Design is no longer about just “making it look pretty.” Especially with the increase in focus on data (including data on how design affects our choices), good design is now a science as much as it is an art. Businesses that master the balance of the two are able to optimize form, function, and user experience.
Design is the mechanism for delivering your voice. For instance, every page of your website is your “home” page these days. In the era of online commerce, it is extremely common for users to enter your site from pages that aren’t your intended “home” page.
When it comes to selling your products or services, first impressions are critical. These first impressions happen when potential customers see your product on the shelf, glance at your logo, or visit your website. Your business literally has only seconds to make a positive first impression or those potential customers will pass you by. Did you know that humans process visual content 60,000 times faster than written content? They buy things that “look” desirable and professional. They sign up for services from companies that “look” legitimate and trustworthy. As shallow as that may sound, it’s the truth.
Without good design, you can have the best and most competitively priced product or service in the world, but if your marketing material, website, logo, and branding is outdated, underdesigned, or cheaply made, guess what? The general public (especially your target audience) likely won’t be buying anything from you. Your business always needs to put its best foot forward when producing marketing and branding materials. The way these materials look sends a message to potential customers about your company. Polished branding and design send the message that you care about your messaging and your image, and in turn, care about the customers.
Conversely, outdated or inconsistent branding looks unprofessional and sends the message that you don’t care much about your image or messaging, thus you must not care about your business or your customers. You may think that you are saving money by hiring entry level talent (or your cousin Steve who took a few graphic design classes back in 1992) to develop your business brand, but in reality, your business is likely losing money. Potential customers will notice poor design quality, and many of them will walk away before you have a chance to change their minds.
Invest in yourself and in your image. Hire a qualified and experienced designer or agency that can create the visual messaging that positions you as the market leader that you are.
Here are the top three things you need to focus on:
1. Get their attention.
Whatever your market, chances are it’s rife with competition. Great design sets you apart and makes people take notice. For instannce, a black silhouette of a human against a backdrop of bright color. Sound familiar? That’s because Apple has made sure that this image will forever be associated with its brand and its products. Sometimes the most striking solution is surprisingly simple.
2. First impressions are everything.
Make it count, because your business only gets one shot. When landing on a website, people tend to make a decision regarding an organization’s credibility in as little as 1/20 of a second –- and that judgment of credibility is largely based on design.
3. Stack your social channels with visual content
Strong, dynamic visuals are key to producing high-quality, viral content. Photos are 200% more likely to be shared and liked than text alone, and videos are shared 1,200% more than text and links combined.
Because we process visual content faster than written content, it’s critical that your visuals are communicating an intentional message about your brand. Whether you’re a small startup, a mid-sized company or a large corporation, there is no excuse for bad design. It’s one of the many crucial pieces in your online marketing, and you need all the resources and tools available to you to ensure that you stand out from the crowd.
Would you like to talk design for your business, or even redesign? Drop us a note and let us know what you’re trying to communicate to your audience–we’ll put together the branding and design that helps you get your message to the right people!