It’s no secret that a brand is only as strong as the marketing strategy behind it.
You’ve put in the time and resources to create your brand, including designing the brand identity, coming up with a branding guide, and maybe even playing around with your first brand assets like a logo.
Now that you’ve got the basics covered, you might be looking for ways to achieve the more long-term goals of amplifying your brand and growing your customer base. Well, look no further: the key to your brand’s continued success is marketing design.
In this post, we’ll demystify the world of marketing design and reveal how it can enhance your business concept and form the base of a successful brand marketing strategy. The key to strong branding lies at the intersection between marketing and design. We’ll show you how to unlock the power of this sweet spot and get your brand the recognition it deserves.
And the best part? You don’t need years of design experience to be able to improve your brand’s marketing design. All it takes is a knowledge of a few basic design principles, and with the help of some handy online design tools you’ll be marketing your brand more effectively than ever.
So keep reading to learn about the seven ways marketing design will revolutionize your branding process, and get some insider tips on how to improve your marketing strategy through visual design.
What is marketing design?
Marketing design refers to the creation of visual and aesthetic assets used to promote your brand. This might include online marketing materials like social media campaigns and website design, as well as print resources like brochures, business cards, and product packaging. We should also note that marketing design is just as vital for ongoing brand maintenance (think regular social media posts) as it is for individual efforts like advertising campaigns.
There are several key principles that designers focus on when creating marketing assets for a brand, including color theory, typography, layout, and imagery. Crucially, this knowledge of design has to go hand in hand with a knowledge of the marketing needs of your brand. You need to be aware of factors like your target audience, relevant market and competitor trends, and your brand’s marketing and design budget.
The most effective marketing design is visually appealing, communicates your brand’s message clearly, and is consistent with your overall brand identity.
What types of marketing design are there?
Visual marketing assets are extremely varied, and your areas of focus will depend on your exact brand needs. Here are a few major assets you might want to give some extra creative attention to:
Email marketing is one of the most important modes of direct communication you have with your audience. Pay attention to the visual layout of your brand’s emails, from engaging headers to email signatures. This goes for regular newsletters as well as one-off product promos or sale notifications.
As the first port of call for curious new customers interested in your product, the design of your landing page speaks volumes about your brand as a whole. Make sure it’s easy to navigate and feels visually aligned with your brand identity. You can also direct users with features like pop-up banners and interactive webpage elements.
Social media posts
Social media marketing involves creating graphics, images, and videos to promote your business on popular social channels. Effective social media posting requires a crucial balance of savvy marketing strategy and creative visual design. Check out our blog post on how to up your social media game by creating animated graphics for your social platforms.
How will mastering marketing design benefit my brand?
Incorporating high-quality design into your marketing channels will increase the likelihood of a successful branding strategy, and will ultimately boost your business as a whole. Take a look at the top seven ways marketing design will benefit your brand.
- Improve brand recognition
Visual design is an important communicator in marketing — in fact, it’s just as important as the words you use! Good design can help communicate your business' values and message more effectively, making your brand more memorable and recognizable for your audience.
- Boost customer engagement
Few things will be able to capture the attention of your target audience more effectively than your visual design, and attractive marketing visuals will go a long way in convincing customers to engage with your brand. This engagement can take the form of following your brand on social media, signing up for email newsletters, and eventually making purchases.
- Upgrade user experience
UX is such an important factor in customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. By enhancing the design of key marketing assets like your website, digital storefront, and other online channels, you’ll streamline and improve the customer experience. This makes customers more likely to return, as well as to recommend your business to like-minded consumers.
- Stand out from the crowd
Having an awareness of your competitors’ brand design is a good way to keep on top of trends and know what’s currently working in your industry. It’s also a good way to start disrupting the marketing norms and create something new and eye-catching. Clever design will set you apart as innovative and forward-thinking in your audience’s mind, giving you an edge over the competition.
- Build trust
Professional design goes a long way in promoting trust and credibility for your brand and product. Think of how much more likely you are to make purchases on a sleek, easy-to-use website than on a slapdash site with an out-of-date interface. High-quality marketing design is a must when it comes to creating a trustworthy brand with a positive reputation.
- Keep it consistent
On a similar note, consistency in your brand image is the number one factor in a strong brand marketing strategy. Creating a cohesive visual design across your marketing assets will help build up a stronger brand identity for customers to come to know and love.
- Attract new customers
And finally, captivating marketing design is a crucial factor in drawing in a wider audience of potential customers, and therefore growing your consumer base. Nailing the design of your marketing assets as an extension of your business identity will naturally bring in ideal customers who are interested in your brand.
How do I improve my brand’s marketing design?
Your exact marketing design strategy will depend on factors like your industry, marketing budget, and business development goals. To figure out your specific brand design needs, it might be best to get the advice of an external marketing team. But if that’s not on the cards, fear not: here are some general tips on how to improve the graphic design of your marketing assets.
Know your audience
It’s essential to have a strong idea of who your customer base is, as well as their needs and preferences. This will help you design marketing assets that speak directly to them. So before you even set pen to paper, research your audience and gather data on their demographics, interests, and behaviors to help you create designs that resonate with them.
Incorporate established brand elements
Your brand’s visual identity should remain at the heart of any marketing designs you create. Refer to your all-important branding style guide and make sure that your design assets incorporate established aesthetic elements like business colors, fonts, and imagery (including your logo).
When in doubt, simplify
Simplicity is often the key to effective design. Try paring back your designs to create a clean look that’s easy to understand and visually appealing. Avoid using too many clashing fonts, colors, or other visual design elements that can make your finished product feel busy or overwhelming.
Use the magic of storytelling
Using your designs to tell a story will enhance their emotional power and make it easier for audiences to connect with your brand. Motion graphics can be an especially powerful tool for creating narrative throughlines in your online marketing materials, such as ads or social media campaigns. Don't underestimate the power of audience emotion to drive clicks and shares for marketing campaigns!
Optimize for all screens
With any digital assets you create, keep in mind that just as many people will be viewing them on a mobile phone as on a computer. Make sure your design is responsive and looks good on all screen sizes, including desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. You might even consider going with a mobile-first design approach, which prioritizes mobile marketing design over desktop design.
Monitor, experiment, and adjust
Your marketing design strategy will only improve if you can analyze your marketing performance and make adjustments. Use analytic tools and software to monitor metrics like audience engagement and click-through rates. From there, don’t be afraid to experiment with new design elements and ideas (while remaining true to your core brand identity), and measure the results. And don’t forget to ask your audience for direct feedback to keep open communication with your customer base.
So now you can see how visual design plays a crucial role in your brand marketing. Paying close attention to the design of your marketing assets will ensure a cohesive brand identity across all channels, build your brand's credibility, and help you grow your loyal customer base.
To start creating some marketing assets for yourself, have a look at the courses in our Academy. To improve your digital marketing and brand strategy through design, we’d recommend starting with our class on mastering layout design!
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Adí is an SEO developer working for Linearity in Berlin. Her hobbies include drawing comics, yoga, swimming, infinite scrolling, and birdwatching.