I think it is safe to say that there isn’t a single buyer persona that doesn’t appreciate a bit of good design in the content they are consuming. We often talk about millennials being the visual crowd, but every demographic appreciates a well laid out piece of content whether they realize it or not.
Heavy blocks of text make going through content feel like running a marathon – how much time do I need to commit to this? Should I eat before reading this blog post to fuel up? And bad landing page design keeps your audience guessing about what they are supposed to do – I thought I was here for an ebook? Where is the download button? Why are they making me work for this!?
Employing a few visual elements in your inbound marketing will keep those bad feelings at bay and help your leads on their journey to becoming your customers.
There are several places you can use visual elements to improve your inbound marketing and your user experience.
On Your Landing Pages
The goal of your landing pages should be blaringly obvious to readers. The layout of the page should clearly lead your audience to take the action you are looking for, usually a download or form fill. Besides being straightforward in your text, there are a few visual cues that will help make your landing pages convert:
Use bulleted text to break up the content of the page
Include an image of the download, or an image that represents the offer
Create very clean forms that stand out on the page and are incredibly easy to navigate
Make your calls to action stand out from the rest of the page by using a contrasting color for the button
Always use clean and easy to read fonts
On Your Blog
People will decide if they are going to read your blog post within the first few seconds, so it’s important to entice them right away. In addition to your punchy and descriptive title you can use a header image to visually represent the topic of the post. We like to use high-quality and interesting images with the blog title overlaid in text to catch people’s attention right away. This also makes the blog post more shareable on social media.
Your audience will be more likely to read through the post if it looks easily digestible. Break up your text into smaller paragraphs, use headings, and insert bulleted or numbered lists where you can. Big text blocks scare people away.
On Your Social Media
Social media is probably the most obvious place to use visual content in your marketing. Facebook favors images and videos over text updates, twitter has made changes to the platform to make it a more visual channel, and Instagram and Pinterest are all visual, all the time.
Share your blog images, infographics, photos, charts and graphs. It’s important to remember that each channel is different and not every image that works on Facebook will do well on Pinterest. Try out creative visual representations of your content for each channel and find what resonates with your audience most.
In Your Offers
You spend a lot of time on your guides and e-books, and you want them to impress! Also, you want them to be actually read so that your brilliant content can work its magic. A good layout, clean fonts, and interesting visuals are key to guiding people through the content. An enticing cover doesn’t hurt with conversions either.
Design is often the last thing we consider in our inbound and content marketing efforts, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Using quality visual elements and design best practices will pay off for you with higher conversion rates and a more engaged audience.