How to Design Engaging Content
Design means much more than color schemes and stock photos. The process will look different for every marketing team, and even for every team’s various content pieces.
In general, design starts at the very beginning, as you map out a content marketing strategy. Understanding the brand’s personas and marketing goals will shape the basic style of each design—each should be useful to your personas, and true to your brand voice.
A strong content marketing strategy includes a variety of content types, so as individual pieces begin to take shape, there are some specific things to keep in mind:
Distill your content marketing strategy into your blog schedule/strategy. The company blog can and should be used to cross-promote other content, which will help keep posts on a consistent schedule. If you don’t have a marketing team member who is familiar with SEO, this is one area where you might want to consult a professional.
Ebook content should follow some sort of narrative structure, and include a lot of good, visual design. The goal of an ebook is to educate (rather than entertain), but make sure to keep the language conversational if that is consistent with your brand and personas.
These are short (two or three pages at most). That means there won’t be a lot of room for big images, so you’ll want to use text formatting to make them easy for a reader to quickly scan through. Link or point to other resources for more in-depth learning.
Workbooks and Templates
A great way to keep your brand in front of buyers, while also being really helpful. These resources should be designed for print and made as interactive and practical as possible.
Whitepapers and Reports
These are similar to an ebook in that they are primarily educational materials, but whitepapers and reports are generally less graphically designed and use language that is a little more professional. They can also create opportunities to partner with other organizations.
The name says it all: just give readers info and graphics. Use as little text as possible for the former, and let the latter tell the story. If you don’t have a killer graphics artist in-house, this is one for which you might want to work with a professional.
Slide decks are a great format for breaking down complex ideas into simple steps or bite-sized pieces. Keep the slides simple: minimal text in one font throughout, and use big images & graphics.
The trick to effectively using video as part of a content strategy is keeping it as timeless as possible. Otherwise, you risk wasting resources (time and money) updating videos every year. High-quality video content can also be used to expose your brand to YouTube’s large and active audience.
Build case studies with real numbers and complete stories. This will help keep the content focused on the value and results, not the brand.