This article is a guest post from Andrew Gazdecki of BiznessApps.com
We’re visual creatures, so the power of graphic design, in many ways, speaks for itself. We are subconsciously drawn to quality design, and are subconsciously repelled by bad design. That said, there’s plenty of marketing potential in good graphic design that many new entrepreneurs and business owners miss out on.
In this discussion, we’ll investigate ways to leverage great graphic design to grow your business by increasing sales, improving click-through rates, and enchanting your target audiences.
Color matters a lot in graphic design and not just for aesthetic reasons. Colors have the power to trigger emotional responses in viewers, allowing you to use specific colors to influence customers. Because of the sway it can have on customer behavior, color is essential to consider in everything your business produces, from the color scheme of your website to the graphics you use to supplement your blog posts.
Plutchik’s color wheel of emotions is an excellent and fast reference guide to the different emotions invoked by each color. Plutchik was a psychologist who theorized that all emotions could fall into eight primary categories: joy, sadness, trust, disgust, anticipation, surprise, fear and anger. Plutchik assigned each emotion to a color, with its opposite sentiment on the other side of the wheel (joy across from sadness, trust across from disgust, etc.). The varying intensities of each color correspond with varying intensities of each emotion (different shades of red span from annoyance to anger to rage). You can use these colors to associate positive emotions with your brand.
Graphics Are Your Digital Storefront Window
Brick and mortar stores long ago mastered the art of creating dynamic and compelling storefront displays to draw in customers. Graphic design can achieve the same goal for your digital “storefront”. Increasingly often, your digital presence is the first thing your audience sees from your brand and, therefore, is the critical decider that will either deter them from clicking further or encourage them to do so. In this manner, your graphic designs need to be both interesting and creatively appealing, on top of giving the viewer a clue into what they can expect inside the blog post, newsletter, or website.
This can be an issue for small businesses with bad graphic design elements. No matter how good your products and services are, if your brand can’t draw people in, you’ll never get the opportunity to prove it to them. In other words, without compelling graphics, people will walk by your “storefront” and never pay it enough mind to walk through the door. If your business is struggling to attract customers, poor graphics could be the reason.
Graphic Design Needs Support From Phenomenal Content
If we continue with this same analogy that graphic design is the storefront display for your online efforts and marketing messages, then graphic design is only the first step. Once the customer is in your store, they need great reasons to stay. Informative and interesting content is a powerful reason for your customers to stick around on your website.This content needs to be well written and readable (not always an easy task when you are trying to pepper in keywords). And, most importantly, it must be valuable to your customers. They must feel that they have something to gain from it, whether that is entertainment, how-to knowledge, or news.
The customer experience is one of the deciding factors for consumers who are considering patronizing a new business. One of the biggest detractors of a great customer experience is a lack of consistency. If the entire customer journey isn’t aces, your whole customer experience suffers. Thus, if you have great graphic design that pulls potential customers in, but incoherent, insufficient, or uninteresting content that doesn’t keep them there, you’ll come up short.
Control How Visitors Browse Your Pages With Graphic Design
Humans are naturally drawn to images over text, as we are visual beings. Since images are often colorful and stimulating, they are easier to process than written communication. In fact, 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual. You may not even be aware of it, but, when you visit a web page, your eyes instantly zero in on the graphics. An expert graphic designer can use this natural tendency to influence where your audience looks on the page. This can be a powerful tool, especially if you want viewers to key in on a new product or promotion you’re offering.
Strategically placed images can also control how a viewer reads the page, while simultaneously breaking up the monotony of blocks of text. Even with superb written content, it’s easy for readers to get fatigued by too many words on a page. Graphics have the power to keep them engaged enough to continue by giving their eyes a rest from reading. Visuals can even foster a better understanding of the concepts introduced in the text.
Infographics Can Bring You To The Next Level
There is no better example of the power of visuals to comprehensively encapsulate and convey information than the infographic. Infographics have become one of the most impactful types of content that companies can produce. Here’s a quick look at the power of infographics by numbers:
- An infographic is 30x more likely to be read from start to finish than a written article
- People remember 80% more when information is represented visually
- Audiences are more likely to act after a visual presentation compared to reading a pamphlet or listening to a verbal presentation
Infographics allow you to combine text and graphics in a way that gives the viewer a lot of information all at once, but does so in a way that is easy to understand and even fun to read. In terms of engaging the viewer from start to finish, infographics do it best. They are particularly good at simplifying complex topics by encoding them into easily digestible parts.
The Cost Of Graphic Design
Many small businesses lack quality graphic design because they fear the associated costs. This fear isn’t irrational; an experienced graphic designer can cost a lot. But you don’t need to overextend your business’ budget for a top-level, professional designer. Colleges and universities across the country churn out thousands of new, learned graphic designers each year. These individuals are hungry for job opportunities that will give them a foot in the door and allow them to build their portfolio. This also means that many are willing to work at a lower cost.
However, not every fresh graphic designer will produce quality work. Don’t be afraid to shop around and pump a little more money into the investment if it means getting the end product you want. It also helps to take the time to understand some basic design principles yourself. This knowledge will make it much easier to convey to a graphic design artist what you want the design to accomplish.
If you want to save some money, you can put your tech savvy skills to good use by creating your own graphic designs. There are many DIY design tools available, and a huge number of them are free. Furthermore, there are hundreds of design blogs where you can find some inspiration. Certainly, some projects should be left to professionals. But DIY tools might make for a quick fix.
As a business looking to attract new customers, graphic design is a critical element to your success. The design of your digital presence – including images, layout, and fonts – is the first thing customers are going to notice about your brand. In many cases, these efforts are going to be what persuades a prospect to explore your business further, making their role in attracting new business huge. Graphic design also helps ensure that visitors absorb all of your content and visit the parts of your website that you want them to.
Many businesses never leverage great graphic design because they don’t understand its impact or feel it is out of their budget. This creates a significant area of opportunity for a small business that can recognize the power of graphic design and is willing to invest in using it to maximize their customer experience.