If you’re a marketing professional you likely put a high value on strong design when it comes to traditional marketing mediums like print ads and brochures. Now that we’re all focusing so heavily on digital marketing initiatives it seems that not enough emphasis is being put on the quality of graphic design and use of relevant visuals within digital initiatives. Are you spending enough time ensuring that the quality of design is high for your content marketing efforts? Thoughtful, high quality design is critical for getting the most out of your social media, email marketing and even photography and layout of content for SEO initiatives like articles and blogs.

The official term for this marketing strategy is visual content marketing, and it has the power to play a key role in the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts. The idea behind visual content marketing goes beyond just attractive layouts, although this is important for brand perception. Visual content marketing focuses on the importance of using photos, relevant color, videos, infographics, and illustrations across your digital channels.


According to Kissmetrics, content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images. Yet only 27% of marketers have a process in place to aggregate, organize, and manage the visual assets being used across their marketing teams, according to CMO Council.


There are loads of statistics that point to the importance of using visuals in digital marketing, but the key word in the Kissmetrics stat is “relevant.” It’s one thing to simply use visuals in digital marketing, but how do we optimize the effectiveness of this powerful communication tool? This is where good strategy, graphic design, and management come in.


It’s the role of the graphic designer to not only create appealing layouts, but more importantly to create graphics and choose visuals that are relevant to the efforts of the communication. To do so the designer, and agency managers, must first have a firm understanding of the Client’s products and services, objectives and brand position.


The next step is to have a coherent digital marketing plan that maps out a strategy for all mediums and platforms including email marketing, social media, SEO, mobile advertising, etc. This strategy should start with identifying your target audience, and the goals that you seek to achieve with your marketing efforts. Most importantly your visual and written efforts should always reflect and communicate the key messaging derived from your brand positioning statement.


Visual content marketing is only going to become more relevant in the future. Just consider some of the largest digital platforms today. YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest are built on photos and video, and Facebook is fast becoming a video centric platform. Although this is not necessarily a new concept, it’s important to understand just how important it is. Marketers that set goals around visual content will be better positioned to get the most of their marketing dollars.