Design should be functional, purposeful, and powerful. It’s everywhere and when leveraged appropriately, can help increase brand visibility and provoke action. From simple Call-to-Actions to powerful email templates, strong design can elevate any manufacturer’s marketing campaigns. Here’s how:
1. Optimize CTAs for Targeted Performance
An effective CTA button has everything to do with user experience and user interface design. It’s not enough to just tell users to “Download,” “Submit,” or “Sign Up.” Leads must be persuaded and visually guided through the buyer's journey, following the carefully mapped out plan you’ve created. The CTA is one (important) stop along that journey.
Consider these important elements when critiquing your CTAs:
Easy to read.
Uses a pop of color to stand out.
Provides Balance (symmetrical and weighted).
Doesn’t force thought. (Clicking your CTA should feel like second-nature to the end user.)
Is true to your brand.
*What makes a great CTA can vary across industries and buyer personas. Work with your marketing and creative teams to customize CTA designs that will convert leads for you.
Pro Tip: Get more bang for your buck by A/B testing alternative CTAs on a few different pages. This will help narrow down what CTA design really works for your personas.
2. Choose Powerful Imagery
Cheesy stock photography should have no place on your website or in marketing collateral. Any imagery of carefully picked businessmen and women crowded around a conference room table has got to go. In fact, generic “stock” photos can hurt your marketing efforts. They send a sign that not only is your content ordinary and generic, but so are your services and products. Instead, take a cue from Rebecca Swift, a Trend Expert at iStock. In her 45 minute presentation, Swift discloses 8 major visual trends to watch in 2015.
For manufacturers, the following three trends are key:
1. Point of View
The Point of View, or P.O.V., trend is born out of the advances in wearable technology. The P.O.V. image creates a feeling of authenticity and credibility. It provides a more intimate view of business and helps frame companies as powerful partners rather than vendors or salesmen.
How can you use it? Picture a worker’s hands putting together a circuit board or using machinery on the shop floor, peering over safety goggles.
2. Sensory Immersion
Sensory Immersion imagery speaks to texture rich visuals achieved with close up or macro photography.
How can you use it? Rolls of steel, knobs on heavy machinery or the inner workings of gears can be used as background imagery for text overlays.
3. Super Still Life
The Super Still Life trend is excellent for promoting product design and showing engineering sophistication. This was largely popularized by Todd McLellan’s book "Things Come Apart."
How can you use it? Arrange items neatly on a desk or show the internal workings (save of any proprietary information) of your product.
Overall, make sure the imagery you use aligns with and supports your business objectives. When leveraged correctly, the right visuals can pull leads further through the buyer’s journey.
3. Design a Newsletter Worthy of the Recipient's Inbox
The Inbox has become a sacred tool. Users take time to meticulously categorize communications by priority and create scores of folders and subfolders. To push an email to their Inbox that is anything less than great is a sin; a deletable, unsubscribable sin.
Good email design should:
Set expectations and get to the point quickly.
Mirror the tone of your website.
Leverage gripping visuals.
Have optimized headers and footers.
Be mobile friendly. (Two-thirds of emails are now opened via a mobile device.)
Encourage users to take action.
Keep your email copy short and simple. Remember, you can always say more later, that’s the purpose of your landing pages. Instead, put those CTAs and powerful images to use. Focused and purposeful imagery helps readers digest your message quickly and easily as they scan.
Pro Tip: Create one custom template and reuse it for each email campaign. Simply change out the header, copy, and CTAs for a powerful, reusable email. This will also help keep you on budget by decreasing costly development time.
Good design creates strong brand presence and helps improve overall lead conversion. How do you use gripping visuals in your marketing campaigns? Share your thoughts in the comments below.