In most cases, SEO copywriting and content marketing can’t bring in optimum results by themselves. To reap the benefits of these two components, it’s essential to bring in content design. Applying the basic principles of content design can make your internet marketing strategy more efficient. But before you enroll in a course, it would be helpful to know its definition, concepts, and examples first. 

If you don’t have the time to create a content design strategy yourself, Penji can help. Offering unlimited graphic design for a monthly subscription fee, Penji can provide high-quality marketing materials. With Penji’s services, you’ll always have a team of expert graphic designers who got your back.

What is Content Design?

food graphics

Content design is the art and science of presenting content that allows for a pleasant user experience. Though it could apply to print, it’s a term more often used for Internet materials like websites. 

It’s important not to confuse content design with responsive web design. Though both factors go hand-in-hand to create a website that users could easily navigate, they address different issues. Responsive web design is programming website elements to adjust to a user’s device, be it a computer, tablet or cellphone. 

Content design, on the other hand, is more involved with applying the best layout and content organization. By putting thought on how to best present content on the front-end, creators encourage visitors to stay longer on the website.

What Content Design Brings to a Business

website designer

Before we dig deeper, it’s important to discuss the importance of content design. Why does it matter, and what benefits does it bring? Marketing strategies like email marketing and social media marketing aim to bring visitors to your website. Once a visitor comes to your site, however, the whole game plan changes — the aim shifts from inviting visitors to keeping them engaged within the website. Content design is essential to a business because it simplifies the site and improves user experience. 

To put this in perspective, imagine yourself going to a grocery store. Typical grocery shops are designed to make shopping a breeze. Shopping carts are lined up near the entrance to make it easy to get one before stepping into the store. Fruits, veggies, and meat are grouped together. Dry goods have their own aisle, and so do toiletries and cleaning products. Staff members are visible so you can easily ask for help. There’s usually a line of cashiers near the exit to park your cart when you’re ready to pay. 

Now imagine walking into a grocery store where you can’t find the carts, products are in disarray, and shelves arranged without logical design. Worse, there’s no one you can ask for help. Chances are, you’ll want to leave the store right away and look for another place to shop. 

This physical store example also applies to websites. You wouldn’t want to turn visitors away before they have to chance to see your products and services. By designing content with care, users better enjoy their experience. In addition, it also ups the chances of users coming back to become repeat clients.

Basic Content Design Principles and Process

laptop with website sample

Here are the basics of content design. It’s essential to spend time on each part of the process to make your website the best it can be.

Know Your Audience

Perhaps the first step to creating a good user experience is to understand what your users want and need. What are they looking for? And why should they choose you among others?

Often, it isn’t enough to know the basic data about your audience, such as their age, gender, education, and location. It’s also crucial to know what makes them tick. What are your audience’s priorities? What do they value most at this phase of their life?

By finding out the answers to these questions, you will be able to plan content that’s more relevant to your audience. You can also present this content in a way that your audience can best consume it.  

Use Your Audience’s Language

To talk to your audience, you must speak the same language that they do. How do your target audiences express themselves? What words and formats do they use? By studying your audience, you’ll learn how to produce better content that would interest them.  

Knowing your audience’s language might be simpler if you get to have face-to-face interaction with them. But there are many workaround strategies if you’re a business that interacts with clients through email, phone, or chat. How do your clients write their emails or chat messages? Are they formal and business-like, or are they more casual and use emojis? 

Aside from verbal communication, it’s also essential to consider non-verbal communication, such as the use of images. What type of images do your audiences consume and relate to? What’s their taste in design? You might want to look at the movies or television shows they consume to get a grasp of the visuals that appeal to them. In the same vein, looking at what type of content they share on social media can also say a lot about their preferences.

Create a User Journey Map

A user doesn’t become a customer the first time they learn about a product or service. It’s more likely that they went through a whole journey before they came to your store, added to cart, and checked out.

One thing to consider is the Marketing Funnel and its stages, which are awareness, interest, consideration, intent, evaluation, and purchase. Each stage involves unique situations and problems. Thus, planning content for people on each stage can be a tricky process. Even so, it’s a needed step to create a marketing strategy that generates leads and converts. 

Get Feedback

It’s nearly impossible to get it right the first time. And with user preferences constantly changing, there’s a big chance that you’ll have to innovate your existing content design. User feedback is one of the most vital factors to consider when updating your design. Is your email subscription pop-up annoying your visitors? Is your page taking too long to load? You can get feedback about issues like these through short email surveys or by simply talking to people who fall under your target market.