I am a rare breed. I'm both a proficient digital marketer and a skilled graphic designer, either one of which is hard to find by itself in a single, quality professional. This dual skill-set makes my job as a marketing designer super efficient and let's me write detailed campaigns and simultaneously create eye-catching graphics myself. It's also allowed me to see just how marketing and graphic design can not live without the other, especially in today's world of social media marketing.
Why You Need Good Graphic Design
Graphic design is vital to your social media campaigns because it is visual and "visual content is 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content."
40X more likely.
So what this means is that campaigns that don't utilize visuals are just about worthless. And likely forgotten. Take this bit of info from LifeLearn:
"Research has shown that when people hear information, they are likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. (LifeLearn, 2015) "(Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
Don't believe me? Think about Apple. Perhaps you just pictured moving silhouettes against colorful backgrounds. Coca-Cola. I'm willing to bet money you just pictured their drink against a clean red backdrop with a glorious setting of their iconic, white typographic logo. These powerful brands have all utilized the power of strong and bold graphic design; they know the power of visuals.
Good brands know to take it to the next level. If you start to look closer, you see bold design everywhere, like Fiat's very colorful and playful collages posted to their social media accounts. Sure, a simple photo of their cars could do the job of selling, but those playful graphics are so striking that you remember them, as well as the car, and that helps them sell better.
Good graphic design breathes visual life into your marketing ideas, shows personality, drives emotions and sets you apart from your competitors in a world of information clutter.
Add to this argument that we are visual, very busy creatures with every brand trying to communicate with us. The world is a mess of information at every corner, with messages trying to distract us from busy jobs and busy lives. Who would want to waste a second more on a brand message that, turns out, wasn't interesting or relevant? How many times have you skimmed something in an effort to quickly decide what's important, and looked at the graphics and photos first to help speed up the process?
Having good graphic design skills, or a good graphic designer working at your side, makes all the difference in the world. Good graphic design breathes visual life into your marketing ideas, shows personality, drives emotions and sets you apart from your competitors in a world of information clutter.
How to Get Good Graphic Design
Acquiring good graphic design for your social media comes down to two methods: learn to do it yourself (no small task), or hire a professional (which sounds easier but surprisingly is no small task either). There are some key things to keep in mind for either.
If choosing to learn graphic design yourself...
I don't believe that you have to be born with talent. The thought that you have to be born with artistic talent to be good is one I deeply believe is untrue because I've seen people with terrible skills become great designers. However, they all had one thing in common; they dedicated a lot of time to learn and develop their skills in a very demanding topic. If you choose to learn graphic design yourself, know that to do it well requires a lot of time and effort.
If choosing to hire a professional...
If you don't have the time or the desire to essentially learn a whole new profession yourself, cut to the chase and hire someone who already has. You can save yourself a lot of headache and see results sooner by bringing in someone who knows what they are doing and knows how they can help you and your company now. However, what makes this no easy task is that too many people download free software and think they are therefore designers. It is crucial you know who you are hiring, so here are the top things to keep in mind...
Now Go Forth and Change the World
If you were on the fence about the value of graphic design to your social media marketing efforts, hopefully this article helped answer your questions or doubts. And hopefully now you have a deeper appreciation for graphic design, how it affects your audience, and how to make it work for your company. When armed with good design, coupled with good marketing strategy, you should see improved impressions, engagement and even click-through-rates on your social media posts.