Words Meet Design: Content Design Strategies to Make Your Content Pop

On average, we see between 6,000 and 10,000 advertising messages a day. That’s a lot of content, so you’ve got to make yours cut through the clutter.

One of THE BEST ways to do this is to implement content design strategies that make your content pop. And by “design”, I’m not just talking about pretty pictures or cool layouts.

I’m going to give you nine tips on how to make your content pop, so it jumps from the page and wrestles your reader’s attention to the ground.

These are strategies that every writer, marketer, and creator can apply. Ready?

#1 – Dare to be different with fonts (there is more to life than Arial)

Although fonts are centuries old, they continue to play a vital role in our daily lives as a necessary form of enhancing communication.

You’ll see different fonts everywhere, from web pages, print ads, clothing labels, and email signatures. And as branding fuels our consumer world, fonts are crucial for expressing creativity and establishing differentiation.

And your content has to be different.

Because not only do your fonts influence the viewer’s impression of your brand and how they relate to it, fonts are how you’ll gain their attention in the first place.

You make your content pop by emphasizing keywords with font formatting.

Like titles, subheadings, and CTAs, using variations of italic and bold. Then choose font weight, size, and spacing to ensure readability and versatility.

And you can add flair while retaining clarity by using a simple font for your content copy and stylized fonts for your headers.

#2 – Create original images (stock images are so boring)

With so many free stock images knocking about, an awful lot of content looks generic. And it’s a shame because there’s a lot of great content out there going unread.

But you can’t blame the people. It’s our job to make our content engaging, and if we can’t be bothered, why should they?

Don’t use that stock photo of (self-improvement success guy) in the red jumper.

content design strategies - don't use stock photos

Yep, that guy.

Get yourself a decent camera and some free editing software like GIMP (a nod to Tarantino, perhaps)! Or jump on Canva or Adobe Spark and create your images from scratch; it’s not hard to get the hang of.

If you put the effort in, your viewers will love you for it.

#3 – Add gifs to inject some fun

GIFs have been around for years (first used on June 15, 1987) and still account for 29% of all website images!Crazy when you think about it.

What’s a GIF anyway?

A GIF is just an image file. And like the PNG or JPEG file formats, you can use it to create still images.

But, it’s the ability to create animated images that give GIFs their magic.

Brands use these animated images on their social media, blogs, instant messaging applications, marketing emails, and anywhere else their audience lives and breathe. Because they’re powerful for creating emotive reactions, engaging viewers, and communicating ideas using a bit of humor.

friends thanksgiving gif

And they’re as easy to create and share as emojis or stickers. Use sites like GIPHY and Gyfcat that integrate into apps such as Facebook Messenger and Twitter to give your content an animated edge.

#4 – Use white space for impact

Less    is     more    when    creating    popping   content    design.

White space (also called negative space) is the space between your design elements and the space within them. And we use it everywhere, in logos, advertisements, and typography glyphs (layouts, lines of paragraphs, and between them).

White space can be any color, pattern, texture, or even a background image.

It brings balance to our content, making it easily scannable and digestible.

By giving it room to breathe while retaining your visual`s value and enhancing your message.

White space is the Feng shui of content.

Use it to harmonize your viewers with your content, and take them by the hand, directing their gaze, leading them to where you want them to go.

#5 – Design your own graphs (when displaying data)

Have you noticed the increased use of graphs and infographics in blog posts and website content?

There’s a good reason; we share them 3x more than any other content!

Why?

Because they’re easy to read, fun to consume, and present old data in a new engaging way.

Who doesn’t love Evergreen content?

But.

Some creators overuse them. Not bothering to write a damn word, relying on graphs to do their work for them.

Don’t think it goes unnoticed!

Graphs work best when you combine images and text (using white space), so they complement and support one another. Use bold headers, short paragraphs, uncomplicated graphs or charts, and a carefully chosen color palette to make them jump from the page into your viewer’s memory bank.

#6 – Embed video when possible

Video content is an excellent strategy for helping users gain a visual understanding of your brand and keeping them on your webpage.

Embedding video lets you take someone else’s video and post it on your blog or web page.

Why embed, not link?

When you embed a video, you’re borrowing it from another platform, and it plays on your site. But when you link, you’re sharing the video’s URL, so when your visitor clicks play, they’re redirected to that webpage. You may never see them again.

How to embed an HTML video on your website:

  1. Edit your HTML. Enter edit mode for the section, page, or post, where you want to embed the video.
  2. Copy the embed code from the video.
  3. Paste the code into your HTML.

#7 – Tell a story with UGC content

UGC (user-generated content) is another way of making your content pop and engage your viewer’s attention.

And we love it!

Just look at social media; it’s nothing but UGC.

Because people love sharing selfies; so, why not take advantage by including their creative content in yours?

And with the bombardment of daily advertisements, viewers are losing their appetite for flavorless generic content soup.

Innovative brands let their users do the talking for them.

Everyone has a story, not a made-up brand image, but real-life, relatable stories, ones that engage with our emotions and inspire us to take action. Use your UGC, and make them the hero of your content.

#8 – Infuse your brand throughout your images

content design strategies - brand images

Example: DivvyHQ’s Content Request Tool animation

Images play a leading role in making your content pop.

And when you infuse an image with your brand’s personality and style, you transform it from just another picture into a highly engaging and memorable marketing tool.

Whether your brand’s an easy-going, outgoing, fun, quirky, or serious soul, let its personality shine.

Use your images to make people giggle, cry, cringe, and nod in agreement. It’s an excellent strategy for creating a collection of images that help your audience relate to what you’re saying in a personal way.

Brand personality tips:

  1. Show behind the scenes – We’re curious creatures and like to see behind the scenes. Give viewers a peek into your brand’s world, a personal side they’d not usually see.
  2. Use animated content – Check out the Animation Desk app and use animation to show your brand’s playful nature. Also great for drawing viewer’s attention to specific content.
  3. Use filters – Give your content some pizazz using filters and special effects. They’re great for giving images a specific feel (like sparkles at Christmas) and transferring it onto your readers.

#9 – Keep it cool with icons and emojis

Icons are small graphic elements that provide information at a glance, used for years in marketing. Emojis are a more recent invention, using pictographs of faces, symbols, and objects. And are quickly killing the art of conversation!

However, when it comes to making content pop and grabbing viewers by their eyeballs, they’re indispensable. 💯

You can use them to bring people on a journey 🚀, highlight an action to take ✅, and which order to take it in ☝️. Even the simplest icon or emoji can be the difference between a user devouring your content or losing their appetite and abandoning you.

Use icons and emojis that suit your brand’s style keep them clean and simple, and design them in different formats so you can use them anywhere.

Get Popping

If you’re still reading, I’ve done my job. Now do yours.

Don’t risk losing the love of your readers.

Use these content-popping, content design strategies and give people a reason for reading.

Trust me.

They’ll love you for it.

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