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"I'm so frustrated!"
That's a quote from an SMOC member trying to design content for her small business . . .
. . . without it looking like a ransom note of mismatched fonts, colors and images.
As small business owners we wear many hats, including that of graphic designer. Except, we're not. We don't have those amazing design skills.
But when you need a piece of content fast — and need it to look professional — what can you do? How can you make your content look like a graphic designer did it?
That's what you'll learn in this month's bonus webinar: how to design branded content for your small business, including how to:
Plus, plenty of time for Q&A, so come with questions, so sign up today!
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Maria Peagler: So there's going to be three things that you're going to do for designing branded content.
The first thing is you want to know your audience. Why does that make a difference in designing content? The design decisions I would make for a millennial audience for a retail brand would be completely different than the design decisions I would make for a business to business brand whose clients are over 40. Those two things would look 180 degrees different.
Lisa, who is a fabric dyer, has quilters who are her main customers, and they're mostly over 40 and female. So that means that she's going to make some very particular design decisions. Probably font sizes are going to be a little bit bigger because over 40, your eyes are not what they used to be. Then you're going to follow some very simple design guidelines. For this, I'm going to show you a bunch of examples.
The first thing we're going to talk about is clean design. What does that mean? I'm going to show you a website that is designed to be consumed on a mobile phone. This is Dunkin Donuts. Any kind of retailer is going to have a website that's designed to be consumed on mobile. They are using clean design here, which means they've got a full width page, no sidebars. That doesn't mean that you don't use sidebars anywhere on your website, but there's two places in particular that you don't want a sidebar. The first one is on your homepage, and the second one is on any landing pages that you have. Those are pages that have one particular focus, which is to get people to opt in, a sales page to get people to buy. A sidebar is a distraction, and you don't want that.
Here, Dunkin Donuts is using a full width page, very large text, it's at least 16 point, a lot of white space, even here where it's not necessarily white, they've got a lot of space here. They're not cluttering it up with a bunch of stuff. You don't have to figure out where to look. This website has its own visual hierarchy, meaning it's immediately apparent where your eye needs to go. That is clean design. And I also have a link here if you want to go take a look at their website during the replay. This is the SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com website. Mine is not quite as clean as Dunkin Donuts, but what I'm offering is a little bit more complicate. Again, it's the home page, there are no sidebars on here. I'm using very large text, it's at least 16 points, a lot of white space, uncluttered design. And there's also something else I want you to notice here.
I have, I think five colors, maybe six in my logo, but I'm not using them all on the same page. My branding is mostly blue with a little bit of green. I will use other colors with it, but blue is a color that signifies trust. And for a B to B website in brand, that's important. I like using blue, I'll use green a lot as well, but you'll see here, we'll talk about color pallets later, but just because you have a lot of colors in your logo or branding, doesn't mean you want to use them on every piece you have. You want to keep things clean.
I also do this in email. That's a change for me. When I first started doing email marketing, I was using those beautifully designed templates that come with every email marketing tool, but it was too complicated. And I also realized that the only emails people got that used those types of templates, were promotional emails, and I wanted my emails to look like they were coming from a friend, and that's going to be mostly text. So it's full width. Again, there's not a bunch of columns on it with a bunch of graphics. I use 16 point text in my emails. That's really important. And if you don't get anything out of this but this one thing, I would say this is the one thing that you need to do above all else is use at least 16 point text in your marketing emails, and any emails that you send. Because when you're looking at something on a mobile phone, 12 point is mighty small. Don't make it hard for people to read what you're sending them. Again, it's one column, it's full width, lots of white space, very uncluttered design.