My last blog highlighted the basics of why your content needs graphics, but while informative, it wasn’t prescriptive. I outlined the benefits of design for your content marketing strategy – brand cohesion, flexibility, higher probability of views and engagement – I didn’t show you how to design.

Here are a few tips for designing blogs(!), social media posts, PowerPoints and other supplementary – or feature – content. And P.S., you can always find more design tips on Canva, our go-to resource.

Designing Visual Content for Social Media

Humans have an incredible gift for visual recall. Consider this: People can only recall about 10 percent of information they heard three days earlier. However, if an image accompanies that same information, people will recall 65 percent of the information three days later. And with a fleeting social media platform like Twitter, where users collectively blast around 6,000 tweets per second, pairing your message with a relevant photo or graphic can make all the difference.

When designing your graphic, it’s important to use “w h i t e s p a c e.”  Just because you now have a larger platform (text and image) to share your message, doesn’t mean you need to fill it. When you leave breathing room, the reader doesn’t have to fight with competing visuals, and insteadgets a clear idea of the message you’re communicating. Keep this rule of thumb in mind: your Tweet is no more than 140 characters; apply the same mentality to the text in your image.

Keep this rule of thumb in mind: if your Tweet is no more than 140 characters, apply the same mentality to the text in your image.Click To Tweet

Designing PowerPoints that Keep People Awake

Utter the words PowerPoint or slideshow and you’ll likely trigger painful memories of boring template presentations. But just a few design elements can create cohesion that pulls slides together in a non-intrusive way without sacrificing your well-planned content to the PowerPoint template gods. Instead of using a standard template from Microsoft Office, use a consistent set of fonts and colors to communicate your messages in different ways. For example, my agency’s PowerPoint template has 40 very different slides that match well together. See exhibit a and b. By using one font, Calibri, and a single color, turquoise, our slides appear as a set, even though the purpose of each is very different.

Visual Content Slide SampleVisual Content Sample 2

Designing Blog Graphics that Don’t Stink  

The best part about these golden rules is that they apply across all visual content (for the most part). Similar to social media images, blog graphics let your reader know what they’re about to read. Include all the key messages about the blog, including a small quote and the title, but don’t be afraid to mix fonts, add color blocks and photographs.

Now that I’ve provided you with the tips and benefits of effective visual content, go forth and empower your inner designer to create an engaging and visually stimulating content marketing plan.

For more easy-to-implement content marketing tips, see our guide.

How to Launch a Content Marketing Strategy in Eight Easy Steps [Guide]
With her combined talents in visual content creation and media relations, Jacqie strives to show AND tell unique narratives with every opportunity. Her experience spans the higher education, healthcare, technology and management sectors. Creative and detail-oriented, Jacqie helps ensure team efficiencies and client results. While she doesn’t own one yet, Jacqie has a passion for dogs, and hopes to one day rescue and train her own four-legged friend.