Creating Captivating Content: Writers + Designers Forever
Skilled writers can create content that will make you laugh, cry, buy something or dream bigger. Talented designers can craft something beautiful, mystifying, intriguing or attention grabbing. Separately, neither a writer nor a designer truly has the capacity to draw in potential leads and customers, guide them through the prepared information and persuade them to take action. But when their powers combine, they increase drastically. However, companies often keep them separated behind cubicle walls or even considered as part of different teams. Simply handing a Word doc to a designer makes it nearly impossible to do the content justice. Find out how writers and designers who work together create better content.
Individual Strengths Become Better Together
No doubt about it, design is what draws the eye in and gets a visitor excited about the approaching content. It is absolutely the first component that will influence a potential reader…lead…customer, and every element will affect their decision to stay on the page. Design is also responsible for setting the tone of the piece: humorous, technical, influential, educational or straight laced. But it is the headline that holds the power to intrigue and pique interest. It is the beginning paragraph that encourages the reader to make the ultimate commitment of time. And it is the conclusion that makes them remember the message.
Text and design should ultimately lead visitors to your desired action. Here are a few areas that writers and designers should communicate and work together from the inception of the project to its completion.
- Website Designs: When mapping out a new website or redesigning an outdated one, the content manager will know what messages need to be shared and in what order, and the designer will be able to share ways to make the plan come to life. If a copywriter is forced to work within a limited sitemap in which she had no input, the messaging may suffer. On the other hand, a writer may simply create too much (or, in some cases, not enough) content, and the design will suffer.
- Customization Efforts: Without a content marketer being involved, a website or download risks becoming generic or one-note. Instead of a button that leads to a value offer being designed to say “Click here” on every page, call-to-action icons can be customized to the content on each page with a little extra effort and communication, which will most likely lead to better results.
- Important Messages: Design can lead the eye from one vital idea to the next using a multitude of techniques. But in order to implement call outs or certain design treatments, the designer and the writer need to have quality communication as to what content should be emphasized and to what degree.
An experienced content marketer will often write with a foundation in mind, helping to shape the ultimate design. And perhaps graphic designers keep the term “information design” in mind, which helps them to remember that they are ultimately preparing information so people can “use it with efficiency and effectiveness.” Finding team members who exercise these skills can help create captivating content that will lead to lead generation and customer acquisition.
It's All About Team Work
Remember, it is a give-and-take relationship when it comes to content and design. The designer cannot expect that tons of text to be cut from the download simply because he loves the design as is. And the writer cannot hand the designer 3,000 words of copy and expect him to create an attractive white paper in just four pages. You must work together to understand and develop pieces of content that will influence the decisions of the reader. So break down that cubicle wall and start communicating!
Photo: Austin Kleon
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