When we talk about marketing materials, there are a lot of things that fall under this umbrella such as brochures, flyers, postcards, business cards, menus, sales sheets, and so forth. If you’re feeling more adventurous and can afford to hand out things people can actually use, you can also consider t-shirts, mugs, calendars, pens, gift certificates, event tickets and keychains as gifts.
Now with the amount of software and programs available in the market, it might seem like a very good idea to not invest money by hiring a professional team and designing everything yourself instead, but that is a mistake. No matter how many good programs you invest in, your end product is most likely to come off as non-professional looking. So it is best advised to hire marketing specialists who have exposure in the market and know what works.
Did you know that it takes about only 50 milliseconds, that’s 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your product? That is not a whole lot of time now, and you need to know how to make best use of those seconds with amazing marketing materials.
If you are looking for designing marketing materials, then these are the 5 things that you will need to consider before starting to design:
- A professional logo and stationery kit: a logo is the first thing that is associated with any brand. Make sure to invest good time and money in a logo, as this will be the representation of your brand to people all around the world. Then stick to that logo for at least a decade or two before even considering about changing it. The best way to go about this is to hire a professional agency or graphic artist, they can make sure it’s clean, visible and stands out.
The next step would be to have the logo on everything from office stationery to mugs and pens and fax papers, etc. This will give you a more professional look and reflect a corporate personality type. A professionally designed logo has to look good in sizes big or small, and in color or simple black and white.
- Understand the fundamentals of good graphic designing: comprehending graphic designing concepts and how they work is no doubt going to take some work, but a good idea is to invest in some books and online courses. But a few basic characteristics of good graphic design include:
- Keeping the look simple and clean with the use of a graphic grid to align all the elements in an orderly manner. Remember to not overload the design with too much information, less is always more here.
- Use a simple format for text, the content should be easy to understand. Make use of headings, sub headings and bullet points so that all the information is easily accessible by the readers and they can navigate smoothly throughout.
- Make the content interesting by breaking it up with informative graphs, photos, illustrations, charts and cartoons. Try to make the look of your document more appealing for the reader without being too heavy on the text. Again, less is more.
- You might be tempted to use every last centimeter on your page but that is not a good idea, it will just crowd the overall look. A clear white space makes the text look neat by serving as a visual frame.
- Unless you really need to stand out, stick with the normal format of 8-1/2″ x 11″ for printed materials. This will allow for easy filling and will fit in everything since that is the standard size and most folders are sized to house this standard size. If you do however choose to go with a different size then you will also need to spend more on filling and storing resources, now who wants extra expenses? No one.
- Make sure to add a caption or tagline to show what you are talking about. A caption will not only let your audience identify the product but will also remind them of the benefit it provides.
- Remember that a brochure is a visual aide, so make the best of graphics to make sense of number and facts. It is ideal to use graphs and charts instead of boring tables.
- Uniformity is key: make sure all the documents and brochures you have got designed have a streamlined look. They should look similar and look as if they are a part of a set when laid out on a conference table rather than look like a collection of haphazardly collected pieces of literature. This will give everything a more professional look.
- Invest in photography: small business might have a hard time investing in photography and might settle for cheaper options. But the fact is that good equipment and supplies are expensive, and when you use cheaper ones the output comes out looking cheap and flimsy, which is a big turn off and unprofessional. Having a professionally done photography and editing will give you an edge and allow you to look more presentable. The product will also come off as being of a higher quality and save your impression of professionalism. It will indeed be a good investment for your future so don’t scrimp on it.
- Get a content manager: as your business grows, your content requirements will change too. It is a good idea to hire a person to look after this and anticipate what the future needs will be in terms of marketing, promotional and advertising content. The hired person should be responsible for creating quality content with defined outlines and guidelines to churn out quality content with a purpose. According to statistics, 51% of companies report that leads from content marketing are of higher quality, so it is safe to say your investment with a content manager will not go to waste.
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An interesting fact: consumer’s average attention span is 8 seconds – 1 second less than a goldfish — dropping 4 seconds since 2000, so it is more crucial to design attractive and eye catching content more than ever now!
Keeping all of these above things in mind, it will not be difficult to design exceptional marketing material. Just stick to the basics and keep everything simple.