At a first glance, you may think they are not related. Because they are two different things. By content, I mean text – posts, articles, landing pages, ads etc. By design, I mean how you present your ideas visually.
Blogs have the power and all the big companies use them to monetize their work, inter alia. When it comes to marketing, if you don’t blog, you don’t exist.
Content and design should complement each other, but have they an equal value?
too much text at once is discouraging
Unless you have the best story in the world and are able to keep people there until the end. Otherwise, they will read a few paragraphs in a chaotic fashion and leave.
I’ve seen lots of blogs and content marketing sites and no matter how much I love writing, hence I should emphasize with those who write much, I can’t stay focused during the whole lecture. I need a bit of interactivity. Which can consist of anything. Reading posts online is not like reading a book (which I love to do, by the way).
And it’s not just me. Online marketing experts have numbers that prove it:
- Articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the number of social shares than articles with fewer images.
- Researchers found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.
- Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.
- 65% more people will remember an information if it came with a visual.
And the list goes on.
What I mean is that a writer needs to find the most effective ways to get to his readers. Posting good content implies a great and user-friendly browsing, along with a good readability.
The design doesn’t have to be something complicated anyway. The most beautiful design is the simple one most of the time.
But never write an article without breaking the text once in a while. It relaxes the eye and adds engagement. Otherwise, a very long text at once might look boring and discouraging.
design has no complete control
When you’re coming to a blog, you’re definitely interested in a subject. I asked some guys who told me that they don’t care about design when the interest for a topic is high. Yes, if I want an information right now, I take it from anywhere. I won’t analyze the design.
Now, what about those who wander and scroll on the web aimlessly, looking for interesting stories to read? What keeps them on a page? The level of interactivity can surely steal some extra minutes from their time, even though the content wasn’t exactly what they expected to be.
I’m talking about making people come back to your site, turning them into constant visitors. Here, at this point, the design could make a difference assuming that the same information can be found somewhere else.
The way you present ideas matters a lot. But it’s not just it. If the ideas don’t actually speak to the readers, the design fades out. A good text will always take over, no matter if the design was good or bad. So, I’ll give content an extra point.
is content the king?
At the end of the day, it’s always the story that wins. But just as attitude matters when you try to share an idea with a group of people face to face, the overall appearance plays an important role on the web. In this case, the way you expose it makes the difference.
I’ll take my case. What convinces me not to ignore a blog post? First of all, its topic. If I’m really interested in a specific subject or if I really need to read it, I’ll stay. If the content didn’t convince me, only then I look for some other interesting elements… or just leave.
To fall in love with the rest, they’d better come with beautiful fonts (the fonts are powerful, that’s a fact), relevant images, highlighted quotes, videos, infographics or probably humor. NOT necessarily all together.
Put in balance, content has the authority here. Why? Simple. Awesome design without quality content won’t count. People will stare at it a bit but they won’t come back. So don’t imagine that a great design will save you.
On the other hand, a poor design can ruin a great piece of content as well. But there will still be people who would rather a valuable story than a majestic presentation. Unless you’re a designer. Then yeah, you’ll stare at what’s visual.
Design and content should always come together in online marketing. If you don’t use design, you’d better come with damn good stuff to get customers’ attention. If you don’t care much about content, I’d say that you’re screwed, no matter what a brilliant designer you are. That’s why, I think, content takes a step forward in this game.
So, who wins this contest in your opinion? 🙂