No matter how great your product or service is, it won’t sell itself. To entice potential customers, you’ll need to know how to get people’s attention. You’ll also need to know how to sell your brand as an experience, not just a two-dimensional logo attached to your product. Experiences have the power to make people want to get involved with your brand; they also create strong first impressions and lasting memories.
Along with excellent SEO practices and the use of buzz-generators (like local events and social media campaigns), one of the best ways to shape an immersive experience around your brand is creative content. Creative content is an umbrella term that’s used to describe the various forms of enriched multimedia that should form a core part of your online presence and marketing strategy. Some of the most important types of creative content are outlined below:
One of the biggest mistakes many fledgling businesses make is using generic stock photography on their website, along with amateur photos of their products. The main problem with this approach is that almost every other small business is using it, too, so it’s basically the fastest way to blend into the crowd. Using generic photography also detracts from consumer trust, because consumers can’t get to know you unless they can see you—As in, professional images of your actual premises, staff, etc.
Professional product photography is also absolutely essential to selling certain types of product. Food photography, for example, can make or break a restaurant or catering business. According to research conducted by the Max Planck Institute, looking at well-shot images of food (like those found on the website of Toronto cafe Sweet a la Mode) causes a surge in the “hunger hormone” ghrelin, literally making people crave the food pictured. Poorly shot images of food can, however, have the opposite effect.
Pairing professional images with text will also make your content more memorable as a whole. Most people recall just 10% of plain text content three days after reading it. When that content is paired with an image, however, the three-day recall rate suddenly jumps to 65%. (HubSpot)
2. Graphic design.
Graphic design is the foundation of any memorable brand image. Logo design, header design, font choice, and other graphical elements should be used harmoniously to create a consistent “look and feel” across your website, social media profiles, and traditional print advertisements.
Good graphic design doesn’t just look attractive: It should also make use of specific colours, shapes, and layouts to evoke brand-specific emotions. Bright, vibrant hues (like orange and red) and strong, bold shapes, for example, convey a sense that your business is dynamic, energetic, and all about making an impact. Cool colours (like blue or soft mauve) and delicate lines can let your customers know that you’re there to make their lives more tranquil and elegant. A great creative agency will take the time to get to know you—what you do and what you stand for—and incorporate those ideas as themes throughout their graphical work.
For a complete run-down on why graphic design is so essential to the success of small businesses, check out our article: 5 Reasons Graphic Design is More Important to Your Business Than You Think.
Video is big—very big. According to Cisco, video will account for 82% of all internet traffic by 2021, and it already accounts for about 73%. For the sake of exposure alone, your business should therefore be producing regular video content.
In order to be effective, your videos will need to serve as much more than simple advertisements. Consumers primarily use videos as a source of information, so don’t make the mistake of thinking all you’ll have to do is let them know your business exists. The best videos are those that explain how your products work and show consumers what they can be used for (think “DIY” tutorials). Over 50% of consumers actually go out of their way to look for “explainer” videos about products when they’re planning to make a purchase. (Google)
4. Blog content.
Most people already know that blogging is great for search engine optimization, but it’s also an integral brand-builder. When you blog, you give consumers a sense of your “voice,” purpose, and specific niche within your industry. You also build your brand authority by showing that you’re knowledgeable and passionate about what you do.
Blog posts are extremely “shareable,” too. If your content is well-written, people looking to enrich their social media feeds will be more than happy to post it to their followers. This could be why businesses who blog receive, on average, 126% more new leads than businesses who don’t blog. Research by Social Marketing also shows that 70% of customers learn about new businesses through blog posts, not traditional advertising. (Thrive Hive.)
Where to Get Creative Content
Hiring an in-house photographer, graphic designer, video editor, writer, etc., is simply impractical for most small businesses. Fortunately, there’s a budget-friendly solution available in the form of creative agencies like Toronto’s AllinBrand. Creative agencies employ all of these skilled professionals so that you don’t have to, connecting you with diverse bespoke services at an affordable rate. Creative agencies will also help you craft a comprehensive marketing plan. This way, you’ll be able to rest assured that you’re getting a great return on your creative content investment.
Have any questions about creative content that weren’t answered in this article? Feel free to contact us; we’ll be happy to shed more light on what we do and why it matters.