Graphic design agency
For your marketing to have an immediate and lasting impact on your audience, it’s essential that it has a strong visual element.
Regardless of whether you’re targeting a B2B or B2C market, it’s highly likely your customer or client base will be busy and highly selective in how they spend their time online. Consequently, marketing content that doesn’t have an instant visual appeal is likely to be overlooked or ignored.
That’s why graphic design should be a fundamental part of your digital marketing and branding strategy. It should be a key focus in various channels and client communication methods, from email marketing to social media and your web design.
The importance of good graphic design
If you haven’t given much thought to graphic design in the past, you might have some questions about why it’s such an important aspect of marketing.
Here are just a few of the reasons why you should be prioritising good design in all of your creative efforts.
Good first impressions
First impressions matter, especially in competitive sectors where every potential client has many other brands and product offerings to choose from.
The visual elements of your marketing will have the most immediate impact on your audience and will shape their overall experience and perceptions of your brand, so make sure they’re of a high quality.
High-quality online experience
Online experience is a vital factor in modern customers’ perceptions of brands and the companies they choose to buy from.
If you’re not investing in high-quality website design, you’re running the risk of presenting an unprofessional and off-putting image to your audience.
Creative design has a critical role to play in effective branding. The world’s most iconic and recognisable brands – Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, to name a few – have built their success on simple but compelling choices in everything from their logo design to their ads.
A diverse content mix
Content like blog entries and social media posts might be the bread and butter of your digital marketing strategy, but have you given enough thought to the wide range of visual assets that can complement your fundamental, everyday content?
A carefully designed infographic or factsheet that reflects your audience’s key interests, for example, can enrich your content mix and help you stand out in a crowded marketplace.
How to hire a top graphic design agency
Good design is a big part of modern digital marketing, but it can be a daunting space to get into if you don’t feel confident you have the necessary skill in this area or you’re not familiar with the software and tools required to do it well. It can also be difficult for the average small business to find the time to focus on good graphic design.
If you’re facing these challenges, it’s worth considering how you could benefit from working with a great designer or agency.
There are lots of providers out there that can support you with everything from infographic design to physical brochure design, and many tasks in between. So how can you find the right partner for your business and give yourself the best possible chance of getting excellent results?
Look for an agency that knows your industry
You should have confidence that any graphic designer you choose to work with already has a basic understanding of your industry and how it functions. This raises the likelihood that they will be familiar with some of your most common challenges, as well as recent trends and developments in your sector that could influence your marketing strategy and decisions.
Your chosen agency doesn’t necessarily need to know your industry inside out, but it’s certainly beneficial for them to grasp certain key concepts and priorities, possibly as a result of having worked with businesses similar to yours in the past.
Get to know their story and culture
You can get to know creative design agencies better – and gain a clearer idea of how well-suited they are to your business – by finding out more about their story and company culture.
When you’re evaluating particular suppliers, consider asking:
- What’s the background to their business?
- Why do they do what they do?
- What are their hopes and ambitions for the future?
The answers to questions like these will help you understand what makes this particular design business unique and what the experience of working with them might be like.
Be clear about what they can deliver
Any collaboration with a professional graphic designer should lead to tangible outcomes and deliverables that make a material difference to your marketing performance. It’s crucial, therefore, to find out early on what any potential partner is able to provide and what sort of results you can expect their offerings to generate.
It’s also important to have a clear idea of what your creative design agency doesn’t do. This can help you avoid getting into a situation where you want your supplier to deliver a particular piece of work to a tight deadline, only to find at the last minute they aren’t able to do it.
Examine their working methods and processes
If you’re going to be working closely with a graphic designer to execute your most important digital marketing projects, it’s important that the core methods and processes they use are compatible with your own.
When you’re evaluating different professional graphic design services, ask the provider to go into detail about how they would work with you. It can be useful to put forward a hypothetical situation or challenge and to ask them how they would manage it, so you can get a contextualised idea of how efficiently you could work alongside particular graphic design agencies.
Ask for case studies and examples of previous work
One of the most useful indicators of what a creative agency might be able to provide for you is the work they have done for past clients.
Ask suppliers pitching for your business to provide data on the results they have generated on previous projects and to show examples of their recent work. This will help you compare the claims the agency has made to the actual outcomes they have delivered, and to form ideas about the sort of work they might be able to provide for you.
Tips for working with a graphic design agency
Once you’ve found a design agency you’re happy to collaborate with, it’s time to think about the finer details of the working relationship and what you can do to help it run as smoothly as possible.
Have a clear idea of what you want
If you aren’t clear about what you want certain aspects of your digital marketing to look like and the branding you want to convey to your target audience, it will be difficult for a creative agency to deliver a satisfying end result.
You should certainly be open to recommendations from your agency partners, and they can give you some direction when you’re not sure where to go with your marketing.
It’s also important to go into every design project with firm ideas about what you want to achieve by the end of it.
Know who will handle your account
Make sure you get clear answers from your design agency about who has been assigned to work on your account and their level of skill and experience.
It’s reasonable to expect a level of consistency in terms of the people you’ll be working with, partly because the formation of strong relationships based on mutual understanding helps everyone do their jobs better and produce outstanding results.
Give constructive feedback
There may be times when you’re not entirely happy with the design work your agency has delivered, and on these occasions, it’s important to provide constructive feedback that leads to a better outcome next time.
Rather than simply saying you don’t like something, provide detail about why it’s not quite right and what should be changed to achieve something closer to your original vision.
ROI on working with a graphic design agency
There are countless ways to approach digital marketing, but they all have the same ultimate goal: delivering a return on investment for your business.
If you find the right partner, you can expect high-quality graphic design to make a big contribution to your ROI.
How graphic design improves your marketing ROI
Making good graphic design a core component of your digital marketing helps you build a strong, recognisable and consistent brand. This is crucial if you want to expand your audience by attracting new customers, but also to maintain relationships with past buyers who will keep coming back to buy from you in the future.
Effective social media and web design also make a vital contribution to the user experience you provide in online and digital channels. It’s essential to get these design elements right if you want to build positive engagement with your target audience and gain the trust required for people to buy from you.
How long does it take to see clear ROI?
There is no clear answer to this question, as the results you see from professional graphic design – and indeed marketing as a whole – will be determined by a range of factors that are unique to your business.
However, it is possible to say with a high level of confidence that every investment you make in high-quality design and marketing content will boost your branding efforts and give you a better chance of connecting with your customers.
When you’re entering into a relationship with a graphic design agency, be prepared to ask questions about what returns you can expect to see in certain timeframes. However, it’s also important to acknowledge that digital marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, and you should be prepared to put in the time and effort over a sustained period to get the best results.