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The Importance of Graphic Design for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

July 10, 2022
Ferdie L. Eusebio
5 minute read

Small and medium-sized industries are categorized according to their employee strength. For instance, in Europe, any business with less than 250 employees is considered an SME, whereas, in the US, the number may go up to 500. Irrespective of the actual size of the company, digital marketing is increasingly becoming a vital component of these businesses.

With ad spends rising by more than 16%, the internet has become the biggest advertising medium for SMEs, and as high as 35% of an SME’s total finances are getting deployed towards digital marketing. More than four-fifths of these businesses believe that a website gives them an edge over their competitors.

All these data indicate the broader trend of SMEs understanding the importance of digital marketing and increasingly allocating more budget towards it. But, digital marketing campaigns can only be successful if you have got your graphic design skills and resources correct. Not only ensuring a high marketing ROI but consistently well-executed graphics also builds your brand for the long run and empowers it with a distinction that is so important for SMEs to achieve.

How does graphic design help you establish your brand and make it stand out among many SMEs around you? Let us look into these factors and see how important they are in the segments to come.

Leaving a Long-Lasting Impression

In the United States alone, there are 30 million SMEs. These SMEs together constitute the backbone of the American economy, accounting for nearly two-thirds of net new private-sector jobs. If you want to grow your SME and make people register your brand among these extraordinary volumes, you need to create an identity that will be memorable for the user.

The last thing that any SME owner would want to have is an identity that leaves their mind as soon as the user leaves their website. A brand constitutes many components, including its content, strategy, backlinks, blogs, HTML, blog, design, etc.

But to create a memorable first impression that stays with the viewer for a long time, you need to have the logo and banner correct. A precise and well-designed logo that successfully communicates with the user and manages to catch their attention within a fraction of a second is something that goes a long way in strengthening your identity and impression.

Conveying the Exact Message

Marketing materials designed in an unplanned way often lose their purpose in the process. A design contains several elements, including the text, the fonts or the typography, the color scheme, and many more.

Experienced graphic designers know how to balance each of these elements to bring out the exact message the company wants to drive. Their skill not only reflects in their ability to cut the clutter but also in setting the proportions right so that none of the vital items is overlooked.

For instance, each color used in a design has a corresponding psychological impact and goes the best with a particular set of businesses. Pure or saturated colors give out a sense of cheerfulness with their intense brightness.

They appear untainted and fit the best for children’s toys, daycare decor, or summer clothes brands. Graphic designers often go with low contrast techniques that make things look beautiful but, at the same time, accentuate the readability of the material. Designers also know how to use tone-on-tone similar color combinations skillfully so that their communication remains popular, subtle, and attractive at the same time.

Similarly, the typography used in a design has a significant role to play. For instance, using bold letters instill a sense of urgency in your messaging. There are several such nuanced aspects in typography that can make a significant difference in your communique.

If you employ an experienced graphic designer in creating your material, you will readily notice the difference it brings to the efficacy of your digital marketing efforts. Your designs will grab more eyeballs than usual, and the ROI will increase.

For businesses, having a strong design team is essential. After all, your team is responsible for creating the visual identity of your company. From your website and logo to your promotional materials and packaging, every aspect of your business says something about who you are and what you stand for. That's why it's so important to work with a team of designers who understand your vision and can help bring it to life.

Designers are trained to think creatively and think outside the box. They're also good at collaborating with others, which is essential when working on projects as a team, especially with the help of online collaboration tools like Instacap.

With designers working together using Instacap to provide on-screen, real-time feedback, businesses can develop powerful branding that resonates with their customers and helps them stand out from the competition.

Instilling Credibility

Designs that have a solid logical base and are founded on a robust understanding of the business instill credibility among people. Such designs do not only reflect your professionalism but also play a vital role in helping people believe that you care about your audience and believe in the goodness of your product or services.

A well-thought-out web design, for instance, comes in handy in increasing people’s trust in your brand. There are several ways for a graphic designer to achieve this distinction. It starts with creating a polished, professional logo and linking it to your homepage. It is better to keep your logo simple and connected to your product or service. It should effectively convey your brand message and evoke the right emotions among your target audience.

Another way to generate trust and credibility through design is to keep it non-intrusive. The designs should be such that your audience can move around without much hassle. The pages should load fast. Your designs should not be so heavy that they affect your speed. A slow-loading website may end up creating distrust in your brand. Your designs should be responsive and mobile-friendly.

A highly crucial aspect of generating credibility through design lies in the use of high-resolution, original photography. Using stock photos that your competitors might’ve also used brings down the trust in your brand.

Also, good-quality original photography means more shareable content for your audience. The more they share your designs, the more organic growth you get. Especially businesses involved in fashion or hospitality businesses should mandatorily invest more in creating high-quality original designs.

To bring trust and credibility through graphic design, designers are exploring a lot of multimedia content. They are leveraging self-hosted videos, slideshows, YouTube/Vimeo clips, infographics to enrich their material and make it more credible. It increases traction without costing a lot and, therefore, works well for the SME owners.

Boosting Conversion

SMEs have a relatively lesser budget than big corporations. Resultantly, the amount they spend on their advertisements should always be well- spent. A large corporation may spend millions of dollars to create awareness about their brand first. Conversion may not always be their priority. But, to survive and prosper, small businesses must drive traffic to their website through their designs.

It is where graphic design plays a vital role. As a small or medium-sized business owner, you must make designs that resonate with the user. Your posts and ads on social media should be able to convert visitors.

With good graphic design, you’ll find your that conversion grows in the way you have always wanted. The call to action should be prominent and enticing. The design should generate curiosity among people to explore the product or service further, and these are the things you get from a well-executed graphic design plan.

Engaging With the Audience

While it is true that generating a high degree of conversion is useful for small and medium-sized businesses, it is also true that any business must leverage designs to keep up with the trend. You will often see small and medium businesses, like bars, dental offices, gyms, and legal offices, put out advertisements responding to the prevailing trend.

These may range from straightforward wishes and congratulatory messages to heart-warming or comedic takes on events happening around you. These designs help the brand to stay relevant by reacting to events that are currently occupying the audience’s mind space. Even if these ads do not directly talk about the product or the service, they help to keep the brand relevant, increases its recall value, and make it engaging.

It is vital to understand that it is not only the creative or aesthetic aspect of the design that matters but designs also have the duty and responsibility to capture the popular imagination. It is more vital for small and medium-sized businesses because their sales often rely on immediate visibility, and they mustn’t get lost among the crowd.

Persuading the Audience

Persuading the audience about trying out their services or products is vital for small and medium-sized brands. The designs should be eye-catching. For instance, people often end up buying products that they don’t have an immediate need for only because they liked the packaging. This initial traction is essential for businesses to grow among uncharted territories, beyond the purview of the brand’s immediate target audience.

Only when you get people to try out your product do your chances of retaining the buyer and increasing his/her sales volume over a while arise. Therefore, your graphic design should be catchy enough to make people stop and look at your offering. It should spark interest.

Large corporations often use rebates or free products as a tactic to push their products into new territory. A small and medium-sized business will lack that sort of a budget and, therefore, it is almost mandatory that your packaging is enticing.

Optimizing Available Shelf-Space

It is crucial for businesses that work in the FMCG or CPG segment. Such products, when stacked on shelves, have a very high chance of getting lost among their competitors. Especially the large brands with multiple variants of the same product stack them in a way that, ultimately, the brand ends up occupying a significant portion of the shelf.

To make space for their brand, SMEs should therefore take special care of their packaging. The designs should be such that they grab people’s audience from a distance. The color and shape of the product should be such that it captures the casual buyer’s attention at a glance.

It is also crucial that you keep your packaging visible in other channels of marketing as well. For instance, your designs should be up there on your social media handles or your online ads. It helps people make a quick association.

Only a glance at the product should make you aware of what the product is. And, that comes from your knowledge of the product beforehand. Therefore, replicate the visuals across channels so that recognizing the product immediately reinvigorates your audience’s memory.

Telling Your Brand Story and Enhancing Sales

It is probably the most important impact that well-executed graphic designs can bring to your business. Each brand has its story. It is the story of its evolution - how it became the brand that it is today.

The story involves all aspects of the product, starting from the people who conceived it to people who manufacture it to people who supply the material required to build the product. This story is unique for each brand as the evolutionary arc of each brand is different.

Graphic designers are the best fit to tell this story. If you tell the story of your brand engagingly and precisely, it will strike a chord with your audience for sure. The story of the brand is not only a marketing material left in the open to explore, it is also what makes your brand humane and fuels goodwill for the days to come.

But, for a small and medium-sized business, you can not afford to spend thousands of dollars to raise awareness. You should generate selling potential out of your brand story. Therefore, each design that tells your story should end with a call to action. It should suggest ways your audience can become a part of your story and take it forward. This should be done subtly but, at the same time, it should not go unnoticed.

Finally, your design should be inspiring. It should be such that people not only relate themselves to your story but also feel inspired to promote it. They should identify with it in such a manner that they do not see a reason why they should not recommend or suggest it to their friends or family. This way, you would get organic brand ambassadors who will spread your story across diverse markets only through word of mouth.

It is what every brand aspires for: to spread and achieve scale organically. Organic growth leads to exponential growth over a short period. Therefore, leverage graphic designing for your business the best way you can and make them as relatable, inspiring, engaging, and catchy as possible.

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