When you’re designing a multimedia campaign, planning is essential. Multimedia visual campaigns involve a broad range of mediums, from motion graphics to social-media micro-narratives to interactive landing pages. Juggling all of these at once is not an easy task.
What’s more, you’ll want to achieve a cohesive look and feel across all these assets. This shows your brand is organized, on-message, consistent, and able to execute.
So how can you put together a multimedia campaign that incorporates multiple modes of visual communication without sacrificing quality? Follow these 6 steps before you start designing a single piece of content for your next visual campaign.
Step 1: Identify your audience
To create great visual content, you need to know who you’re speaking to. So before you do anything else, determine who you want to reach, and who is actually connecting with you right now. These might be distinct audiences, and depending on your goals, it’s likely you’ll want to connect with both.
Ask these questions to determine who your audience is and what the best ways to communicate with them might be:
What are their motivations, both in general and when they are engaging with your brand?
How do they like to engage with your business sector?
What are their preferred platforms?
What visual mediums do they engage with most?
What is their communication style?
What are their impressions of your company?
Step 2: Set 1 goal for your campaign
A multimedia visual campaign that aims to achieve more than 1 goal is taking a big risk. If your goals require distinct approaches, or are aimed at different audiences, you might try to compromise and reach some middle ground.
The result? Your campaign will not speak directly to anyone, and will be only partially optimized for each one of your goals. Imagine a commercial that tries to appeal to both teenagers and retirees, or tries to sell you both high-heeled shoes and a waterproof sports watch. There are plenty of ways such a commercial might fall short.
Step 3: Determine what visual content performs best on your audience’s preferred platforms
If your audience primarily engages on Snapchat, they’re likely to prefer very different kinds of visual content than audiences who prefer YouTube, or Facebook, or Twitter.
Or, perhaps better said, they’ve come to expect certain types of content on certain platforms. And a horizontally oriented video in your Instagram story just won’t do.
So make a list of the types of content your audience tends to engage with most, and where that content lives. When it comes to defining that content, consider:
- Design style
- Color palette
- Video length
Step 4: List all the assets you’ll need for your multimedia campaign
Now that you’ve identified your audience, determined what types of content they like most, and defined your goal, it’s finally time to decide what particular pieces of content will make up your campaign.
Based on what platforms you’ll be deploying your campaign on, along with all of the factors we’ve listed above, you might want to include one or more:
- Motion graphics
- Interactive infographics, widgets, or landing pages
- Social-media micronarratives
- Conference collateral
Step 5: Create a visual language for your campaign
If you have the time and you’re not on a tight deadline, a visual language is likely to make a great contribution to the success of your project.
A visual language outlines the design style, fonts, color palette, icon style, and more that will define your campaign. Without a visual language, it will be hard to ensure that all your materials maintain a consistent look and feel.
What’s more, a visual language can save you a lot of time, especially if you’re unrolling your campaign over a longer time period. That’s because you won’t have to redefine design parameters every time you create a new asset. Instead, you’ll already have a high-quality design approach that’s been preapproved by your stakeholders.
Step 6: Write text-based content
Today’s most forward-thinking companies know that their audiences, both internal and external, prefer visual communication to text-based communication. That’s why leading companies are implementing the Visual-First Method to redefine the culture of their organizations and position visual communication as a foundational value.
And when you put visuals first, text should be the last step in the planning stages for your multimedia campaign. That means you should have already defined your visual direction before you start writing a word of copy.
It also means that text should serve to complement and elevate your visual content — not drive it. The best visual communication can be understood without the viewer having to read a word. Sure, text helps sometimes, but you shouldn’t lean on it; otherwise, you’re just creating one more reading assignment for your audience.
Follow these six steps, and you’ll see better content and better results in your next multimedia campaign.