For companies today, putting in place a social media strategy is vital to stand out in the crowded marketplace and raise brand awareness. However, while many companies manage to implement a social media strategy, it isn’t always as successful as they hoped. This is often because the art direction is poorly thought-out.
Rodrigo Lizarraga, art director for the famous Pernod Ricard company, believes that this is why more businesses should be hiring art directors to help them achieve their marketing goals.
“With more than 50% of the population of the world using one or more social media channels, it isn’t surprising that social media campaigns have become so essential for business success.” Lizarraga says. “More people than ever before use these platforms not only for browsing but even for buying products, so making each post count is imperative”.
It is for this very reason that Rodrigo Lizarraga is convinced that art direction should now be the norm for any social media marketing strategy, and here, he gives his advice about the ways in which an art director can benefit companies when it comes to enhancing the success of their campaigns.
Isn’t An Art Director The Same As A Designer?
Although designers and art directors share some similarities, they certainly aren’t the same thing. Lizarraga points out an art director combines vision and creativity with leadership, undertaking both creative directorship and management of a social media strategy to ensure that every graphic used pushes the brand’s marketing goals.
While a designer can create a creative brief, an art director goes further, providing ideas and insight on how to create the optimal visual content to serve a specific purpose.
Setting Intention And Tone
“All graphic design pieces have their own specific use that can easily be defined – a logo, a flyer, a blog post cover etc…”Lizarraga says, “However, the hard part is to define the intention of those pieces.”
When it comes to design for social media, the intention often relates to the campaign’s objective, such as raising brand awareness, driving more traffic to a website or boosting audience engagement. However, Lizarraga knows that if visuals are to share information effectively, they need to include easily digestible text which catches the attention of the viewer. To promote a product effectively, eye-catching graphics are needed to showcase the specific product in the best light possible.
“Setting the right tone for marketing via social media channels is linked closely to establishing a strong brand identity.” Lizarraga states. “This is because in both cases you have to choose a tone and brand voice. They can vary, though, depending on which social media platform you’re using and how the campaign is directed.”
He points to the example of a salesy, persuasive tone for promotional discounts as compared with a conversational and neutral tone for brand awareness campaigns.
“A LinkedIn ad can utilize technical jargon, using a formal tone of voice,” he explains, “but if you’re campaign is on Instagram you need to keep it casual and more playful to achieve the right effect.”
Providing Technical Guidelines
According to Lizarraga, perhaps the most important aspect of his role as an art director is to provide technical guidelines for the social media campaigns he works with.
“It’s a challenging element,” he says, “because the specs of graphics for use on social media often change. Aspect ratios, video durations and image sizes are often altered and it’s my responsibility as art director to be up to date with those changes and give clear guidelines that the graphic designers can use.”
Without an art director in place giving this information, it can be all-too-easy to make mistakes with visuals that can cause a campaign to fail before it’s even begun.
Why Is An Art Director So Important?
There are many reasons that Lizarraga gives for companies to hire an art director to spearhead their social media campaigns, but here are just a few.
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- Making it simpler to achieve goals – setting clear KPIs and goals is essential for any social media campaign’s success but measuring the effectiveness and helpfulness of designs can be challenging. An art director gives designs a goal as well as an answer about how to achieve that goal.
- Facilitating a balance of branding and trends– no business can afford to be behind the times when it comes to social media, but it’s also important to only use relevant trends. An art director is able to create an appropriate framework to keep the brand values consistent while also incorporating on-trend designs to attract the right kind of social media attention.
- Bridging the gap between stakeholders– running any social media campaign involves many different individuals from the business owner to the designer, and from marketers to analysts. An art director can take into account all of the varying interests and concerns to achieve the right balance between all stakeholders.
“Brands today are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of utilizing social media to its full potential,” Lizarraga says, “it’s time that they began to understand that art direction has a key part to play in the success of those campaigns.” Hopefully, businesses will start to take his advice.