Paper Matters Blog
Designing for Digital Marketing Media

With technology changing so quickly, designing for digital marketing media has become an expectation.  From interactive websites to animated videos and 3D effects, it’s difficult not to be fascinated with the capabilities and talent behind these creations.  Despite the cool factor, if a website, video or social post does not achieve the goals and objectives set for that design, the time spent creating was in vain.

It’s important to understand that designing for digital media is more than just a cool interactive design. It’s about data, understanding your audience, what triggers them, what stage of the buying cycle they are in and much more.  It should work in concert with your full marketing strategy from print to broadcast, email, social media and online advertising.  Here are a few things to consider before starting a digital marketing media design.

Designing for Digital Marketing Media Guideline

  1. Understand the Goals and Objective: It is imperative for a designer to understand what the goals and objectives are for digital designs. Unlike designing for print or broadcast, there’s a higher level of transparency to the marketing spend with digital advertising.  The analytics behind the call to action is critical for both designers and marketers.  If the goals and objectives are not clearly communicated in the design, the opportunity will be lost.
  2. Understand the Digital Channel of Communication: For digital media, it is critical to understand which channel you are designing for because it will affect the design and how the message will be communicated.
    • When creating for social media, you have more latitude to be creative while staying within brand standards. Social media designs should be eye-catching without being too busy. They should emotionally connect with your audience with your call to action as a secondary focus.
    • When designing web ads, you need to be more deliberate and concise in your design. The message is the focus with a clear call to action to accompany the ad. It is also essential to keep typography as your focus. This is usually where designers miss the mark because the focus is on the design and effects vs. the typography.  Web ads are usually small with low resolution. When you add too many elements to a web ad, you lose the message and call to action.
  3. Request File Size Restrictions: It is standard to receive dimensions for a web ad but many times the file size is often an afterthought. When designing for digital marketing media, file size is the most important element. It determines whether the ad will render accurately, as well as, the load time of a webpage and email.
  4. Ask for the Analytics: Designers and marketers have always worked parallel from one another and the relationship generally ends after a design is created. With digital media, working collaboratively throughout the entire campaign, including the end of campaign review is critical for continued success.  Understanding how your design performed will help you design for results and build a better portfolio for yourself.  It is important to understand that designing for digital is all about the data.
  5. Think Big Picture: Differentiate yourself by thinking big picture when designing. Today, it is important that designers and marketers understand the omni-channel approach for the best customer experience. For example, when designing for print, consider how your design will look digitally.  A busy background may work for print but not for digital.  Consider solid colors, clear type fonts and a clear point of focus for the best results.

For the best campaign results, both designers and marketers need to work collaboratively.  It is important to keep the focus on the goals and objectives while letting the creative juices flow through the design.

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Nicholas Pearson
Marketing Specialist
Meredith Collins
Customer Marketing Manager
Danielle Sinclair
Vanecia Carr
Sr. Director Marketing Product & Management
John Parke
Customer Marketing Manager
Paige Goff
Vice President of Sustainability
Deborah Corn
Domtar Paper
Roland Basdeo
Graphic Designer
Susan Jones