As an entrepreneur, strategic communications professional, and policy wonk, I've worked on social innovations in the for-profit and non-profit world, helping to develop campaigns and solutions to social and natural resource challenges.

I'm constantly tracking and analyzing what make us as humans, inspired to act and respond to new ideas. This is where I share my thoughts and notes. 


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Thinking Visually: Strategy From Start to Finish

View the larger version of the infographic from the folks at Econsultancy

Successful campaigns and communications are all about design, from start to finish.

While "graphic design" is what most people think when they hear the word "design", the process of designing for the purpose of communicating requires strategy from start to finish. A successfully graphically designed end product, whether an image or a social media campaign, is always the child of strategic design at the start.

This holistic view is at the heart of the post Why Smart Companies Should Put Design First from Visage, the new product from infographics leader Column Five Media

And here's an important reason to follow their advice, the direct correlation between good design and bottom line impact:

Good design is more than just a superficial aesthetic consideration or passing trend. New research by the Design Management Institute and Motiv shows that adopting design-centric thinking might actually impact your business’ bottom line in a major way.

According to the study, design-driven companies over the last 10 years have outperformed the S&P 500 by 228%.

When it comes to successful graphic design here are some great tips from Visage in a featured post on HubSpot Before & After: Turning Mediocre Design Into Effective Visual Communication.  

Strategy is Elemental

Econsultancy's infographic featured above, The Periodic Table of Marketing, gives you a look at all the building blocks for a successful campaign and the lifecycle is represented by all of the elements needed from start to finish. All of that and it makes thinking about all of the pieces of strategic content marketing fun. 

At the same time, they offer some important advice in the infographic, about successful Content Marketing Campaigns, providing A Seven-Step Guide to Success. The first step, "Take some time to define strategy."

Here's the original blog post from Econsultancy which offers even more great advice.

A seven-step guide to success (from Econsultancy)

1. Take some time to define a strategy.

2. Figure out the formats you plan on using.

3. Think about the content types that will appeal to your audience. Do your research. Brainstorm ideas. Create.

4. Share your content across the key content distribution / social platforms.

5. Track the key metrics, and map these to your goals.

6. Be aware of the main sharing triggers. Be sure to work the emotions.

7. Always double check your work. 

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