How to get more out of design without increasing the budget
Let me begin by saying that optimising your design for your budget is not the same as making things cheap. When you have €10.000 to spend instead of €50.000, you will get different results. There is this design diagram that I love, on how design works.
Although this is meant as a meme, there is a sense of truth in it. Don’t aim for the magic unicorn at the center of the diagram. The goal is to optimise what you can do with the amount of money you have to spend.
Let’s make this clear with an example.
Aardwarmte, a group who is doing research on renewable energy, came to us for a website and an awareness campaign. The contract was signed and the budget got divided. A part goes to development, another part to traffic, another part to design etc. You get the point. Now this is where it becomes interesting. Instead of just sitting on our island and start creating visuals for the blog & social media we sat together and created a visual strategy.
In the initial scope it was planned to create static visuals for ten blogposts - meant to be posted over a time period of five months, and one animated video and one static post for Facebook which support the content of the blog. Not bad. But this is an awareness campaign. And we know out of the data we gathered, that the best way to create awareness, is video. Even better is a funnel approach where you retarget with a carousel. Impossible? Maybe.
What we did
We stopped looking at the blog post and the social content as separate entities and combined the creation budget. Making ten different videos wasn't something we'd be able to off. Three animations, that’s an option, but then we wouldn’t have enough content for the blogs. Unless… We could take elements out of different blogs, the most relevant info, and combine it into one video. Easy said, easily done. We divided the video in mini chapters. This way we could cover three blogs.
And because of inventive scriptwriting we succeeded to direct each chapter in a way that it could be used as a standalone film, without having the feeling that you are dropped in the middle of a story. With this way of working, we managed to drop other costs like voice-over with more than 50%. We worked with reusable assets in design to be cost-efficient. And with the clear vectorial style we wouldn’t have any quality loss in video, which meant we could take screenshots and reuse them in FB carousels to retarget the audience we reached with the videos. Yes, indeed. This means we can have a funnel strategy as well.
long video for blogs and other educational ends
short videos, optimised for social media and blogs
carousels for retargeting
very happy customer
How we did it
The reason why we were able to pull this off easily, is because we have been doing design optimisation for years. When Wax started with social media content, we quickly realised we needed to be able to create high quality fast. Really fast. So, we started small and created templates for some brands. The trick is to design them in a way that the consumer never has the feeling he or she is looking at a repeating format. Like these examples for Lima and Avène.
Or you start optimising a concept in a way you can automate a part of the creation process. Last summer Colruyt had a discount festival. They needed this to be translated to social media. 1 concept with different products every week. A repetitive, time-consuming, and therefore expensive task. We invested in pre-production to have a very smart setup which divided the time spent on every video in half.
In conclusion, let this be your key takeaway for all optimisations you have planned: invest in pre-production and R&D. It’s so important for a business. To keep learning and evolve. It enables you to look at projects from a different angle. And those insights also benefit our customers.
The talents behind this project
Because teamwork makes the dream work.
Head of Design
Eline Van der Gucht