Each brand has both visual and verbal identities. The two of them are important. However, which one is more necessary? In other words, should you invest first in web design or web content?

Web design or web content: which to buy first, the chicken or the egg

There are so many of us, professionals who work in the digital marketing field.

On the other hand, there are even more of you who need our help to reach new prospects or sell more online.

Nevertheless, not that many persons fully understand which came first in digital marketing, the web design or the web content.

In this post, I’ll try to clarify this doubt.

To do so, I’ll call on the famous dilemma about which came first, the chicken or the egg.

However, I’ve no intention of writing about that subject. Not at all.

What I’ll intend to answer here is the following two questions:

  • Which one should you buy first, the “chicken” or the “egg”?
  • Is it a better idea to invest first in the visual or the verbal identity of your brand?

In a word, whats more necessary, web design or web content?

Content writing as the Scarecrow | The Marketing of Oz

As you read this post, you might start looking for the Marketing of Oz. If so, Scarecrow from the film “The Wizard of Oz” will be accompanying you during the search to help you find it. Discover what the Marketing of Oz is and read all the posts that belong to the category “Content writing”.

What is a brand, and which are brand identity elements?

In a post published on the SEMrush blog, I found the following definition of a brand:

“Brand is a set of values that consumers associate with a company or a product.”

Brand image: Definition, advantages, and key points, Jesús Madurga López, SEMrush blog

Besides having provided us with the definition, the author of the post reveals a difference between the brand image and the brand identity.

Namely, unlike the brand image, the brand identity aims to help consumers recognise and differentiate a brand from its competition.

If you’re interested in learning more about these two concepts, I encourage you to read the entire post. In the post, you’ll find an excellent explication regarding both of them.

To top it off, the author of the post explains that the brand identity consists of three elements:

  • Visual identity;
  • Verbal identity;
  • Brand values.

What is the visual and what the verbal brand identity?

The visual identity is the logo, the colours, and the typography a company uses.

Web designers are the ones who create and select all of these elements.

Their goal is to help consumers visually recognise and differentiate one brand from another.

On the other hand, the verbal identity consists not only of the company’s name but also of the brand voice, the brand tone, as well as the brand style guide.

In this very case, content writers, copywriters, and communication specialists are in charge of creating and specifying these elements.

Their job consists of making sure that web content, compelling copy or any other textual material communicates the brand values in the most appropriate way possible.

The visual and the verbal identity: stuck between the chicken and the egg

Before answering the question from the beginning of the post —what to buy first, the “chicken” or the “egg”— let’s not forget that we, humans, are visual beings.

For us, a picture is worth a thousand words.

So, what does this fact have to do with the brand identity?

In a nutshell, by knowing that we are visual beings, we could rapidly conclude that visual identity is worth a thousand verbal ones.

Now, let’s compare the web design with a chicken and the web content with an egg; in that case, a chicken would be worth a thousand eggs.

In summary, it seems to make much more sense to invest first in web design and then in web content.

This way, we could answer the question from the beginning of the post:

  • Visual brand identity is more necessary than the verbal one.
  • Thus, it’s a better idea to invest first in web design than in web content.

However, this answer is neither the only nor the correct one.

Web design attracts, web content sells

To make sure that everyone can understand what I mean by saying that the answer isn’t correct, I’ll explain a story.

Until recently, I was working as a copywriter in a digital marketing agency in Barcelona.

We were twelve employees in the agency, and I was getting along with all of them.

Nevertheless, of all the co-workers, my favourite fellow worker was the web designer.

Why?

The reason is that we were working together on the majority of the projects, doing our best to do a good job.

  • The designer was in charge of designing the elements of the visual identity for the clients’ brands. I was in charge of crafting compelling content, aligned with their verbal identity.
  • The designer’s contribution consisted of colours, shapes, and illustrations. My contribution of words, not to say the eggs.

In a word, we were working a lot together and getting along because we needed (and wanted) to. Because every brand needs to take care of both its visual and verbal identity.

Because the web design attracts, but the web content sells.

To have outstanding marketing, you must break the ice

I’m going to make a little correction now as I’m already hearing the voice of my former employer, reminding me that the content, neither web content nor compelling copy, doesn’t sell.

Clearly, the voice is right.

Web content doesn’t sell. What sells is quality, results, and trust.

The pieces of text (only) transmit these values. They seduce. And persuade.

The text helps to sell; it makes the way to the sales smother.

  • Therefore, if your budget is limited, and you need to draw visitors’ attention to your website or blog with jaw-dropping design, I suggest you invest first in web design.
  • On the other hand, if you’re positive that you can sell enough without such an impressive web design, be sure to prioritise the web content over the web design.

However, if you intend to draw visitors’ attention to your website or blog, attract them, and then turn them into customers with the help of blog posts or lead magnets, the only viable option is to invest in both web design and web content at the same time.

To make an omelette, you must break the eggs. But when it comes to having outstanding marketing and clinching deals, you must break the ice.

Web design or web content: the Woody Allen’s joke

Before I finish the post, I’ll explain a joke from one of the most famous Woody Allen’s films, “Annie Hall”.

A guy goes to the psychiatrist and says: “Doc, my brother is crazy. He thinks he’s a chicken.” The doctor says: “Well, why don’t you turn him in?” And the guy says: “I would, but I need the eggs.”

Allen used this metaphor to explain the complexity of emotional relations, especially love.

Albeit, I find it equally appropriate to apply the same metaphor to the doubt whether to invest first in the web design or the web content.

  • If you need the “eggs”, buy yourself a “chicken”. Start by investing in web design to attract visitors to your website or blog. Make sure that the content published on your blog gain some readers.
  • If you don’t want the “chicken” to be left alone, take care of the “eggs”. Without helpful web content, as well as readers who come back for more, the nest of your blog will soon become empty.

But, above all, try not to overlook the following digital marketing rule.

In every seed of web design, there is always a piece of web content.

The same is true in the opposite case.

In every seed of web content, there is always a piece of web design.

Having said that, I dare you to invest both in web design and web content.

Don’t be a chicken.

The future is in the eggs.

A Writing-Friendly Question

Would you invest first in the web design or the web content?

My name is Stasa Durdic, and I’m a content writer. Unlike those who choose between a chicken and the eggs, I prefer keeping both a chicken and the eggs. If you would like to know more about me, please read my story or visit my LinkedIn profile. On the other hand, in case you want to get in touch with me, I’ll be happy to offer you my help with content writing.

From NO to YES, there is only one CLICK. Please share this text.


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