Our world is changing, as is the way people gather information and communicate. Every day, people are exposed to content across a wide range of platforms and mediums — and marketers who understand the most effective mediums have the ability to create even more powerful messaging strategies.
I believe that the difference between an average marketer and a successful marketer lies in knowing how to use visual elements in marketing, especially those rooted in psychological concepts. Fear, love, pleasure and scarcity can be powerful drivers of consumer desires and actions.
There’s no denying that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” As the co-founder of a visual communication company, I’ve personally witnessed the power of visuals in marketing. Many of our clients have noticed exponential growth in their customer bases by using engaging images and videos in their advertisements.
In my experience as a marketer, it’s imperative to minimize the negative impact of advertisements and maximize the positives. I recommend avoiding advertisements that include violence, profanity and nudity, for example. With that said, let’s dive into the visual strategies that I have found to be most effective in advertising:
The Power Of Color
Studies have found that colors can evoke certain feelings, thus influencing consumers to take the desired action. Particular colors have been shown to create feelings of excitement, energy, tranquility, etc.
Consider how you want a customer to feel, and use a combination of colors in your marketing efforts to influence your target audience. For example, yellow promotes feelings of joy, happiness and energy, while green is the color of growth, tranquility and safety.
The Halo Effect
The halo effect is a cognitive bias that involves having a positive impression of a person’s character or personality based on a different trait that you know about them, including physical attractiveness. For example, you may assume someone is intelligent and funny because they are physically attractive.
Companies can harness the halo effect by associating their brand with a particular person, such as a celebrity. When a celebrity or well-known spokesperson endorses a particular product or service, their status can spread to the perception of the product or service itself.
You’re likely already familiar with repetition as an advertising technique, as you probably repeat your brand’s name, logo or slogan on various marketing materials. Repetition breeds familiarity, but it can lead to customer fatigue if overused. Remember that moderation is key.
Creating this sense of familiarity can be used to your advantage when you have something new to share. People tend to pay more attention to a product or service when it’s new or unexpected.
The Direct Gaze Technique
Eye contact, even in a picture, can be more powerful than you might think. The direct gaze technique is built around that concept. Create advertisements that encourage the consumer to look directly into the eyes of the person pictured, whether they’re on a billboard or a giant screen, or in print. Facilitate a sense of responsiveness, trust and demand.
Semiotics, or the study of symbols and signs, is a common technique used in advertising. Popular brands and companies use unique patterns that have become widely recognized, such as the Nike symbol. Use consistent symbols to build stronger and deeper connections to your product. You may use an abstract sign or symbol that is up for various interpretations, or you may create an exact representation of a specific product or service.
Marketers who don’t harness the power of visuals are facing an uphill battle. Consider these strategies to build your brand and enhance consumer engagement in your visual marketing strategy.