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As marketers we’ve been told thousands of times how important a strong visual is. But could it be the link to our success? Absolutely, having a strong visual story could change the way viewers see your brand. So let’s take a look at some facts and figures:

  • The average attention span is 5 seconds.Attention Span
  • 7% of people forget their birthday from time to time.
  • 17% of page views last less than 4 seconds.
  • Only 4% of page views last more than 10 seconds.
  • 25% of people forget the names or details of close friends or even relatives.
  • 1/3 of twitter links shared are images.

So what do these statistics mean for your business? It means that we live in a world overloaded with information and if you want your brand to make a lasting impression, you need to grab their attention immediately with a strong visual. A strong visual not only helps viewers recognize what you offer or how useful it may be but also how it makes them become involved and become one with your brand. This is how you create an emotional connection with your customers.

Keep in mind that one strong visual is not going to increase your site views or conversions ten fold. You must create a visual storytelling plan. You must find a way to entertain or tell an interesting story with your visuals. Visuals are about telling viewers who you are. And with this in mind there are two keys to begin your brands story telling process.

The Learning Curve

While researching the powerful effects of strong visuals, I came across an article about how as marketers we forget to keep in mind how a person takes in information. In the article it states, “we focus on what we want people to do, the action we want them to take. We think of learning styles in terms of learning disabilities, yet the ways in which every person on the planet takes in information should be a major concern for marketers.”

So why is the different learning styles (kinesthetic, auditory, and visual) so important to us as marketers? I will tell you why… The majority of people are visual learners. Take a moment to let that sink in… One reason visuals are so important is people can absorb a visual image much easier than text alone! As marketers we are in some form teachers, teaching our viewers how what we have to say is helpful or relevant to them and one prime way to do that is through a strong visual because that is what will leave the biggest impact on them.

This is key to our success as marketers because understanding the “why” of our visual content will help us to create content our users want us to show them. In the end it isn’t about what we want to tell people, it’s what they want us to show them. The article concludes with these powerful words: “You absolutely must understand what your audience needs you to show them in order to engage and convert, especially when they are bombarded with imagery on a daily basis.” This understanding will not only have this affect on your consumers but will help you continually create powerful visual stories and compelling content.

Creating a Recognizable Brand

On my quest to proving strong visual content is a game changer, I came across yet another great article that reviewed some key points to creating a recognizable brand through your story telling visuals. Here is an overview of what I found:Strong Visuals

  1. Find your brand’s color palette. Obtaining a color palette for your brand is a strong way for people to immediately recognized your brand. Whether it’s a bright pop of colors to show how fun you are or a deep blue and maroon to ensue trust, find the color set that suits your brand best.
  2. Stick with 2 or 3 types of font. These fonts should also reflect your brands personality (and visual story!). However, be aware of the readability of your fonts. Going with a crazy hard to read font can ruin the integrity and message of your visual.
  3. Consider photo filters. Filters not only give your pictures an artsy flare to them but keep them consistent and therefore recognizable to readers! Keep in mind what you want your brand to portray while deciding on a filter to keep it consistent with the font and color palette theme.
  4. Have a consistent template. You have your color palette, fonts, and filters. All that’s left is to design a template to keep your visuals powerful and consistent. This will increase viewers relationship with your brand by increasing it’s familiarity.

So there you have it. Strong images can have a huge impact on how your brand is recognized. Follow these guidelines and advice and you will be well on your way to creating success through strong visuals. 

photo credit: Mike Licht, via photopin cc

Jamie Bates
Online Marketing Director