I found a stack of my old school work my mom had collected years ago to show my kids one day. My first story was from second grade and our teacher gave us a goal of writing a dozen stories in a year. So I was at least determined to give it a try. What started in my head as an elaborate adventure actually turned into about 35 words and a large picture of dolphins in the river (I grew up on the east coast of Florida). This was pretty common throughout my other work too and I discovered something interesting. Apparently I liked to see, and draw, pictures more than words. Fast-forward and you’ll find something rather similar with today’s demographic. Maybe it’s our genes, or upbringing, or our lifestyle, but we have become a human race that often highly values imagery over written words. Fortunately there are some really creative people out there still giving us a taste of amazing content. But for the most part we are captivated by a visual image of something much faster than black and white strokes and serifs.
So that begs the question…Why does imagery matter so much? You may say “My services rock, so why can’t I just use any clipart collection or something I ‘borrowed’ from google for my business advertisement?” or “Why can’t I use any font I want to?” Well, besides the legal aspect of things (which I’ll get into on another blog), I’d like to suggest three thoughts for you when thinking about visual media.
1.) Imagery Matters, well, Because It matters to you
We’ve all heard the age old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, however, you and I actually make hundreds of decisions every day based upon what we see. Whether it’s food choices, or clothing, or shortcuts down the road, we are constantly making a choice to engage in something based upon its appearance. And that’s where your business comes in. Your potential customer is deciding whether to use you 9 times out of 10 by your appearance and ease of access. Your expertise only comes into play once they agree with or like your image. People are using all sorts of avenues to find you too, but the Internet, especially social media, is the main source of information gathering before their first conversation with you. A recent study showed on the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely
And some say 80% of web traffic by 2020 will be visual. So, if you’re like me, you want to be at the front end of technology.
2.) You get one chance
In the world of marketing, advertising and selling it’s always been said you only get one chance at a first impression. We’ve all been there. You woke up on time. Remembered your coffee and got your kids off to school (or the living room for homeschoolers). But later upon walking out of your first business meeting you stepped into the restroom and realized you had a piece of bagel stuck in your teeth, your pants weren’t ironed and that white shirt you put on in the dark earlier was stained. No one let you in on the secret but you know you might have just blown it with your new high valued client. You’ll bounce back but you still wish you could go back in time. I’d like to suggest that you only get one chance at a first image of your brand too. Put your best foot forward and get a plan together with your team to make a great first impression. Plan our your creative approach and don’t rush into it. And that leads us to the last part…
3.) Consistency builds report
Maybe you’re an ace at marketing and you already have an awesome branding with consistent logos, ads, images, tag lines, color scheme, and specific font types you use. But if you’re like a lot of us, taking the time to get it all organized can be a challenge at first. Build a plan that includes a style you want to portray to the world and keep it. Growing your brand can take some time…just ask Phil Knight from Nike. But it’s profitable in the long run. Ask your design team for a style sheet of your branding. This will give you specifics on keeping the look of all your projects the same. Even in small things like emails, google docs, and powerpoints your can keep a consistent look so when clients see your stuff it jumps out to them as polished and YOUR brand. If you’re into creative social media posts there’s also several user friendly tools out there like CANVA and Adobe Spark to create great images without having to hiring a graphic designer. Keep it simply consistant!
If you made it this far you’re part of the 20% of people who actually finish articles. You Rock! Try something new this year in marketing and go be awesome today.
If you don’t have a creative designer on staff, send a message back and let’s talk about giving your brand a fresh start.