4 Ways to Connect With Your Audience Using Visuals

Storytelling can take on many forms. A blog post, a social media announcement, a website, an email blast, a presentation or a book. Whether your purpose is to inform, educate or entertain, adding visual content is core to how you can connect with your audience. People respond more to what they see than any other form of stimulation.

The brain processes visual content

1. Break up text

In this age of “Big Data”, we are literally bombarded with information. Visual assets such as videos, photography, infographics and illustrations cut through all the noise and leave a powerful impact.

Are people just lazy readers?

Many readers will scan through large sections of text, picking out words, here and there, stopping at headlines, and maybe at an image or video that captures interest. It’s not that people are lazy readers or would not find your writing interesting. It’s just that there is such a large volume of available information, they have to move quickly to capture what is relevant to them. A reader will be more willing to read an article when colourful images are used.

Infographic People Retail information

2. Be more memorable

Blog posts with images and videos are more engaging to visitors.

  • Web pages with more visual content rank better
  • Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets

With 90% of information transmitted to the brain being visual, and a retention rate at 80%, it only makes sense to use visuals to their advantage.

Using visuals across all the major social platforms—Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest, increases the:

  • Number of visitors,
  • Level of participation, and the
  • Reach of your post.

What makes an effective visual?

A good visual will reach out on an emotional level and leave a long-lasting impression. When you connect with your audience on an emotional level, they associate it with your brand and it nurtures a feeling of trust.

Effective visuals are relatable and sharable. The right infographic can transform a complex or large amount of data into a more manageable format.

3. Set a tone

Sketchy, trendy, artistic, dark or funny—the right image will set the tone or mood for your writing. Open the door and invite your reader in.

A brand’s values and unique personality can be defined by:

  • Logos
  • Use of colour
  • Typography
  • Use of icons and relatable imagery

4. Implement a visual content strategy

Keep in mind that competition for your audience’s attention is high. A strong visual content marketing strategy is key to attracting internet users and building brand credibility. Just as important as headlines, and calls to action, visual content deserves more than a second thought.

Remember to:

  • Show, don’t tell
  • Use testimonial videos
  • Share feedback
  • Show customer reviews as images
  • Drive content production with polls

Engage employees

  • Share behind-the-scenes activities
  • Encourage sharing of staff picks
  • Capture celebrations of your big moments

Increase reach and visibility

  • Use social media cover images
  • Design your call-to-action
  • Offer downloadable white papers, or e-books
  • Make your images sharable
  • Use a feature box on your blog

Optimize

  • Change your visual’s file name
  • Add a text transcript of your visuals
  • Optimize file size
  • Watch your embed code strategy </>

Digital Housekeeping: Keeping Your Website Competitive

Keeping a clean house is one of the first lessons you learn from your parents. Unwanted creatures can invade and take residence, style can become outdated and structural problems can ensue, if you fail to maintain and update your home from time to time. Wait too long, and even your friends won’t want to visit.

Digital Housekeeping Keeping Your Website Competitive

A website is not so different. Much of the focus in digital marketing revolves around content creation: consistently generating articles and other materials of relevance to send a consumer to the client’s site. However, it is imperative to also maintain your website structure and update its look and functions as needed to make sure user experience is smooth and enjoyable.

A website is often the first way that a potential customer encounters a company. If it looks disorganized, outdated, or neglected, they will likely move on to a competitor instead. If the user experience suffers in any notable way (e.g. slow page load times or other issues that cause delays), your functions and layout almost certainly need a re-vamp.

Once you have decided that a redesign is in order, here are some things to keep in mind:

Stay Current

Make sure the information you have on your website is up-to-date, applicable, and correct. Customer loyalty manifests itself in confidence, so if you do not have appearance of accuracy and professionalism, the customer will not feel confident you can give them the best service for their money.

Check your content

If you are changing or updating content, be careful of drastic changes in site size.  A website that goes from full and informative to skeletal suggests to regular users that there are behind-the-scenes issues.

When making changes to site content, your keyword usage can suffer if you are not careful in your planning. Make sure your edits don’t remove high ranking keywords, as it can impact ranking you have worked hard to earn. That is the equivalent of throwing a grand re-opening party and only sending out a tiny number of invitations.

Test Your Pages

On top of content changes, it is also essential to maintain the back end structure of your website. Have you made sure there are no dead links? Do all your function buttons work properly and within a reasonable amount of time? Google Analytics Experiments is an excellent free tool to check these functions.

Another program to employ is SEO PowerSuite’s Website Auditor, which identifies technical issues that prevent the site from attaining your desired search ranking. Once your changes are completed, SEO PowerSuite also makes sure that your pages are fully available for indexing in search engines.

Your page load time should not increase as a result of any changes. If so, then additional reformatting is required.

Design Scheme

Aesthetic appearance is another facet of your website that can always be updated and experimented with. Keep up with the latest analysis on what sorts of design both attract casual surfers and cause them to continue investigating the site. Create two or three different design approaches and run tests. Ask participants to answer questions as to what did or did not appeal to them, what sorts of colours were inviting, etc. (Curious about what colours are the most effective for attracting an audience? Check out our blog on Colour Psychology.)

Always remember: not all pages are created equal. While each on your website pages deserve attention, your home page is key. If it fails in its mission, then the remaining pages will almost be inconsequential.

Preserve your URLs

Finally, the most important rule of website redesign – never, ever, never, ever change your website URL. URLS are part of your site and company identity. Past customers likely have you bookmarked and use that method to return. Changing your URL will result in dead links, consumer confusion and can lead to a hit to your ranking.

When your redesign is complete, you will likely see an improvement in your standing. SEO PowerSuite includes a Rank Tractor that makes it easy to keep tabs on the status of your numbers. Keep an eye on this tool to see what worked well, and what could still be improved.

Updating or improving a website is just good business sense. If you can accomplish both simultaneously, you are making excellent use of time and resources.

Image: rawpixel / 123RF Stock Photo

Why Is Every App Blue? The Science Behind The Colour Of Your Website

It may seem like an arbitrary decision left to web designers, but the colours you choose to code your brand with can make a big impact on conversion. There is an entire field of psychology that revolves around colour preferences and the subsequent emotional reactions, but here are a few simple tips that can help your company use colours to your advantage.

color psychology

The specific colours you choose are more important that simply for aesthetic purposed. The colours you apply to specific buttons and parts of your page can change the way a customer reacts to your brand. It takes 90 seconds for a customer to form an opinion on a product and by using specific colours you can impact that opinion. Choosing the right colours on your headers, graphics, headline type, borders, backgrounds, buttons and popups is crucial to conversion success.

The most important consideration to make is who your audience is. Bright orange, yellow and green are perfect for company that sells children’s bouncy houses but would be inappropriate for a high fashion website.

For colour, the easiest way to break down your audience is by gender. Women prefer blue, green and purple and primary colours in general, while men prefer blue, green and black colour schemes. Both genders have a general disdain to earth tones like orange and brown. These preferences can be used to inform the base colours of your website.

When considering buttons and features on your website, look at the breakdown of these commonly used colours, the feelings they evoke, and the best place to use them.

BLUE= TRUST, PEACE AND ORDER

There is a reason that many popular apps and websites use blue as their main colour (hello Facebook, Twitter, PayPal and Capital One). Blue projects subtle messages of trustworthiness and serenity, loyalty and tranquilly. Use blue to your advantage on landing pages on your website to make the customer feel comfortable and at peace right away. The only case that you should not use blue for your website, is if your business is related to food. Very few types of food are blue and the colour can send a message of distaste.

YELLOW= WARNING, ANXIETY

This colour can sometimes be associated with happiness or sunshine, but more often it is linked to warning signs (think wet floor and traffic signals). Yellow evokes a heighted sense of emotion or anxiety, so it should never be used as the main colour for the branding scheme of a website. Yellow is best to be used on features like call to action buttons where a bit of anxiety or tension will urge the user to click the button.

GREEN= ENVIRONMENT, OUTDOORS, ACTION

The word green itself is often used as a term to describe environmentally-friendly or outdoors related practices, so using this colour for any business that has to do with nature, the environment, organic products or the outdoors will produce great results. Green is also a great colour to use on Call to Action buttons that says “purchase” or “submit” because it sticks out in isolation against a simpler background. This is common practice for a reason! Besides that, green has been known to boost creativity! Use this colour wisely.

ORANGE= FUN, CONFIDENCE, URGENCY

This colour is great to encourage physical activity, competition and confidence, which is why it is often used in many sports team’s logos. The colour suggestion of activity explains why many companies use the colour for “Limited time offer” banners, as it stimulates attention. However, beware that some people can interpret orange as signifying “cheap”, which is appropriate for a promoting a sale, but not for a luxury high value website.

BLACK= LUXURY, VALUE

This is a very commonly used colour that signifies luxury, elegance, sophistication and power. Black is a classic and timeless colour that gives the impression of exclusivity and importance. Many high value companies like Louis Vuitton and Lamborghini use this colour to add intensity to their websites.

BRIGHT COLOURS= CALL TO ACTION

The brighter the colour on you call to action button, the higher conversion rate. In particular red, green, orange and yellow are the most effective, but as long as it is bright, the call to action will be more successful than if was in a darker, cooler colour. Anti-aesthetic colours tend to perform well as they are different and catch the eye against your coordinated aesthetic.

WHITE= FREEDOM, SPACIOUSNESS, BREATHEABLILITY

Though not technically a colour, white can often be neglected when considering a colour scheme for a website. The simplicity can be a powerful design feature when used a background colour. It lets your text and buttons standout and gives users a sense of freedom and peace in their experience.

The most important thing to remember when you are creating a website is to test a variety of colour combinations with your audience. Use this guide to inform your colour choices, but only through testing will you know exactly what works for you.

If you already have a website and brand that prevents your company from making dramatic changes to your colour scheme, try to at least adjust the call to action buttons. Small changes in specific places can still have big impacts on overall conversion.

Having a deliberate plan with your use of colour can have a big impact on the overall performance of your website!