At the heart of digital marketing is conversions. Without conversions- the process of taking an interested lead and turning them into a customer- all of your advertising efforts fall flat. It’s easy to lose sight of that ultimate goal in the race to get more page likes, or a ‘top spot’ on Google. Don’t worry, however. Zebra 360 Online Marketing is here to help you keep your focus lasered in on your end goals. They say a picture is worth 1000 words- today we look at how true that is for your digital marketing efforts, how to create the right experience for your customers through smart visuals, and how images could be the best-kept secret to earning great conversions

Harnessing the power of the imagination

It’s easy to lose sight of how sight-focused we are as humans. Yet 90% of the stimuli we respond to daily come to us through the eyes. We may have 5 senses on paper, but in reality, image is king. That’s why using the right images to create the customer experience you desire for your brand is so crucial. The modern attention span is not a long one- in fact, the constant barrage of digital media around us (including advertising) may have shortened our attention to under 10 seconds! That means that’s all the time to sell the entire creative vision for your campaign. If the customer isn’t drawn into the experience you’re selling through your marketing efforts at that point, the chances are you have lost them entirely.

Image is one of the most powerful ways to do this. Images can help you:

  • Stand out: through the use of colour and sight, things the human mind processes quickly and prioritises in the environment.
  • Create interest: by offering an immediately-accessible story to intrigue the viewer’s mind or fire their imagination
  • Establish brand identity: A consistent visual look gives your brand immediate recognition, long before a single word is read
  • Stay in people’s minds: Because we prioritise visual data, we tend to remember things we see over all other experiences. Images are a key part of that.

With the right image, you can create intrigue, draw the viewer into your story, and encourage more engagement. It’s a match made in digital advertising heaven, and one bound to see conversions rolling in. How do you know if your image is delivering the right experience, however?

Creating the right experience for your customer with smart image use

This powerful impact of image on the viewer’s brain doesn’t mean you can slap any old picture in there. Remember that that powerful visual impact can work against you if you get it wrong, too. Slapdash, low quality, poorly chosen, nonsensical, inappropriately disturbing, or even just jarringly used visuals can turn an audience away from you as fast as a great image can pull them in. How, then, do you maintain the correct user experience through your visuals?

Start by ensuring your image resonates with your target audience. Young mothers may feel drawn to baby-heavy imagery, but it won’t have the same effect on teens. Keep your images relevant to the intended audience, and you’re on the way to smart visual marketing.

Consistency is key for your brand overall, too. If every image you use jumps across the board in mood, colour, typography, patterning and ‘feel’, you’re losing out on the power of brand association. People may love what they see- but that’s meaningless if the association with your brand is never built. That isn’t an excuse for same-y images, though. You’re looking to keep interest through variety too. Just ensure the overall consistent brand positioning is present.

It’s also key to avoid inappropriate images. You may be amused by that zany stock photo, but if it pulls the viewer away from your message, is a poor fit for what you’re putting out there- or worse, actively offends them- you just blew it big time. The goal is to create the right experience of your brand or service with the image, not leave the viewer wondering what’s going on with it! Each image should speak to your business core, and invite the viewer to imagine themselves in your brand world.

Childish, flippant or mocking images can this be very difficult to pull off for this reason- and outside of very specific circumstances and very confident ad campaigns, are best not used at all. Remember that humour is best used with a light hand, in a way that invites people to enjoy the fun with you. Also, remember that your personal taste is not particularly relevant- it’s the taste and ‘persona’ of your brand that matters most to the images you select. What doesn’t work for you could still be a very powerful brand motivator, while something you think is great could be a turn-off for the intended viewer.

If the customer feels like engaging with your visual imagery is a true experience- be it of the outstanding hospitality of your bed and breakfast, or the ground-breaking social status boost your teen product will give the user- then you’ve got the perfect image.

I know how to create the perfect visual experience for my digital advertising- what else do I need to remember?

Once you know how to select your image to create the desired experience- and what makes a great marketing image- there’s one more thing to consider. Quality.

Pixilated, poorly shot, blurry, dark images could technically contain the best story in the world, but they won’t drive conversions. Would you want your potential customer to perceive you as lazy, sloppy and slapdash? As cheap? Then don’t use images that foster this impression. Images need to be crisp, well shot and of a suitable quality for the medium your using, or the viewer will spend more time judging your poor-quality advertising then experiencing your campaign.

High-quality, smartly used imagery is one of the best ways to create a true experience for the viewer, and draw them into your brand or campaign. If you’re not sure where to start to create the right experience for your potential conversions, however, why not let the Zebra 360 Online Marketing team help you boost your brand to new heights?