Businesses rely on sound marketing strategies to attract more customers and generate business. While not every advertisement or promotion is a success, certain proven aspects of marketing can make a meaningful difference. This includes visual advertising. So, what is visual advertising and is it important? Read on to find out.
The Basics of Visual Advertising
Visual advertising is all about the meaning behind the images. While you can verbally communicate information to clients, the power of a picture can go beyond that of a catchy phrase. These are the basic elements of visual advertising.
Visual Advertising—a Definition
Visual advertising is the art of using pictures as visual cues that describe your business. Whether you utilize static or moving images, multimedia approaches to marketing drastically improve the success of a campaign. You may notice a visual advertisement apart from other forms if you see infographics, educational presentations, or even memes. The method of mixing mediums helps businesses grab customers’ attention in unique, memorable ways.
The Essential Elements
Visual advertising relies on a few essential elements to get the message across. What do pictures, videos, and infographics all have in common? They all use images or symbols instead of words to communicate key information. Every visual advertising strategy relies on meaningful, accurate, and story-driven images that help viewers better understand the business or brand.
Images aren’t all just pixels and prints. Each image features certain elements that create a mood, tone, and situation within it. Factors like color, focus, distance, subjects, lighting, and more coalesce into the singular image that passersby digest. Visual advertising relies on these qualities to promote your brand.
The Power of Color Psychology
Visual advertising isn’t a random effort; it draws upon well-researched psychological principles. The brain processes information from all our senses simultaneously. We’re only conscious of key information at any given point in time. The birds chirping outside the window, the air conditioner humming in the background, the neutral smell of your couch pillow—our senses can pick up all these things and more. Visual advertising takes advantage of this subconscious processing to create a fuller picture for customers.
When your eyes scan across a billboard or sign ad, they notice many elements at once: the color, the phrases, the font, and the size. From this point, the brain takes the cumulative information to higher-order thinking to process the idea, meaning, tone, and situation presented in the advertisement. While it may sound odd to split this near-instantaneous process into separate time sections, it’s essential for understanding the psychology behind visual advertising.
Marketers who know about this subconscious exchange can take advantage of these under-analyzed inferences people make simply at a glance. For example, you could use color psychology to subtly influence a customer by putting all your clearance signage on a red background. Since we associate the color red with strong emotions and situations like love, hate, emergencies, and passion, people will subconsciously correlate these cultural and experiential meanings with the sign. While it’s a stretch to say that everyone who sees a red sign will feel all those things, advertisers can draw upon the culturally ingrained meanings associated with color in many different ways.
Visual Advertising in Practice
The theoretical framework that supports visual advertising is fascinating, but there’s more to the story when it comes to practicalities. A business that wants to make a name for itself can utilize a few distinct methods. Now that you understand the power of visual advertising, it’s time to see how people use it.
How It Affects Consumers
A consumer walks by your visually appealing advertisement and they immediately process the information they see. Aside from the color psychology, the ad will communicate something important about your business. Whether it promotes your new product line or high-quality services, the advertisement itself will work to boost brand awareness.
Branding and Visuals
Every business wants to achieve widespread brand awareness in which their company becomes a household name. While not every business will succeed in this endeavor, visual advertising can help lodge your company into people’s minds. Brand awareness requires a combination of phrase crafting and symbol creation. You want passersby to notice what you do through your business name and logo.
The visuals you create will build associations with your customers. If someone mentions cows with paint buckets and poor spelling, you would likely know the fast-food chain they’re indicating. The way you demonstrate your brand to the public matters, so spend time crafting the images and logos that describe your company. That way, consumers can recognize your business out of a sea of logos.
How To Implement It in Business
Marketing your business with visual advertising requires a mix of creativity and patience. You’ll want to spend most of your time in the planning phase, drawing up various options for ads. You should start by thinking of the images you’ll associate with your products and services. If you run a grocery store that contains a bakery, will you use an image of a happy child on their birthday holding a cake? Or will you use a cute puppy playing at home for your carpet cleaning company? No matter what kind of business you run, you can draw subtle associations between what you do and what customers do every day.
Consider the physical space itself, too. Visual advertising isn’t all about billboards and external signs. You should use appealing ads inside the store that encourage people to buy items. This means you’ll have to redesign your approach to a smaller scale with less space. Prepare display tables, set up your retail display sign holders, and update your price tags. This can maximize your reach with customers once they’re in the store.
The next time you hear this question—"What is visual advertising and is it important?”—you’ll have an answer at the ready. If you need any help organizing or setting up your visuals, reach out to The Global Display Solution. Our team of professionals can help you with the nitty-gritty when it comes to making your marketing strategies a reality.