Harnessing the Power of Visuals in Marketing

Certain messages are easily understood and admired, while others get ignored and forgotten. So, what makes for an effective and memorable message? A combination of elements works together, such as knowing your target audience, creating high-quality content, and staying up-to-date. However, arguably the most critical component to a great message is its ability to harness the power of visuals to evoke an emotion.

Appealing to Emotions With Visuals Creates Better Engagement

The most effective way to make an impact on a person or group of people is to evoke an emotion with visuals in marketing. Whether the goal is getting people to attend a benefit concert, purchase a product, or join a social movement, using an image is often paramount. Let’s take a look at the six universal emotions and how each one serves a specific purpose in motivating a user towards the desired action:

Surprise – Used to quickly narrow in the user’s attention; can be positive or negative

Fear –  This is used to deter people from harmful habits and behaviors

Sadness – Creates a sense of empathy and compassion that moves the user

Disgust – Can be used to make one feel negative and in need of a solution

Happiness – Uses positivity to connect to people and motivate them

Anger – Can be used to make someone upset and in search of a cure 

The Human Brain is Highly Attuned to Visuals

By using visuals in marketing, rather than text, a message can be very quickly communicated. How quickly? Believe it or not, visual information is processed up to 60,000 times faster than text information. The point is, if you’re trying to appeal to emotions, a visual such as a branded sticker or emoticon will do the job much quicker than several lines of text. In today’s fast-paced, mobile-first society, the quicker we can communicate our marketing messages, the better.

Still not convinced? Consider these facts:

Visuals Have Universal Appeal

When you send out a message with text alone, there is a limited amount of ways that people can interpret what you’re saying. Are you relaying sarcasm? Anger? Images pick up where words for short. By using visuals in marketing, people can fill in the lines and are provided with clarity. 

Here are a couple examples of how visuals in marketing can be used to evoke emotions:

In hopes of getting the viewer’s sudden attention, this visual is used to evoke surprise.

Person's legs over ledge

In this example, a surprising visual of two legs at the edge of a rooftop is used to get the viewer quickly intrigued. This visual has a shock element that causes the user to try and make sense of the depicted scenario, pondering what the character will do next. By using an eye-catching image that could have multiple interpretations, the viewer will yearn to discover the meaning of the message. (Image by Comfreak | pixabay.com)

This visual evokes happiness to create positive feelings that help motivate the viewer.  

Girl dancing with cityscape in background

The imagery seen in this example intends to bring feelings of joy and spontaneity to the user. The snapshot of a woman celebrating in the street aims to create feelings of happiness, motivating a user towards an action and forming positive associations with a brand or message. (Image by Myriams-Fotos | pixabay.com)

Appealing to people’s emotions by using visuals in marketing is nothing new. It’s a time-honored tradition that businesses have relied on for ages. But, as technology and our means of communicating evolves, so must our approach to visuals. Case in point, the surging popularity of emojis!

Custom sticker packs and emoji keyboards have become the go-to for many brands because they’re easily shared, consistent throughout device types and work wonders for building awareness and engagement. Better still, they’re so easy to implement into your marketing strategy. Contact us today and see how Smallball can help.

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