- Category: October 2012 - Content Marketing
If you‘re planning to have a direct, immediate impact on your audience, you won‘t get around visualizing your content. First of all, the people you want to reach, just might be the target group that doesn‘t really have the time to read pages of text, and second, images reach people before they can even decide that they want to ignore your message..
Images reach people on an intuitive, emotional level - before they even have time to think about it. If you use images, the mind of the viewer doesn‘t get in the way. But this makes the choice of the right images to get your message across even more important. Colours play a crucial role, shapes, atmosphere, light and dark, but if you can deeply touch your audience with an image, you‘ve won the game.
So how exactly do images impact the viewer? Here‘s a brief guideline:
The power of images
Now this is the attempt to summarize a topic you could fill a book with. There is so much to choose from, infographics, technical drawings, photos, computer art, or fine art that it‘s hard not to get lost in a jungle.
The most important thing is to have a well-defined strategy and a clear picture of exactly what you and your brand want to express. Define the exact message you want to send out on all levels, keeping the emotional level in mind. The image you use, and this is especially true for artwork and photographs, is the most important part of your content, as it is the first things which reaches your audience‘s gut feeling. It takes just one millisecond for the viewer‘s brain to register a clear image, so even if you decide to ignore it, something‘s going to stick!
You can basically manipulate the viewer with the image you choose, so you have to be careful when using negative images in particular. There‘s another thing which must be kept in mind: there are uncountable images saved in the viewer‘s brain, and if the human eye sees a familiar image, the brain „fills in the blanks“. This means that the viewer will not look at the entire image, but recognize it, and so might miss details which were important to your campaign. To have the greatest impact, and to be remembered, the image chosen should be unusual in some way - your audience won‘t be able to help themselves, they will have to look!
This can also be achieved by choosing an image which is not typical for your brand or product - making your audience wonder.
The impact of colors on the viewer
Nils Finsen proved that colors oscillate at different frequencies, which can even be felt without seeing! The body temperature of blind test persons sitting in a room painted in a cool blue sank, and rose in a room painted in warm red colours, although both rooms had exactly the same temperature. So don‘t underestimate the impact colours have on your audience.
In any visual material you‘ll need eye-catchers and the color may be crucial:
- Yellow: light, radiance, knowledge, communication, cheerfulness, lightness and wealth (gold). Caution: combined with red it also symbolizes danger, aggression, and combined with black it might be too harsh, or even look cheap;
- Red: passion, warmth, heat, courage, willpower, ambition, material wealth. Caution: it is also the color of our blood and can also symbolize pain and aggression;
- Blue is the coldest color, it symbolizes loyalty, trust, depth, distance (the sky) and mystery, but it also has a calming effect. Caution: combined with black it can easily also be dreary, gloomy and melancholy;
- Green symbolizes hope, life, fertility, nature, growth, vitality, renewal, calmness, health. Caution: combined with blue it might appear distanced and cold, while combined with yellow it might come across as poisonous;
- Orange: activity, success, warmth, profit, positive development, fun. Caution: might appear unreliable or frivolous;
- Purple: inspiration, mysticism, spirit, art, extravagance. Caution: if not used carefully it can bring across gloom, superstition, catastrophes, loneliness;
- Black: elegance, dignity, noble, modern, expensive. Caution: mourning, sorrow, darkness, pain.
- White: light, perfection, cleanness, innocence, new, simplicity. Caution: sterility, emptiness.
What shapes and lines can imply
All shapes and lines you make use of have a direct effect and this can be explained easiest with an infographic:
So, visualize your content, get creative and you‘ll be amazed how many more people you can reach!
By Anjum Siddiqi