eileen brown digital marketer amastra

Visual marketing basics–static images and infographics

It is hard to miss the profusion of multimedia formats used to express ideas: emojis, interactive visualizations, games, animated gifs, video and sound clips, and full-length how-to videos. Content, it needs to be brought to life to hook our attention.

Basic static images and infographics can give you a good foundation for your content.

Static images are often compressed to be as small as possible when downloaded in a browser or a phone or chat client. Common Web formats are PNG, GIF, JPG but future technologies may find us viewing files that are even more compressed and efficient.

Sometimes an image with a concise caption convey huge meaning. Visual platforms such as Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest use static images to capture the attention of the audience. Adding images for visual interest keeps readers returning to the site – and are essential staple for how-to articles taking the reader through recipes or home repair. Cat pictures on the Internet have gone through cliché and come back again. If you use cute imagery, try to ensure that the overwhelming tone of cuteness works with the marketing message and does not distract from it.

The rise of Infographics

Infographics have come to mean both more and less than just a chart to accompany a business article. Content creators now need to produce pictorial and visual representations of facts or data in a way that visually engage, inform, and delight the audience. Infographics can make data sticky in your readers’ minds far more readily than a table of dry statistics. More ambitious infographics are interactive, forcing your users to take actions that reveal the information or take them along a journey in order to understand the point the content provider was trying to make.

Infographics have pitfalls however – they can oversimplify a complex issue, making the resulting impression untruthful, or misleading. They can also be so complicated that the user doesn’t attempt to engage with them. Data in an infographic must have a cited source to be credible, and often an infographic is only as accurate as that source.

The evolution of emoticons

Emojis were first used for email and then text messaging to express emotional content. Emojis are the evolution of a pictorial language that gets across complex ideas in a small picture. They now are not limited to expressing smiley faces; they can be objects, actions, or even animated to make their point. You can create entire tweets or blog posts out of emojis, to comic effect, but take great pains in the crafting.

Without words, there are ways that the message can be ambiguous in ways the digital marketer may not expect. Emojis are useful for online channels where space is at a premium such as SMS messaging, or Twitter. Their brevity implies the humour or cool factor the poster originally wanted to invoke.

Visual marketing techniques are best employed when text or other non-visual techniques would be too cumbersome, and the visual element shortens the time to audience perception of the message. For example, if you want to present a new design for a dress, you could display a person wearing the dress so that the reader understands at a glance how the dress fits and what kind of body the dress was designed for.

Likewise, if a car company wants to show the smooth handling of a luxury car on the road, you could show the car navigating steep mountain turns against a brilliant cobalt sky, rather than recite a table of statistics about brake speeds.

Visual marketing should be a key part of your content strategy and multimedia should be used as much as possible to keep your readers engaged.

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