Visual appeal, it’s an art form and it makes a big impact. There is no branding without focusing on visual appeal, because visual appeal is a critical part of branding. For example, the colors you pick for buttons and text determine how many clicks you get and ultimately how much engagement you receive (think sign-up or purchase links). Many will say that content is key, but visual content dominates just as much if not more of the content field. All you have to do is look at Pinterest or Instagram to see that we’re a visual culture and visual matters. Don’t believe me or know where to start?
A good place to start is identifying what type of company you are and what you’re trying to project. Understanding that and having a clear vision of current and future direction will help inform your choices here. Take a look at the infographics in this article http://bit.ly/Z4mx1b. There is one midway down the page that shows arcs of brands delineated by their common colors. There are even key words that are implicated by each color, and the kinds of words that these colors evoke that you need to consider when you’re identifying what type of company you are and what you’re trying to project.
The next thing to consider is your objective, what is your goal? If it’s a deliverable, what is the desired outcome you are trying to effect? The infographic with the series of “Buy” buttons in different colors is a good indicator for matching goal and desired outcome to color choice. Additionally, another infographic detailing an experiment with color choice for a “Get started now” button is also a good resource. Then you need to consider your audience, which is what their next infographic tackles. There are certain colors that attract women and men, just men, or just women. Knowing your audience is not an option, it’s a requirement.
If these don’t convince you that visuals are important, just check out the statistics on Pinterest http://bit.ly/Z4mEtO. Pinterest is all about identifying key influencers and tapping into their likes to spread your content. Most of Pinterest activity is user-generated (from repins) as compared to brand-driven (a small percentage pertaining to what you pin to start with). There are also certain times of the day that work better for certain industries to pin at and the fact that Pinterest draws a mostly female audience to consider.
There’s also Instagram, which Facebook purchased and has started to transform to adapt it for its use (to the delight and disgust of others)http://nyr.kr/18TQLWr. Instagram seems to be on the right track with one thing if nothing else, and that’s adding in a tagging element where the person posting the image can tag everyone in the photo. There’s also a “Photos of You” the collects photos you’ve been tagged in, much like how Facebook compiles a photo section of you. Everyone likes to see themselves in a photo, relate to what’s in a photo and share what’s in a photo. Whether it’s Pinterest or Instagram, it’s important to develop a strategy for making the most of it with your brand.
So there you have, an argument for why visual is king. It’s a type of content, it’s just as if not more important than verbal content and it deserves the same type of consideration. How does your visual appeal measure up? What is your visual appeal doing for you? Become more visually appealing and see where it takes you.