What do you remember the most? The last sentence you read, or the last advert you saw?
Chances are, it will be the advert.
Our brains are pre-programmed to capture visuals faster than abstract concepts. A well-designed advert will hold the audience’s attention, create a lasting impression, and have stronger recall power.
The Power Of Advertising
Whether you’re a freelancer just starting up, or an established pro looking to expand your services, creating the right kind of advert to attract and engage your target audience is essential.
Sure, you will need text to define yourself and get your message across, however, framing it with attractive visuals, maybe through visual storytelling, will boost your marketing strategy and get you noticed.
Strong Visual Branding
Pepsi’s red, white and blue
All three are examples of strong visual identities. You immediately know the brand just by looking at the logo. No words are needed, yet all three are memorable.
The same applies to your brand.
Establishing a strong visual brand identity will set you apart from the competition and let customers (or viewers) immediately know it’s you.
A few things to keep in mind when designing a logo:
Brand Identity — I’ve seen a few mega fails in this department. Make sure your logo is clean, uncluttered, and doesn’t resemble something it isn’t meant to be (that might lead to laughs at your expense). It’s also worth designing a logo that doesn’t look like you copied someone else's.
Colour Scheme — A well-designed color scheme for your advert or website will make the audience feel welcome. A random, garish one will make your brand look cheap, or boring. Find a good color scheme which you like, and stick with it.
Fonts — All your writing is useless if no one can read it. Stick with tried and tested fonts that are appealing to the reader. Use the same font throughout all your works.
Imagery — Try and stick to a certain trend. If all your adverts so far included a chicken, creating an advert that includes a fox probably isn’t the best idea (unless you are doing this for a reason — the fox that ate the chicken).
Establishing a strong visual brand depends on knowing your business’ purpose. By building off what it stands for, you can gain an understanding of who your target audience is.
The idea is to create a consistent identity that’s appealing to your niche.
Top Tip: Creating brand guidelines will allow you to stick to the same style across all your marketing channels.
The Power Of Infographics
Whether it’s to inform the public about your freelance business, share a current work in progress or just point to your office, infographics are an excellent way of communicating effectively.
Complex concepts can be simplified, making them easier for the audience to understand and digest.
When designing an infographic, it’s important to remember that it has to tell a story, or at the very least, break down information in a structured way. It should have an easy-to-follow sequence.
For maximum effect, infographics can be applied to landing pages, blog posts, social media channels, and newsletters.
What’s a pitch deck? You might have heard of them as start-up or investor pitches. In essence, they are presentations that help potential investors learn about your business.
If there was ever a time to tell a compelling story, this would be it.
Let’s assume you’ve been asked to submit a pitch deck. Keep in mind the fact that your clients are probably going to get several similar pitches sent in to them.
A well-designed business pitch that provides a clear (but engaging) overview of your services is your best asset.
If you’re working off Powerpoint, dedicate each slide to a single topic. Visualize information using infographics, charts, icons, and graphs to hold your reader’s attention. Endless screens of text (or as I like to call it — death by PowerPoint) won’t do you any good.
Engaging Social Media Graphics
Social media is one of the best platforms to boost your brand’s image and make people aware of you. Sharing new content, or content that adds value to the reader makes for more meaningful connections.
Whether it’s on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, strong visuals will boost your presence.
One of the most effective forms of visual storytelling, videos (especially short ones) are a brilliant way to engage with your audience. If they’re personal or promise to review a product in an honest way, videos can also build trust with your viewers.
Frequently asked questions and complex procedures can also be transmitted to audiences through videos. This will not only make complex tasks simple, but also give your audience a point of reference if they need to view it again.
The downside? Video creation is significantly more labor-intensive than photo editing. Having said that, when done right, it is sure to help expand your reach and attract new clients.
The Moral Of The Story
In brief, visual marketing is a very powerful tool to engage with your current audience as well as gain new clients or followers. A few things to keep in mind are:
1 — Building a strong visual brand and logo.
2 — Using infographics to simplify content.
3 — When submitting pitch decks, make sure they are clear, to the point, and, most importantly, engaging.
4 — Using consistent graphics and color schemes on adverts and social media platforms.
5 — Where possible, including videos.
Consulting these five factors before launching any form of visual marketing will surely help strengthen and grow your relationship with your audience.
Daniel is a writer, senior teacher, and geographer based in Malta. His main passion is empowering students to fulfill their aspirations and reach their goals.