Does adding a picture to your advertising increase the potential of making a sale?
But it’s a little more complicated than that. When it comes to adding images to your advertising, there is a right way, and an “I can’t believe they just wasted all of that space,” way.
Countless research has proven that certain images are serious attention getters. But just slapping a picture into your ad does not mean that you are going to appeal to the readers in which you are targeting. Every image does something different, tells a story and conveys a message or a specific call-to-action. Before you start scouring the internet for stock photos, or blow the dust off of that expensive digital camera you bought yourself last Christmas, you have to understand how images work, and how to correctly use them in your advertising in order to sell more stuff!
Remember, it’s not what you, the advertiser, like; it’s all about what the customer wants to see. And research has shown that images consisting of people in action, children, and animals convert (sell) the best. As long as the image is congruent with the message you are trying to convey and the product or service you’re promoting, I would use an image that has already tested successful. Interestingly enough, images of men get greater attention from men than women. A picture of a baby, young woman, or a toddler will earn a large amount of readership from women rather than men. Pay attention to your customer. Do they have families? Are they married or single? The answers will determine what image fits your sales goal.
A single large image will do better than many smaller ones. But avoid placing an image that is too large, and distracts from the print instructions, offer or contact information. If the image takes up too much real estate in an ad, it will distract the viewer from the message. They will stare at the picture, and search for details within the image. The use of an image in advertising is to distract the reader, and help them redirect their attention. People want to see a balanced combination of words and images.
Did you ever count how many advertisements you witness in a single day? I can’t count that high, so I’ve never even attempted to take up brain space with a useless number. Due to the daily bombardment of glossy print ads, we’ve adapted our minds, and learned how to ignore about 50% of them. For that reason, you need to format your ads so they DO NOT resemble an ad. You do this by creating an advertisement that mirrors something of value. A newspaper article, press release, or FREE report, as long as it provides the reader with information it will be perceived as something worth reading. Apply an image that demonstrates how to use your product, or include a testimonial with an existing customer’s head shot. Educate first and sell last!
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A color image will often look awesome in color, but lousy in black & white. Be sure to view both types before choosing a final image. Colors have a psychological effect on the reader. As an advertiser, you have to understand how a certain color will be perceived by your prospects. Take the color red for example. Red is the color of blood, fire and romance. It’s often connected to energy, war, danger, strength and desire. Too much red can lead customers to look away; it is best used as an accent color to highlight an option to buy, or the next step in a purchase process. Green is soothing to our eye, and indicates safety. Use darker shades of green in your images when they are associated with making money.
It’s safe to say that incorporating an image into your marketing material is a smart idea! But the uneducated advertiser could be doing more harm than good. Now that you’ve taken a few minutes to learn what works and what doesn’t, you should be able to smartly invest your money into building your brand’s awareness.
Think before you print, and the results will be well worth the efforts!
Any communication or marketing professional needs cross-cultural research and communication skills to be able to succeed in the future.” ~Marye Tharp
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