Is your communication cutting through?

posted on June 3rd 2014 in General News with 0 Comments

A picture says 1000 words!

In this fast paced world where promotional emails are filtered and people are basically very time poor,  how do you create stand out communications on or off-line?

One of the simplest methods is to include some great engaging graphics. A main dominant image in any form of communication is always a winner in my eyes, it draws the reader in. When you were a kid did you prefer books with great pictures? It’s the same with business collateral, a huge block of text isn’t going to catch the eye and engage the reader. Using great images can capture their attention and want them to read on. It also adds to the look and feel.

If you are selling a tangible product then obviously you will need to commission a photo shoot and include these images in your communication but do consider lifestyle shots to add to your brand image.
Gone are the days of commissioning lifestyle shots with all the stock shots available readily on-line. If you are not using a designer please be careful about using images that you have downloaded straight from Google images or similar.  ( Check out “Search Tools”, “Usage Rights”) Purchase royalty free images from sites such as Getty images or istock. This applies not only for your collateral but your website and social media. Companies have been fined for using images that they have not been paid for on-line.

Ensure that you purchase the correct size for your needs. Medium sized images are OK for small advertisements and on-line communication but for print you need the high resolution larger sizes. Again your designer and printer can advise of this.

Make sure that you follow the stock image company guidelines, eg. do not copy the images, always use them from source and keep them in a controlled file. Most of them have quite a wide usage but there are restrictions such as reselling the images so check these out before using or even better let your designer handle this as they know all the procedures and the best sites. The designers may have a suite of images that you can use and are great at finding images for you from a brief.

If you want to search for images yourself type into the image keyword search a few different words and phrases and scroll through looking for the more interesting images. E.g. typing in ‘business man’ may bring up some serious head shots of a man in a suit but look further and you might find some more eye catching images like a business man relaxing in a field. If you type in ‘business man active’ there will be images with a lot more movement that are a lot more interesting and engaging. Look for images that are the right shape for your collateral or crop them to suit. Similarly with colours find images that suit your background and/or brand colours.

When considering illustrations, costs can often be saved if the designer bases your images on existing stock images and enhances them rather than drawing free hand.

Make sure you have a look at your competitor’s websites and collateral so that you don’t use the same images unless they are industry logos or symbols of course. Your images should follow your company branding and positioning.
When preparing an e-marketing campaign or newsletter, place an image before the main headline in the body of the text section, do not send attachments, include the key information in the body of the email.

Finally, don’t forget that when you have drawn them in you need a great ‘problem / solution’ based headline. Be clear about who you are targeting and what pain points you are addressing with your product or service and communicate this, as per the headline used in this blog:

Is your communication now cutting through, after all, a picture says 1000 words!

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