How To Make Your Ad Visuals Really Work
I am a real believer that amazing photographs are an integral part of any online advertisement. Your ad photos must be exceptional; generic photos just don't cut it any more. Photography is a powerful tool for evoking feelings so be strategic while choosing your images and design your ad to capture the attention of the people you want to touch with your brand story.
In this post I will share what I have learned while creating commercial visuals for brands over the years, and explain what the most important factors are to consider when choosing visuals for your ad in order to make them really work for you.
Quality is the key
The quality of your images will be unconsciously linked with quality of your service. If you have an amateurish look, people will assume you don’t know any better, or don’t care, and they won’t want to work with you, so make sure your visuals are the highest quality they can possibly be. It’s a good idea to include a photography budget in your marketing plan.
Intrigue your viewer
Most people will look at an image and make a split second decision whether or not to open your full ad. Interesting images tend to create a lasting memory in your viewer's subconscious mind, so pick an image that is unexpected to make the viewer stop and question what it's about. Try to engage by evoking emotions, thoughts and feelings. Another way of creating intrigue is to use unusual cropping, colours and textures or juxtaposing elements that are not usually found together.
An image that you select should help you achieve your desired outcome. What is the goal you have in mind for your ad? Drive traffic to your website? Raise awareness? Get new leads? Convert to sales? A pretty image isn’t good enough any more! If the image is meant to increase conversions then you could include a person in it with eyes pointing towards the call to action. This will create trust and help you convert.
Whenever possible, try to use images created especially for your business or even better, a specific campaign. Choose a photographer who really understands what you are trying to communicate to your target market through your ad visuals. Try to avoid popular stock photography websites as images found there will make you look and feel cheap. Large stock websites offer very generic images which we all have seen before in one place or another. If you really have no choice, then go for niche and quality stock websites like Death of Stock Photo or Startup Stock Photos.
Its very important that your images go well with the general look and feel of your brand. Think about the colours and tones within the photograph - do they match your brand message? What about the editing style? Choose punchy and vibrant images for a young, techy feel, use gentle and light colours for delicate feminine look, or dark and moody for a touch of luxury. Branding is not only about colours; cultural and social factors are important whilst crafting your visual message too so think about your target audience - would your clients get what you are trying to say through your image?
P.S. Make sure that you have the rights to use selected image for commercial purpose. Remember to always credit the author of the photograph or the source. In this blog post, I used my own images and royalty free images thus no credit was given.
If you follow my guidance you will be well on your way towards creating an ad that really works hard for you, gets you lots of quality leads and most importantly converts.