Picture Perfect: Using Visual Images to Boost Your Copy

As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Good quality pictures evoke emotion, and emotions often lead to action. And, most importantly, action means success for your campaign. Once you see how visual support can enhance your written copy, you may never go without it again. The right visual components, combined with content creation, marketing, and branding, can exponentially increase the impact a message has on your audience. Here are a few things to consider when looking for the right image to make your copy come to life.

Images speak to us faster than words

Long before we began to talk, we looked at and processed images on a regular basis. According to research, we understand images faster than words—up to 60,000 times faster! We remember them longer, and we believe what we see more than what we hear, if there is a discrepancy between the two. A poignant image will have a much greater effect on your intended purpose than just plain words.

our brains process visuals 60k times faster than text.
Source: The Next Web

Find an image that evokes curiosity (but doesn’t offend!)

You want your audience to look, connect, and react to your visual content. According to Quicksprout, articles that have thought-provoking images have 94 percent more views than articles without images. With visuals that evoke emotion, strike curiosity, and lead to questions, your audience will be more likely to connect in some way to your core message.

Always caption your image

Don’t just add the image without connecting it to your copy. You have to guide your audience to connect the visual content to the desired message and outcome. Captions give your pictures context and credibility. One European study found that adding a caption alongside your image makes your picture more believable—even when the picture and caption have nothing to do with the text. So imagine how powerful relevant pictures and captions can be!

 

Don’t just add the image without connecting it to your copy. You have to guide your audience to connect the visual content to the desired message and outcome.

 

Choose an image with one or two focal points

In order to make an impact, you have to catch your reader’s eye—fast! The typical user spends only 5.6 seconds scanning written content, but as we mentioned above, we can process visual content much more quickly than written. Great visual content can lead to marketing optimization. There is very little time to make a first impression, and a visual image that supports your content will support your overall marketing and branding goals.
Adding visual content will give your copy that extra “oomph” it may need to stand out from the crowd. With shortened attention spans and the swift pace of ingesting content, pictures are the key to grabbing your audience’s attention—and to making a constructive, memorable, and hopefully actionable impression.

Arris Shabaglian

For more than a decade Arris has worked as a freelance writer, editor and communications consultant. She has also taught university level courses on the art of communication, public relations and journalism. Arris is a Pinterest addict who loves a good night’s sleep and a nice cup of coffee. She resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three kids (hence the need for a nice cup of coffee).
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