It doesn’t matter if you’re a copywriter, marketing executive or entrepreneur, there will always be an opportunity where you have to use visuals to market your business and product.
It sounds fairly simple to tie words to pictures; just take a relevant image and slap it above the headline right?
Here’s where the problem lies – most marketers make the common mistake of repeating in words what they’ve already shown in the visuals. How many times have you seen ads that say “2 For the Price of 1” and show a picture of 2 products being offered at a discounted price?
Ads that are created this way are redundant, repetitive and mean nothing to readers! Understand that people these days are better educated and can tell the difference between a good and a dumb ad. Showing them something that is blatantly obvious isn’t going to help you win the hearts and minds (and wallets!) of your readers!
So how do you create an ad that wins you that all-important sale?
Here are 5 proven and effective advertising techniques that will make your readers go from “what in the world?” to “WOW!”
1. Use split-screen images to highlight the benefits of using your product: Do a before-and-after or side-by-side comparison. Use graphs, charts, timelines, statistics and visually impactful images to illustrate the amazing results achieved by ordinary people using your product. If you want to make your ad even more interesting, you could show the negative consequences of not using it as most people are motivated by pain.
2. Give your readers a glimpse of the future: Paint a vivid picture of the lifestyle that your product helps to create. In other words, emphasize the results of using your product. Could it be a more successful future? Or greater recognition? Or more happiness? You may even highlight the pain your readers would feel by not using your product.
3. Demonstrate the product in use: You often see this type of technique in food advertisements where motion is used to make certain meals look more appetizing – butter being spread on bread, cheese oozing out of the sides of a pizza, steam wafting out of a bowl of piping hot noodles. The rule of thumb is this: if there’s motion, show it. The same applies for products that are not food. If you’re selling t-shirts, show them being worn. If you’re promoting a skin moisturizer, show it being applied on the skin.
4. Emphasize a real, everyday person connected to your product: As I’ve always mentioned in my articles, consumers are smarter this days and relate better to ads that are believable and real. To prove this point, take a few seconds to answer this question: Who would you relate better to? An attractive-looking male model who claims he’s found the woman of his dreams. Or an average-looking Joe who has overcome low self-esteem and finally found the confidence to attract a love partner?
Therefore, this person should be a customer who has already experienced your service and product. By using pictures of real, ordinary people using your product, it makes your ad more believable and your readers will naturally respond better to something they can relate to.
5. Take the emphasis away from the product, but not the benefits: Sometimes, to stand out from a sea of clichd ads, you have to move beyond the obvious and do something different. So besides your own product, what other images can be used to highlight its benefits? If you’re selling a hair growth product that stops balding, could you show something else that isn’t the balding scalp of live human being? Could it be the smooth surface of an egg? Or the bristles of a broom?