How Visual Images Can Create Effective Advertising

How Visual Images Can Create Effective Advertising

Let me ask you something, do you think in pictures or think in words? When you remember a scene from your life, you likely imagine the whole scene - even down to the colours, light, and surrounds - especially if it was only this morning.

Scott Haywood, an expert on memory and author of Memory Power, believes there is an imprinting power in any of our mental images.

According to Scott, "memory engages the Senses, the Emotions, and Action." Apparently, when we "convert WORDS and PHRASES into PICTURES and EXPERIENCES, we unlock the unlimited potential of our memory".

And I believe, the potential of associating a positive memory with a commodity (or service).

So how can we use this in our marketing? Well, there already exists many TV commercials that use pictures of experiences to emulate our own memories, engaging our emotions - a fond memory of a family get-together, a sit-down with our favourite coffee, a sunny holiday at the beach, etcÂ…

But TV advertising does not corner the market. Direct response copywriters have long known that they must create a vivid image in the reader's mind - and cleverly stir emotions. The copy might stir up anger first of all, but then help them imagine a better future. You see, there is limited 'price objection' once you have created this powerful, emotive image in the consumer's mind. (They might even be thinking of ways to earn the money to buy it, as evidenced by youth who want the latest game or phone).

It's probably dawning on you right now, if your advertising can create a very vivid picture for people (from words or pictures), and draw out strong emotions, then this will help sell your product or service. If you are hitting the right target, that is!

The five most common things that drive people are:
materialism, and
approval: from The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren (quoted in Memory Power).

Advertising with Emotion
So when creating advertising, try to think beyond all the obvious methods - which all your small business competitors are making anyway. As I see it, there are several options:
Use video professionally for creating a people advertisement (perhaps drawing on a positive memory). Don't talk at the camera .You can load the video on your website home page.
Have a story written from a person who has got positive emotions and subsequent life benefits from using your product. This is called a print Advertorial, or on the Internet, a long form sales letter.
For a smaller space, consider just the strongest benefits your target market will receive from your product. Perhaps link it to a people picture.

Research Before Advertising
Before creating good advertising, it is necessary to research your target market. It is only when you truly know what people want, that you can be sure of effective advertising. I would suggest for the budget marketer to use online surveys like Survey Monkey.

Also do your keyword research with a comprehensive tool like Market Samurai or even Google Adwords keyword suggestion tool. This will clue you into what is on people's minds today. For example are more people looking for "kitchen designers", or "DIY kitchen kits?" Are they looking for wholesale kitchens?

You can also pick up people's general feelings about certain products or services in the various discussion forums (e.g. on websites like Essential Baby, Femail, or Flying Solo for service providers).

By Jennifer Lancaster

Jennifer Lancaster is a freelance copywriter who helps small businesses with low cost marketing methods. Please see Power of Words, for more information.