Art and Words: A Match Made in Heaven

Art and Words: A Match Made in Heaven

There’s no dispute. A well-crafted story gets more sales every time. Convince your reader to know, like, and trust you, and you have a recipe for success. Continue to offer well-written stories to your loyal customers and you’ll continue to see sales. It seems simple, but there’s more to storytelling online these days, particularly when it comes to incorporating imagery into the text. Let’s take a closer look at why pictures plus prose is a match made in heaven. Why the Combination? If you’re anything like me, you have an appetite that could make a soldier blush. Food is my love language. Specifically, ice cream. After all, I live in the hot Arizona desert, so it makes sense that a cold treat is my go-to comfort food, right? When I look for new flavors to tantalize my taste buds, I do what anyone does these days – I go online to search for places in my area. When I land on a website to check out a restaurant, I expect to see something to get my taste buds tingling, like on this website:

Photo Credit: TheScreamery.com

NOTE: I have no affiliation with this restaurant other than I L-O-V-E their ice cream.

In this specific image, those ice cream cones look ready to dig into with a spoon, don’t they? They’re the perfect amount of melty combined with the perfect amount of crispy in the waffle cones. And those colors! You can almost taste the flavors looking back at you, right? But nothing about this image makes the ice cream any different than the Baskin Robbins down the block. What does is what’s written above it. When you read the copy placed neatly on top of decadent looking image, you get a sense for why you should choose this ice cream shop over the dozens of others in the area.

  • Not only is the business local but so is their pasteurization process (read: it’s fresh).
  • They use grass-fed dairy and natural ingredients, so you’ll never get that chemically taste like you get from other ice creams.

If that’s enough to get your mouth watering, the next step is to pick your flavor. The call-to-action lends itself perfectly to that, allowing you to see their full menu in one click. It’s not the image that sways you. It’s the combination of storytelling over a delicious looking picture of rich, flavorful ice cream that gets you wanting a scoop or two. This effect doesn’t only work with food. If you’ve ever looked at a puppy or kitten and said, “I just can’t handle the cuteness!” then you know the feeling of image overwhelm. It takes over your senses and you have a sudden urge to squeeze those adorable animals until they pop. At least that was the case for participants in a Society for Personality and Social Psychology study. People almost “lost control” when looking at adorable, squishy faces of cats and dogs. The cuter the picture, the more likely the study’s participants were to pop bubbles on bubble wrap. They physically couldn’t control their excitement over the adorable animal. When it comes to your creative website, don’t you want to inspire the same knee jerk, can’t-help-but-melt/squish/consume, reaction? Yes. And to do so, you need to combine images with your words. Images That Tell a Story Here’s an interesting fact– the image you choose matters a lot when it comes to determining the reaction you spark from the reader. In that same Society for Personality and Social Psychology study, participants were shown neutral looking animals (an older dog with a serious expression). Their bubble popping reaction decreased substantially. Yes, it was cute, but was it the kind of image that sparked an almost uncontrollable response? No. That’s probably not earth shattering information, but it’s important to note. When it comes to pairing your images with your copy, you need to choose the right one for the job. The image you choose depends quite a bit on where you’re adding imagery. Here are a few ideas to get you started sprucing up your copy. Photographs

Let’s start with the obvious one, shall we? Photographs are an easy way to get your reader to want to take action.

I already covered the reasons why above but here’s a quick synopsis (for those of you scanning, which is totally fair). The photograph you choose catches the eye and inspire an illicit response. The words you use differentiate your image from your competitors, giving people a reason to choose you over any other Joe Schmo in your industry. If you’re writing content for SEO, adding images can break up the monotony and make your posts feel more personal and enticing, rather than written to please a robot. Sprinkle these in and you’ll get more of a reaction from your reader, which in turn will make Google a little happier to feature you on page one. Infographics

Screenshot: Hubspot.com

Sometimes, the story you want to tell is based around numbers. Numbers of subscribers. Numbers of customers. Numbers of members. Numbers of attendees. Whatever the number, using an infographic to highlight the text and make it easily digestible is complementary to the copy you’re using to frame the story.

Here’s a great example from HubSpot. This company offers software and uses social proof to sell their concept. Just listing the numbers in the copy wouldn’t have a strong impact. Showcasing them in this way draws the eye and immediately generates trust. Anytime you have complex or bulk information that you need to break down into an easy-to-consume format, use an infographic. Gifs

Gifs are the latest Internet rage. Why? Because you can tell such a strong story with such a short snippet of movement. There’s no audio. There’s just imagery conveying an emotion. The use of this imagery doesn’t have to be limited to Facebook comments and text messages. It can also be used to enhance your copy.

If you want to draw your reader’s attention to a part of your blog post or a fun sales page, this is the type of image to use. The movement catches the eye, but the lack of sound or lengthy engagement keeps the person reading your content. It’s the image that sucks them in and the words that tell the strong story to keep your reader interested in learning more.

Where to Put Your Images Sold on putting images into your content? Great! But now the question becomes where? As a creative, you know the importance of not plopping images haphazardly into content. There’s a strategy behind it. Here are a few rules of thumb to follow as you start. 1. Align Right When You’re Complementing the Text

Looking to make your story stand out? Align right when you’re using an image to complement the text.

As humans, we naturally read from left to right. If you break the pattern by putting your image first, you could disrupt the reading experience and lose your audience’s attention.

Case in point: Check out where I inserted that complementary picture of the adorable puppy in a mug. It’s there to add context but the real meat of the text is next to it. 2. Justify Center When Illustrating a Point

If you’re using an infographic, justify center and don’t wrap any text around the image. That’s because, the info in the image is the main takeaway – not the image itself.

Infographics are great for showcasing a lot of information at once. They can easily stand on their own.

3. Or, Justify Center When Aiming to Stop a Reader in Her Tracks

Sometimes, you want to attract attention to a part of your text. Sometimes, you want to get the people scanning your content to stop and pay attention. In these cases, GIFS are excellent imagery to use. But because of the movement in them, they can stand alone.

Put your GIFS in a line all by itself to stop the scroller from scrolling and get her reading your content instead.

A Match Made in Heaven

Words support images just as images support words. When used right, this tandem approach can add more punch to your copy and more possibility to your content.

What ways have you found to incorporate images into wordy pages?

  AUTHOR  

 Kimberly Crossland

Kimberly Crossland

Owner/Operator, Savvy Copywriters

How to perform a SWOT analysis for your business idea

How to perform a SWOT analysis for your business idea

What do you do when you are not sure what you are doing with your business?

What do you do when you feel like your business is stagnating?

How do you move forward after a bad experience in business?

Well, you could download the worksheet that comes with this post, print it out and get to work on a SWOT analysis to figure out what the heck is going on and how you can make it better, stronger and even more amazing than ever before.

Actioning a SWOT analysis for your business idea is a great way to assess it’s market worthiness, elasticity and longevity. First, though, let’s answer that all important question:

What the heck is a SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis a way of assessing your business on a deep level. Here is where the SWOT acronym comes from:

S trengths
W eaknesses
O pportunities
T hreats

OK, so it’s pretty basic, right?

So, let’s keep it that way, whilst we work through this together.

Once you have got your worksheet, let’s go through the basics for each one of these 4 factors.

Strengths

Strengths are internal factors that you have full control over.

By looking deeper into what is working for your business, you can then work to enhance the success that oozes from that strength – Once you have pinpointed specific areas of success you can look into how you can mirror and develop that into another area of your business.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is working really well in your business?
  2. What is your strongest business asset?
  3. What makes you different to other businesses selling similar products?
  4. Are your costs lower than your competitors?
  5. Are you able to produce products faster than other competitors?
  6. What resources do you have that perhaps a competitor doesn’t have?
  7. Do you have really reliable staff members?
  8. Do you have a longstanding reputation in your industry?
  9. Do you have access to someone who could provide you with invaluable information?
  10. Does your business location give you a competitive edge?
  11. What skillset do you personally bring to your business that is stronger than your competitors?

Strengths could include:

  • Strong Customer Relationships and Service
  • A strong marketing strategy
  • 20+ years experience designing handmade bespoke light fittings.

 

Weaknesses

Internal factors that have a negative impact.

Weaknesses can crop up in every aspect of business and if unaddressed, they could potentially turn into threats. Eliminating or minimising those weaknesses will help you develop your business or even bring up brand new ideas.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What can be improved?
  2. What expertise is lacking in your business?
  3. What technology or tools are you lacking in your business?
  4. What area are your competitors better than you?
  5. Are your customers asking for something that you cannot provide?

Weaknesses could include:

  • High studio rental costs.
  • Personal skillset needs improving.
  • Business branding is lacking.
  • The website shop has too many issues.

 

Opportunities

Reviewing your potential opportunities is super useful in helping you gain momentum in your business. You need to take a step back and look at ways you could take advantage of opportunities that are within your grasp already and then create a process to act on those opportunities. If an opportunity needs some development, make sure you add it to your list and create an action plan.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What trends do you see in your niche?
  2. Have you seen anything in the recent news that could present your business with an opportunity?
  3. Who have you met recently that could put you in line for new opportunities?
  4. What is missing that really needs to be utilised/bought.
  5. What can you do that your competitors can’t do?

Opportunities could include:

  • Seasonal Opportunities
  • Niche Art Markets
  • Working in a community of artists – Potential Collaborations or referrals
  • What challenges do you have that could be turned into new opportunities?

 

Threats

Factors external to your business that you have no control over that can negatively impact your business.

This one is crucial to your success. Don’t ignore potential threats, evaluate them and find a process to step around them.

If something went wrong and you weren’t prepared for it then, you would be kicking yourself that you didn’t have a system in place for it already.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What are you competitors doing that you are not?
  2. What obstacles fo you face?
  3. What could change in your industry that would make your offering outdated?
  4. Could any of your weaknesses be turned into threats?

Threat’s could include:

  • Strong Brand name Competitors like John Lewis for example.
  • One of your material suppliers goes out of business.
  • There are a lot of competitors in the market selling similar items. 
  • Dips in the economy causing people to spend less money.
  • Consumer buying habits have changed.

Once you have finished working on this challenge, make sure you create a list of things that you need to address and figure out a way to start implementing them. Remember you don’t have to do everything all at once.

If you feel like you need someone to look at it from a different viewpoint or you are not sure about what kind of factors may impact your business hop on over to the Facebook Group and drop a post and we can all chip in and discuss.