The average person sees thousands of ads throughout the day, and each of them touches on different approaches to connect with the viewer. So, in the sea of advertisements, how can you ensure your creatives stand out and gain more clicks?
When it comes to fighting for users’ attention, the first “punch” should come from your visuals. They help you communicate with your audience faster and more effectively, given that the majority of people are visual learners and perceive images better than any other type of media.
In this article, we compiled an assortment of visual advertising techniques you can use to make your advertising visuals jump off the page while keeping them relevant and compliant.
What is Visual Advertising?
Visual advertising is the strategic use of visual elements— images, graphics, videos and other visual content — to convey messages, promote products or services and create brand awareness. It is a form of communication that leverages the power of visuals to capture attention, evoke emotions and leave a lasting impact on the target audience.
In visual ads, the visual components play a pivotal role in conveying the brand's identity, values and messages. This form of advertising recognizes the potency of images in storytelling, making it a crucial aspect of marketing strategies across various platforms, including print, digital media, social media and more.
Effective visual advertising goes beyond aesthetics: it strategically integrates visuals to communicate a compelling narrative and drive consumer engagement. Whether through striking imagery, creative design or impactful videos, visual advertising aims to leave a memorable impression on the audience and influence their perceptions and behaviors.
How To Navigate The World of Stock Imagery
Stock image sites, either free or premium, are the leading source for visuals in all types of digital ad campaigns. Some of the services that can help you are Shutterstock, Getty Images, Pixabay and iStock.
However, you should be wary about visual clichés and overused media when working with stock image sites. Below, we have included more tips to consider when selecting your visuals on stock image sites.
- Beware of visual clichés: Steer clear of overused images like dollar bills, piggy banks or Wall Street traders. Your audience has likely seen them one too many times, and with each viewing, they are less likely to engage — or even notice — your ad.
- Go beyond the initial search results: Unearth hidden gems by scrolling beyond the first couple of pages of search results. The real treasures often hide a bit deeper.
- Look for the remarkable: Choose images with unique and catchy details. A photo of a girl with vibrant violet lipstick, for instance, can make your ad stand out.
- Opt for uniqueness: Dynamic and emotional pictures trump static staged photos. Capture attention with images that tell a story.
- Use cultural associations and metaphors: Use strong cultural associations and metaphors to convey your message subtly — emphasis on subtle.
- Edit less: When you find the right image, keep edits to a minimum, e.g., changing the backdrop color to suit your campaign or brand.
When working with e-commerce offers, one of the best ways to pick visual content is to create your own high-quality photo of a product. For other categories, your own custom images and designs can show outstanding performance. Our advice? Always have your phone in hand, ready to capture unique imagery for your campaign.
Visual Advertising Techniques: Tricks to Make Your Creatives More Click-Worthy
Most readers scanning web content are just waiting for something to catch their attention. Let’s go through some of the best ways to do this.
Maybe you heard the advice to avoid photos with many small objects. To a great extent, that is correct. However, there are cases when (done correctly) cluster imagery can be effective and engaging.
Based on our analysis of many successful creatives, we can confidently say that composition matters. Therefore, we highly recommend adding a central object or a direction to your creatives.
When searching for attention-grabbing imagery on stock sites, opt for dynamic visuals with an unknown ending or unfinished action. For example, here the creamy avocado smoothie is being poured into glasses, and it is unclear whether the remaining contents can fit into the glass.
Do Not Reveal Everything
Do not reveal every detail on the image, rather try to spark viewers’ curiosity. In this example, we do not see the face of a man holding out dollar bills to us, plus there’s an intuitive desire to take what is given.
How to Draw More Attention to Your Visuals
In the visually saturated landscape of digital content, standing out is imperative to capture your audience's attention. In addition to the tips above, we have collected for you some basic rules, tested by our many years of work with visual ads.
- Bold color choices: Opt for vibrant and bold color schemes that align with your brand and evoke specific emotions. Colors have a psychological impact, and strategic choices can create a strong visual impact, making your visuals more memorable and engaging.
- Contrast and highlights: Utilize contrast to emphasize key elements within your visuals. By strategically highlighting important information with brighter colors or distinct placement, you guide the viewer's eye to focal points, enhancing overall visual clarity.
- Impactful typography: Experiment with bold and distinctive typography. Your choice of fonts, sizes and styles should complement the overall design and contribute to the visual appeal. Ensure that text is easily readable, enhancing the overall aesthetic.
- Showcasing real people: Feature real people in your visuals to humanize the brand. Authentic images of people using or interacting with the product can establish a connection with the audience.
- Strategic use of space: Strategic use of space is a powerful tool, allowing your visuals to breathe while preventing visual clutter. A well-balanced composition enhances overall clarity, drawing attention to key elements within the design.
- Interactive elements: Incorporate interactive elements to encourage user engagement. Whether it's clickable buttons, animated features or other interactive components, providing opportunities for interaction keeps the audience involved and invested in your visuals.
- Mobile-friendly design: Optimize your visuals for mobile viewing. Given the prevalence of mobile users, ensure that your creatives are visually appealing and can translate to smaller screens.
- Consistent branding: Maintain consistency in branding elements across your visuals. A cohesive visual identity builds brand recognition, making your content instantly recognizable and reinforcing the positive associations tied to your brand.
- Clear call-to-action (CTA): Ensure your visuals include a clear and compelling call-to-action. Clearly guide the viewer on the desired next steps. Whether it's clicking a link, making a purchase or engaging in another way, a well-crafted CTA adds purpose to your visuals.
By integrating these strategies into your visual design approach, you can significantly enhance the impact of your visuals, ensuring they cut through the noise and leave a lasting impression on your audience.
A Brief Guide on Visual Ad Colors
In visual advertising, colors are carefully selected to evoke specific emotions and convey brand messages. Below, we have included some commonly used colors and the emotions they tend to evoke.
Emotion: Passion, energy, excitement
Common use: Often used to grab attention and create a sense of urgency, the color red is associated with passion, love and high energy.
Emotion: Trust, stability, tranquility
Common use: The color blue is frequently used by brands to convey reliability, trustworthiness and tranquility. In addition, it is often associated with corporate and tech-related industries.
Emotion: Freshness, growth, harmony
Common use: Symbolizing nature, health and eco-friendliness, green is frequently used by brands promoting environmental consciousness or well-being.
Emotion: Optimism, clarity, warmth
Common use: Evoke a sense of happiness and positivity with the color yellow. This hue is used to grab attention and convey a lively and vibrant atmosphere.
Emotion: Elegance, power, sophistication
Common use: Often associated with luxury and high-end products, black conveys a sense of exclusivity and sophistication.
Emotion: Purity, simplicity, cleanliness
Common use: White represents simplicity and cleanliness and is often used in minimalist designs and to create a sense of purity.
Emotion: Energetic, playfulness, enthusiastic
Common use: Orange invokes a sense of energy and enthusiasm. It frequently is used to convey a friendly and approachable brand image.
Emotion: Luxurious, mysterious, creative
Common use: Associated with elegance and creativity, purple conveys a sense of sophistication and uniqueness.
Emotion: Femininity, sweetness, romance
Common use: Representing femininity, pink is often used in products targeting a female audience.
Emotion: Stability, reliability, earthiness
Common use: The color brown creates a feeling of warmth and reliability and is associated with natural and organic products.
It's essential to note that color perceptions can vary based on cultural and individual factors. Additionally, successful visual branding often involves the strategic combination of colors to create a well-rounded and impactful emotional response.
AI Image Generation in Visual Advertising: Good or Bad?
The use of AI image generation in ads can be viewed from positive and negative perspectives, and its impact often depends on various factors, including ethical considerations, transparency and the context of use. Here are some points to consider.
- Efficiency and speed: AI image generation can significantly accelerate the creative process by quickly producing high-quality visuals, saving time and resources for advertisers.
- Personalization: AI can be used to personalize visuals based on user preferences and behavior, creating more targeted and relevant advertising content.
- Cost-effectiveness: AI-generated images can be a cost-effective solution for businesses with limited budgets, allowing them to create professional-looking visuals without extensive design resources.
- Innovation and creativity: AI algorithms can introduce innovative and creative elements into ad visuals, leading to more engaging and attention-grabbing content.
- Ethical concerns: There are ethical considerations surrounding the use of AI-generated images, especially if it involves manipulating or creating content that could be misleading or deceptive.
- Lack of authenticity: AI-generated images may lack the authenticity and human touch that comes with original, handcrafted visuals. This could impact the emotional connection between the audience and the brand.
- Transparency issues: Advertisers need to be transparent about the use of AI-generated content to maintain trust with their audience. Lack of transparency may lead to skepticism and could harm the brand's reputation.
- Overreliance on technology: Relying too heavily on AI for image generation might lead to a loss of human creativity and intuition in the advertising process, potentially limiting the diversity of visual content.
However, if you work with MGID, then you know that the introduction of MGID's enhanced AI image creation feature plays a transformative role in mitigating potential risks associated with AI-generated images. This cutting-edge feature encompasses the best qualities of modern AI image generators while addressing concerns and enhancing the overall advertising experience. Here's how:
- Enhanced rendering quality: Our feature prioritizes superior rendering quality, ensuring that generated visuals maintain a high standard of authenticity and visual appeal. This commitment to quality helps overcome concerns related to the lack of authenticity often associated with AI-generated content.
- Simplified prompts: Our feature simplifies the creative process by allowing users to generate stunning images with ease, even from a single word. This user-friendly approach ensures that advertisers can efficiently harness the power of AI without the need for extensive design knowledge, thereby overcoming potential challenges related to overreliance on technology.
- Intuitive prompt suggestions: Our feature provides intuitive prompt suggestions, enhancing the creative process. By guiding users with thoughtful prompts, this feature encourages a balance between human creativity and AI assistance, addressing concerns related to the potential loss of human touch in the advertising process.
- Keyword integration for precision: The incorporation of keyword integration ensures precision in image generation, aligning visuals with their intended message. This feature helps alleviate concerns related to potential misuse by allowing advertisers to maintain control over the content's authenticity and relevance.
In summary, MGID's AI image creation feature not only embraces the efficiency and innovation associated with AI image generation but also actively addresses its ethical considerations. By combining enhanced rendering quality, simplified prompts, intuitive suggestions and keyword integration, MGID empowers advertisers to create compelling visuals while maintaining transparency, authenticity and trust with their audience.
What pictures can I show in an advertisement?
Use images that align with your brand and campaign message; in addition, we advise that you ensure your images comply with legal and ethical standards.
How do I ensure my images are legal to use for advertisement?
Seek images from licensed stock photo websites, use original content or acquire permission from the copyright owner to ensure legality.
How do I make an advertising visual?
Utilize graphic design tools, hire a professional designer or explore user-friendly online platforms to create compelling advertisement visuals. Additionally, if you are an advertiser on the MGID platform, our creative team can craft ad creatives from scratch that are tailored to your specific needs, ensuring impactful and effective visuals for your campaign.
What is the purpose of visual advertising?
Visual advertising aims to captivate and communicate, conveying brand messages, enhancing recall and driving engagement through compelling imagery.
What makes a good visual advertisement?
A good visual ad is attention-grabbing, relevant and aligns with your brand, effectively conveying your message to the target audience.
How does visual marketing work?
Visual marketing leverages compelling images and design elements to communicate brand messages, evoke emotions and drive customer engagement.
What is a visual advertising strategy?
A visual advertising strategy outlines how your brand uses visuals to communicate, focusing on design elements, platforms and overall aesthetics to achieve marketing goals.
Unique, unusual images can elicit strong emotions, make viewers click on your ads and ultimately engage with your product or service. We hope that with these simple techniques finding visuals for your native campaigns won’t feel as daunting. However, even if you do run into some difficulties, MGID’s creative team is always ready to help and guide you through the process. — create your next visual advertisement with MGID today!