Warning: Your Visual Message Is Just As Important

It’s difficult to figure out the right image for your small business if you don’t know what the right message is. Whether it’s a blog post in need of a picture, your primary logo, a product design or an infographic to highlight a point or process. Any image you use in association with your company has to say something that matters to your target audience.

visual message

In an article for Visual.ly Blog Professor Alberto Cairo, Author of The Functional Art: An Introduction To Information Graphics and Visualization, says,

“Designing an infographic or a data visualization is an act of engineering,”

Infographics, like other effective visual images, should be more than just pretty pictures or something to take up space on a website. Professor Cairo says he’s not:

“. . .indulging in some sort of vague game of metaphors, literally. I believe that an infographic is a tool in a very similar way that hammers and screwdrivers are tools.”

You can get the nail into the wall without the hammer. But the right tool makes it easier to accomplish your goal. In other words, with the hammer you can do more — faster.

Likewise, you can get your point across with written text alone. But partner your text with a visual tool like a relevant picture, infographic or even video learning and you can accomplish your goal more efficiently.

New Concepts Take A Minute To Digest

If you rely solely on written words, then it may take 20 to 30 casual impressions or a handful of in depth reviews before your audience understands your new idea well enough to act on it. And people buy what they understand. Not that they know exactly how a television works, for example, but the buying audience is clear about how it impacts their life, “more entertainment and information in my living room.”

Drive Your Point Home, Make It Visual 

If you want to honor the idea that “the world is visual,” as David Langton and Small Business Trends Founder, Anita Campbell, state in Visual Marketing: 99 Proven Ways For Small Businesses To Market With Images And Designs, then you’re always in the market for ideas to enhance your message.

Here  are 3 things to stay on top of your visual message:

Collect Things That You Like

Start with magazine covers and images, color combinations, photo images and videos that grab your attention and put them in a swipe file.

Define And Study Your Main Message

Get certain about the point that you want to drive home in your marketing. Once you’re clear about this core marketing message, then it’s easier to use visuals to enhance it.

Build A Team 

Do what you do best and then get help with the rest of it. As the owner you will need to be hands on in drafting a marketing strategy, but then you may need a graphic designer or photographer to help you implement your plan in a timely manner.

In marketing, every word and image counts.  Make sure it all says what your audience needs and wants to hear from you.

Visual Photo via Shutterstock


Jamillah Warner Jamillah Warner (Ms.J), a poet with a passion for business, is a Georgia-based writer and speaker and the Marketing Coordinator at Nobuko Solutions. She also provides marketing and communication quick tips in her getCLEAR! MicroNewsletter.

6 Reactions
  1. Having visual components with your content can really help boost your social media marketing efforts. As it is photo and video posts are more likely to be shared on Facebook and show up more often in status updates than text-based posts. Creating an interesting image or infographic will draw people in who will hopefully then share with others.

    • Great comment, Nick. I agree; visuals are definitely one of the best ways to get more interaction and grab the attention of your audience, especially on social media. Visual picture quotes on Facebook get way more “likes” and shares than plain text quotes. That just goes to show how important visuals are to your content marketing strategy.


  2. Imagery offers a faster way of getting your reader and clients to understand your point in the shortest possible time in addition to the fact that is keeps you interested and not bored through the process.

    The brain also retains images more than texts for a much longer time.

  3. Visuals also help with emotional connections. This is important because when a buyer understands your concepts this connection translates into action (…action to try or buy your product). People want to “feel” a certain way or be associated with certain people, things or concepts. Visuals break through those barriers to the buying decision much faster.

    What I do find missing here in this article is that any image won’t due it really has to be strategically chosen and selected to support the overall goal(s) of your product or services. In other words grabbing just any old photo off the web or stock photo website should be carefully considered. Also, be interesting enough to captivate the person to read further, try that product or test drive you with that initial free consultation.

    Great article Jamillah, loved the sited resources to support your points.

    • So true Andrea, you do have to put some thought into your image so that it adds to the message. The wrong visual can weaken your point instead of drive it home.

      I noticed that as shoppers we know what we want and what turns us off. But as sellers, I wonder if all of us — in business — are willing to do the work, to find the best images and so on?

      It’s so interesting when the shoe is on the other foot.