Visuals can supercharge your business communications.
- 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook are images
- If your content contains compelling images you can average 94% more views than your boring counterparts.
- People retain 55% more information when it is paired with a relevant image
- People following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations
- Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.
I’m an experienced visual communicator.
Before I became a full-time freelancer I worked as a creative copywriter, developing copy and visual concepts for a workplace poster company.
Over 12 years I created more than 7,000 poster concepts — mostly singlehandedly.
Now I can share some of my tips with you.
So, where do you begin?
As with any piece of writing, start by thoroughly researching your subject.
Then, decide what your focus is going to be. Good visual communications generally make one or two points at most, so think carefully about which point or USP you want your audience to take away.
Finding the inspiration.
Here are my five top starting points for finding visual inspiration and developing ideas.
1. Idioms, phrases and catchphrases.
An idiom combines two or more words to create a new meaning. For example an idiom to describe feeling unwell is ‘under the weather’.
You can use them in a literal sense or in a more unexpected way.
If an idea doesn’t come straight away, the Cambridge Dictionary is a fantastic resource for searching key words and finding related idioms and phrases.
Use it alongside a good Thesaurus and you will find even more possibilities.
Some of the results you get will spark visual references you can then search for on the stock photo sites.
You can also adapt the idioms to suit your purpose. For example, if you change a word but make sure the idiom is still recognisable.
2. Visual analogies, similes and metaphors.
The idea here is to compare two things and show how one thing is like the other.
It’s a great technique for visual communications because, rather than having to illustrate something literally, you can use an alternative and more interesting image to make your point.
Famous quotations sometimes use analogies, similes and metaphors to make a point and this can inspire a visual.
You can search the following quote sites using key words or categories.
3. Stock photo sites / Google images
The stock image sites are packed with creative images to inspire you.
Again, you can browse for key words and short phrases. If you find an idea you like, you can also search for related images.
Here are some of the image sites to try:
Type in your search term and scroll. Often you will see something that inspires further search terms and more possibilities.
If you don’t find anything on the stock image sites, try putting your search terms into Google Images. You won’t get such a refined selection, but there may be some more weird and wacky results to get you thinking.
4. Popular culture and recognisable themes.
Taking inspiration from popular culture gives your audience something familiar to latch onto.
Here are some examples:
5. Visual crossovers.
A visual crossover merges two ideas in one image.
Ideas like this are common in advertising and can often be inspired by browsing through the photo sites mentioned above.
Would you like to use more visuals in your business communications?
I’m Jenny Lucas, a freelance copywriter with extensive experience in developing visual concepts and copy.
If you would like to incorporate more compelling visuals into your business communications, please get in touch.
You can find out more about me and how I could help you by visiting my website.