Why Template Design Reminds Me of Dry Toast

Are today's trendy designs created for conversions?

Day in, day out, there’s just seems to be something missing. Every once in a while I’d like to have a buttery mess with a splash of red jam. Anyone else?

Sometimes watching movies can be a challenge for me. The more visually stimulating the colors and scenery, the less I pay attention to the story. I’m particularly distracted by a mid-century wardrobe, people’s hairstyles and make-up, quirky personalities, foreign accents, and body language. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit, but sometimes I have to watch a movie 2-3 times to understand the plot. Visuals are just more effective than words, especially in our warp speed world, and are more easily remembered over spoken or written words. Studies have shown that our brains are better at processing visual information than a block of text. Approximately 90 percent of the information our brains take in is non-verbal. Even the earliest written languages were made up of pictures. Our brain is uniquely designed to comprehend visuals.

On average, people recall up to 80 percent of what they see, compared to 20 percent of what they read or hear. With that in mind, visuals that connect are key to effective branding.

Creative services that offer affordable DIY template software, such as Canva and Klex, abound online, and I do think they have their time and place in the test market arena. Designing your own graphics has never been easier, faster, or more affordable. Grab an image, add a prefab text template, copy and paste a few words and away you go with a pretty design??? But how successful is it at resonating with a target market. Is template design created to make conversions, or to make everyone think they can design successfully.

With all this affordable technology at our fingertips, the question becomes, if visuals are so important for branding and digital marketing, is relying on a generic design or trendy logo that looks like everyone else going to get people to stop, scroll, and ultimately purchase or sign up? Is there more to this than meets the untrained eye? Or does it take a creative mind, research, data, and emotional intelligence to get the best results.

The answer to all the above is yes. Digital marketing companies, the print industry, and advertising agencies pay big bucks to assure they have the best visual artists money can buy. They know a picture’s worth a thousand words, but not just anyone knows which thousand dollar picture will work.

Jeff Bullas, touted as the world’s top social marketing talent, lays out solid reasoning as to why visuals are important to sales conversion.

Six Reasons Why Images are Important
If you have an online store, issue press releases or even just have a Facebook business page, here are six reasons to publish images and photos as part of your business marketing tactics.

• Articles with images get 94 percent more total views.
• Including a photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45 percent.
• 60 percent of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results.
• In an ecommerce site, 67 percent of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” when selecting and purchasing an item.
• In an online store, customers say the quality of a product’s image is more important than product-specific information, a long description, or ratings and reviews.
• Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37 percent, where text-only is 0.27 percent (this translates to a 37 percent higher level of engagement for photos over text).

We recommend 8-10% of a business or corporations annual income be allocated towards their marketing efforts. Competition is fierce in most markets and the ones who maintain their top dog position are those who understand the importance of hiring professional marketing design and guidance. A true digital marketing company thinks, lives, and creates outside the template world and has a full understanding of how to uniquely target a given audience.

“I never read. I just look at pictures.”

-Andy Warhol

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