9 Key Elements of Action-Producing Visual Marketing

visual marketingWhen you make a video for your business to promote or sell something or use any type of visual marketing, it’s important to include elements that will make your viewers want to take action. There are nine essential elements that you can include to help make a viewer take action when watching your videos. These essential elements are so powerful that they can even be effective for still pictures, as these elements will make ALL your visuals more likely to get your viewer up and taking action.

Are These Key Elements in Your Visual Marketing?

1. Emotion – When you set up any shoot, whether video or not, you need to think in advance of what type of emotion you want your viewer to feel. And, knowing who the audience is will tell you which types of images you can use to evoke those particular emotions. Have a plan in place before you start shooting or searching for the image.

2. Appeal – Some types of images are just simply boring, so you have to consider how you can make the image more appealing.  As an example, think about how car commercials advance their appeal by showing people either driving though the country or city, depending on the type of buyer they want to attract.

3. Movement – Even a still image can denote some type of movement, and this will can help make an image more interesting. When you are taking shots of a process, ensure that you are showing the entire process. Still images can hint at motion by adjusting the focus or lines of the image, but video is obviously the best choice for really depicting motion.

4. Sound – Although sound doesn’t really come into play when it comes to a still shot, you can still make people imagine sounds with the composition of the image. For example, if you’re showing a picture of something that makes sound, your audience may imaging that sound. If you are making a video for your visual marketing, you need to consider what sounds you’ll add in addition to the talking. Consider how the background music makes your audience feel when you add it, and make sure not to make it so loud that they can’t hear the talking.

5. Moments – When you think of your images as moments, it makes it easier to capture the exact experience that you want your audience to feel. You’re telling a story. Even if the story is about why this stapler is a better stapler than the one at the other store, it is a story that you need to explain to the viewer using moments and events to advance it.

6. Characters – Most people want to see pictures of people. One image of someone’s face can tell more than 1000 words, because you can elicit all the emotion you need with that one facial image. But, in some cases, images of nature, animals, and other characters can also work together to tell the whole story.

7. Relevance – You’ve probably realized through your research how important it is to stay relevant to your audience, and using the right images is no exception to that. Visual marketing is completely dependent on you ensuring that you stay relevant in the eyes of your audience.  Make sure that you share targeted information with them with a particular reaction in mind.

8. Location – You can transport your audience to new locations with the right images.  This can even include taking them right out of their comfort zone! Think about what you’re trying to get them to do and feel, and how the setting of the image can advance those ideas for your audience.

9. Motivation – When you start using visual elements to attract, inform, educate, and interact with your audience, you need to be clear on where your focus lies and what your motivation is. What is the entire point of the message? If you don’t know that, it will be hard to choose the right visual elements.

If you want your viewers and readers to take action, using strong visual elements is a good way to ensure that they not only stay interested in what they’re consuming, but also feel the pull to take action on what they’re consuming.

Understanding Visual Marketing and Copyright Laws

visual marketing

Visual marketing is so powerful, but when you start using it to promote your blog, it is important to learn about the laws surrounding using images. There are many misconceptions, and if any of those misunderstandings lead you to violate a copyright law (knowingly or unknowingly), it can cost a lot of money. Taking just a few extra minutes to learn about these laws in will save you even more time (and dollars) later!

Yes, You Can Be Sued!

Using a copyrighted image without permission can cost you a lot of time and money, even if you didn’t know it was a copyrighted image. For example, if you got the image from a royalty free site, and thought it was legal but it wasn’t, you’re still liable. This is why free sites are so dangerous. What’s more, even if you remove the image when told, you can still be sued due to having used the image. The fees can add up to thousands of dollars.

Visual Marketing DON’Ts:

You cannot use a picture without permission – period. (By the way, using a picture then giving the photographer credit is NOT the same as getting permission, and neither is putting a disclaimer on your blog for the image.)

You cannot change the picture and call it “fair use”; it’s not.

You cannot use the image if your website is not for commercial use.

You cannot use an image without permission, even if it’s embedded from their server.

In short, you cannot use an image for any reason without permission. And, even after you remove it when asked, you may still end up having to pay for using it, even if it was only for a few minutes. If they have proof, then you’re out of luck.


So where can I find pictures that ARE okay to use?

Creative Commons Images – Creative Commons-licensed pictures are fine to use, but make sure you read the terms, as there are restrictions on how you can use them and how you must credit the owner of the image.

Public Domain Images – No, this doesn’t mean that if the image is online, it’s in the public domain; public domain is a legal term that describes images where the original copyright has run out, and now the image is free for the public to use, but with restrictions.  When using public domain images in visual marketing, make sure you read the fine print to stay legal.

Paid Stock Photo Sites – To be the most safe when it comes to copyright of images, buy them. However, keep in mind that you still cannot use the image however you want to. You need to read all the terms of service for exactly how the pictures are to be used, and follow it precisely.

Take Your Own Images – Taking your own pictures is by far the best way to ensure that your blog has legal images on it, and now most mobile devices have perfectly good cameras for quality images you can use online. You already have photo editing software on your computer and in the cloud through various programs such as that will work perfectly fine for your needs.

It’s always best to assume any image has a copyright of some kind. If you’re not totally sure about the state of the image, or the terms of service, don’t use the image. It’s important that everyone respects the intellectual property of others. Not just because you can be sued, but because it’s the right thing to do.  Now more than ever visual marketing is a key element in your marketing strategy, so knowing the law is vital.

Book Recommendation: The Visual Marketing Revolution: 26 Rules to Help Social Media Marketers Connect the Dots

visual marketingThe Visual Marketing Revolution: 26 Rules to Help Social Media Marketers Connect the Dots

Where to buy:

When it comes to audiences online, content is king but it doesn’t have to be simply text. Enter the world of visual marketing. Employing visuals in your business can greatly improve your engagement, traffic, list building efforts and sales. “The Visual Marketing Revolution” shows you what you are missing when you don’t use images to tell the story.

It’’s called the “art of persuasion.” A customer must believe that they have a problem that only your product or service can solve. How do you do that? They must identify on an emotional level with you and your product. Text alone doesn’t accomplish this. Express your point in images: from photos to video to infographics. Visual marketing is the new way to relay information, and people get an idea of their interest faster than with text. They are more likely to stick around and view the nuances of an image. Learn to integrate image media into emails, landing pages, and social media. Optimize your visual tools for tablets and mobile devices. Create a sales-winning message that hits all the senses.

The Visual Marketing Revolution: 26 Rules to Help Social Media Marketers Connect the Dots