How Can Illustrations Benefit Your Brand
Advice For Clients
How Can Illustrations Benefit Your Brand
Every week I receive inquiries from prospective clients looking for help to create illustrations for their websites, mobile apps or marketing campaigns. The one question that I find them asking most often is how exactly can illustrations benefit their brand, besides of course just being pretty pictures that grab their audience’s attention? This is a question that most illustrators face often when working with new clients.
The answer can be both simple and complex. Yes, illustrations do grab your audience’s attention on your website, but they also help to inform and explain what it is that your brand does for them — your audience.
As I mentioned in a previous article, the majority of the world population — over 70% — are visual learners, this means they tend to learn and absorb more information when it is paired with visually stimulating graphics — videos, animation or in our case illustrations. Its because of this particular reason that most startups and established brands use illustrations heavily to share concepts and engage with their audience. In addition, this allows brands to condense complex concepts into more digestible bits with the help of visuals that compliment the information and make it more understandable.
When you think about your own experiences as being the consumer, do you find yourself enjoying reading long paragraphs of text on marketing sites? Often, consumers pass over these long pieces of content, instead reading only the first sentence or ignoring the information all together. Designers and marketers know this and try not to include large amounts of text on their landing pages, instead breaking up the content to be more manageable and easier to focus on.
Research even shows that if you want people to read the content that you include on your website, you should keep it short, simple, relevant, useful, credible and scannable and if you want them to convert, then you’ll want to do all of those things plus create well-crafted illustrative elements strategically placed throughout the page.
The key wording here is “well-crafted” elements. This doesn’t mean just creating quick and sloppy doodles or purchasing stock illustrations — though, if money is a factor its understandable to do so when you’re first getting off the ground. Instead, its best to work with an illustrator who can help you craft the story your brand is wanting to tell.
There are many amazing illustrators out there who create spectacular work., but what is rare to find is one who goes above and beyond to help their clients to craft and enhance their story. When I work with my clients, I want to hear their voice and hear from them what it is they are looking for in the illustrations but I also take time to learn about what it is they do.I work with my clients to develop their story into one that converts and will benefit them in the long-term. If the deadlines allow it, most projects begin with a bit of research about the client, what their business does and how all the cogs in their machine work. This allows me to understand things more clearly and be able to craft a more complete story overall.
Recently I worked with TrustRadius — the most trusted review site for business technology, serving both buyers and vendors — to create illustrations that help tell their brand’s story to their audience. In addition to just creating the illustrations I also helped develop the overall illustration style for their brand. The first thing that I wanted to do with them was spend a couple of days learning as much as I could about them and what they did exactly for their customers. I read through and absorbed as much information as I could, asking questions along the way so that I could have a solid understanding of how we could tackle telling their unique story.
After we had developed their illustration style —a process that deserves an article on to itself —we began to look at the pages on their site that we knew we were going to tackle. Each page had its own purpose and unique part of the overall story. In particular, the story they were wanting to tell involved vendors and how they could use their services to influence buyers, boost conversions and accelerate their sales all powered by their very own customer’s voice.
Before we began, TrustRadius had worked up wireframes and designs of the pages and so we knew there would three pages to work on — the vendor homepage, the product page and the buyers page. Each page had its own unique purpose and stories to tell. We tackled each page, on by one, making sure each illustration helped to express its part in the overall storyline.
When the project was finished we had developed not only an over arching illustration style but also close to 20 individual illustrations that allowed for them to express what TrustRadius does for their customers. We were able to break down super complex concepts into more manageable bits of information and express that information further and clearly in their illustrations.
TrustRadius is a great example of how illustration can help a brand explain complex concepts easily with their audience. As I alluded to earlier, its easy to just create “pretty pictures” and place them on your site without much thought but that is not how you use illustrations to benefit your brand. Using illustrations as a way to inform and educate your audience is a powerful tool to help bring awareness, increase conversions and most importantly explain what it is you do or offer to them.
How to Use this Information Effectively
Now that I’ve shared with you how illustrations can benefit your brand, I would like to share how you can use this information effectively.
Find Someone You Can Partner With — Make sure that you can find an illustrator that will be committed to helping you and your brand. Remember that you’re not looking for a “Yes Man” or someone who’ll create what ever you say. You’re looking for someone who’ll be objective and strategic in addition to creative and help you develop the best solution.
Develop A Clear & Cohesive Style — Its important that you and your illustrator create an over arching illustration style that you will use throughout your website, app and/or marketing material. The purpose of creating these illustrations is to make them a part of your brand and for everything to be cohesive.
Craft the Story You Wish to Share — No matter what, you need to have a plan as to what your illustrations will help you convey. Without knowing what you want your illustrations to emphasize with your audience you won’t be as effective as you could be. Sit down with your illustrator and work together to develop the story you want your audience to learn.
If you need help finding someone to partner with, you can always contact me through my website. If I can’t help you, I will try and help you to find someone who can help.