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Why headlines and visuals matter in your advertising

NOVEMBER 9, 2023

In the fast-paced world of advertising, content and design go hand in hand. Crafting captivating headlines, writing stories, choosing dynamic visual elements and infusing persuasive content – these are the building blocks of a successful advertising campaign. But where does it all begin?

It starts with understanding your audience. Beyond targeting, it’s about creating a meaningful connection. Your customers want more than just products; they seek relatability and relevance. But how can you achieve this? The answer lies in understanding your customers’ needs and desires.

Understand your audience

Targeting your exact audience is important, but the right content and design ensure your target audience will notice and interact with your ads. You want to be relatable and relevant. What is important to your customer? You’ll want to get to know your customers’ lifestyles, buying behaviors, values and more for an even clearer understanding of wants and needs to create your best advertising campaign.

Conducting research is the best way to learn what your customers want from your business and allows you to make strategic business decisions. There are a variety of ways to gather information, including: 

  • Surveys
  • Website forms
  • Product testing
  • Focus groups

Craft an attention-grabbing headline

Many marketing writers draft out or even complete writing a piece of content before crafting the headline. By doing so, you ensure your content contains all the necessary information and key points. This, in turn, allows you to create a headline which accurately reflects your message and grabs the reader’s attention. 

Did you know 8 of every 10 people only read headlines? Knowing this, you’ll want your headlines to stand out. Forbes notes several tips for attention-grabbing headlines.  

  • Articulate the benefit(s)
  • Clarity should trump cleverness
  • Put the “so what” in the headline
  • Choose words that make an impact
  • Tap into the audience’s emotions
  • Keep it short and simple

Tell your story

Storytelling is a powerful tool to connect with your audience. Your business becomes authentic and trustworthy, encouraging people to become your customers. 

Your story should begin with a hook to draw them in and end with a clear call to action of what you want them to do. How does your product make a difference in someone’s life? How have they used your service to solve a problem? Armed with this, you have a real-life story to tell. These narratives appeal to your customer and cause them to take action. In today’s world of digital, mobile, and social advertising, you’ll also want to be prepared to tell the story in multiple ways – articles in varied length, a series of short video clips, carousel graphics and more.

Catch their eye with design

Using simple, eye-catching visuals can set your ad apart from the competition. It’s not just a chance to showcase your brand’s colors and logo; it’s an opportunity to engage your audience. In a world where people are constantly scrolling on their phones, flipping through magazines, or watching television, simple, captivating visuals cause them to take notice.

As with storytelling, visuals create emotional connections, making your advertising efforts even more impactful. Visuals, diagrams and infographics break up the monotony and engage with your audience when they are:

  • Easy to understand
  • Convey useful information
  • Create an emotional connection

Use persuasive content

Words are powerful. And when you choose the right words, they make an impact and connect you with your audience. Psychology also gets involved, delving into specific principles. Take scarcity, for instance. Words like ‘limited edition,’ ‘one-day-only sale,’ or the ticking of a countdown clock evoke a fear of missing out, reminding customers to act swiftly.

Another psychological technique is the concept of social proof. People often seek guidance from others when making decisions. This is why celebrity product endorsements and genuine customer testimonials are successful. As we discussed earlier, storytelling not only captures attention but also invokes action.

Having a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is also a game-changer. Your USP is that distinct feature or benefit which distinguishes your product or service from the competition. Perhaps your product delivers quicker or greater improvements than others on the market. It’s important to share this with your customers and let them know why your solution is the better choice.

Effective calls to action

Your customers are ready to take action, and your advertising must guide them clearly and persuasively to the action you want them to take. Use definitive, action-oriented verbs like ‘discover,’ ‘subscribe,’ or ‘learn.’ Concise direction tends to perform best, avoiding unnecessary distractions which might turn your audience away. But that’s not all – you should also let them know what’s in it for them. For instance, completing a contact form might provide additional savings or enter them into a giveaway. And remember, you can keep appealing to their fear of missing out with language like ‘this offer ends today.’

Your customers are ready to engage, and your advertising has the power to guide them in a compelling and clear way. Tap into their emotions with solid headlines, content and captivating visuals.

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