Words or pictures. Which are more important?

Copywriting for websites, brochures and blogs is all about words, isn’t it?

Yes, finding the right words that spur potential customers to hire you is crucial.

But pictures can be just as important. Research shows people are more likely to click on a page with a compelling image, because it draws the eye.

Copywriting words and pictures

Images have to be interesting, obviously. But what’s interesting? Try to think like your customers and pick pictures they will find relevant, human, intriguing, amusing … whatever will appeal to your audience.

Putting words and pictures together can be really powerful.

How infographics work

Infographics – useful information and images combined into a poster-type page – can be a brilliant way of communicating in a concise, memorable fashion.

First, choose a topic that will be useful for your customers, and that can also put the spotlight on the value of your service.

Then gather together fascinating facts (by Googling, collecting news stories, or racking your brains) and stats.

Take this example: my client Direct Travel Insurance wanted to highlight the value of travel insurance. We put together some facts about popular destinations, how many holidays we take a year … and (getting to the sales point) hospitalisations of Brits abroad.

Infographic v2

We added some funky ‘Did You Know?’ information, such as that in Estonia headlights of vehicles must by law be on at all times, including daylight hours. The graphics team did their stuff and the resulting infographic was blogged, used as a press release, and shared on social media. Getting the message out there that travellers ignore travel insurance at their peril.

How do infographics work? They work – i.e. get a lot of views – because they provide bite-sized talking points.

Motivational graphics – pros and cons

I have to admit that I’m not a great fan of the ‘Thought for the Day’-type motivational graphics that swamp sites such as LinkedIn and Google+. Some can be trite, and quotes from so-called gurus no one has heard of can just be annoying.

There are, however, some great examples that do work. Take Abraham Lincoln. Now, I’ll never be American president but he and I do have an interest in common – not wasting words.

The Gettysburg Address is a masterclass in concise writing at 272 words (over which Lincoln laboured for days.) It is one of the most famous speeches in history, because it says so much in so few words. As a copywriter that’s some thing I admire and try to emulate every day. Words are precious, don’t waste them!

That’s why I love the Lincoln picture I used at the start of this blog.

Another effective ‘poster’ is this doodle from Ian Dickson, who is the most dynamic and ideas-packed business coach I know. Of course, I like the fact that he has used letters (copywriters love letters and how you can jumble, manipulate and play with them) but also each succinct comment says something useful.

 

Copywriting letters

(Our old friends at The Paul Martin Design Company have a great talent for wordplay, too.)

Graphics can be funny, like this cartoon about procrastination. We often find our clients have been procrastinating over words for website content, brochures and proposals. They know they’ve got to get it right, they worry about each word, delay, debate … and don’t get it done. When we step in it’s a huge weight off their mind.

Copywriting saves time

Finally, back to my featured image, which shares this clever sales message:

Hampshire copywriters tattoo

It resonates at Editing Edge because we sell on added value, not price. And in the image, the disparity between dream and reality is just priceless!

So, words or pictures. Which are more important? Mmm, can I say both?

For copywriting that connects with your customers, give me a call today.