The Psychology Behind Visual Copywriting

The importance of understanding the psychology behind visual copywriting cannot be underestimated!

Nowadays, most marketing is done through social media. This is as humans are primarily visual creatures—we are drawn towards images rather than text.

This means that in order to establish effective marketing, you need to strategize your visual copy accordingly.

A lot of people are visual learners. Studies have shown that we are 65% more likely to retain information if it is presented as an image.

Here are several ways to better understand the psychology behind visual copywriting:

1. Contrast is Key

Contrast is key the blank pad

Have you noticed that people pay more attention to images and text with high contrast? This is as people need a slight nudge—a visual cue—to tell them to memorize certain things. 

In order for text to be legible, it has to contrast with its background. After all, there’s a reason why we print on white paper with black ink. Lettering should work with, not against the image. 

Therefore, having a consistent color palette that contrasts with one another is important. First of all, this makes for a clear brand direction. It also ensures that your text will be easier to read. Overall, your text will be easier to memorize, too!

2. Reading is Anticipating

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Keith Rayner, a psychologist, states that the larger amount of information about a certain subject we possess beforehand, the simpler it is to predict and interpret words.

An example of this may be when you read a typo-laden sentence. You’ll still be able to understand its original meaning. This is despite the sentence being hard to understand at first glance.

Therefore, your images should accompany your copy as visual aids and cues for your reader. Consequently, information will be absorbed at a faster pace.

3. Less is More

Less is more (the blank pad)

Too much information crammed into an image can overwhelm and disrupt your reader’s flow. 

Freeing your work from visual noise makes your message appear streamlined and straightforward. Facebook has stated that images with less than 20% text tend to perform better.

Therefore, less is more, and focus on one message at a time.

In addition to this, make sure that the image adds value to your message, as well. Hence, do not describe visuals in your accompanying text—that’s what alt text is for. 

4. Style your Typography

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Furthermore, it’s best practice to have less than three fonts on any given graphic. This is as too many fonts add an element of unpredictable chaos and can affect the overall flow of the psychology of copy.

Moreover, The Golden Ratio can be applied to your visual copywriting. The Golden Ratio is a decimal number that creates balanced and proportional designs which are psychologically aesthetically pleasing.

You can use it as a template overlay, in order to ensure maximum readability. You can also use The Golden Ratio to figure out the ideal font sizes needed for your work. 

5. Learn the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Formula

Did you know that the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Formula is so effective that by learning this formula, you can improve your SEO skills? 

The Flesch-Kincaid Readability Formula gives text a score from 1 to a 100, with 100 being the easiest score to read.

flesch kincard grade level
Source: Readable

Using the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Formula is important, as readability means that you can reach a wider audience. 

Nowadays, a lot of SEO software such as Yoast have built-in Flesch-Kincaid Readability Formula calculators, so you don’t need to do complex calculations yourself. 

This is also significant because this ensures that you don’t have a high bounce rate—people will come back to your content for more.

Therefore, by implementing this, you’re bound to create visual copy that is clear, concise, and readable.

6. Create Suspense

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Have you ever swiped through an entire carousel on Instagram; binging content in its entirety? This is due to the art of suspense. 

In turn, suspense creates bingeable content, which stirs excitement within the reader, and can even potentially convert them into a client.

Therefore, you should sustain interest by purposefully and withholding quality information from your audience. Complete this by adding a call to action (CTA) at the very end of your post in order to create organic engagement!

7. Use Power Words

words have power (the blank pad copywriting agency)

Power words are words that trigger an emotional or psychological response within the reader. They come in different categories and apply to certain customer wants: Greed, Curiosity, Sloth, Lust, Vanity, Trust, Anger, and Fear.

For example, a lust power word does not have to be sexual in its nature. What it means in the context of copy is the intense desire to own something. 

Let’s put this into practice: When you describe a discount as alluring, you’re playing into a customer’s greed and their lust for an object or service.

Using power words in your visual copywriting can tantalize your customers and can get conversions into sales, especially when paired with a strong Call To Action (CTA).

8. Don’t Overthink!

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Finally, don’t overthink things. 

Keep It Simple, Stupid! is a phrase coined by the designer Kelly Johnson, who emphasized that if users are unable to understand a product, they are thus unable to use it properly. In turn, the widest possible audience must be able to understand your philosophy in order to gain maximum market share. 

Overall, the simpler the message, the more likely it is to be taken away and engaged with. There are a lot of elements that involve psychological considerations to be thought over before creating effective visual copywriting. 

Which tip do you find most effective? psychology behind visual copywriting

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