When working on an important project for work or even spending time on a favorite hobby, most people can dedicate themselves to the task at hand, giving it their full attention and focus. When it comes to searching the web, however, statistics show that even the most focused individual has a very short attention span. And that shift in attention is extremely important to how a home health care agency goes to market online.
Consider for a moment how you view online content yourself. What stands out most to you on a website or social networking site: a paragraph of text or a colorful image and some visually scannable bullet points? Today, consumers save reading for their Kindles. When they’re online, they’re scanning until something ensnares their attention visually or emotionally. Compelling images help give a visual identity to the subject matter and keep potential clients engaged. Pictures also give your followers a personal connection to both your company and your employees. However, throwing any old image, even if it’s a beautiful one, up on your website or Facebook page isn’t the answer to making your online marketing successful.
Creating a True Union of Message and Visuals
Each person looks at and takes in information differently. The more the message and a visual representation of the message match and “speak” to a potential target, the more chance there is for that message to resonate, be accepted and understood. The beneficial end result is an increased possibility that an action will occur because of that message and visual. For the home care industry, the most important thing about using visuals in marketing campaigns is the ability to attract the attention of those seeking information, drawing them in while informing them of the agency certifications, accreditations, qualifications and services.
A perfect example of how to (and how not to) marry a message and a visual came from an early Todd Bright workshop where he held up two signs for farm fresh eggs. One showed a handwritten sign and the other a computer generated sign. Would you stop at a roadside stand for fresh eggs advertised by a digital message? What about a hand painted sign? Anyone can buy eggs at a store, but to get eggs right from the chicken? (Still warm, perhaps?) A hand painted sign on a weathered barn board posted at the end of a lane or in front of a small corner grocer would draw a crowd. Why? Because the visual is married to the message. And that powerful combination is what makes the car stop for eggs, or the Internet user pause to read or explore more.
Consider what message your agency wants to convey to potential clients. Do you want them to focus on your compassion? Your accreditations? And don’t forget to consider your target. Is your target audience families, hospitals, other referral sources, healthcare systems? Think from their perspective about what they would find appealing in both message and visual, and develop your target-specific message and visual accordingly. Images of caregivers interacting with their elderly clients would certainly help adult children feel more positive about entrusting their aging parent’s care to that particular agency, but if your message is geared toward referral sources, hospitals or healthcare systems and not families, your campaign may fall flat.
In today’s highly visual marketing landscape, the images you choose are not only part of your message; they give life to your message and your brand. As more and more consumers turn to mobile devices to research and purchase, the visual will become even more important to the savvy marketer. Marry your visuals and your words thoughtfully for greater impact and better results from your social media and marketing efforts.