Where should you invest your money?
Should you pay a top copywriter to write you a persuasive script, or should you hire a talented graphic designer who can illustrate your ideas in the form of pictures?
I would argue that most business owners believe that words are superior to visuals. I say that because almost all websites we are exposed to, and sales letters we receive, barely contain visual elements, if any.
Does this mean that we should only invest in an expert copywriter? If we think of all the big brands we admire, we can quickly realize that they invest a lot in visuals. Therefore, which one should we invest in?
You probably figured out that my position on this issue is to invest in both. However, there are a few principles to consider when working with a copywriter and a designer.
The distinct purposes of visuals and words: “show vs. tell”
Words are best used to explain ideas and commitments, or to tell a story with clarity. Words are used in order to refer to something very specific. They leave less room for confusion and can express possibilities, as long as they are used properly and effectively. They can also help us connect to our target audience by using colloquial language.
Visuals are best to show how something works, to demonstrate value or results. Visuals are particularly great for evoking certain feelings and to generate a sense of awe or curiosity before and after someone buys a product.
Visuals and words do not compete with each other; rather, they complement one another. They serve different purposes, yet share a common goal.
The successful strategy for crafting meaningful presentations
It’s already an established scientific principle that people buy based on their emotions, rather than logical reasoning, even you and I. Here is how it works: we first get exposed to an idea or product. Then, based on the kind of person we are and what we are exposed to, our brain decides almost instantly if we want what we see. If we desire what we see, then we look for the content in the form of words, symbols, and graphics that can validate our decision.
From the buyer perspective, we can say there are three stages: Curiocity, Decision, and Validation. (Yes, you read that right: the Decision comes before the Validation stage!). The goal is to make sure visuals and words are combined to deliver the highest level of unified experience to buyers and customers.
I say customers because customers continue to seek Validation. We have the responsibility to keep on proving our customers they made the right choice with our product, and we can do this through visuals and words.