Balancing compelling images and convincing text when promoting your LEED project
Everyone knows the old adage “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” The human brain responds to images differently than it responds to descriptive text. Vivid color, pattern and the suggestion of motion engage our eyes and our minds in ways that words just don’t. Even the most active imagination can’t reliably convert prose to imagery in a way that matches the power of viewing a photo or an illustration.
If you’re a creator of original marketing content for a LEED project you are charged with the very real challenge of balancing compelling imagery with convincing text. It’s all too easy to get carried away in one direction or the other, devoting precious time and energy to drafting the perfect description of your project, or to cultivating photos taken from every possible angle.
Luckily, there are a few tried and true methods to help manage this conundrum.
Settling on that perfect mixture of images and text doesn’t have to cause migraines for you and your team. Focus your energy on creating an infographic combining the best visual representations of your message with tidbits of useful info. Viewing the task of integrating images and text as a creative pursuit rather than a process of elimination will undoubtedly lead to new discoveries about how best to communicate your point. Also, infographics work just as well in hard copy as they do digitally.
Not interested in using illustrations and graphics? No problem. Take a gander at examples of impactful infographics and use them as a jumping off point to inspire something new. What can you create with the photos you have and a series of bite size paragraphs?
Choose a primary vehicle
Sometimes a true compromise isn’t possible and you may need to favor one mode of communication over the other. If you choose photos or graphics as your primary means of messaging, consider a slide show with captions, combining your most powerful photographs with a few short, descriptive sentences.
If you go with words first and foremost, focus on breaking up lengthy passages with appropriate images. Rather than reserving your photos for the header or footer of your piece, cast your photos in various supporting roles by resizing them, cropping them in unexpected ways or wrapping text around them. If text is your tool of choice, aim to make imagery integral rather than supplemental.
Create a digital experience
This can’t be expressed strongly enough; digital marketing is the wave of the future and it’s cresting now. By minimizing print collateral materials about your LEED project and focusing on your online efforts, you will not only be honoring the spirit of green building but you will also reach a broader, larger audience in a shorter amount of time.
That being said, throwing together a singular webpage with a link to a photo gallery is a minimalistic approach to gaining online traction. By giving your audience a true digital experience, you can raise the profile of your project to new heights. This begs the question, what makes a digital experience both satisfying and effective?
- Surprises: Nothing is quite as sticky as novelty to the human brain; people respond with gusto to new things that surprise and delight them. Added visual elements in the body of a webpage that are eye-catching and act as portals to subpages or outside resources are memorable, as are footers that appear as a user scrolls down a page or photos that fade in and out when a mouse hovers over a certain word. Think of your webpage as a “create your own adventure” platform for visitors.
- Interactive elements: Creating opportunities for audience interaction can carry you far. Formatting your home page as a series of questions with multiple choice answers can help visitors find exactly what they want and learn more about your project in the process. Better still, after each Q&A, create a landing page with photos and text that leads to the next step.
- Action items: When all is said and done, you undoubtedly want your target audience to take some sort of action—whether it is signing a lease for a new apartment in a LEED certified building or signing a check to help finance the green renovation of a nearby school—using visual and textual elements to set up next steps is critical. Creating a thumbnail photo gallery at the bottom of a webpage with links to additional resources or action pages is a great way to start.
Just as LEED certified projects are awarded points for innovation in design, green marketing campaigns should also think outside the box to achieve the best possible results. By creatively mixing and matching imagery and text you can dramatically increase the impact of your marketing.