How Illustrations Can Boost Your Small Business Marketing

No matter your industry or niche, you will always have competition.

How does your business stand out in a noisy marketplace? Effective marketing is often the difference between success and failure. Marketing encompasses every communication your business has with your customers and target audience.

Visual marketing is becoming more important because it offers rich storytelling and people process and remember visuals better than words. In fact, visual marketing is one way you can grow your business faster, as we wrote in Growth Hacking: How To Grow Your Small Business Faster.

Social media is a natural platform for executing growth hacks.  Every content marketer dreams of their content “going viral.” And visual content has a stronger likelihood of going viral than text-based content.

Data from BuzzSumo confirms this fact. Their study revealed that social media content featuring images consistently performs better than text-only content. They also discovered that infographics are the most shared form of content, beating out even listicles and video.

Humans are visually-oriented creatures. Make this work to your advantage.

Smart businesses leverage custom illustrations in their marketing strategy.

Illustrations are typically playful graphics that can help your business appear friendly and communicate a message more organically.

Illustrations can persuade, inform and influence your customers and prospects. They can enhance your brand messaging and can help your business express emotion.

Let’s take a look at ways that smart businesses use illustration to boost their marketing.

How Businesses Use Illustrations

Businesses use illustrations in many different ways.

Most commonly, a business will use an illustration on their website or in an email message.

For example, Consonance Ltd, a financial services company, used an illustration to model statistical distribution and probability.

They wanted to use a fun character to demonstrate complex mathematical and financial concepts in their presentations and emails.

illustrated by PaoloRezzani on crowdspring

Their goal was to find a funny way to show a serious concept: out of control financial distribution. They nicknamed it “The Thrashing Tail”.

Even though the message itself was directed at other professionals in the finance industry, the comedy and playfulness is still a great way to make the topic lighter and easier to talk about. Especially since the goal is to use the illustration in presentations, it’s a great way to keep an audience’s attention by making boring slides branded and interesting.

Of course, presentations and emails aren’t the only way that companies use illustrations.

Illustrations can often be seen as help icons on websites, in different graphics that a company uses throughout their website and product design, and on packaging design.

In fact, custom illustrations are often seen in modern packaging design trends.

Illustrations can also help emphasize key messages on your website.

If you look at the crowdspring site, for example, you’ll see we generously use illustrations on our marketing pages (often showcasing the terrific work of the many talented illustrators who work on crowdspring).

Take the landing page promoting our custom logo design projects. There are many terrific examples of custom design logos on that page, but we also use fun illustrations to underscore the key messages we’re trying to convey. For example:

To underscore the emotions someone may go through when seeing a beautiful design, we use another fun illustration to underscore that crowdspring’s clients will get a design their customers will love:

We shared six other great examples in 6 Companies Using Illustration to Create a More Personal Brand.

Susan Kare, a renowned graphic designer and illustrator who designed many of Apple’s most iconic buttons and symbols, believes that there are no boundaries in terms of using illustrations. “In design, there is not one right answer, there’s a range,” says Kare.

How Illustrations Help Communicate Your Marketing Message

The blog “Shattering the Ceiling” offers a great example of consistent, unique branding through illustrations.

They worked with one of crowdspring’s designers to create a unique illustration for their blog to visualize the title of their blog and reinforce their message of empowering women through educating them about their legal rights in the workplace.

illustrated by applemoment on crowdspring

Though the illustration is literal, it’s still a unique way to get the message across.

It’s also eye-catching, making people more likely to stop and read the blog.

In fact, researchers have discovered that people only remember about 10% of the information marketers show them.

But when that information is paired with visuals, that number jumps to 65%.

This means that an illustration can make people five times more likely to remember your brand or your specific call to action in your marketing message.

And if that doesn’t convince you, this statistic just might: according to a research study on the effectiveness of illustrations, people are 323% better at following directions with illustrations than they are at following directions without illustrations.

This could mean more sales, fewer customer support tickets, and more revenue for your business.

The future of your brand is waiting.

Arielle Kimbarovsky

Arielle Kimbarovsky

Arielle Kimbarovsky is a writer, artist, and recent Broadway fan. When she's not writing an article, you can find Arielle drinking too much coffee or taking on casual projects like sending cameras into space.
Arielle Kimbarovsky
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