Whether you’re creating advertisements with graphics, comics, infographics, or any other content that includes graphics of any kind, you need the visual content to POP off the page.
Most people have no idea how to do this. They create blog posts and upload a boring stock photo. They place an ad on Facebook and use a graphic that actually repels prospects. They create what they think are going to be viral infographics, but no one shares them because they’re as bland and dry as unbuttered toast.
The good news is you won’t make these mistakes, because you’re about to discover my C-4 Formula for making content EXPLODE off the page. Plus you’ll even get a crash course in how to use a free design tool to create these eye-popping graphics.
Let’s get right to it…
Create a Visual Explosion With This C-4 Formula
The C-4 Formula for creating visually appealing content includes these four factors:
- Clear Message
- Contrasting Colors
- Call to Action
- Complementing Fonts
Let’s take a quick look at each of the C-4 components individually…
1. Clear Message
The graphical elements of your ad are going to catch your viewer’s eyes. But once you get his attention, you need to quickly achieve the following:
- Let the reader know who this message is for. In other words, who is the target market?
- Let the reader know “WIIFM” (what’s in it for me?). What benefits do they get if they keep reading your message or click on your links?
Let me give you an example…
Let’s suppose you have a bold headline at the top of a Facebook ad that says “50% Off – Hurry, Sale Ends Soon!”
Getting a discount is a benefit, so that answers the second point. But this isn’t a clear marketing message because it doesn’t answer the first point – that is, we don’t know the intended audience.
What is 50% off? Shoes? Rubber bands? Poodles? Black socks? Luxury vacations? Software? Steaks? Arthritis cream?
So let’s tweak it a bit…
“50% Off Alaskan Cruises – Hurry, Sale Ends Soon!”
Ah ha – now we know this ad is for people who want to go on an Alaskan cruise, and we also know the main benefit is a steep discount. Now THAT’S a much better and much clearer message.
Pay particular attention to making your ad or infographic headlines as eye-catching and clear as possible. Naturally, the rest of your message should also focus on providing a clear message by telling readers about the benefit they’ll get.
2. Contrasting Colours
If you use various shades of the same colour for your graphics, it won’t “pop” off the page. Worse yet, if you use the same colours for your graphic as are on the page where this graphic is going to be displayed, it will just blend in and disappear.
Avoid this by using contrasting colours, especially bright colours whenever possible. Here’s a tool you can use to help you choose complementary colours: https://color.adobe.com/create/color-wheel/
3. Complementing Fonts
Some designers try to capture their viewers’ eyes by using a multitude of fonts. This is a mistake, as it often makes your ad or other content look amateurish. A good rule of thumb is to stick with one good font, or use two fonts at most. Try to avoid over-used fonts like Comic Sans.
4. Call to Action
The contrasting colours of your graphic attract attention. Your clear message generates interest and holds your reader’s attention. Now you need a clear call-to-action that tells people exactly what you want them to do next.
For example, perhaps you want them to do one of the following:
- Click on the ad to get to your landing page.
- Subscribe to your mailing list.
- Follow you on social media.
- Pick up the phone to call you.
- Share the content with others.
- Enter a contest.
- Register for a webinar.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, so perhaps you had something else in mind. Whatever it is, pick one primary thing you want your reader to do, and then explicitly tell them to do it. This is your call to action.
HOT TIP: People are more likely to follow through on your call to action if you give them a good reason to do so, such as offering them a deal with a fast-approaching deadline.
“Click here now to get your 50% off coupon – but hurry, the sale on this home study course ends tonight!”
“Click here to get your free weight-loss DVD while supplies last!”