[Feature Photo Source: Unsplash]
Comics are fun. We’ve all read them as kids, but a vast community continues to enjoy comic books well into adulthood.
With the sprawling success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the Detective Comics Expanded Universe (DCEU), comics have barged into the public consciousness and show no intention of leaving.
It is, therefore, no surprise that more and more marketing professionals are choosing to use comics for advertising.
Your first reaction to a comic-based advertising strategy might be dismissive, but don’t knock it till you try it. This admittedly unconventional approach to content marketing has a lot to offer.
Even though you don’t typically see this kind of promotion on billboards or signs, comics today are a highly profitable industry and can be an extremely effective marketing tool.
Making Your Marketing Strategy Stand Out with Comics
Creativity is what makes comics so unique and compelling. Nowadays, you see ads everywhere (the internet basically runs on them), and everyone seems to be trying to sell you something. Since comics bring something entirely different to the table, they are not what you call a safe bet, but they have much potential.
Creative visual mediums give you more room for originality, imagination, and ingenuity, and don’t forget the potential for viral distribution. You might be surprised how many senior managers in conservative industries prefer this form of communication!
The power of imagery in marketing has long been recognized. Photos and videos bring life to your platform. In addition to avoiding the annoying pervasiveness of aggressive advertising, they provide an entertaining, inviting environment for your audience.
If your designers are not well-versed in drawing comics and you don’t have the budget to hire outside help, or you’re simply a do-it-yourself kind of person, there are many excellent drawing tutorials online to get you started.
You might immerse yourself in a broader course on comic book art styles or go into particular details. And when we say “very particular details,” we mean it. Our favorite is probably this detailed step-by-step guide on how to draw a skeleton hand easy. Isn’t the internet a lovely thing?
All that said, there is more to marketing than giving your audience “pretty pictures” to look at. Thankfully, studies have demonstrated that visual imagery can leverage significant psychological influences and give you an edge over your competition regarding customer engagement.
Power of Comic Imagery
Through comics, you can connect deeply with your audience, pull on their nostalgic heartstrings, and communicate on a deeply personal level. Your business can benefit from using comic imagery in the following ways.
Improving Your Brand’s Memorability
By associating visual comic storytelling with your brand, you make it easier for your prospects to recall it, making them more likely to seek your services and products when they need them.
Generating Positive Feelings Associated with Your Organization
Building a sense of belonging and empathy is essential when establishing a brand identity and a loyal customer base. With your comic characters, you can show your audience that you understand their challenges and that your company can provide the solutions they’re looking for.
Penetrating the Audience’s Subconscious Minds
Using imagery carefully, you can show your customers that your company is dedicated to improving their quality of life and that you care about their experience.
Self-help businesses, for example, can particularly benefit from comic artistry. When used correctly, comic imagery can motivate people to improve their self-esteem and instill feelings of empowerment and relaxation.
Comics are the perfect medium for producing these psychological effects, especially in the digital realm, where the human element is severely lacking. You can power up your business and outperform your competitors by using comics in social media marketing campaigns and blogs.
Images are more easily absorbed and retained by the human brain than text. Knowing this, it is no surprise that visual content generates 2.3x more engagement than text-based content in social media marketing.
Presenting Your Message More Effectively
Comic books usually have a message to convey. A simple example might be teaching the audience the difference between good and evil. Or the fact that “with great power comes great responsibility,” as everyone’s favorite uncle put it.
In the case of brand and company marketing, this message typically revolves around why your services or products are more desirable than the competition’s and why the audience should trust you with their money.
The good news is that the story structure of a comic (exposition, conflict, and resolution) makes it easy to integrate this call-to-action message into a campaign.
Think about what resolution you’re asking your audience to commit to. Remember that comic storytelling has a powerful psychological impact. Decide which elements you want to highlight, and have your media team work from there.
Let’s put it this way — even if you do not believe that comics are effective for marketing (at least experimentally), there are times when this kind of publicity can be highly beneficial to your business. There might be an inspiring story you would like to share, but it would be too tedious to put into words in a long, drawn-out blog post that would be too time-consuming to read. Enter comic strips.
There are also times when you have to market unsexy ideas or stories that need a visual outlet to be effective. Furthermore, you might have no idea how to convey your message.
You should try translating your ideas into a graphic format like comics instead of bland text to capture more people’s attention and get more shares.
Choosing a medium that we all loved growing up, which many of us still love in our adult lives, will surely boost your customer engagement and loyalty in no time.
Guest article written by: Nicole Kelly is a Raleigh, North Carolina, US graphic designer, digital marketing consultant, and writer enthusiast. She loves writing about new business strategies, digital marketing, and social media trends for different blogs and DigitalStrategyOne.