The saying should be “A graphic with the appropriate caption is worth a thousand words,” I said.
“I thought it was a picture is worth a thousand words,” said Kate.
“The problem is that people keep trying to put information into smaller and smaller bites,” said Gail. I saw some research I passed on to Fletch the other day that showed how to get people to see things your way. The scientists tried three ways to get folks to accept the evidence in the case:
- A paragraph of copy that provided facts that were in opposition to the participant’s viewpoint.
- The evidence presented as a chart or graph.
- Building the self esteem of the test subjects so they are less threatened by the facts.”
Chris said, “I’d bet on the chart. As a Digital Marketing Director I know we can get real traction with graphics. I’ve used infographics to great success. It isn’t always easy and sometimes the facts are hard to pin down, but when you can find a good source it is powerful.”
“The key is what the mind perceives as ‘real’ and therefore more believable, “ I said. If you use the scientific rigor that was applied in this research you have to agree with the findings. Taken alone, the data confirms the old saying.”
Rob chimed in, “Don’t y’all just hate it when he says something like that? I mean you know he’s gonna land on that with both feet. But before he does I want to make a point ‘bout branding. A logo type is a kind of graphic and originated so that folks who couldn’t read would be able to find the tradesmen they needed. Today, logos play the same role but the other visuals that accompany any corporate communique have to be consistent with the perception of the company. As malleable as folks would like the public to be, they aren’t. So the thing for everybody to remember is you can trash your image in a heartbeat. Be careful y’all.”
“As I was saying,” I continued. “You have to understand where the person you’re talking to is on the spectrum of belief on the subject. On top of that you need to know when to say more and how to say it. An open mind is searching for data. A closed mind is not. A graphic is a great way to sneak up on a closed mind. It is like having a passkey. You’re in before the alarms can go off. And then you can get on with the persuasion.”
Gail said, “ That is, in essence what the research said. But I agree with Fletch. It is an opening to begin the persuasion. You can’t stop there. If you use a chart it must have a heading that is factual and does not draw conclusions. If it is embedded in an article the tenor of the piece should be one of sharing hard data. If conclusions are drawn it must be closer to the 1000 word level.”
“She’s kinda right.” I said. “All you “Little Guys” take note. Often we cannot get people to read the 1000 words. So write a caption for the graph. Have it open with facts and suggest that there is more information including charts and graphs available if they will just click through. Place graphics at multiple points in the copy. It will get your message read. It will be more persuasive. You’ll convince them to buy.
Let me say that again:
- Use a factual headline that engenders curiosity
- Make the graphic the major illustration
- Put a caption under it to get people reading
- Use long copy to persuade
- Sprinkle the copy with graphics (and caption)
- Stick to the facts
- Include a specific call to action ”
Agree or Disagree? Let us know with a comment below.
Jerry and his crew will be back next week talking about what you need to know to build your business.
Jerry Fletcher is a Marketing Consultant and Coach who works with just a few select small businesses, solopreneurs and start-ups at any time. www.JerryFletcher.com
Jerry Speaks and will be making a rare local appearance in Oregon, a presentation for Oregon Horse Country on September 20. www.NetworkingNinja.com