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How to Increase Audience Connection With Custom Illustrations

Let’s dig right to the core. Why do custom illustrations matter for your business?

As alternatives to photos, custom illustrations are personalized by designers for your business, message, or service. When custom illustrations are used in design content instead of photos, you add a personalized and, well, customized edge to your creative content. As business is conducted more and more through the internet, personalization is growing increasingly important. Often, that stock photo you see on every other website just isn’t going to bridge that gap. People respond to recognition. Personalized recognition.

Let’s take a look at the target audience. An earlier post talked about how millennials respond to content and how to reach them effectively. At least 65% of people are visual learners, and the Stanford Credibility Project shows that almost 50% of your users will make judgements based on graphics alone. When you customize illustrations just for your audience and their situation, you grab their attention from the first glance.

It’s all about story.

People love story—no question about it. Story connects people, countries, and cultures in uniquely powerful ways. When you can tell a story to your audience, you have a compelling connection in the works, and with visual graphics leading the charge in memory retention, personalized illustrations contain maximum impact.

In addition, if you want to bring attention to your message, customized illustrations give you the opportunity to include those elements in almost every single image (within reason, of course). This introduces your desired message into your audience’s story organically. By infiltrating the audience's story, the audience will come to naturally accept your message within their lives—without that awkward product placement feeling.

The three-pronged effect.

Custom illustrations have a three-pronged effect: first, they create a personalized connection to the audience. Second, they set you apart from your competition. Third, they allow you to confront difficult topics in a friendly and humorous way.

So, let’s get personal.

As mentioned earlier, personalization is one of the best ways to connect to your audience. Custom illustrations allow you to dig into your demographics and examine gender, race, age, and a myriad of other components, giving you the ability to tailor each illustration to your audience’s story. It all comes back to that magic word: story. With illustrations customized to your audience, your illustrations do more than guide them through your content—your illustrations become their story. That’s a connection they’ll never forget.

Rise above the rest.

With your custom illustrations connecting so strongly to your audience’s memory, your business gains an edge over the competition. Your audience will remember the illustration when they have a need and associate that need with your message. If the story of the illustration connects with them on a personal level, their preference for your business has the opportunity to increase.

Laugh it up.

OK, not really. But there are a lot of subjects that are delicate, difficult, and potentially offensive. Custom illustrations can soften messages that might otherwise spark resentment if the audience feels singled out. Think about Smokey the Bear for a moment. Having a friendly brown bear remind you about the importance of fire safety is a lot easier to swallow than a harsh metal sign with no fires written in capital letters. That might seem like a negligible detail, but having a visual design that connects rather than rejects increases emotional rapport between you and your audience.

Power up your content.

With story and personalization as the focus, custom illustrations increase your audience’s connection with your message, raise you above the competition, and offer you more flexibility in designing for a multitude of different topics. Connect, rise, personalize. That’s the power of custom illustrations.

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