Why Looks Matter Online

In the digital age, the advice to never judge a book by its cover doesn’t really apply. That’s true both literally and figuratively—most books are now in a digital format that doesn’t include a cover, and aesthetics can actually be a critical element of your branding presentation. Presentation is everything in a space where visuals are the primary means of communication, and that means all your visual content needs to be polished until it shines.


The Digital, Visual World


Though some digital content comes to us through audio and visual means, ultimately, we’ve got to interface with words and symbols in order to access those songs, podcasts, videos and photos. It’s a much more visually immersive experience than, say, turning on a radio or even using a remote control to power up a TV. Visual content is so prevalent that it’s estimated to comprise nearly three-quarters of all content online. It’s safe to say that when we surf, we look.


This means that the visual information you put out there is essential not only to building your brand but also to messaging and connecting with your audience. The “wall of text” style of information transfer is a thing of the past. Even internet searches are starting to emphasize the importance of visual content, to the point that some businesses are having to go back and fix issues with the way their images are posted to make sure their SEO strategy stays up to date. For better or worse, we’re living in an age where visual presentation may be one of the most important pieces of the puzzle in making a strong first impression on prospective clients and customers.


What This Means for You


So how can you leverage the importance of visual content for your marketing strategy? For one, make sure your online presence is up to date. Is your website design current, or does it look like a Web 1.0 experiment? Are you taking advantage of visual social media trends like Facebook Live? Sometimes, simple steps are all you need to get your visual branding back on track so you can remain competitive and have the right edge in your industry.


However, it’s important to remember that, for as important as looks have become, they aren’t everything. The right look can help you get your foot in the door, but if you don’t have anything to back it up, you won’t do yourself any favors. Balancing an emphasis on aesthetic presentation with other marketing and branding priorities is the key to success.


Once you use your excellent visual presentation to draw your audience in, it’s still important to wow them with high-quality products and services that improve their lives. Taking beautiful product photographs is a great way to establish initial credibility, but the digital audience is as savvy as they are discerning about design. You’ll notice that online product reviews rarely include five-star ratings that mention a bad product with a beautiful website. To make your digital branding truly valuable, you’ll have to have both brains and beauty.



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