Take a look: the role of visuals in financial communications

22.05.2017 Digitale Kommunikation von Kim Schach 

It’s no news that the importance of digital communications and the effect of a strong digital strategy on a company’s reputation is increasing. For companies in all sectors, they must embrace the digital challenge within their communications. Glancing at levels of interaction figures on social media, one thing becomes clear for major listed businesses. In comparison to other types of media, companies can struggle to have widespread impact with their financial communications.

While coverage is not everything, digital channels offer the possibility to reach new audiences by creating authentic dialogue and appealing fresh content. On paper, some companies appear to be performing well because they have high number of followers - but there is a gap between potential and actual outreach.

No visualization for its own sake
In order to counteract this shortcoming, digital financial communications seems to have found a potential magic cure: visuals – be they images, videos or infographics.

Many industry representatives have recognized that their approach from the early days of digital media is no longer up-to-date. Back then, digital communications was unemotional, rational and text-heavy. Behind this was the assumption that everything else was unprofessional and jeopardized the appearance of your brand as ‘serious’. Now, we are increasingly working at the other end of the spectrum: in order to increase the attractiveness of the content, communicating with colorful language, infused with a unique tone of voice is the preference. And of course, posts must be accompanied by images – even if they are not entirely relevant, the inclusion of a visual is considered mandatory to drive eyeballs onto content.

Admittedly, the theory behind this is not entirely wrong. In contrast to text-heavy information, videos and infographics require a different set of cognitive processes and make their message easier to understand. But visualization is not a magic cure. A tweet, for instance, on the current ECB policy, will not be more relevant if accompanied by a picture of the Frankfurt skyline.

Visual elements are also part of a communication strategy
For this reason, the use of visual elements must also be embedded in the digital communication strategy. Objectives must be formulated and target groups must be defined. They determine the channel on which accompanying visuals can be used and where it is more effective to simply get to the point.

In this way, visual elements can be prevented from becoming a component that is automatically included “because this is the way to do it on digital channels”. With effective planning, reaching a wider audience is always possible.

# Digitization # Finance # Content