online marketing

Never Underestimate the Impact of Colour in Marketing

The appropriate use of colour for online marketing businesses cannot be understated. Colour is one of the most powerful forms of non-verbal communication at the marketer’s disposal. And although not everyone will have the  inclination to read everything you write, they almost certainly will notice the imagery, and the colours involved. A sensible use of colour will leave a subtle, yet deep, underlying impression on visitors.

The spectrum of colour research

The influence of colour on our subconscious is so great it even has its own research domain, that of ‘colour psychology’. Studies have shown that in pretty much every corner of the world, most cultures have independently identified and named the primary colours, probably because each primary colour falls on a particular wavelength that we, as human beings, most easily recognise. And although these colours can have nuances across the different populations, everyone is vulnerable to the ‘priming’ effects they have.

What your colours say about your online marketing business

Take a look at our website closely. You’ll see a variety of colours all utilized for specific functions. For the homepage, logo, and ‘about’ page, we use green contrasted with white. Green is often associated with nature. It can make people feel more relaxed, and in turn, creative. White on the other hand, can be interpreted to suggest safety, a successful beginning, even perfection. Together, the two colours create a welcoming blend, one that resonates – consciously or not – with potential clients.

Now imagine visiting the homepage of a site that uses yellow contrasted with black. It’s likely you intuitively know these colours don’t go well together. Yellow and black have connotations that warn us away. They can generate a sense of hazard; of anxiety, even danger. Even if these subtleties are slight, the stress that they invoke can be enough to deter would-be customers.

How your choice of colour can help you

Using the right colours can give your online marketing business its own imaging ‘brand’. Our brains seem to prefer this ‘brain branding’, probably because it allows for that instantly recognisable element. Before even a word of text is processed, our brains have already made that welcoming connection of familiarity.

With this, it’s important to consider the personality of your business, as well as the wants of your customers. Choose the colours that you feel best suit your mission purpose. For example,  if your brand personality is meant to be something cool-headed, pick softer colours, such as blue, or yellow. If you really want to demand attention, such as an urgent call-to-action response, then ‘aggressive’ colours – for example red – may be better.

The ‘grey’ area of colour research

Although for the most part colour perception is universal, the emotional responses they invoke can be vastly different – even sometimes having the opposite effect as intended – depending on what audience you’re aiming for, and what part of the world they’re from. Even from person to person, colour perception can vary depending on the individual’s personality.

With this lack of uniformity, despite the compelling case for colour psychology, ultimately you should use your common judgement. Ask others for a more rounded view, look at competitors and scrutinize their colour schemes, and try not to overstimulate. Less is usually more. Then you should be able to use the subtle power of colour to your advantage.

Have a think about colour next time you’re planning on a site redesign. Click here to read more.