Color In Marketing: Choosing Colors That Convert

How color should affect your branding and marketing strategy


Color combination is one of the most important aspects of web marketing and branding - particularly on the internet. Not only are businesses compete for space, search engine position, and traffic, they compete for our affections and our attention.

Color appreciation is a subjective experience, most of it is unconscious. There are, however, some guidelines that can be employed to make sure your brand and image are interesting and pleasing to the eye.

What I am talking about is the challenging art of using colors that convert your audience and take your reader in the direction you want them to go.

Why Color in Web Marketing Matters

You want your visitors to act positively to your content or product. Finding the right color scheme engenders trust and authority in your product or profession.

Studies have shown that color has a direct impact on conversion, comprehension, and trust. 93% of purchasing decisions online are considered to be a direct result of the visual perception. Visual appeal affects mood, appetite, and readability. Color tells people to be careful, to be joyful, and to relax.

This World was Made in Color

We live in a technicolor world. It's familiar, it's beautiful, and we like it. And so, it makes sense to present your visitors with familiar tones and design. They should be consistent and congruent with the topic of conversation. I spend a lot of time with my clients and my staff at the design phase of any project. I often need to convince those I work with that their favorite color is not the standard.

Sure, we live in a world of color, but not in a world where everything is every color. There is a reason people don't eat a lot of blue food.

How many Colors should I use in my Marketing?

As a general principle, less is more. Too many colors confuse the reader and make it hard for them to know where they ought to be looking. While too few colors may appear boring to some, a two color site can be quite effective if the design is right.

The Three Color Website Scheme

Experts in design theory will often use the 60/30/10 rule of design, which means that they will choose three colors and use them in those ratios. 

So, when choosing a color scheme in your web marketing and branding efforts, aim for this ratio.

Primary color

This is the main color of your page and sets the overall tone. Ask yourself who is your target audience and what, culturally, do they find appealing. Age, demographic, relationship status, career, and gender - all play a part in determining your marketing strategy when it comes to brand color and design.

This will usually form the backdrop to your brand logo.

Secondary color

This is a color that is complimentary or closely associated with the primary color. Its main objective is to add a subtle or secondary layer of dimension to the site, lifting it off the page enough to keep the reader engaged. The goal here is subtlety. You don't want to blur your brand. More often, this is the color of main headings, text or secondary information. It is meant to clarify who you are and what you are about.

Call to Action Color

This is a color that is used to draw attention to the action you want the reader to take. It is used in links and buttons, and also some carefully made advertisements. Because of its purpose, it stands out from other colors and is not used elsewhere on the site. Use this color in moderation, or else it will lose its value.

What Should Stand Out in Your Marketing

Your call to action. Ask your friends to take a 5-second look at your site and then ask them to report what they recall. If they don't recall your call to action, then it simply isn't a call to action.

'Before choosing the color for a brand,' writes  Patrick Conley, 'it's critical to understand the demographics and psychographics of the intended audience.' In order to come up with the ideal color scheme for your branding and marketing, do your research. Take a look at your competition. Notice what those in your industry are doing.

Remember, your goal is not to be different. Your goal is to be effective in your web marketing and branding strategy. If you can do both, you are doing well.

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