Let’s discuss color and how it can be utilized in online marketing. Color is a seriously complex topic to discuss and understand fully, after all, we consume the colors around us in three predominant ways – psychologically, culturally, and environmentally. We understand colors in many ways that are subconscious – for example, in the west, when we feel angry we say “I saw red!” But why? Do we remember seeing flashes of the color red after bickering with someone over a parking spot?
Many marketing websites will assure you that if you just change your call to action to say, the color red, you will increase conversions by 5000% – but do yourself a favor and “don’t believe the hype.” Color is perceived by each person differently and there’s much more to the story than a magic shade that will compel your visitors to click, enter information or buy.
Color as it is Perceived Culturally
First, let’s talk about color across different cultures. If you have an international clientele, bear in mind that colors speak differently to different people across the world. For example, brides in the west don white, a symbol of cleanliness and sterility. On the other hand, brides in eastern cultures adorn themselves in red, associated with prosperity and good fortune. If you have an audience across many regions on the world, you might want to incorporate a ratio of appropriate colors to avoid off-putting a viewer in a different culture. That being discussed, the focus of the rest of the article will be on colors as perceived by the western side of the world.
Color as it is Perceived Psychologically
Color has interesting effects on our brains, eliciting different emotions in us as we consume them. Red stimulates the brain’s adrenal glands and neurons, invigorating us. Yellow can make us feel happy, literally releasing serotonin into our bodies, a chemical in the brain associated with happiness. Meanwhile, the color blue produces calming chemicals in our brains, while green can have soothing effects on the eyes. Black, some suggest, can incite aggression – one study noted that hockey players wearing black jerseys are penalized more for fouls.
Color for Branding
Although there isn’t a magical color that will compel your visitors to make a conversion, color is a powerful component of branding. What’s important to bear in mind when selecting a color for your brand’s identity is that the consumer’s perceived appropriateness of the color being used is paramount. With branding you want to consider appropriateness of color, the personality you want to express and the emotions you would like to invoke in your prospects. Color increases brand recognition by 80%, so be sure to choose a color that stands out from your competition. Colors also play an important role in product purchases – 90% of snap judgments made about products can be influenced by color alone.
Color for Conversions
When it comes to driving conversions, it’s not as much about selecting the “right” color, it is more about contrast. We tend to want to click on objects that stand out, because they grab our attention. So when you chose your color palette for your site, focus on colors that express your brand that are appropriate for your demographic first, then select a complementary contrasting color for your CTAs.
Color for Website Design
Because there’s no “best” color to drive online conversions, think about adhering to a “60-30-10” rule. Establish your brand identity with an appropriate base color to consume 60% of your page, accentuate this color with another appropriate brand color to take up 30%, then employ 10% of contrasting color for your CTAs and to let the user know what you would like them to do next.
Believe it or not, this is just the beginning of a thorough discussion about colors and their impact on us. To understand color’s psychological impact on us further, visit colourlovers.com – a website dedicated to discovering palettes crafted by artists and designers. The site allows you to search by keyword – choose an esoteric keyword such as “paranoia” and you will see color’s incredible capacity to convey complex messages to us psychologically. If you are searching for brand colors and want to express your personality, you can also use this tool to search for palettes with keywords such as “swag,” “serene” or professional.
Colourlovers and similar tools will get you started on the right foot. Establishing your brand identity is key to success for any company, but especially online. If your visitors remember your brand, they will send you those direct hits, repeat visits, and low bounce rates that Google just loves, and color is one of the most efficient ways to establish this goal.