Colour can impact how we think and how we behave.
It is absolutely inevitable.
Colour directs our eye where to look, what to do, and how to interpret something. It puts content into context. This makes it crucial to understand what colours mean to people as a marketer and business owner.
In fact, as a business owner or marketer, you can use colour psychology to improve your online marketing strategies. The only problem is that there are too many resources about colour psychology online for an individual to handle.
Lucky for you, we’ve read them all.
A lot of these resources contain jargon and focus on the theoretical side of colour psychology alone. Very few emphasise on the application. This is why we, at Panworld Digital wanted to create a no-nonsense guide to understand and more importantly, implement colour psychology.
What is Colour Psychology?
You can’t drive without knowing what cars are. The same applies to colour psychology. Thus, the purpose of this section. Feel free to skip on further, if you feel you know this already.
Without us actively realising it, colour influences our behaviour in ways that are not obvious. An example of this is how red increases appetite while blue curbs it. Restaurants use this trick to the best of their advantage. Buffets often have blue cutlery and serving dishes whereas a la carte try to incorporate reds in their ambience.
Colour psychology is the study of the effects of different colours and shades on human behaviour.
Incorporating colour psychology in your online marketing strategy can impact your website’s conversion rate drastically. In fact, a research from QuickSprout indicates that 90% of all product assessments have to do with colour. “Colour is 85% of the reason you purchased a specific product” according to Neil Patel.
Colour psychology is very relevant for logo design and has been for some time as well. However, it goes way beyond just that now.
To feel the full impact of colour psychology, you will need a plan to include it in all design elements of the brand such as web page design and advertising. It is crucial to include it as an essential aspect of your larger online marketing strategy.
Colour psychology is a controversial yet fascinating aspect of online marketing. While colour has been studied and analysed over time, the psychological impact of colour is still moderately subjective. The perceptions of colours may vary depending on multiple factors such as culture and gender. Even our previous experiences with colours from significant events, cultures, people, and memories can alter how we react to those colours.
Men and women also respond differently to colours. Studies have shown that Blue is the most popular colour for both men and women while the most unpopular colour for men is brown and for women is orange. Purple ranks quite high in preference for women but 0% of all men cite it as their favourite colour.
It has been observed that colour is subject to not just gender but also age. Even geography plays a role. In Western countries, white symbolises purity, elegance, peace, and cleanliness. Brides wear white dresses on their wedding day in the region. In a lot of Asian countries including India, China, and Korea white represents death, mourning, and bad luck. It is traditionally worn at funerals in these countries.
The contemporary meaning of colours can also differ over time. Brown may have been the epitome of luxury in the early 1900s but is now disliked by men and women both.
With trends changing constantly, new favourites are always coming up. The mint greens and corals of 2014 are a good example of this. The rise of ‘millennial pink’ in 2017 is another one. You will need to stay on top of trending colours and the meanings behind them to successfully implement colour psychology into your online marketing efforts.
Implementing Colour Psychology in Your Marketing Strategy
Choosing the right colour is incredibly important in branding.
We’re not just talking about aesthetics here. There is a lot more to creating the visual look of your brand than just choosing colours that look good and gel well.
When it comes to picking the colour best suited for your business, it is more important for your brand’s colours to support the personality you want to portray. While certain colours do broadly align with specific traits, such as purple with sophistication or blue with calmness, there is no easy, clear-cut set of guidelines for choosing your brand’s colours. However, context is an essential consideration.
The colour wheel helps you choose beautiful colour combinations. It’s best to remember that keeping your colour combinations simple is the way to go.
The combination you choose to go with can be all warm or all cool colours. However, choosing a high contrast colour is the best choice for important content, because it is most easily seen.A 7:3 ratio between your main and accent colour provides a beautiful pairing.
It is widely believed that the colours on the warm side of the spectrum are bold, uplifting and energetic, while their cooler counterparts, blue and green, exude calmness and inspire trust. This is highly relevant when it comes to picking the colours for your online marketing efforts.
Even changing the shades and tones of the colour can change the impact of a page. If a website is blue, white and red, it could create a different mood from turquoise white and cherry.
Be cautious.Don’t go overboard with all bright colours or all subdued colours. It might be too tiring or too boring for the visitors. A mix of the two would work best.
Impact of Colours in Online Marketing
In a study, the sharing rate of images onPinterestwas analysed. It turns out people were more likely to share images that contained warm colours (such as red and pink). They were less likely to share images that contained cool colours (such as blue and green).
The heightened activation that warm colours incite may have sparked a greater impulse to share images that included those colours.
When it comes to choosing the right colours for your business, you not only have to think how the colour is perceived on an emotional level but also on a practical level. How they feel when they see the colour and whether the colour stands out against established norms in your industry are both critical factors.
To effectively own a colour in your sector can provide a massive competitive advantage. Coca-Cola has been able to pull this off successfully. Red achieves instant recognition for the brand, sometimes even without a logo or even a mention of its name. That’s how powerful colour can be in marketing.
The negative space around text is often just as important as the text itself; it provides a cushion and a place for your eye to rest.
Avoid cramming objects and text into a design and be aware of the entire composition, not just the main components. Even copious use of white is a powerful design feature, very well displayed by Apple in not just their branding but products as well.
Can Colours Increase Conversions?
The simple answer is yes.
A psychological principle commonly known as the isolation effect(or the Von Restorff effect) comes into play when we talk about increasing conversions. The effect states that you remember things better if they stand out.
If your call-to-action button sticks out like a sore thumb, you’re doing it right. Simply put, darker colours like black, dark grey, brown, or purple have very low conversion rates, whereas, brighter ones have higher conversion rates. It may be best to use bright primary colours for your call-to-action buttons.
Knowing how to use colour coordination on your website is vital for your conversion rate too. If the background of your web page is one colour, the call-to-action should be a colour on the other side of the colour wheel for it to stand out.
There are obviously, even more, variables involved when it comes to increasing clicks on call-to-action buttons. Instead of trying to find the universally perfect colour, go for the one that increases the visibility of your call-to-action button.
It’s pretty much impossible to prove that any one colour is better than any other colour for higher conversion rates. This is why, ideally, you should test which colour works best for your particular audience.
Testing Colour Psychology Based Online Marketing Strategies
If your goal is to incorporate elements of colour psychology in your online marketing strategy, then it cannot be emphasised enough how important testing colours is for increasing conversions. Here we’ve listed two popular experiments done by CoSchedule and Hubspot, both experts in the field.
The CoSchedule Experiment: CoSchedule tested different backgrounds for their Facebook promotional posts. They noticed that the orange backgrounds consistently made people more likely to click than those with the blue backgrounds.
Since Facebook is a predominantly blue network, orange stood out more. The colour combination of orange and blue is a powerful one. It’s fairly safe in respects to colour blindness (while red and green is a popular combination, it appears similar to people who are colour blind) and repeatedly gets favourable marks by people as a combination.
This doesn’t mean that orange is the colour you should include in all your future social media posts. It simply means orange worked best for CoSchedule. You should run your own experiments to discover the most suitable colour for you.
Read more about this experiment here.
HubSpot’s Experiment: They created two identical pages with the only difference being the colour of the call-to-action button. One was green and the other red.
Green fit nicely into the design of the website. It looked aesthetically better. At that point, green was heavily being used in website design across the globe.
HubSpot discovered that red outperformed the green call-to-action button by 21%. This is due to the high contrast of red against the neutral and green theme of the page.
However, it is important to remember that this experiment doesn’t mean that red is better than green for conversions. It simply means that for this specific page, red worked better as it stood out more.
Find out more about this experiment over on HubSpot’s blog.
You cannot know how your audience will respond to your colours in your content and layout without A/B testing. A/B and multivariate testing will help determine which colour combinations and placements generate the best conversion rates for you.
You’re Primed at the Launch Pad
The impact of colour has on us and our behaviour is still being explored; the search is always on to understand how humans understand and interpret colour, and what effect it has on us. Meanwhile, you can use the tips in this post to begin using colour psychology to the best of your advantage in your online marketing strategy.
It cannot be emphasised enough that testing and collecting your own data is the only way to know what colours work best for your audience. Everything you’ve learned from this post is only theLaunch Pad from which to propel marketing campaign.