With everything going digital, there’s nothing like the human touch to liven up your marketing materials. Cartoons are a fantastic way to add a human touch to your marketing materials, especially if your business is technical, industrial or B2B.
Why Use Cartoons
Cartoons, by definition are drawn by hand. That alone makes them interesting and different, because they are hand drawn, each one is unique by definition and it’s that irregularity and uniqueness that draws us in.
Another wonderful reason to use cartoons is to convey those subtle emotions and conversations that we all know exist in the stratosphere, but that we don’t have the actual words to communicate. Cartoons evoke unsaid emotions that make them an extremely powerful and effective way to say things that are either difficult to say or talk about.
Cartoons are very sharable. People just love sharing cartoons that resonate with them or make them smile. It builds a sort of bond from the sharer of the cartoon with the receiver and creates this nudge, nudge, wink, wink moment that creates a subtle understanding
Humor sells. Cartoons almost always have some level of humor in them and humor sells. When you combine the human element with the emotional communications that only a picture can provide, you evoke a smile and smiles sell.
Creative Ways to Use Cartoons
So, now that you’re sold on using cartoons, here are a few ways that you can use cartoons in your marketing materials:
- Business Cards.? Here is a picture of MY business card with cartoons on them. These arecustom cartoonscreated by Mark Anderson of Andertoons (@Andertoons) . We spent about 30 minutes on the phone where we talked about a few concepts and then he created these variations. These cards really stand out from others and it’s not uncommon to have people take more than one and share them with other people. My challenge was communicating the value I offer to my clients the cartoons did a perfect job depicting common circumstances or trigger events that often prompt people to call me in to help them with their marketing.
- Note Cards & Letter head. The obvious extension from business cards is to create notecards and letterhead. Don’t stop with one cartoon. Create a handful of cartoons that describe a common circumstance your customers can relate to.
- Web site/blog.? Using a custom cartoon on your web site is a great way to grab a reader’s attention and get them engaged in your content. Think about creating cartoons around the top frustrations or pains that your customers encounter when your customers see themselves in your cartoon, they will assume that you really understand them and won?t be able to resist the content.
- Newsletter. Whether you print a newsletter and send it to your customers or just send one via email, give your customers something to look forward to by inserting a custom cartoon. People will often go straight to the cartoon section of the paper just because they look forward to seeing what the characters are up to. The same will be true for your newsletter. Create custom cartoons to illustrate a recent technology breakthrough or solution to a customer problem. You’ll not only entertain your customers, you’ll show be promoting your products, services and solutions as well.
- Calendar of Tips.? Create 12 custom cartoons featuring tips that make sense for that month and use them as holiday and new year gifts.
- Promotional items like T-shirts, Mugs and Luggage Tags.? Create a series of custom cartoons that feature your theme for a trade show and put them on your promotional materials. Embroider shirts or caps for trade shows, create a funny scene using your company name, logo and address and use it as a luggage tag or create mugs your customers won?t want to be without.
- Book. I’m always telling technical and manufacturing companies to create a book using cartoons. They usually freak out because it’s too HUMAN but that’s exactly what’s missing from their products and services; a human approachability. Well-designed custom cartoons sprinkled throughout a technical book lend perspective and context to products that can appear cold and lifeless.
- Contest for the caption. Contests are a really fun way to engage customers and build traffic to your web site. Why not create custom cartoons and then get your audience to submit their ideas for captions. You can select as many winning captions as you like and then get multiple uses out of the same cartoon.
- Customer service. Create a series of custom cartoons to match your most common customer service situations. Here are a few ideas; Ooops – ?we goofed, I hate when that happens, thank you for choosing us, checking in to see how you’re doing. When customers receive these notes with a personal handwritten message inside, you’ll be sure to create smiles and repeat business.
- Advertising. If you’re going to do advertising, why look like everyone else? Make a real statement by creating a custom cartoon that illustrates the features and benefits of your product and service and the experience it creates for your customer.
- Direct mail.? Direct mail is most effective when your target audience receives a series. Custom cartoons are an ideal way to create a story that your audience will love to receive. Create a story that mirrors your ideal customer’s buying situation and the people who relate most to this circumstance will respond.
- Presentations. Spice up your presentations by using custom cartoons instead of clip art. Create a series of characters or scenes that you can use and reuse in a concept presentation that you give over and over.
- Training Materials.? This is a really fun way to engage your audience inside a training session. You can use cartoons to start discussions or debrief a training session.
- Product Packaging. When you print boxes or envelopes why not print something that will set you apart from the rest?
- Product Demonstration. People remember visual messages longer than written ones. Why not incorporate a custom cartoon within your next product demonstration documentation or video. A cartoon illustration the proper use (or the incorrect use) of a product will stick in the mind of a customer.
There are so many different graphics that are available for any of these applications, but using custom cartoons in the ways I’ve described will not only set you apart, but will further engage your customers with your product, service or information that you are trying to communicate.