How to Use Colors Effectively in Content Marketing

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Think about the Coca-Cola logo. One of the first things that come to mind is that it’s red, emphasizing its youthful, exciting, and bold persona. Logos like Chase and Facebook are blue, putting an emphasis on trust. Meanwhile, the McDonald’s’ ‘M’ arch is optimistic, warm yellow.

Color use in marketing goes far beyond logos. 85% of shoppers place color as a primary reason why they buy a particular product. Also, 93% of consumers place visual appearance and color above all other factors when shopping.

Each color evokes a different feeling, mood, or emotion. Therefore, it’s essential to know what colors emphasize the tone you are striving for when visually marketing your product.

If done well, you can increase leads by attracting to your brand.

Content Marketing: Warm and Cool Colors

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Nickelodeon’s website is full of images and videos in front of a bright orange background.

Red Bull’s bright red CTA button allows you to click on its many videos, images, and blog posts.

On the opposite side of the color wheel, cool colors are calm and relaxing. These colors consist of blues, greens, purples, and pinks.

Asprey is known for its quintessential purple brand. Their site includes images of their products wrapped in purple bows. When navigating, users operate a deep purple drop box that further emphasizes their color scheme. 

Starbucks uses green in its company logo and throughout its website. This emphasizes the earthiness of its brand.

Content Marketing in Black and White

Black emphasizes a sense of class, luxury, and never goes out of style. If you use black too often, you can risk overwhelming a customer. When you black with white, it represents balance (take ‘Ying and Yang’ for example). Black also trims down the appearance of sizes on items, hence why people feel black clothing is ‘slimming.’

White often sparks creativity because it acts as a clean slate or blank canvas. It pairs well with black, emphasizing ‘light’ or neutrality.

An article in The University of Chicago Press states “black-and-white images can lead consumers to focus on the abstract, essential, and defining components of a product. In contrast, color images can draw attention to the concrete, sometimes unimportant and idiosyncratic features of the product.” For some brands, black and white is all they need.

Value

When we talk about light and dark, we are referring to a color’s value or brightness.

Value expresses the varying shades of the same color, which holds different meanings within the color itself. The color blue is meant to convey trust, dependability, and wholesomeness.  This is why so many companies incorporate blue in their logos, including social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

On the darker side of the color, shades like navy blue share more properties associated with black. They convey importance, authority, power, confidence, intelligence, and stability. Lighter blues, like cerulean, are soothing, calming, and evoke feelings of peace and confidence. 

You can elicit multiple thoughts and emotions based on the value of the color you use in your designs.

Monochromatic Marketing and Design

According to Insight, going monochromatic is a common marketing practice for designers who want to portray a balanced interface while focusing on the user experience. Using varying hues of a single color effectively communicates simple messages. They’re also easy on the eye.

Analogous Color Schemes

Analogous colors reside next to each other on the color wheel (ex. red, red/orange, and orange, or violet, blue/violet, and blue). 

Grouping analogous colors together results in harmonious designs, like this image from Sumy Designs:



Analogous colors give a similar feel as monochromatic design, but offer more variety. They also add sophistication and depth to your palette.

Complementary Color Schemes

Complementary colors schemes are colors on opposite ends of the color wheel. These include combinations like blue and orange, cherry and emerald. 

In its simplest form, complementary colors consist of the primary colors + the secondary color that isn’t used to make that secondary color. Blue and red make purple, so purple’s complementary color is yellow. Red and yellow make orange, so orange’s complementary color is blue. The University of Washington’s logo and website are great examples of how complementary colors work in marketing and design:


Complementary colors can be dynamic and pleasing to the eye. Instead of their harmonious analogous counterparts, complementary colors demand attention and play off each other’s intensity. For example, Apartment Therapy reveals how much this orange pops out in an otherwise blue room:



By understanding the psychology of color in content marketing, you can create colorful content with a clear idea of what emotions you are hoping to convey. You can play with warm and cool tones, values of black and whites, and choose from various similar or opposite colors and their many shades. 

Experiment with color in your content marketing. The better you get, the more customers you’ll intrigue.