Are your advertising graphics making the biggest impact possible? If you're focused on other, less effective revenue-building strategies, they might not be.

A study from the University of Cologne found that focusing on being a market leader is not as important as building customer relations and building your brand. This includes revamping the images you present in campaigns.

If your gut says you could be doing better when it comes to capturing consumer interest with graphics, no worries: more studies have been uncovering ways to change up your approach so you see real financial performance gains. Try the following tips:

Reconsider "relationship advertising."

Researchers from USC report that the common practice of spotlighting happy couples in advertising can backfire when it comes to single consumers.

This is because when a single person views an image of a love relationship, it can trigger "perceived deservingness" — the person feels they aren't good enough for the product being pitched because they are unloved, in a nutshell. Take a good, hard look at your target demographic as it changes, and make sure you aren't alienating key portions of your base.

Mix the old with the new.

A study from the Journal of Consumer Research found that advertising that helps consumers visualize themselves using a new product at a time in the past — like using a broom to effectively clean their floor last week — gets them to buy the product.

Images and language that focus too much about unfamiliarity — like showing new ways or new locations in which to use that new broom — would be much less effective in terms of sales. Always market to your customers' feelings of self-assurance and comfort in this kind of scenario.

Promote conservation.

Ads with majestic animal images can be extremely powerful tools — a lion is an advertising icon for this reason. You can build even more consumer goodwill by pointing out that the beautiful lion in your advertising is actually an endangered species and that they can help with the problem.

A study from Oregon State University found that consumers tend to think seeing an endangered animal in an ad means their survival is guaranteed. Providing accurate conservation information, plus info on how consumers can donate money to protect these animals, gives them the chance to see your products positively and make a real difference.

Be declarative in key market environments.

Researchers from the Carroll School of Marketing at Boston College report that consumers don't want to see ad images that ask them questions when they're in "high arousal" environments — like at a sporting event, or in a hospital waiting room, when they may be waiting anxiously for a particular outcome.

When consumers are nervous, they like to see declarative statements — instead of "Do you want to stop your seasonal allergies?" try stating, "Stop your seasonal allergies."

The clearer you can be when focusing on these kinds of marketing environments, the better.

Never rest on your laurels.

Frequent market research is always going to benefit your bottom line more than assumption. Make a constant and consistent effort to take your audience's temperature — this way, you have a bird’s-eye view of what advertising images are working in your favor in real time.