If you’re like most businesses, you’re probably spending about half your marketing budget on digital marketing hoping to stand out. But how do you know that your visual branding is really working?
With such a big chunk of your marketing budget devoted to getting out there in front of potential clients, you want to be sure that it’s working. Tracking your digital analytics will let you know how well you’re doing up against your competitors.
What most potential customers want is a brand that’s truly unique, that they can identify with. Most brands take the same cookie cutter approach to visual branding or else they try too hard and end up with ugly logos and abrasive ads.
In order for your visual branding strategy to ensure that you really stand out, follow these 8 tips.
1. Work On Your Website
As just about every potential client finds out about a new business through an online search, your website is going to make your first impression. You need to make sure it’s your best sales associate and your strongest brand representative. Your visual branding starts with your online presence these days.
While you may be tempted to use a template-based site, it might end up looking like 100 other businesses in your market. You won’t be able to stand out and you’ll end up working on something that looks just like your competitor.
Template sites offer the potential for a polished website that looks good on mobile devices. This is important. But it also needs to stand out.
Take a look at all of your competitors and see what works on their websites. Take note of what doesn’t as well. Then make sure you have something unique that takes into account all of the things you like about those other websites.
Your images and text need to reflect your client’s needs, not your own. Your website tells a visual story about what your brand is and why you do what you do.
Find a designer who understands what you’re about and you’ll be well on your way.
2. Professional Photography
Whether you’re taking photos of your staff, your restaurant or yourself, make sure you’re always getting professional photographs taken. While your iPhone photos might suffice for social media, clients know a great photo when they see one.
Get some headshots taken of the most important people in your company and have them on your website. Use them as visual branding tools for your company by posting them on LinkedIn and your company’s “About” page.
Whenever possible, avoid stock photography. Consumers know stock photography when they see it. If you want photos showing off your office or event space, hold an event for family and friends for the sole purpose of taking photographs.
3. Social Media Images
Make sure your brand has a presence on every major social media site. Get to know the kind of material that each one is known for and cater your posts for each channel.
Twitter is great for sharing a joke or throwing out a “one-day-only” promotion. Instagram is where you want to show your best photos and short videos. Facebook allows you to put up a little more text and an entire album of photos.
All of these channels will make your brand more approachable and friendly. If you’ve got a new product, take a photo with it. Show people using it.
It will seem more legitimate and help people visualize using that product in their own lives.
Video content is the center of the visual branding world right now. Creating videos will help you build a stronger following, so long as they match your brand.
Be sure that you’re dressed for success in even the most casual videos.
Shoot in consistent settings while you build your brand. Be warm and try to build a connection with your audience. If you have editing capabilities, add your logo discreetly to the bottom corner of the video.
5. Branding Your Images
Think about ways you can create clever infographics or make some graphic quotes. Images with text have been shown to attract more viewers for longer.
Make sure that any graphics are consistent with your overall visual branding approach.
Think about what each image means before you post it. Run it past people on your team to ensure that it fits with what you’re trying to communicate.
6. Your Personal Profile
If you have a company that’s separate from your personal life, be sure that your social media profile fits with your branding strategy.
It’s important that your personal profiles are sincerely personal. You should feel comfortable writing about movies you liked, music you’re listening to, or a vacation you’re excited about. Don’t make it another promotional tool, but know that it’s part of the whole picture.
Whether you’re on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Snapchat, maintain that double consciousness of being on brand and being yourself.
Find the right image you want to use for promotions and then start using it to signal that a deal is on the way.
When clients see this image or this image frame popup on their screen, they’ll stop and take a look. Having consistency will build your visual branding. It will burn itself into customers’ minds and that color or logo combination will build a positive emotional association.
No matter what you choose, be sure that it fits with your overall brand look and feel.
8. Email Signature
Come up with a company-wide email signature look. This will allow a consistency no matter who a client speaks with at your company.
It also looks professional and gives your words a bit of an extra authority. For an extra piece of flair, add your headshot so people know who they’re writing to when they respond.
The Key To Visual Branding Is Consistency
No matter which direction you go, no matter what industry you work in, consistency is your best friend. Having a consistent brand will make it easier to have an impact on your audience.
If you’re ready to take your online branding to the next level, read more here on how to figure out whether you should hire someone or take it the DIY route.