What should I consider as I am looking to create visuals that support my brand?
We’ve all heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and in today’s crowded and noisy online world, this has never been truer. Studies show that people have the ability to recall 65 percent of the visual content that they see almost three days later; while on the flip side, only remember 10 percent of the information that they hear. So, it’s no surprise that visual content has become a staple in many companies’ marketing and communication efforts.
However, to develop a successful visual marketing campaign, the “picture” must be part of an overall brand marketing strategy. The visuals must connect with your intended audiences and be designed based on the intended distribution platforms. And, don’t limit your thinking to just photography: visuals may take the form of images, illustrations, infographics, typography, video or animation.
To begin planning and executing your visual strategy, be sure to follow these three guidelines:
With the overwhelming amount of content available today, making a connection with your audience from a visual perspective is key. Gone are the days of excessive photo editing, as consumers today appreciate authenticity over perfection. They want to see real people and real experiences. That means often bypassing filler stock photos or standard product silhouettes – both of which are largely ignored in social or online media. Instead, think about your brand and how you can bring it to life. Use visuals that incorporate your products or services, and more importantly, the experiences or emotions they create for your target audiences.
Most strategic marketing campaigns start with messaging. However, since research shows that content with images increases view rates by 94 percent, it is critical to incorporate your messaging (words) into a visual format (picture) to help engage your audiences. How? Use your images or illustrations to tell a story. Have a specific use for your product? Don’t just tell it, show it. Similarly, consumers love original research, but rather than simply listing facts, use the rich information to create custom infographics to communicate your information as part of your brand story. These could be short, snackable bites for social media, an animated video or longer form listicle articles.
Your brand has an identity. When developing visuals, it’s important that they are consistent with the personality of your brand to ensure they evoke the feelings and experiences you desire. To achieve this, focus on fonts, colors and tone to ensure they fit within your brand standards. Remember, even if an image generates engagement. If it doesn’t tie back to your brand, it’s not a success.
Duck® brand is an excellent example of a brand that sticks with their brand essence to create fun, friendly, resourceful (and visual) content. To promote their flagship Duck® brand duct tape, the company uses corporate and consumer-generated visuals to share the many uses and functionality. Similarly, for other product lines, such as weatherization or moving products (which are very important, yet not the most exciting topics), the brand has combined interesting information or statistics with vivid on-brand illustrations to capture audiences through both static and animated infographics used for online and social media. In each instance, the Duck® brand visuals are authentic, original and consistent with their brand.
That’s it – just three little things. But wait, there is more! The secret ingredient? Hiring the right team to fearlessly breathe life into the vision and direction you strategically set for your company and brand also matters. Think both internally and externally. Marketers, writers and designers must work together to build trust with your audiences to make that first impression and a lasting connection.