Branding reaches across multiple aspects of your marketing and business image, but graphics are one of the most powerful aspects of branding. You compete with other brands offering the same products and services you sell. Standing out from the vast sea of business choices isn’t easy, but with savvy use of graphics, you can make an impression on consumers.
Visuals add to every element of what you’re doing. About 88 percent of marketers say they use visuals in at least half of their posts. Graphics will work for your web design, on social media and in any piece of content you release with your brand name. Here are nine branding strategies for using graphics.
Create a consistent user experience across every graphic you use, wherever you use it. Create a style guide for the size of the photo and other elements. Do you always want your logo or product showing in every image? You can be as specific or general as you’d like. For example, you can say that the product must appear in every image, or you can say the product must appear in every image in the lower left corner.
What is the overall color palette of your business? Your palette includes colors used in your logo as well as other colors associated with your brand or website. Once you have an idea of your brand color palette, repeat those colors in your graphics. If you create an infographic, utilize your color palette so that the image meshes well with the rest of your website.
For photos, consider how colors work with your overall palette. They don’t always have to match perfectly, but they should complement one another. Utilize colors for impact, such as making a call to action (CTA) button stand out.
If you own a brick-and-mortar establishment, think about the impact graphics have on those entering your store. Consider the effect of signs and how they appear from various distances. The graphics and signage you use in a brick-and-mortar establishment will create an experience for those entering your store. Think about the impact of signs and how they appear from various distances.
For example, if you create signage for a restaurant, consider how to reach people before they enter your restaurant, then use directional signage once they’re inside and perhaps even digital signage to show daily specials.
Your logo is something used through nearly every aspect of your business’ branding. Think about how memorable your logo is and if it stands out from that of your competitors. It should also reflect your brand’s color palette.
Use your logo consistently in your branding so that people begin to associate it with your brand. When you see McDonald’s golden arches, you instantly know the logo stands for the fast food giant. If you come across Nike’s logo, you know the brand the swoosh belongs to. Your logo is a graphic that must be memorable and used widely to create the right associations.
Videos are shared more often on social media than any other form of content. Expand your brand’s reach by adding motion graphics to your lineup — aka videos. By the year 2021, videos will make up 80 percent of internet traffic. Tell your brand’s story and drive the narrative with branded videos.
Around 87 percent of Facebook engagements come from brands including images in their posts. Other types of content ranked much lower, with the next closest one garnering only four percent of the total brand engagements.
Remember that images should remain consistent for smart branding, so come up with a style and size you’d like to use on social media. Image styles should also match your overall look and tone as a brand, no matter where you’re sharing that image.
Show customers the type of customer service they can expect or your company culture with the graphics you share. For example, if you have an Instagram page, show a glimpse of employees having fun behind the scenes at work to prove you’re a brand that cares about its employees. Or, add a snapchat feed highlighting customers using your product to show you care about your customers and whether they enjoy their purchases.
The graphics shared on your website and social media tell a story about who you are as a company, so carefully choose what you allow out into the world and think about how it describes who you are.
The graphics you use show the personality of your brand. Think about an event for young people and how you might use bright colors and images filled with life events. On the other hand, if you’re selling products to outdoorsmen, the images might need to be darker and more rugged, like options with earthy tones.
Make your brand stand out by tapping into the emotions of your target audience. Start with the pain point drawing consumers to your brand. What problem is your typical customer facing? What emotions tie into that problem?
If you sell fire alarms, for example, people may seek out your brand because they need new or more accurate warnings. Fear of losing their home or those inside drives them to make the purchase. Tap into the emotions of fear and love for family, and you’ll convey powerful emotion. Now, what image sums up your brand? Perhaps it’s an image of a child peacefully sleeping while smoke pours under the bedroom door.
Images create an instant impression on consumers. Think through the overall look of the images you use as well as the story they convey and use them strategically for brand building. When a consumer sees one of your pictures, they should instantly recognize it as belonging to your brand. Study popular social media accounts and websites of popular brands. Visit the stores of competitors. Learn from the success of others, and work toward building a strong brand image that’s consistent and memorable.
Lexie Lu is a writer and coffee lover. She enjoys covering topics related to UX design, web design, social media and branding. Lexie is a contributor to Marketo, Website Magazine and Business.com. Feel free to subscribe to her design blog, Design Roast, or follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.