We all know the importance of creating a brand, and of keeping it consistent across all marketing platforms.
And while social media has certainly changed the channels we use to reach our market, the importance of a strong and consistent brand identity across platforms has not changed.
Here we explain why images are essential in conveying your brand identity online - and how to use them effectively.
What is brand identity?
Brand identity provides a mechanism to communicate the benefits of your product from its competitors in a visual way that is instantly recognizable. It is your way to instantly connect with and communicate to your target customer.
Brand identity consists of three major components: the message, or tag line, the font and the imagery. It is important to keep consistency in all three elements wherever your brand appears - including print and online medias. Lets focus on the use of images in your online brand identity.
The images you choose are the building blocks for your marketing messages. They are what will grab your audience’s attention and form the first impression they will have of your business.
Building a strong identity with images
Strong images that powerfully convey your messages will lift up and carry your brand to the masses - so it is important to consider a few key concepts when choosing them.
1. Have a clear theme
The last thing you want to do is to confuse your audience with an ill-chosen image. If you are promoting early child education, for example, avoid using images that show teenagers or adults in learning situations.
Instead, use professional baby stock photos or focus on the tools of early education, and show them in fun and playful environments. You want your images to be appealing, and not discourage your audience from reading further.
2. Establish the right tone
People are drawn to happy, hopeful imagery. Consider the colour tones and lighting in addition to the subject matter when choosing the right image. The last thing you would want is to convey scary or spooky impressions when marketing a children's dance class, for example!
Set the tone for your message by choosing images with strong design elements.
3. Set yourself apart
Look for images that stand out for their uniqueness instead of conforming to norms. Showing your creativity when promoting your services will help you stand out from the crowds and give you social channels a unique visual identity.
4. Avoid clutter
Images should be clean and have a clear focal point. That is the area you want most associated with your brand. Avoid images that are cluttered, as they may contain hidden messages or unintended meanings - and you can trust social media users to pick up even the tiniest thread and run with it.
5. Stay appropriate
While it is perfectly appropriate to use grungy, edgy images when promoting an adult business like a bar or tattoo parlour, it would not be wise to use them when marketing a nursery. Remember, you never want to go "viral" for all the wrong reasons! Keep your imagery audience- and subject-appropriate.
Don't forget your avatar
When it comes to social media marketing, it's important to keep brand consistency across channels. As well as your logo, colours and fonts, don't forget your avatar - that little box associated with your name or business when posting on social media.
It may seem like an odd place to focus, but it can have a big impact on your brand identity. Use the same avatar across all your social media platforms. The more unique and creative your avatar, the more positive attention it will garner.
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