By Hannah Connolly
t’s an age-old adage for a reason, a picture really can paint a thousand words, yet for your brand or business, you need to make sure it’s painting the right ones.
When harnessed effectively, imagery can become a key tool in your marketing belt for communicating your mission, USP or product, but what’s the trick? Ultimately, cohesion is key.
Topline is to ensure that all visual assets align with your niche offering, or demonstrate what makes you or your business unique. There should be a narrative thread running throughout all of your comms, this will create brand recognition.
This is not to be confused with your logo. A logo operates in a different way, this is effectively your emblem and will be attached across all of your channels. Other image placement, be it for event listings or website assets, for example, offer a more versatile opportunity.
The “images” you use could cover a breadth of mediums, collage, graphics, illustrations… the list goes on – the most important thing to remember is, making your choices align with your unique point of difference.
Here The Stack breaks down 5 tips to help you carve out a visual identity…
1.) Do Your Research
Effective imagery in association with a brand works for a reason. It is important to notice the techniques employed by businesses or people you admire. This is the perfect place to start if you are in the early stages of building a presence or you are looking to make some changes.
Spend the time looking at the ways other people denote their companies or practices, but remember the key is not to copy and paste ideas, rather, to adapt and mould successful techniques to the shape of your own business.
A great way to do this would be looking at old magazines or journals, theres lot’s of tips to pick up from advertisement techniques used in the past. Google Books offers a digitised collection of LIFE magazines dating back to 1932 and can be a fun place to look for inspiration in old ad campaigns.
2.) Remember Your Purpose
It is easy to get distracted by aesthetically pleasing images, but in conjunction with your business, choosing them is an exercise of taste meets comms strategy.
Good practice at the beginning of the image sourcing process is to spend some time outlining the purpose. Why am I looking for this image and what do I want it to achieve?
3.) Remember The ‘How’
When it comes to presenting your audience with visuals, it is fundamental to remember the how. Every time your think about using an image also ask yourself: Does this represent my business? If the answer is no, no matter how great the image is don’t use it.
4.) Think Of Images As A Sales Pitch
Images, when used well can be a great way to denote the essence of your brand and can be the deciding factor pushing towards RSVPs or purchases.
The visuals you surround your brand with will be a key identifier as to what you are about, so make sure you are always appealing to your existing audience and your target audience at large.
For example, if you know your audience base is drawn to the community aspect of your company place images from previous meet-ups or events in important high traffic areas (website homepage, event listing page, etc…).
Make sure to keep capturing the success of your company in action, even if it is simply on your phone. Or if you are just starting out, find royalty-free images that represent your vision – Unsplash is a great place to start.
5.) Create An Emotional Connection
You want your image to be evocative, to tell a story that a viewer can make an emotional connection with – this will increase engagement and positive outcomes. Through your company ethos, you will know what it is about you or your business that appeals to your audience or network, so tap into those connections and build an image bank around that.
6.) Quality Matters
When uploading any images in conjunction with your business, make sure the quality is as high as possible – ultimately if the quality isn't there then the image shouldn't be used. Low-quality assets can reflect negatively on your company so be mindful to uphold standards.
This also applies to resizing and editing images, if the image crop appears strange online, it is well worth the time spent in editing. Also, be aware of any text you have running across images, that firstly they are not cropped awkwardly, but also that the image doesn't obscure the letters, like white text on a light background.
Consideration and care can be the deciding factor between imagery that works for your brand and imagery that works against it – put the time in and you will see the benefits.
The saying goes a picture says a thousand words – here’s how to make your branding speak volumes through visuals
By Hannah Connolly
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