Branding and imagery are a lot more than just the way your logo looks on a letterhead. Your images, along with your content, help to build your brand's personality.
It would be best not to underestimate the value that visuals have in selling an idea or a concept. Social Media Today states that content with relevant imagery gets 94% more views compared to content that is lacking relevant imagery. Visual media is also a core component of the content that users share on social media the most. It's evident that brand imagery should be among the most vital considerations for a new business.
We're not talking about taking a random image design and manipulating it using photo editing software to convey what it is that your business does. Brand imagery needs to be bold and decisive. It needs to evoke feelings and emotions within the viewer to compel them to take action. Shares, likes and subscribes are the new currency of the internet, and you need the right visual elements to resonate with people so they give you their attention. In this article, I will explain how your business can select the perfect brand imagery for your posts.
Keep branding front and center
What does your brand do? What does it stand for? A brand is more than just a logo or a picture, according to Impulse Creative; it's an idea that evokes emotion. Your brand provides a guiding direction for your marketing efforts and serves as an unspoken promise to the customer. Therefore, the brand message you present must be consistent among all of your content, including the brand imagery.
What do you want your brand to evoke with your target audience? This question sets the stage for choosing an image that complements the overarching idea of your brand. If you have a test audience that you can tap into that mirrors your brand's core demographic, run the image by them to see if it works. If it doesn't, dissect the elements they did and didn't like to do better the next time around. Brand imagery can be a trial-and-error process, but it is necessary if you want the company to make the impact you think it should.
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Learn the rule of thirds
According to SLR Lounge, the rule of thirds divides an image into three sections, both vertically and horizontally. It places the subject in the middle of the divisions or along one of the lines. This simple grid-like approach can also help to develop strong brand imagery. At its heart, logos are images, and if you look at them from that perspective, you can start seeing where you can apply the rule of thirds. It doesn't end there.
Photographic subjects that make up your content images should follow the rule of thirds. This particular rule has persisted for so long because it's a proven way to focus on the aesthetics of a photograph. Negative or white space around the subject helps to draw more attention to the subject.
Use coordination and composition
People associate a brand with specific colors. Images that share the same tone, color and style of shot work well together and create a visual aesthetic that viewers come to associate with your brand.
Many brands underestimate how much color can impact on an audience's interaction with an image. A study in the journal Management Decision mentions that 90% of judgments about a product are made solely on the color of the product. In fact, there's an entire field of research dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of color psychology and using it to draw users to an image.
Avoid faking it till you make it
It's easy to think that audiences are gullible enough to fall for patently fake images. However, users have spent a long time in the real world to know fake when they see it, and having faked photos undermines your brand's credibility and trustworthiness. Don't be tempted to use a fake image; avoid it altogether.
Alternatively, you could look at it from an abstract perspective. Instead of taking the "fake handshake" route, you can leverage abstract images of designs to help communicate the idea you have in your head to the audience. Finding the right image to engage your audience while ensuring it doesn't look fake will take time, but the returns are worth it. Before you ask, stock images count as faking it.
Create emotional connections
Images can make for vital connectivity between a brand and its core audience. Copy can tell a story simply enough, but the adage that pictures are worth a thousand words apply here. The catch is that the pictures words need to match the copy's words. Evoking emotions from photos is a specialty of some photographers. However, not all photographers can manage to tease that elusive connection out the images they take. In some cases, having a skilled photographer do a shoot dedicated to the business may be worth spending marketing funds on to get the shot or shots you want.
With so many brands today wanting to go the "genuine" route of engagement, emotional connection is necessary. Without that connection, audiences don't see the brand as understanding or willing to help. To make your brand stand out from the crowd, you have to be seen as emotionally receptive. Because of this requirement, the images that you include on your content need to have that latent element that helps the audience connect with the brand on an emotional level.
Imagery and branding in the 21st century
Branding and imagery are a lot more than just the way your logo looks on a letterhead. Your images, along with your content, help to build your brand's personality. Is the business caring? Harsh? Firm? What does the company value in its dealings? As businesses become more like people, these elements have taken on new importance to businesses seeking to make their branding more human.
Combining images that are suitable to the company's branding image and their advertising and content helps to connect the audience to the brand in a completely new way. All of these hinge on how well the business is at tying their brand message to their imagery. Like almost all things in marketing, it will take some practice to get it right, but its well worth the investment.