Is your brand active on social media? Yes? Well so is every other brand! You need to make sure that your brand is standing out when people scroll through their endless newsfeeds. How can you do this? One of the main ways that you can stand out is visually. Whether this be with photos, quotes or videos.
Creating visually engaging and branded images can be quite tricky. You want people to remember your brand but you don’t want to come across as too ‘salesy’. Your images should be subtly branded so that your audience knows instantly that it’s you without you having to slap a massive logo over the top. There’s a few ways that you can brand your image and a few things to be aware of before you start. I am going to outline these below whilst giving visual examples.
Facebook’s Frustrating 20% text rule
One thing to be aware of is that Facebook has a very frustrating 20% text rule for images when it comes to promoted posts. Of course this makes sense in terms of avoiding bombarding Facebook with loads of sales based text, but from a designer’s perspective, having to stick to a specific grid can be very restricting. I feel that this topic deserves a whole dedicated blog post in itself, so please check that out next time!
Remember to also research what dimensions your visual needs to be depending on the social channel and purpose of the post.
It’s a good idea to decide where you want to place your logo (a very small logo!) and to keep this consistent throughout all of your future images. Most of the time the logo is placed in the bottom right-hand side corner (such as in the Virgin Active example below). I feel that a logo is more likely to be seen if it’s placed here as the eye tends to travel this way down a page. If your images are well branded in other ways then you may not even need a logo at all. PayasUgym has always stood out to me in my newsfeed and they don’t use logos at all on their promoted post images. Surprisingly, I don’t even follow this brand or had heard of them before, so they are definitely branding their visuals in the right way!
Templates can be great but they can also be awful. They save time and also help to ensure consistency. On the other hand, your images can become boring very easily and your audience may just scroll past them without thinking twice. A good middle ground would be to have a few different templates which you can use so that you can mix things up but still build up a recognisable style.
As with templates, using the same font for everything shows off your brand but can also get quite repetitive. The old Pure Gym brand (before their recent rebrand), was a good example where they would use a mix of fonts in each image.
Colours and Filters
Something which you may see a lot of is a brand using the same colours or overlay styles on all of their images. Cadbury uses their signature purple in every single image. This is some serious consistency!
Once you have decided on your visual style. Try and stick to this. Will your images feature high quality photography (try to avoid the stock-imagery style!). Or perhaps your images will include illustrations, or maybe a mix of both. Sometimes you can get away with swapping between different styles (such as how Cadbury does), but you need to make sure that you are swapping consistently so that your audience knows what to expect and isn’t confused when they see a completely different style of image posted. Remember: consistency helps to build up authenticity.
The overused phrase ‘think outside of the box’ is completely relevant when visually portraying your brand. All of the above should be used as a guideline but don’t be afraid to try something different.
Conclusion: Consistency is Key
If you remember one thing from this post, let it be consistency. Your audience will become more reassured of your brand when you’re recognisable and familiar. As it says in the book, ‘Designing Brand Identity‘, “Consumers have become active participants in the brand-building process. Everyone has become a player, producer, director and distributor.” Once you have created a strong brand with great visual content, your audience will want to share these pieces of content with their connections and this is when your brand will really prosper.