In today’s technologically driven age, building your online brand is essential to the success of your business. In fact, 72% of marketers agree that traditional marketing is no longer sufficient enough on its own. While traditional marketing still plays an integral role in brand strategy, digital branding is how businesses today will drive leads, increase conversions and grow revenue.

To begin your branding journey, you’ll want to start by producing more visual content. Why? Because the online space is dominated by pictures, infographics and videos that are seeking to capture users’ attention. In 2017, 37% of marketers agreed that visuals were the most important form of content, second only to blogging. More to the point, images shared across social media produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts, and videos generate 1200% more shares than social text and photos combined.

The internet is slowly becoming more visual, and will continue down this path for the coming years. If you haven’t already begun crafting your visual brand strategy, this blog post will teach you how to create a brand identity through images that will produce results for your business. That being said, here are five steps to building a strong brand — let’s get started!

1: Brand Your Images

Visual content drives more engagement from users on social media. It’s that simple! On Facebook, posts from brands that included images earned 87% of all engagements. On Twitter, tweets with images earned up to 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets! Begin enhancing your social media advertising strategy by uploading photos alongside written content. Use images that further illustrate the main points of your post to give users a more comprehensive understanding of what they’re about to click on. If you’re sharing a post about artificial intelligence, the image you’re sharing should include a visual representation of artificial intelligence. It might seem too simple, but as Steve Jobs said, “[y]ou have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”

Artificial Intelligence Vs Humans

Another simple solution to create branded visual content is to plan a consistent look for all your posts. Choose a color scheme, font or layout that speaks to your overall business’ aesthetic, and stick with it! This is an essential component to creating strong branded imagery because you want all your pictures to feel like an extension of your business. When users see your images, they should inherently think of your brand because of visual context clues.

For example, when you see a bright yellow border, what does that make you think of? If you thought of National Geographic, you are correct! That border is one of their staple visual elements that lets users know, this is National Geographic. To include this tactic in your digital marketing strategy, start by using the same typography for each post, or make a signature border like National Geographic. Regardless of what you choose to do, be sure to keep it consistent so users can easily identify your content.

2: Post More Videos

Video content stats

The future of the internet lies in videos, which means that the future of online branding is in videos as well. Worldwide, marketers agree that video content is the kind of content with the best ROI, generating 49% more revenue for marketers who use video than those who do not. When uploading video content onto your social channels, remember to include the same branding elements discussed above — use the same font, the same border, and showcase your logo in the end. For example, media companies like Girlboss media incorporate those same branding elements in their videos as they do in their images. Remember, consistency in your visuals applies to your videos as well.

3: Say It with an Infographic

Infographics are another effective way brands can show off imagery to drive engagement for their branding strategy. They are especially effective for B2B businesses looking to inform and educate rather than promote and sell. You can share industry facts, visualize your company’s history, or compare and contrast your products against the competition’s.  Infographics are also liked and shared on social media 3x more than any other type of content, which means an increase in your brand awareness!

4: Invest in Your Photography

Stock photography plagues the internet, and users are becoming more keen on recognizing stock imagery versus original imagery. With smartphone camera quality producing pictures that rival the quality of a DSLR, there’s no reason stock photography should plague your visual brand strategy too! The importance of brand image is paramount, so if you want to stand out from your competition, take original pictures and share them on your website or social platform. When it comes to the branding aspect of your photography, keep visual elements that make up the photo in mind. If you’re not well versed in composition, lighting and other key photographic elements, start by editing your photos using the same filter on Instagram. Keep your brightness, contrast and warmth the same whenever you upload a photo, and watch as your feed unravels, becoming a unified collage of images.

5: Use a GIF

Photography for Branding

Images are great, but GIFs are better! This is especially true when used in your email marketing strategy. GIFs help “up” your visual engagement game and give your content an extra kick. Using them is also one of the most underrated brand image building strategies in digital marketing, but using them is just as effective, if not more so than using images. In fact, Giphy CEO, Alex Chung, iterated that he believes GIFs are more effective than images because “words on a page or a static image on a site both struggle to convey human emotion as comprehensively as a GIF.” He says that “photographs are great at conveying nouns, but animated GIFs add the verbs which makes them the perfect medium for storytelling.” So tell your story using a GIF!

Tip Rewind

Imagery has always played a powerful role in the way we interact and engage with content. Users are drawn to visuals because they helps them retain and process information better than text-only posts. Hopefully, these 5 brand image building strategies helped show you how to build a strong brand image using visual content. Let’s see them again:

  1. Use consistent branding in your images so users can more easily recognize your brand
  2. Post more video content to drive engagement from your audience
  3. Create infographics to inform and educate your users
  4. Invest in your photography to produce unique, quality imagery
  5. Tell a story using GIFs