Do you know what is the secret behind the success of big brands, such as Nike or McDonald’s? It’s the fact that every person on the globe knows that they do, i.e. (potential) customers are aware of their brand.
Whether you’re a solopreneur or the CEO of a multinational corporation, your business can always benefit from raising brand awareness. For centuries now, the best way to achieve this goal is to devise visual marketing strategies that consumers find appealing.
Original and moving images
If you wish people to take notice of your brand, then the images you use need to be extraordinary and moving. Namely, avoid Googling pictures for your website and promo campaigns. Stock images are not the best way to go because they are not original.
There are so many aspiring photographers and visual artists, that it shouldn’t be too hard to commission excellent, original visual content. Furthermore, the images need to fit well with textual content, so they create a synergy that will draw customers in.
The importance of optimization across platforms
Once you get your hands on compelling imagery, you need to make sure it displays well across platforms. Namely, all pictures (including the homepage background) should match every platform’s format, scale, and size.
Essentially, the experience of opening your website should be the same whether someone has an iPhone or they are using a desktop computer. Lack of optimization won’t prevent customers from browsing wares but it will tarnish your reputation.
Coming up with a color scheme
Sports clubs usually have bi-color or tri-color schemes that their fan can identify with. The same relationship exists between brands and consumers, although it’s a subliminal one. Apart from pictures, colors play a major part in building brand identity.
You need to come up with a color scheme of two or three colors that customers would instantly associate your brand with. Once you settle on a particular palette, disseminate it as much as possible and stay true to it for as long as possible to successfully raise brand awareness.
A story in pictures
The biggest draw behind comic books is the ability to follow a plot by looking at pictures and reading the accompanying text. Images have always been used to tell stories, so your brand’s visual identity should have a storyline to back it up.
Essentially, visuals need to be consecutive, i.e. transition smoothly, telling a story to customers willing to listen (and watch). For instance, a TV ad would make a reference to a billboard or the flyers will live up to the promise made in an infomercial.
Like in life, continuity is the key to success in marketing as well.
As we have mentioned earlier, the images that make it inside your visual marketing strategy should be moving. This means that they shouldn’t only be original but shot or painted in such a way they evoke emotions in viewers.
This function of marketing visuals has never been more important, as nowadays people can share content they like on social media platforms. If you are able to invoke a sad or a happy feeling, folks will be more likely to share your post.
Disseminate visuals across social media platforms
Speaking of social media, companies typically open social media accounts on the most popular platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, etc. However, content is often distributed unequally across different platforms.
First of all, you need to overhaul your digital marketing strategy, so content is shared more evenly. This means that every visual your marketing department comes up with will be shared with your followers through posts, stories, and videos across several social media platforms.
Don’t neglect offline marketing
So far, we have mostly been discussing how to raise brand awareness online. However, offline marketing is just as important, as visual marketing strategies become tangible in the real world. The best way to make people aware of your brand is to give away branded T-shirts, pens, business cards, etc.
Furthermore, you can pay for ad campaigns that will place your logo on billboards and lightboxes that are bound to catch passerby’s attention. The latter is ideal for placement in front of brick-and-mortar stores, motivating people to go inside and have a look.
When talking about offline marketing, your company might immediately think of newspaper ads, billboards, radio ads, and other above-the-line advertising methods that cost a lot of money. But there are a lot of other ways you can do offline marketing that won’t break your budget.
SWAG items such as T-shirts are one of the best ways to promote your business. Besides being practical (since everyone wears a T-shirt), the exposure mileage is actually huge if a lot of people will wear your T-shirt and go to different places. Everyone that they cross paths with will see their T-shirt and your brand or logo on it.
The central role of the company’s logo
When creating freebies that would serve as mobile ads for your brand, the logo is the easiest way to create brand awareness. We have no doubt that you chose a great name for your company but a picture is worth a thousand words and the company’s logo is the picture you want people to associate with your brand.
Namely, the logo is a mnemonic device just like the color scheme we spoke about earlier. Once you reach a design you like, alter the logo a little over time, as you don’t want to lose brand identity. Moreover, you can acquire another famous brand and use their logo familiar to customers to jumpstart the visual identity of the new enterprise.
Memes are also there
Marketers tend to associate the visual marketing strategy with pictures and photographs too much. They forget that there are other, less formal ways of communicating with prospective clients. One such visual tool is memes, which younger generations use extensively online.
A meme is essentially a visual message intended for a specific age or social group. In this sense, it is aimed at a target group, coinciding with the way marketing strategies work (at least the good ones).
If you are able to generate funny and topical memes, you raise brand awareness among the target population. Even if you create a meme critical toward your brand, it too will promote your brand, as Oscar Wilde used to say: “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”
…and so are GIFs
The GIF format originated during the 1980s and it’s still popular today. Just like memes, GIFs are legitimate marketing tools and should make their way into your visual marketing strategy.
This format is shorter than a typical video but it’s usually funnier and it has a point.
If you manage to generate a catchy GIF, people across the globe will be made aware of your brand since GIFs are widely shared on social medial platforms.
Stream live videos
When the average person opens their YouTube homepage and sees that a video is “Premiering Now,” they are more likely to open it. Live videos are a great way to get people intrigued. If you organize a small giveaway, then tens of hundreds of people will tune in.
Regardless of the content, you are streaming, there is always room to throw in the company’s logo in the background. If you lack the resource to make live videos, you can always sign a promo deal with an influencer that will subtly include your brand’s visual identity in their video messages.
Can old content be reused?
Companies usually don’t start from scratch when it comes to visual marketing content and ideas. Perhaps they ran a successful ad campaign years ago and now they will want to revamp it. This is possible but you need to change the visual format.
For instance, an e-book can be summarized in a short video or a picture gallery can be turned into a meme. However, reusing old content doesn’t mean that you should stop making new and original visuals.
There is no magic recipe for generating visual content that will definitely raise your brand’s awareness. Every business is different and different strategies apply to their industry. However, you should be able to select at least one original visual marketing strategy from the 12 strategies listed above.