When 94% of audiences’ first impressions are based on design, a visual marketing strategy is imperative if you want to plan and implement perpetual brand growth.
In this post, we’ll explore a few key elements that will help you jump-start your visual marketing plan.
1. Adopt a Visual-First Mindset
Many brands focus the bulk of their energy on the script — that is, on their verbal or written messaging. While that’s totally valid and shouldn’t be overlooked, what often happens with this approach is that the visual message becomes a secondary thought.
This is like putting the cart before the horse, as it relies on people to read first and look later — and that’s just not how our brains are wired.
By approaching your strategy with a visual-first mindset, you’ll ensure that your brand’s visual marketing takes center stage, while the text or voiceover supports and drives home the final message.
2. Establish a Visual Identity
A visual identity, often found in a brand book, is a set of creative guidelines outlining the proper treatment and implementation of visual elements that a brand uses to communicate with its audience.
Elements of a visual identity generally include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Logo guidelines/variations
- Color palette(s)
- Fonts and text hierarchy
- Photography treatment
- Illustration and icon styles
Your visual identity will be your North Star as you plan a visual marketing strategy, as it will allow you and your team to unambiguously maintain a consistent look and feel across all branded materials. The idea here is that anything you create has an automatic association with your brand, even if your name is not visible. That’s why it’s so important to take your time and explore multiple options when developing a visual identity.
You can also develop tangential visual identities around and within your brand. For example, say you want to develop a multi-part thought-leader series as part of a lead-generation initiative. Feel free to stray off the beaten path a bit by adding a complimentary color palette or introducing a different illustration style.
Just be careful not to stray too far off the path. It’s still important to maintain the core elements that audiences can clearly and easily identify as your brand.
3. Create a Visual Asset Workbench
Whether it’s photography or design, original visual content is always going to trump stock.
But not everyone is going to have the budget or bandwidth to create custom visuals all the time. This is where a visual asset workbench comes in really handy.
Having at your fingertips a library of illustrations, data visualizations, icons, templates, etc., creates efficiency, saves money, helps you plan ahead, and allows you to maintain a seamless brand experience across your visual marketing strategy.
Next Steps for Your Visual Marketing Strategy
This is definitely not an exhaustive list of what goes into developing visual marketing strategy, but it will hopefully help get the wheels turning and get you started on your journey toward a more visual experience for your audience.
As you continue to plan your visual marketing strategy, check out these articles and resources:
- 5 Steps to a Winning Visual Marketing Strategy
- Why Every Successful Brand Needs a Visual Strategy
- 4 Steps to Creating an Explainer Marketing Video That Converts
- 7 Questions to Ask When Developing a Visual Strategy for Your Marketing Campaign
- 8 Elements of a Successful 2021 Digital Content Strategy
- Revisualizing Your Trade Show Marketing Strategy