How to stay consistent
Almost everything you experience online enters your brain through your eyes. No matter what the text says, your eyes see images, shapes and colour and this all has an unconscious effect. That is why creating excellent marketing campaigns is really about creating imagery. To do this, you need to become a master at creating the assets of your trade – the templates, graphics, fonts and images, as well as the content.
What do you look like online?
Visual social branding is the name given to describe your business or social media content’s personality. It includes your company logo or profile picture, your cover photo or banner imagery, and especially your content and social media posts. In order to achieve a consistent and trustworthy visual brand, you need to stick to 4 rules: have a consistent colour palette, pair your fonts to your brand personality, use appropriate filters, and match your templates.
You probably already associate red with hot and blue with cold, but do you know what feelings other colours represent? Research shows you do, but you’re not consciously aware of it. When you visit a blue themed website, you think of trust and technology, a purple site makes you think of creativity and individuality, while black signifies luxury and sophistication. When you start deciding on your colour palette, you’ll need to know what messages you’re giving out.
Fonts are somewhat simpler to understand, but many brands still get this wrong. Yes, your font should match your brand personality, but there should also be some conflict to create interest. Too many brands want to be taken seriously and decide on a serious font and use only one font. whilst fun, lifestyle brands can dilute their worth by going too cute. Think of Nike, which uses both the bold sans serif font and a unique handwritten font too.
The whole world in technicolor
We are used to associating tones and hues with feelings and emotions. Wherever you are in the world at whatever time of the day or year, the light hitting your eyes will be different. This is why filters manage to convey so much emotion in our images. Sepia tones create relaxed, holiday evening vibes, while grainy filters suggest cold and serious northern climates. In addition to mood, filters are an easy way to create consistency. Online, consistency is believability.
Whether you are making your own templates in-house for company-wide use, or looking at free templates online, they are a must. Images need templates as much as a word document does. In addition to including all of the above points, a template should achieve several things. It needs to consistently locate your logo in the same place, space your text appropriately and inspire. A good way to see if a template is working is to populate the same one several times and then compare the outcomes next to one another. If they make a pleasing set which is on message, the template works.