How to build and be consistent with your visual identity

Your digital platforms—your socials and website—should all be contributing to your brand. Building consistency in your brand is equivalent to building trust with your audience. Your viewer comes to know your content, your style and starts to build a connection with you. It’s an important step to cultivating that all important relationship with your customers.

Branding is about building an emotional connection – Alina Wheeler

Mel Hay, from Hay Monday, is a Social Media Manager and Digital Branding specialist. She pulls a brand together across all aspects and builds engaging, consistent, branded feeds for her clients. She is kindly sharing her wisdom on how to maintain digital fluidity across all of your platforms.

header for consistent visual branding

Have you ever been wow’ed by a social media page only to click through to the website and be a little like… “huh?”

As with any good practice in business, it’s all about filling your toolkit up, and digital fluidity is no different. I am sharing four tips that will help you establish more consistency with your branding across your online touch points.

Let’s dive in!

1. KNOW YOUR BRANDING & STICK TO IT!

The only thing worse than seeing a logo that has been stretched out of shape (which really grinds my gears!), is seeing a brand that lacks consistency. Mismatching fonts, lack of cohesion with colours and poor quality logo images sends an undercooked message to your audience. And nobody wants to pay for undercooked anything… unless it’s Sushi.

Your logo designer should have provided you with a breakdown of the elements that make up your logo (similar to the one below). If this is the case you will have your specific font names, colour codes (RGB, CMYK & #Hex) and different logo file types to maintain visual brand consistency. It takes practice and planning to apply these with consistency but it is totally DIY’able with the right tools.

consistent visual branding with a style guide

Firstly, do yourself a favour and download the Canva app. Canva is a small business owner’s best friend, it allows you to create graphics for just about everything from social media posts to book covers and brochures. You can load your logo’s, fonts and colour codes into your brand kit and you are set for success. Hello cohesive!

Tip: Pin a few inspiring images that reflect the vibe of your brand above your workspace to serves as a visual reminder to you. A border check of sorts (ha!). And always, always, always remember, if it isn’t on brand, don’t post it… no matter how much you love it.

2. SET YOUR TONE OF VOICE

The way you speak to your customers should sound like a great soundtrack in a cafe. Not overpowering and being rammed down your throat but you loud enough to enjoy and want to add to your playlist. *insert foot-tap*

Your words (copywriting) need to resonate with your ideal customer so mapping out exactly who they are is vital to set your tone effectively.

Tip: Deep dive into getting to know who they are! This will require you to dig deeper than ‘female, 25-35y/o’. Once you have established this (in detail), you will be able to target the language your ideal customer wants to hear and start answering all those questions they want answering but haven’t yet asked. This will build trust, add value and encourage engagement.

3. INVEST IN PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOTS + PRODUCT IMAGES

One of the best investments that a brand can make—HANDSDOWN—is professional headshots and product images. It’s a digital world that we are living (and working) in and that world relies on…yep, you guessed it… visuals.

consistent visual branding professional photography

Your online images are your shop front and your customers need to interact with them in a similar way they would a physical window display. They want to inspect your product by zooming in, feel familiar with your business by recognising your branding and be convinced that they are investing in the best product their money can buy (customer product reviews help reaffirm this). Your products need to leap off the page, unpixelated, consistent in composition and screaming ‘you needed this yesterday!”

Tip: Choose a photographer with a style that is consistent with your brand. This will provide you with a gallery of consistent images to dip into for months to come in many different applications. Write a photography brief and send it to your photographer prior to your shoot. Include any inspiring images that you have found, along with essential shots that you require to maximise both you and your photographer’s time and ensure you capture your desired images.

4. Plan Ahead

Being a Social Media Manager, I understand just how vital organisation and direction is. There are some great that will help keep you organised and enable you to go from laptop to smartphone and back again in a jiffy.

consistent visual branding planning ahead

Scheduling program’s such as Later and Hootsuite make managing multiple platforms achievable (and less frantic). They are desktop and app-based, allow you to set your scheduled items to auto-post or prompt to post. No more phone-claw hand. #goals!

If you would like any more tips on digital branding or social media management, please feel free to get in touch via Instagram, Facebook or drop me an email at hello@haymonday.com.

Words by Melissa Hay, Hay Monday

Social Media Manager + Digital Branding

Mel is a Social Media Manager with a special interest in small businesses and online startups. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and their 3 kids who are  9, 2 & 2 – yep twins! She lives for coffee, winter, a great pinot and is slowly but surely becoming a plant hoarder. Mel has a background in design and a passion for sharing practical techniques that help small businesses find their digital presence.

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