by Dr. Sandra Colton-Medici
Visual branding isn’t just what people remember, it is the type of content that social media platforms are prioritizing for the future (Instagram via The Verge). Video content, specifically, has become so impactful to branding that 54% of online consumers want to watch videos from brands they are following (HubSpot). The way brands incorporate visual images can impact conversion rates and a business’s bottom line.
A few ways to create visual images that help convert followers into customers include breaking the fourth wall, storytelling through emojis, playing with data, and catering to decreased attention spans with short-form videos. These visual branding techniques can increase engagement with your core audience and have an uptick in conversion rates as well.
How To Break The Fourth Wall & What Is the Fourth Wall?
Organizations that confine product descriptions to be read as boring manufacturers’ specifications on product pages and eCommerce websites won’t inspire customers to purchase their products. Breaking through the fourth wall provides businesses an opportunity to speak directly with consumers. But what exactly is a fourth wall?
When filmmakers create art, they are using their tools such as lighting, scripts, actors, physical props, and more to tell a story. “The fourth wall is the screen that we’re watching,” according to Studio Binder. Speaking directly to the viewer would be breaking this wall and is a creative decision each filmmaker must make.
As a business owner, just like the product descriptions on an eCommerce website can become pretty dull and mechanical, the visual that goes along with a product can entice the viewer to take notice. Utilizing a few of the following tips can help your business break the barrier between you and your customer and have a two-way conversation that ideally converts.
· Add captions to product videos
· Use overlays to bring elements into your product videos in a cascading fashion
· Highlight product features by incorporating music that moves the consumer
Storytelling and How To Incorporate Emojis To Visualize Your Message
Telling your brand story is one of the most important aspects of marketing and communication. If you are not able to effectively communicate your brand story, your customers may not feel a connection to your brand and ultimately choose to purchase goods and services from other vendors or suppliers.
How To Tell a Good Brand Story
When you tell your brand story, are you telling your personal story or the story of your brand? This is a question that many business owners struggle to answer. The truth is that many businesses have a very personal brand story, it is unique and has feeling. Crafting your brand story is very important, but the presentation of that story is how to visually communicate with your ideal customers.
Many business owners have an “About” section on their websites. The “About” page is informative and can even showcase milestones and the history of the organization. What makes it different is that your “About” page can humanize your business by telling your brand story and making a true connection with your audience.
A great brand story not only tells the story of how your business began and its evolution but takes the viewer on a journey. Identifying why you began your business, relating that to how helping others and serving your customers makes you feel as an owner, what it took to start your business, and how far it has come are moments that can be visualized with moving images, presentations, short or long-form social media posts, and documentary-style YouTube content.
Transitioning Your Brand Voice Into Emojis
What can an emoji do for your brand? 10 billion emojis and 700 million stickers and gifs are sent every day through direct messaging. With the amount of communication visualized in an emoji, sticker, or gif, your brand voice can come to life on screen with nothing more than the tap of a button.
To transition your brand voice into emojis, your business must conduct a brand audit to see how your business can implement the use of emojis in your communication model. Implementing these visual communication techniques takes a skilled eye and a tuned-in social media and marketing team. Emojis don’t always appear in the same format across all mobile devices, and it is important to know what each emoji fully means to utilize it appropriately.
Resources like Emojimeanings.net or Emojipedia.org can help businesses decipher the true definition behind each emoji and how they can differ in their appearance on mobile devices. When businesses can niche down the types of emojis implemented within their communication, the recognizability factor increases. Conditioning your customer to recognize your emojis can impact engagement and click-through rates.
Playing with Data Can Highlight Gaps In Your Communication
Just like color psychology can be used to enhance how we feel about seeing a particular image or message, visual stimulation is part of the first impression used by marketers to gain audience attention, drive engagement, and retention. Segmenting consumers based of previous engagement and psychographics is an important part of playing with data and the new efforts businesses are putting on retargeting.
Taking a deep dive into your social media and website analytics can greatly improve your ability to target the right consumer for your products or services. It can also allow you to dance with the data to get the right configuration of attributes to really narrow down your ideal customer avatar. Data can also help your company scale faster if you can pinpoint drop-off points where your customers are leaving your website or disengaging with your social media or email marketing campaigns.
Short-Form Videos Are Skyrocketing Engagement
Businesses need to know where customers are hanging out and why they are disengaging with their messaging. Gen Z, and gaining access to this youthful market share, is a highly sought-after demographic for many business owners to obtain. It is ideal for businesses to gain a customer base at a young age and give great customer service and product selection to retain them as customers for life. In analyzing the social playing field, there is one major player that has disrupted the attention span of many consumers, TikTok.
With over 1 billion downloads, TikTok has created the short-form vehicle many businesses have yet to master. The platform has played such a huge role in how consumers are entertained, educated, and inspired, that other social media heavyweights like Instagram (Reels), Pinterest (Idea Pins), and YouTube (Shorts) have in short-order created their own way to share quickly digestible video content.
Focus on Free Not Paid Content
To keep costs down, focus on free content like social billboards and social group membership. By joining Facebook Groups, Meet Ups, and utilizing the free social billboard opportunities on LinkedIn, Twitter, your content can be seen without spending any money. Utilize creator mode on LinkedIn and the LinkedIn Live feature to showcase your short video in your bio and have your Live feed stream behind your profile image.
Utilize Super Follows on Twitter to post content that engages while also adds revenue to your bottom line. Join Facebook Groups that allow you to post content about your business and generate leads without paying for Facebook ads. All of these can help with organic reach and also help you test content prior to any large ad spend.
Tech Solutions For Non-Tech Business Owners
There are many software solutions to help develop a brand’s visual identity, but for small business owners’ time-saving software is key. Here are a few solutions that will help you save time in creating images and videos to uplevel your visual brand identity.
· Adobe Creative Cloud
Connecting with Consumers & Authenticity
Connection begins with authenticity. Striking a chord with your consumers starts with the organization’s ability to convey who they are, whom they serve, and, why they do what they do. It’s simple. There is no need to make it any more complicated than bringing authenticity to the table and this is best done visually.
To connect with consumers, having a visual brand identity is imperative. Utilizing the techniques outlined above can increase your customer conversions. Break the fourth wall to speak directly to your audience, craft a visual brand story that moves your clients, add emojis to transition your brand voice, retarget your data, and edit your first impression into a short-form video. Stopping the scroll on social media is difficult considering that Facebook alone “generates 3,000 years of video watch time per day” (Social Pilot), but engaging customers with these techniques can assist your business in making a good first impression, and a lasting impact in engagement metrics, customer affinity, and conversion.
Dr. Sandra Colton-Medici is a digital strategist and a business coach in Los Angeles. Sandra assists business owners in building their brands and is the founder of CollegeOfStyle.com. She’s a former pro dancer who has been seen on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance, as a backup dancer for Rihanna, backup singer for Paulina Rubio, and has appeared in films, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Bring It On: All or Nothing, and in music videos for Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, Raphael Saadiq, Cascada, and more.