The 3 E’s of Visual Branding

The 3 E’s of Visual Branding

Khalipha Ntloko
18 October 2019

Given how people have become more digital and mobile, so has the need to make these experiences all the more better through imagery. As platforms have improved, marketing strategies now include visual aspects that need to be optimised for their audiences according to the devices and social channels they use. 

overhead image of people working on their laptops and mobile phones

In our recent webinar on Understanding Your Digital Consumer, CEO of DigitLab, Mike Saunders, shared how we, as humans, have better visual skills thanks to technology. People are naturally visual beings because our brains process visuals faster than text – about 60 000 times faster. We simply become more emotional or have our attention drawn much better when we see great images. 

So when it comes to your brand, the visuals can oftentimes have a bigger impact than your copy, or the product or service that you provide. Incorporating visuals, then, as part of your marketing strategy is necessary not just for attracting new consumers but keeping the ones who already exist engaged with your brand. In this post, we give you the 3 E’s of Visual Branding, and why you should invest in using them today. 

Evoking Emotion 

seth godin quote about marketing on orange graphic design

Whether we know this or not, emotions can often impact the decisions we make on a day-to-day basis. From feeding ourselves food when we feel ‘hangry’, to the buying something new when we feel good about a task we performed, emotions have the ability to drive the choices we make. As a brand or marketer, if you want to connect with your target audience, you can leverage and grow this connection through emotions. And if you want to evoke these emotions, then you can achieve this through imagery. 

Evoking emotion in your audience often means using storytelling in your marketing strategies. As people, we are natural storytellers because we know how to connect with one another using visuals and imagery. Think about some of the adverts you’ve seen. From Caster Semenya’s ‘Just Do It’ ad with Nike to Cadbury’s ‘Feel The Joy’ advert, eliciting an emotion in your audience is a way that you connect with them while also remaining memorable in their minds. 

caster semenya just do it nike ad on youtube

Studies show that, even after 3 days, people can still remember 65% of the visual content that they saw. This is often the reason why you remember emotional adverts more than reading an emotional piece of text. In visuals and imagery, a connection is formed, and a relationship is created between the brand and the consumer through emotions, and it’s these connections that have the potential to form the basis of brand trust and loyalty in the long run. 

Encourage Sharing 

marc mathieu quote about marketing on green graphic design

TikTok is fast becoming a popular platform. Why? Because it is fundamentally a visual platform. As the third most downloaded app in the beginning of 2019, the platform allows its users, particularly Gen-Z users, to get creative, which has encouraged a culture of sharing this new, short-form content online.

tiktok app image on a mobile screen

90% of information that is received by the brain is visual, and online content with images or videos tend to get 94% more views than online content without visuals. Just like how Google optimises it’s search engine experience for users with keywords, people optimise their experience of social media using visuals, and the more compelling your visual branding is, the more likely your audience will engage. 

Take Instagram, for example. If your business wants to encourage product sales, you can use this platform to show off your products and impact purchasing decisions. With a platform like Instagram, or Twitter, which encourages engagement, this can also drive leads to your business. From using influencer marketing or user-generated content, the visually-based app is perfect if you want to increase brand visibility or encourage your audience to share content that engages with your brand.

someone using their mobile phone to look on instagram

But apart from having people reshare your content, images and videos are another way for your brand reshared on other online blogs and forums through backlinks. When a website links to another website, this is known as a backlink, and these are valuable when it comes to SEO because of how this gives you credibility. If other websites are linking your visual content, search engines will consider your content to be valuable and credible. This positively affects where you become ranked in search engines, and increases your brand visibility.

Easy To Consume 

brian clark quote about content on purple graphic design

Your brand includes a number of aspects – logo designs, colour schemes, typography and content, to name a few. But while all of these are various touch-points, the visuals are important because of how much easier the human mind processes this over text.

It is, however, still key to remember that using heavier text can be beneficial if you want to provide context or give in-depth storytelling. Sometimes you do need to go in more detail to either give a better explanation or provide clarity during a PR crisis. But if your marketing strategy allows you to use visuals to spread a message quicker, then do so. Because more often than not, doing this can bring the famous phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ to life. 

a person taking a picture of another picture on their mobile phone

With people having shorter attention spans, your visual branding needs to be easily consumable. For blog posts or website content, large amounts of text can be off-putting to your audience. Break these body of texts with visuals that are interesting enough for the audience to finish reading your content. Take this one step further by using high-quality images that you have taken or are user-generated. This shows a sense of personalisation to your content as well as your engagement with your audience, while being cost-effective and time saving for you.

Much like how your brand bio is what makes a good first impression, your visual branding is the first thing that people will see. To make this impression a lasting one through your visuals, incorporate these 3 concepts into your marketing strategy:

  • Evoke Emotion: engage emotionally with your audience through storytelling
  • Encourage Sharing: use visually-based platforms to increase brand visibility
  • Easy To Consume: keep your audience’s attention with visuals

pair of glasses on a pole in the sun

Want to know more about how to measure the impact that your visual branding has on your marketing strategy? Reach out to Meltwater, the world’s leader in media intelligence, to get access to insights that will better-inform your marketing and branding strategy.