Digital Marketing

#GuruChats – Designing Branded Visuals For Digital Marketing

Wednesday was definitely not chugging along at the hour of 11AM EST on Twitter. For the team behind #GuruChats and a panel of expert guests, it was a challenge to be heard and catch up with the crowd. Fast-paced, highly stimulating and oh-so insightful are some of the terms that come to mind when we reviewed the 550 tweets (19K impressions).

The arena was set for these expert guests who’ve tons of experience in their niche and especially in digital marketing and branding visuals.

Edwin Frondozo

Adobe Spark

Maureen Jann

Cristina Roman

Kristeen Romero

Roberto Blake

Ed Roach

Marisse Downie

Kelly Ann Collin

David Pepper

What did we talk about? Innocuous as this may sound the topic under discussion Designing Branded Visuals for Digital Marketing was anything but. Let’s start with digital marketing, a field which still gets mixed opinions about. Digital marketing refers to online marketing activities that uses digital technologies whether it be computer desktop, mobile devices or smart TV. As more and more media including TV broadcast, radio, billboards and newspapers become digital it is getting difficult to categorize their role, niche and define the channels. Nevertheless, they all do to some extent fall into the digital realm. This leads us to our first question.

Q1. What Are Some Of The Most Effective Digital Channels That Brands Use For Marketing Today?

Digital marketing channels can be categorized according to the ones that brands have a reach and execute their marketing strategies. For each brand, the choice of channel’s efficacy depends on their focus and the outcomes they expect to yield. David Pepper and Kristeen Romero, two of our guests have summed it nicely in these tweets of the list of effective and popular channels.

That said, when brands attempt to reach out to their customers what should they do to effectively market to their audience? While the type of marketing activities are limitless, and the approaches as unique as the brands themselves, a definite game plan is critical.

Q2. What Branding Aspects Appeal To The Digital Audience?

Considering the fact that the online audience has an average attention span of 8.25 seconds, brands have even less time to pitch and hook their digital customers. Experts like Adobe Spark recommend thorough research.

Learning what grabs your audience’s attention, what interests them, and engage them will go a long way for digital marketers. At the end of the day what eventually brands aim to accomplish is to create awareness, brand image and eventually build up brand equity. So it’s worth the investment to include strategies that connect with the target audience.

Some of the best ways to do this is through branded visuals because they impress upon the viewer and influence their mood, psychology and decision more effectively as suggested by Marisse Downie, Cristinia Roman and Maureen Jann.

Q3: Do You Believe Branded Visuals Important For Digital Marketing? Why?

Almost all experts agree on the fact that branded visuals are important for digital marketing, and it should be taken into consideration right from the strategy stage. This is because visuals personify your brand and form a brand image in the minds of the consumers. If, for any time you want to alter or influence them for purchase decision you’ve got to make the brand visuals appealing through association, authenticity and more importantly, emotions to humanize your brand.

Q4: Designing Branded Visuals – Where To Start, Where Does It End?

For every kind of marketing activity there has to be a strategy. In this case it has to start with a strategy for creating a brand identity. Before you even start designing your branded visuals you need to strategize, itemize and set goals for your campaigns. What brand attributes and persona do you want to pursue to create your brand image? What types of visuals do you want to be included, and for which particular digital channels? These are as important as the designing process itself. Kelly Ann Collins and Cristina very nicely list them down like so:

Kathryn Cole along with others further elaborate on the start of the designing process as follows:

And according to Maureen the process never ends. You have to build on it to create a stronger brand image.

Q5. Which Design Principles Have Always Worked For You?

The most important thing in the designing process is to understand where you’re at and where you want to go. Using design principles may be a challenge if you don’t know what you want to present. As Roberto here says how you want your user to interpret the visual outcome is how to you should determine which design principles to adopt:

It appears he’s not the only one who prefers these design principles. Adobe Spark and others further suggest to be consistent in what you design for your brand regardless of the design principles you choose to work with:

Q6: How Much Is Too Much When You’re Designing Branded Visuals For Digital Marketing Campaigns?

While consistency is preferred it does not mean that you can add on any design, message or elements you like. Simpler is easier and more effective. Whether you are choosing colors, fonts, or even symbols or shapes try to view it from the audience’s perspective. David’s suggestion here is appreciated by the majority of us as well as nifty ideas from others:

Q7. Challenge Of The Day: How To Brand LIVE Videos?

As the days of digital media gear towards video streaming, more and more brands are stepping up their visual design capacity to include videos. The major challenge is not to simply brand animated videos but how to brand your live videos while broadcasting on Facebook Live, Instagram Live and Twitter Periscope. Our experts have many creative suggestions including using background, foreground, branded color theme of the “stage”, items and clothing as well as exude brand personality and message via presenters.

Q8: What Final Advice Would You Give To Someone Designing Branded Visuals For Digital Marketing?

And finally, the tips they suggest for designing branded visuals for digital marketing which are extremely useful and critical for the future of your brands. To begin with, don’t be disheartened if you feel the initial branded visual didn’t turn out right. Continue tweaking it, and testing it till you get the right message across to your audience. Retain your values but never be afraid to be bold to switch to a new style.

Janil Jean is an idealist blogger and social media addict who loves conversations related to branding, storytelling, startups and small business technology and design.

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