The Pinnacle

Stories and ideas from Big Blue Digital.

4 Steps to Plan Your Visual Strategy


Did you know?

Your brain can process visuals 60,000x faster than text.

In term of marketing, visual content can boost your message, communicate it more easily and make it stick.

Given that 90 percent of the information transmitted to your brain every second is visual, to quote Leanne O, there is no excuse for ugly.

From behind-the-scenes to carefully curated

Call it the Pinterest effect. Social media has evolved from being the land of live authenticity to being carefully curated. This elevated level of design sophistication is being reflected across other communications platforms as well, from email design to Business Intelligence.

Whether looking to improve your Instagram presence or share visualised information about your great event with sponsors, the biggest challenge is simply starting.

I know people who have had empty Instagram feeds for months, too afraid to start with a style that they fall out of love with, or wanting to lock down a cohesive visual strategy across all possible platforms first...but having no idea where to start.

The performance anxiety can be overwhelming.

But that’s not a bad thing.

Investing in the pretty

Victoria Carey, editor of Country Style magazine and Homelife, arguably one of the most successful examples of traditional media finding real footing in the digital space, recently addressed a room full of listeners at a local Women in Business lunch.

She spoke about discovering stories for print through Instagram and the importance of excellent photography. One of her key messages (which I wholeheartedly agree with) was this: invest in your visual presence.

With the speed and ubiquity of digital information, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. We’re moving into a world where ‘digital detoxes’ are a thing. We are switching off from endless updates, and honing in on targeted, perfected messaging.

So what should we take from this shift?

It is an excellent opportunity to refine your message, carefully curate everything you do and yes, let yourself be constrained by that performance anxiety, just a little.

Create your visual strategy

Defining a digital strategy is a useful step for any business owner (not all of us are naturally design-minded) but is even more important if you have multiple people working together to action your marketing efforts.

Documenting your strategy will ensure a cohesive effort, helping to create a sense of recognition and familiarity for your audience.

Know your goals and audience

This should be step one of any undertaking. Do you truly understand your purpose? Have you created SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound) goals? Have you defined exactly who you are talking to? You should.

Define your brand personality

You may already have this documented.

If not, I’ve provided a handy worksheet to help you on your way. If you are the primary social media user for your business, it might be important to complete the worksheet twice. Once, as you, the individual and then again, as the business. It’s important to walk the line between your personality and the businesses.

To take a step further with and turn this into a visual brand personality, start pinning, scrapbooking, saving links or bookmarking videos.

Pull together a collection of images that you think will represent your personality, in-line with your logo, purpose, brand colours, etc, and use these as a continual reference as you create content.

Invest in video and photography

This is where you ‘mood board’ or collection of images will come in handy.

Good photography and video are so important in creating a finely curated look. Make like a bride(zilla) and make sure anyone you partner with understands your purpose and vision. Review their portfolio of work to see that their style matches what you have in mind.

Get the right tools

There are a plethora of online subscription tools out there to help you create and plan visuals. You might consider using the google ecosystem to share content calendars or evolving strategy documents, Planoly for pre-planning your Instagram posts or Canva for creating beautiful graphics with ease.

Collect examples from brands and accounts you love to build a visual reference library. This helps to cement your ideas when you come to action your strategy.

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