Whilst in New York, I was exposed to literally thousands of marketing messages and thousands of brands. From the billboards, to bus ads, to the constant stream on Facebook and email, scores of businesses are constantly competing for our attention.
Now back at home, the only “advertising memory” I have of the Big Apple is Glade. And if you read last week’s blog you’ll know why – the pop-up boutique experience was so powerful; my impression of their brand has fundamentally changed.
However, very few brands are able to make an impact on this level.
In fact according to a quick Google search, we’re bombarded by at least 5,000 advertising messages A DAY! What’s more, a Guardian article (dating back to 2005), found “of 3,500 daily messages, 99% have no impact.”
There’s a paradox here…
Whilst it’s become easier (and cheaper) than ever to communicate your brand’s message, it’s far more challenging to earn that all-important attention.
What’s more, it’s no longer enough to get Mr Perfect Customers’ eyes on your brand… you also need to connect with his heart to get him hooked.
Of course, this journey from “eyes” to “heart” needs careful nurturing, but the starting point is to ensure your marketing cuts through the noise and pulls Mr Perfect Customer close…
So how the heck can you do that in an increasingly cluttered digital world?
Create a collection of visual marketing graphics, which have been created to specifically communicate your personable brand, your message and your genius.
And right at the top of the list of visual marketing that works, are infographics.
Let’s take a look at how this seriously hot marketing collateral works in practice by dissecting my latest example…
Let’s break it down…
The Nine Essentials of a kick-ass infographic, which powerfully communicates your personable brand
First up, your infographic needs a headline (obviously!) Like any other form of eye-grabbing content creation, your headline is the single most important sentence you’ll write. That’s because its job is to help a reader decide to keep going or move on. So make your headline BIG, bold and the most prominent wording on the page. And stick it right up there at the top of your design for all to see. Beautiful!
This second layer of text sits under your headline. Its job is to add a little more detail to the headline and tease the reader with a further promise of what they’ll discover in your infographic. In my case, I’ve alluded to some of the BIG benefits clients enjoy when they have their profitable, personable brand nailed. Try playing with text contrasts here to add interest and emphasis.
If you’re serious about creating a personable brand, you need to stamp your personality all over it! They say that “a picture says 100 words” and whilst this is a little clichéd, it’s so true! That’s why headshots must form a fundamental part of your personable brand. This is a non-negotiable. You absolutely must allow potential clients (and your wider Tribe) to connect with your face, or the whole personable thing loses impact. So don’t be shy! Also, I don’t mean any old pic. You need to select images, which ooze your personality. You need facial expressions that give your Tribe an insight into who you are as a person. Yes, you will be judged, but that’s a good thing! After all, not everyone is your perfect customer, are they? Also, give some thought to the colour you wear. It’s no accident that I’m wearing orange in this image. Orange is my brand’s colour and by weaving it throughout my brand, I create consistency and reinforce the brand experience.
4. Icons and graphics
Repeat after me… “My logo is NOT my brand.” Got it!
Yes I know that your logo is a visual representation of your business name and it is one of the images by which your Tribe will come to recognise your business. But that doesn’t mean you can substitute your brand for your logo. Your brand is a whole lot broader and deeper than that! And if you want proof, let’s play spot the logo on my infographic…
No, it’s not a trick question. There isn’t one! And no I didn’t forget. The omission is intentional. You see, because I’ve nailed my brand, a logo is not necessary. Because I’ve successfully communicated my brand identity in multiple ways, you can recognise my business – even if my logo is missing. That’s what I call serious brand collateral, don’t you agree?
That said, branded icons and graphics are powerful visual images, which you should use to support your overall brand message. These so-called “name-gos” and sub-logos can powerfully support your brand as you branch out into different products and services – I’ve used this concept in the infographic where I’ve described the three essentials and the three paybacks. Can you spot them?
5. Brand style
Whenever you create visual marketing graphics you need to use your brand style. I’m talking the colours, fonts, and images that you’ve selected to evoke specific thoughts and feelings amongst your Tribe when they encounter your brand. That’s right, this brand stuff runs pretty deep. You see, whilst you probably aren’t consciously aware of the impact a brand has on you, at the deeper subconscious level all sorts of stuff is happening. For example, whilst orange is my favourite colour, that’s NOT why I chose it for my brand colour. Instead, I chose orange because it communicates fun, creativity, and passion at a subconscious level. And these are EXACTLY the emotions I want people to associate with my brand.
6. Brand voice/tone
Your personable brand goes far deeper than the visual stuff. Your choice of words is also a key part of the whole brand experience. And this makes sense when you consider what you say (and how you say it) is a fundamental aspect of your personality, don’t you agree? So when writing your infographics, be yourself. Don’t put on some stuffy, formal voice. Instead, be conversational. Be you! Allow your Tribe to hear your true personality speaking off the page. If a reader can hear your voice when they read your stuff, you know you’ve got it nailed. Don’t hide your quirkiness, your cheekiness, your seriousness, or your “funness” (yes I know that’s a made up word!) I promise, you’ll have a whole lot more fun when you free your inhibitions and just show up exactly as you are.
7. The key message
Next up is the crux of what you want to communicate in your infographic. In my example, I’ve described the main features and benefits of a profitable, personable brand.
Unlike other forms of content creation, infographics are all about the visual presentation of your content. Whilst the words are of course important, make sure they read for scanning and blend with the over all design for maximum visual impact.
8. The Call To Action
As with any form of marketing, give your Tribe an instruction of what you want them to do next. This can range from something as simple as “please share” to a link to more detailed information on your website. Your decision will depend on why you’ve created your infographic in the first place – so think this one through carefully.
9. The sign off
Remember, you have a personable brand. As a result, it makes sense to include a little signature at the bottom. Again, the graphical representation of your signature should remain true to your brand identity. In addition, consider including a “tag” or a “sound bite”. In my example, you’ll read “Busy wielding the power of white space and saving the world from bad design.” This sound bite links to my brand story and my mission and briefly explains the purpose of my business. This is a quick and easy way to inject a little of your big WHY into your visual marketing. It’s also a good conversation starter too.
Ready to get creating?
Is your business in desperate need of some awesome visual marketing graphics? If so, you’re in for a treat. That’s because new inside the Get It member’s zone for this month you’ll discover a delicious selection of infographic templates, all ready for you to customize with your personable brand, your message and your genius.
I can’t wait to see what you create, and don’t forget to tag me online when you hit publish.