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The world is whizzing by at mach speed and there is very little time or energy to read paragraphs of information when scrolling through your social media news feeds. The only thing that slows you down is something that catches your eye visually and piques your interest because it relates to your life somehow. Am I right, friends?

If this describes you, then you can be darn sure it describes your target market. Creating a visual language that will capture the attention of your ultra-busy customers is critical to your brand’s success. I am positive you could write beautiful, thoughtful and engaging content, and although that is important too… your visual language is the voice of the new millennium and it must be on point.

Here are our best tips and tricks for creating a visual language that will stop your target market in their tracks and get them to engage with and remember your brand:

Define your purpose and your target.

It would make no sense to create a dance video set to the tune of Old Town Road if you are trying to sell custom canes to retired people who are having a hard time getting around. Wait… I actually might be able to make that work, but that’s for another time. Silly advertisement ideas aside, the point is, that you should take some focused time to sit down and determine your target audience. What do they like, what are their fears in life, what are their goals, what is their income level?

At Spry, we work with our new clients to come up with 1-3 of these marketing personas, custom to their brand, right out of the gate. We then base our entire marketing strategy on those personalized personas, and it works. The key to creating your visual assets for social media and print advertising will be having these personas on lock and speaking directly to them.

Set aside a specific time to content plan and take intentional photos.

Nodding at the original paragraph of this blog, we know you are busy. We know that posting on Facebook or Instagram is probably the furthest thing from your mind when you have a client on the phone and are trying to get to your daughter’s fastpitch game on time simultaneously. It’s very hard to be creative in that hectic headspace.

The solution is to set time aside, be it once per week, month, quarter… whatever works for you, and make a good effort to come up with your campaign ideas for the next period. It’s a good idea to even bring in part of your team to bounce ideas off too.

We suggest using anything from a paper calendar to project management software like Hootsuite or CoSchedule to map out your content ideas. Whatever you do, make a post-goal (twice a week is a good frequency), and come up with your ideas in advance.

Get good photos. Stock images are ok in a pinch.

Build a bank of authentic stock photography for your visual language and social media use

Here is where your visual language really starts to come alive. Once you have created your content strategy, you MUST collect your photography and/or videography. These things are critical. I’ll say it again. CRI-TI-CAL, with all the syllables spaced out for emphasis. Here are the top 3 things to keep in mind when collecting your visual assets:

  • QUALITY IMAGES – Hiring a photographer to do quarterly photo shoots that correspond with your upcoming campaigns is always the best, but not always financially feasible. However, that doesn’t mean that quality images are less important. Shoot, in a pinch, taking high-resolution images is possible with our smartphones! No matter what camera you use, taking intentional, high-res photos will always win the race.
  • TELL A STORY – You have mere seconds of someone’s attention. Make sure that what you have to say is quickly and clearly communicated in the visuals that you are presenting. Visual language friends, this is the definitive moment. 
  • KEEP IT SIMPLE – Keep video short and to the point, keep photos clean and simple. If your visual is too busy, it may become confusing and your target market will scroll right by. Remember, we only have seconds to grab their attention. If you have a post without a visual of some sort, the best way to get people to stop and pay attention is to throw in some emoji’s and keep your words to a minimum. Ain’t nobody got time to read a book, Deb.         

Locking in your visual language across all your social media channels is a brilliant way to engage your audience, make them stop what they are doing to pay attention to you, and perhaps my favorite outcome of stellar visual language is that it can cross over language barriers, reaching a diverse and wide audience.