“Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.” – Jonah Sachs
In our last post, we talked about the importance of branded visuals and how to create them. This week, we’re moving on to the art of curating your visual brand. Your digital presence is an evolving story, and it’s your job to edit it in a way that makes sense to your customers and inspires them to action. While you may have lots of ideas and folders overflowing with visual assets, everything benefits from a good edit. And while it might sound easy, when you’re looking at one high quality image after another (as you probably are if you’re working with a good advertising photographer) it can be tough to narrow your content down.
Jeremy’s experienced this firsthand. While shooting his book Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch, he captured more than 14,000 images. Only a few hundred made it into the final book. Now that’s curating. What might seem challenging at first will pay off when your social media feeds, blogs, website, and marketing materials transform from isolated images into a fluid, moving story that pulls your audience into a narrative.
On Instagram alone, approximately 60 million images are uploaded daily. With all of this visual noise, having a curated story for your brand is more important than ever. So, how do you start curating your brand?
- Hire a photographer that fits your style. Once you’ve nailed down your brand’s visual language, choose an advertising photographer whose portfolio complements your brand. Establishing a relationship with an advertising photographer means you’ll always have the photographs you need for your marketing needs. Keeping a solid library of images on hand will save you from the last minute image search that all too often leaves you with boring, out of place stock visuals.
- Tell a creative story with your photoshoot. When choosing your commercial photographer, look beyond the basic visual quality of their portfolio. What kind of stories do the images tell? Is their creative depth? Can they direct shots that tell inspiring stories? While you may be an art director or working with one, it’s always a good idea to choose a photographer with a strong creative sensibility who can step in and imagine new possibilities for your images. Jeremy’s experience as a Dallas / Fort Worth based advertising and fine art photographer allows him to create exciting, rich stories with his images.
- Be strategic with your content. Even after you have the right photographs selected, the job of curating is not done. Think about how your images relate to each other and what kind of story they tell as a group. Photographs don’t have to be from the same shoot or of similar subjects to tell a story. If you take time to strategically plan your content, you can pick up on related themes between images and choose photographs to act as stepping stones from one story to the next. This extra step will transform your content from a series of ephemeral images into a moving narrative that invites your audience to repeatedly engage with your brand.
What are your best tips for curating your visual brand? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.