I’ve been asking myself while the majority of authors invest money in book covers, but lack investing in visual presentations of their websites, blogs, and social media groups? Covers indeed are essential for your book, but visual presentations of values, represented by your groups or blogs, are at least equally important.
The visual trend in book marketing is inescapable. A combination of a short attention span and an unparalleled surge of information needs a medium that conveys a story, message, and your whole essence, all at once.
A great visual strategy is crucial when it comes to developing a successful and powerful author brand. With the right visuals, you can communicate memorable ideas, boost interaction with the growing audience, assist in telling your brand story and make it easier for the readers to share, comment and share your work.
If you have not started focusing on visual content in your platform building and book marketing strategy, perhaps it time you do.
The Art of developing a Consistent and Professional Brand Identity
You need a “show, don’t tell” version of the brand, and you need a visual brand identity to do that. It lets your audience to experience your values, history, and work through their emotions and senses instead of only descriptions.
The “visual voice” of your brand is the visual elements you develop that keeps communicating your brand, personality, and message. Building a brand identity is more than adding some pretty pictures to your Facebook updates.
It’s all the things you do visually so that you can make an impact or impression and contributes to how you are seen as an author. Anytime a reader sees your visual content from you, book cover, logo, image quote, or a short video, it adds an extra layer to your brand story.
If you fail to connect between the true essence of your brand and what you convey visually, it will disappoint, confuse, and maybe alienate your audience.
How to tailor what you share to create Interest and Momentum
Developing a great visual strategy for your brand doesn’t have to be a complicated process. But it requires some planning and forethought. It can be tempting to create just one visual and have it up on all your social media networks. And although it’s better to have a visual than no visual at all, you will get more attention and engagement if you take some extra time to tailor the content and visuals to capitalize on the strengths of every channel.
Different social media platforms have different unique vibes. Therefore, avoid using the same messaging on all the platforms. You should figure out how to tell stories natively on every platform, and the visuals and a copy will improve the likelihood of a post going viral.
Blog post and quote graphics are great for Twitter. All types of visuals are great when it comes to Facebook, and Instagram is excellent for casual videos, stylized shots, and beautiful photography.
Pinterest, for example, has 250+ million users who don’t spend time on useless comments. Think about it as a visual search engine. If you are represented by some cool graphics that leads to your website, you’ll get some eyes looking it. Why should anyone react to “hey check out my author blog”? How about writing “Lessons I learned as a Self-published author”? It’s personal, and if represented by cool pins, it can have a lot of repins, resulting in website visitors and subscribers. Pinterest works best with infographics, vertical blog post images, and visually compelling quotes.
If you want to build interest and momentum, you must avoid the one graphic for all the social media approach and create content for each platform. It should share a snippet of your brand as well as compliments your book marketing strategy.
Things you will need to start developing your visuals
Since a visual strategy is a parcel and part of your book marketing and platform building strategy, you can start a visual campaign until you clarify these three things:
1. Why you do and why
You will need this because it’s the heart and soul of your author brand. They are your core beliefs. They are your values and world view that inform all the aspects of your work and brand and your writing vision that you can never compromise on. You need to know your intentions, themes, and goals for your author brand.
2. Who you do it for
Who will benefit most from your work? Who encourages you to keep doing what you do? Who inspires you to reach and grow and would help bring cohorts into the fold?
These are your ideal readers. What identifies them as being a perfect fit for your work?
3. How you do it
These are the experiences you create for the readers; the benefit and difference you bring to the readers. It’s how you articulate and translate your uniqueness into a brand identity that the right audience connect with and the mediums you use to do it.
What is the impact you wish to make, and how does it look when it comes to branding, marketing, and content strategy.
How to create essential brand visuals
You don’t have to overcomplicate the process. You can create standard templates for all the types of visuals you will be posting (image quotes, blog post images, video thumbnails, etc.) for each platform. It will simplify your work and keep your work consistent.
You can use Canva.com since it has ready-made templates as well as updated social media image sizes for easy and quick work. Ensure that you add an overlay or watermark with your URL, logo, or other brand elements to make your visuals easily recognizable. Consider designing multiple variations of the update to help in increasing the reach.
Sharing the visual content
You need a social media editorial calendar that will help you in staying efficient and focused, and start adding your new visual content into the others you have already shared.
Stagger the content type (graphic, photo, image quote, video or others), and the content focus (cover reveals, launch info, motivational or book quotes, behind the scenes, etc.), for reader interest and visual appeal.
The visual content ideas you can include are:
• Blog post featured image and graphics
• Image sayings and quotes from an industry influencer, quote from your book, inspiration, etc.
• Other people’s exciting links and posts with graphic or image
• A sneak peek of your upcoming book cover
• Promotional like free days, discounts, new release previews or info
• Buzz and reviews with texture, color or photo background
• Workplace photos
• Event schedule with collage image of the events venues
• Share your Pinterest inspiration and boards or other pins/boards that relate to your genre
Make It Happen
Doing all this might seem like a huge undertaking, but if your work does matter (which it does), it’s crucial that you begin implementing a visual strategy for your brand.
And while your writing is essential, your biggest challenge is making sure that the people who will experience your work, get the opportunity to do so.
The energy and intention that you put into your marketing is a reflection of how much you believe in what you do.
The above specific steps will help you to intentionally and intelligently support your brand and book marketing efforts with visuals.