Like many of you, I’m excited about 2017 and the possibilities for another successful year.
To achieve that success all of us need to be looking for ways we can improve, and over the years I’ve noticed that one extremely important area where people can improve is in the design on their websites and on their social media platforms.
I’ve always felt that the content of your copy and the design that enhances that content are equally important. You can have great content on your website, for example, but if the design accompanying it is unprofessional, visitors will zip right past it in search of something more credible.
At the same time, a captivating design can grab people’s attention, but if it turns out that you’re all flash without substance, they may leave and never return.
Over the last several months it seems that I’ve shared a lot with you about the content side of things – what to say, how to say it and when to say it. I’ve been a lot less focused on design, but let’s remedy that right now.
Quite some time ago we recognized just how essential graphic elements are in brand promotion and that’s why our team includes Becky Lofgren, our in-house graphic designer, who works solely with our social media clients. Becky shared with me a few simple things you can do to help get the most out of your design.
- Select the right color. Any color that appeals to you is a good one, right? Not exactly. Colors can evoke certain emotions so you want to choose a color that sends the right message to potential clients and customers. “There really is a psychology behind colors,” Becky says. For example, a financial professional who wants to instill trust and confidence should go with colors such as blue or grey, which do just that. If you have a product that’s more fun and light-hearted – such as a toy or a children’s book – you can get more creative with a color such a purple. Red encourages appetite, so that’s an appropriate color for a restaurant. Green, which evokes nature, is best used for health products that are holistic.
- Select the right font. Just like with colors, choosing the right font can make a big difference in how people perceive your brand. Fonts come in all kinds of looks, from the whimsical to the dignified and they set the tone for your message, Becky says. If you’re after a professional, corporate look, you’d want to avoid funky, decorative or script fonts and go with a straight-forward, more serious look. Fonts also can be serif or sans serif. A serif is a small line that finishes off the stroke at the top or bottom of a letter. Yes, that’s hard to understand if you don’t know what I’m talking about, so instead of telling you let me show you.
This sentence is written with a sans serif font.
But this sentence is written with a serif font.
See the difference? A serif font is better for paragraphs, Becky says, because those serifs create a line for the eye to follow as you read. Sans serif fonts are better for headlines because they have a crisper look.
- Strive for brand consistency. Once you’ve picked your colors and your fonts, you’ll want to use them consistently throughout your marketing to build recognition. As much as possible, Becky says, use your main color scheme in all your images, and place your company logo, name and/or website in images, too, so if they get shared on social media, your company gets shared, too. Speaking of images, make sure those you use are high-resolution because they are more likely to be shared.
If you’re building or changing your brand, I strongly recommend you enlist professional help. Writing great copy and using the right design elements are a combination of science and art done best by professionals in these fields.
Sure, you might be able to come up with something functional, but you want more than functional. You want to create just the right tone and image for what you’re trying to promote.
After all, you want your brand to look its best for 2017.
P.S. If you need professional help with promoting your brand through media placements or social media marketing, give us a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 215.
Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity.