One look around the web and you’ll notice how many businesses have a difficult time creating and maintaining a consistent brand. This is particularly true when it comes to small businesses. Many entrepreneurs don’t have the resources or design background to create a brand that’s consistent across their blog, ecommerce shop or website. This article will provide some helpful tips on how to get consistency across all of your brand assets online. Of course the same principles also apply to your offline materials such a print and merchandise.
Lay a Proper Foundation
Before you start tweaking any of your online brand assets you need to make sure you have a proper foundation in place. When it comes to branding your logo is your foundation. It sets the design direction for all your graphic design whether that’s your website, social media channels or print. If you are just starting out with your web business make sure you settle on a professional logo that conveys your message. You can either hire a graphic designer to create your logo or use a free tool like the GraphicSprings Logo Maker. Once you have your logo in place study it carefully. What is the primary color? Which are the accent colors? Which font(s) are you using?
Your Website Should be a Reflection of Your Logo
If you are looking to create a consistent web brand you should start with your logo and then the natural next step would be your website. Whether you are going the route of a website template or custom build ensure your logo informs the color choices. All too often you come across a beautifully designed website just to find a mismatched logo placed in the top left corner. That’s a clear sign off the logo designer and web designer not working together, or a web entrepreneur simply placing a ready-made logo onto a website template. Of course your logo should stick out from the rest of the design but you can do so while still maintaining consistency. Use the secondary colors in your logo as accent pieces through the website.
Ensure Your Social Media Channels are Brand Consistent
Of course as a web entrepreneur you are aware of the power of social media when it comes to promotion. Whether you are promoting your ecommerce store, blog or other web based venture be sure to match your logo, website and social media channels. When you set up business pages for Facebook, Instagram and YouTube make sure you upload your logo. Each of those platforms have different file type and size requirements so it’s important to understand those. Just because you add your logo across all of your social media channels doesn’t mean your job is done. If you don’t upload your logo in the right format it will look blurry and unprofessional. This seems obvious but this is a common issue when it comes to branding. In addition to making sure your logo is present on your account page you should also try to incorporate your logo and brand colors as much as possible in all of your content posts.
Don’t Forget About Your Ads
With a beautiful logo, website and matching social media channels in place you are most likely already doing much better than the majority of your competitors when it comes to branding. Another area where a lot of design inconsistency can be noticed is in ad design. Whether you are using banner advertising or other form or sponsored content make sure it’s brand consistent. We are overwhelmed with ads every time we go online. Sadly most of those ads aren’t designed well. Of course the content of your ads is key but don’t make the design aspect of your banner ads or sponsored posts an afterthought. Apply the same principles to achieve consistency, i.e. incorporate your logo and brand colors.
Messaging is Just as Important
Branding isn’t just about pretty pictures and colors. Your messaging is just as important when it comes to building a professional and consistent brand. Before you create content for your website, blog or social posts revisit your mission and vision statements. What message do you want to convey? Once you know your company’s message and who your target audience is you can find a writing style and tone that will resonate. Whether you hire a content write or do the writing yourself make sure to always use the same tone. Your followers and website visitors will pick up on that which will help to further cement your brand in their memory.
Helpful Resources and Tips for Non-Designers
Graphic design isn’t something that can just be learned over night. If your budget allows of course it’s great to be able to hire a professional designer. However, many web entrepreneurs are forced to resort to the do-it-yourself approach. Thankfully there are countless free design resources that can help non-designers elevate their branding. For example don’t try to match colors by eye, instead use a free color scheme generator tool like ColorExplorer. Another aspect that will give your web brand consistency is the use of professional images. Don’t just use beautiful images but find a set of relevant images and then use those across all of your web channels exclusively. A quick Google search will reveal many image resources but a site like FreeImages is a good starting point.
Clever branding is a collaborative effort. User experience and quality support are just as important as your graphic design and messaging when it comes to building a memorable brand. As a web entrepreneur you are already working on these other areas. This article draws attention to the graphic design aspect that is often overlooked or rushed. To help you stand out from your competitors ensure you branding is professional. In order for it to be professional it needs to be consistent. Simply follow the tips outlined in this article and you will be able to instantly elevate your web brand.