aka, What’s your “Brand Napkin”?
I never leave home without a stash of napkins in my bag. In fact, you may have seen me carrying them around in year’s past at The Southern C Summits. This may seem a little weird, but hear me out.
Because they’re not just any napkins, but ones in my brand colors of red and teal. So no matter where I am, I can throw down one of these napkins, and snap a pic of my food and/or drink. Then when I post it on my Instagram feed, it will always fit in with my other pictures (no matter where/how they were shot) and lends a consistent feel to my feed.
But why am I so obsessed with this level of consistency? Because if you take a look at any successful brand on Instagram, you will always see a thread or ribbon that ties together every single one of the pictures in their feed. Of course, the content of your posts is very important too, and should always relate back to your content pillars. But as we know, Instagram is a visual medium so the look and feel of the images are just as important. Having this consistent vibe to your social media will help to solidify your brand aesthetic, so that whenever your customers see a pic that is in your style they will always think of you. In essence, you are building brand awareness via your visual style.
I’ve had a lot of clients and friends ask me how they can create this more consistent content strategy for their social media. So I came up with 6 keys to consistent content creation. When answering these questions for your own brand, try to be as SPECIFIC as you can be so you can figure out what will be the equivalent of your “brand napkin”!
You should pick 3-4 materials that you will use for your surfaces and backgrounds. Some examples include: Marble, granite, plain white, plain black, wood (distressed/rustic or clean), brick, greenery, colored surfaces, concrete, and more!
Once you settle on your style, these backgrounds should reflect at least 75-80% of the pics in your feed. But that’s not to say that you can’t throw in the occasional different background from time to time to really make a post pop in your feed. A great example of this consistency is RMS Beauty. They use simple backgrounds for most of their shots to really let their products take center stage.
If you have worked with a graphic designer for your branding, they probably gave you a style guide that suggests colors that work for your brand. You use these colors for your other marketing materials, so why not use them for your social media too? Again, consistency is the key for both your feed, but don’t forget about Instagram Stories too! I love how the Vine Garden Market uses lush greens and floral tones to convey their brand aesthetic, while Monica at Lavin Label uses cool blues and neutrals to create a distinct brand.
Again, this is just another way of expressing your brand. For me, I use teal, red and/or yellow in every picture I take, so that no matter where I take my pics there is a consistent thread in all of them. Hence why I travel with napkins everywhere I go!
I don’t always specifically use a napkin or linen, but I do think it provides the consistency that I like in my feed. I also don’t usually rumple the napkin (we call that “napkin wrangling” in the styling world), but like it to be neatly folded so I can use paper and linen napkins similarly. This is the level of detail I want you to be thinking about.
If you use graphics or text overlays on your posts, be sure you’re using a font that is consistent with your brand. Again, this can probably be gleaned from your branding style guide. A great example of this is the transformative quote series in The Southern C feed.
Taking number 4 one step further, if you use graphics on your posts try to keep to a consistent template with the same colors, fonts and graphics. Use these sparingly too, as they can make your feed look really busy. I would suggest only using 2-3 different styles here. Take a look at how Mandy Edwards at ME Marketing Services uses graphics in her feed.
Finally, the last area to consider is the tone of the words you use in your posts. Be sure they align with the tone of your brand too. That is, is your brand informational, funny, sassy, down to earth, trendy, approachable, or….? You can be a combination of these things too, but just be sure that the voice is authentic.
Do you have any tips for content creation? What is your “brand napkin”? Let us know in the comments!