Branding Social Media Visual Content

Aside from creating a social media content strategy, writing social copy and updating your accounts daily, you’ll also need to create images that represent your brand and transmit your message visually to your followers. The best way to get this done is by blocking out time to plan visual content and do a yearly (or more) full brand photo shoot. So that when you need a quick pic for promotion, social media, blog posts or your website, you’ll have a bulk of images ready that go perfectly with your brand. Here’s how to plan and make the most of out of a social media brand photo shoot.

Create a Visual Strategy

Just like your social media and other content, you need to create a strategy for your visual content. Take a look at your marketing plan, content calendar and any other promotions you planned for the year. You’ll use all of this info to plan out the photo shoot. From product launches to holiday content, behind the scenes images, pictures of yourself (and employees if you have them), workspace, flatlays and pics that show personality, and lifestyle behind the brand. For blog posts, go over your editorial calendar and make a list of posts that will need images. Include those on your visual strategy, too. You want your brand to look cohesive on all your platforms.

Define the Brand Style

Use your brand’s style guide to coordinate colors, props and backdrops. The key to a good brand photo shoot is to stick with your current color palette so that when the pictures are taken they go well together with what you already have. If you don’t have a brand style guide, create one immediately since this represents your brand across the web. The guide should include your brand colors, fonts, logo and templates. Start by creating a mood board (or a secret Pinterest board) with colors you like, the feel of your brand, and pictures that inspire you. When choosing colors, pick two accent colors and one neutral. Once you put together your brand’s style guide, stick to it for consistency.

Choosing Props and Backdrops

Now that you have a visual strategy and a brand style guide, create a list of the props you’ll need for the photo shoot. Include your products and backdrops, but also focus on using props that tell a story. If your product is digital or you just have services, use your own tech for props such as a laptop, computer, iPad, and a smartphone showcasing your service or digital product. Make a spreadsheet to keep track of the props. You can add sections for listing the prop plus the story behind it, angles that you want to shoot and other notes. Organizing them will help things go a lot faster on photo shoot day.

Styling With Intention

Back to storytelling, you need to showcase your brand without being overly salesy. Style your props in a way that features the lifestyle behind your product or service. For products, show your customers how to use them. Also, style shots of the product by itself, and close-ups of it for promo materials. If you sell services, tell a story. Include a quick snap of yourself, your employees or behind the scenes shots of your process. If you find yourself running out of ideas, hire a professional stylist. She can find ways to tell a story with your products or services that you might not have thought of. Share your concept and brand style guide with her to make things easier at the shoot.

Whether you photograph everything yourself or hire a photographer, remember to capture images from all angles and orientations so that you have all the photos you’ll need.