If you run a social media account for your business, you’ve surely heard a lot about the importance of consistency. Social media managers must cultivate a presence which reflects their brand identity.
In this post, we’ll talk about one important factor of social media branding which doesn’t get nearly enough attention: creating visual consistency across video posts.
Why is this a big deal?
In order to establish a relationship with your audience, you need to have some kind of a personality.
Instagram grids, for example, showcase all of your posts side by side, so visual consistency is essential. Brands, bloggers, and (especially) professional photographers have tactfully curated feeds, not a random collage of all kinds of photos, that communicates the vibes they’re going for. From the aspect ratio of posts to the color palette to the types of filters used, the sum of all parts makes a coherent and recognizable whole.
Consistency strengthens your brand in both photos and social video. With common visual markers, your audience will “get your vibe” after watching a couple of videos and start to associate your brand with a certain format or visual motif. Repetition helps your viewers learn and remember your brand, nurturing familiarity, nostalgia, and recall. Visual consistency makes viewers more likely to return to and refer others to your content.
Use a watermark
This is the first and most obvious choice. A watermark will help you ensure credit is given where it’s due and it’s a straightforward way to gain visibility for your brand. Your company logo is a great default for the watermark design.
You can learn how to add your watermark to a video online here, but keep in mind: this hardly makes for visual consistency. Protecting your work and pasting your logo is a logical branding step, yes, but the underlying goal here is to make your videos carry a certain visual identity which will make them recognizable – even when there is no watermark.
Use a standardized font and color palette
This stuff is straight out of your brand’s style guide – and if you don’t have one yet, don’t stress. Just use what you consider your brand’s colors (exhibited on your logo, website, and marketing material) and consistent fonts.
Reuse your brand colors and typography in situations such as:
- when you’re setting the background of the video
- choosing what the people in the video will wear
- featuring banners and signs
- showing illustrations or whiteboard drawings etc.
- making the “cover” slide for a video
Regardless of whether you’re making complex videos or filming casual social clips, it’s always good to draw inspiration from the pros. You can use DesignRush as a resourceful directory of video production companies where you can sift through portfolios and learn more about their creation process. These types of agencies also create social media videos, and when you have a look at their work, you can get an idea of how they use colors, fonts, and imagery to emanate the brand identity of their clients.
Work smarter – rely on templates
You can think of your video template sort of as the language you choose to communicate your message. So instead of reinventing the language over and over again, you can rely on your established templates to streamline your video content strategy.
Not only does this make the whole creation process easier, but picking out your standardized format or template is crucial to establishing consistency across video posts and raising brand awareness.
For example, let’s say you want to include these formats in your social videos:
- Explainer and How-to videos which showcase your product
- Interviews or Q&A sessions
- News and updates
Of course, you’ll choose your formats based on the platform you’re posting on, what your audience will appreciate most, and which one communicates your message in the best way. Then you can create or download a template for each one.
So for example, when you want to film an update or announcement video, you’ll have the skeleton and all the visuals figured out so you can completely focus on writing a resounding script.
And don’t forget that templates work great for ephemeral content too. You can design and create an Instagram Story template which you can then reuse to cultivate a distinct visual identity and achieve consistency.
Make use of filters
We’ve mentioned at the beginning of this post how many Instagram feeds achieve a certain visual aesthetic by using more or less the same filter throughout. Filters are a tricky topic, and I like to see them more as something to experiment and play with – and on that note, why not try filtering videos?
You might find just the right formula to create a certain visual authenticity, give your videos an artistic edge, and make up for what they might be missing otherwise.
But tread carefully. Filters are addictive and fun. It’s way too easy to go too far, so you sort of always have to be reminding yourself that it’s best to use them to help you achieve a specific quality and consistency.
When you get the hang of it, making your video posts visually consistent isn’t much of a challenge – in fact, it only makes the whole process of creation much easier for you. The visual motifs and standards you rely upon give you a starting point and direction in all your video content. Hopefully, these tips will help you get on the right track – but don’t fall in the trap of mistaking consistency for uniformity. Stay fresh and every once in a while, don’t hesitate to try a new take on old formats.