Your blog is a tiny island in the middle of the infinite ocean of the Internet.
How can you attract people to land on your island before you start to feel like Tom Hanks on a desert island talking to your imaginary friend Wilson?
Nowadays social media is the easiest way to reach potential readers. However, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to get noticed. The first thing that attracts people’s attention are visuals.
The featured image is the packaging of your post. If you want people to grab your product while walking around the supermarket aisles you need to make your packaging attention-grabbing.
But making your images attractive isn’t enough. You want people to recognize your blog in a fleeting glimpse of the image while scrolling through their social media feed. How can you achieve this?
The packaging of your post has to be as unique as the content itself.
#1: Branded Color Palette
Using a distinctive color palette is one of the easiest strategies for implementation. Endeavor Creative is a beautiful example. The bright and vivid colors not only attract attention but also the specific combination of those colors makes the images highly recognizable.
Endeavor Creative advise having several neutral colors that you can use as a base to lay your accent colors on top of them. You can follow their steps to choose the right colors for your branded palette.
#2: Distinctive Illustrations
Another great example is the Post Planner‘s visual content. They not only use a specific color palette, but the style of the images is what really makes them recognizable.
Custom illustrations are a great strategy to make your images attention-grabbing even if you don’t stick to specific colors. Take a look at the Stray Curls‘ illustrations:
Another benefit – illustrations make your blog more valuable. Custom illustrations tell the reader that you invest in your content, so the content should be valuable too.
#3: brand characters
A brand character, also known as a mascot, brand spokesperson or avatar, serves as an ambassador of your company.
As long as your character is in the image you are free to use different styles and colors. You will be able to make your images as diverse as you want and people will still be able to recognize your brand.
Brand characters are like celebrities, they can boost your marketing and influence people. Interestingly, some researchers even argue that fictional characters could be more influential than real life celebrities [note] Malik, Garima, and Abhinav Guptha. “Impact of celebrity endorsements and brand mascots on consumer buying behavior.” Journal of Global Marketing 27.2 (2014): 128-143. [/note].
Thanks to the Internet and social media, mascots are gaining great popularity today. They can make your brand and content more attractive and engaging.
One popular example is the Buzz Sumo‘s mascot.
Here are some examples of posts with our own brand characters Maurits the Martian and Vizy at Visual Content Space:
Having a mascot gives you the freedom to create any kind of social media visuals and make them eye-catching and recognizable. You can even create funny and entertaining comics and illustrations related to your niche.
However, brand characters are not suitable for every niche. Check out my post to see if mascots can fit in your business niche
How to get illustrations and characters for your blog
Creating your own style of custom illustrations sounds great. But what if you are not an illustrator? You need to hire a freelancer or an agency to create them for you. And you should reach out the same illustrator every time to make sure the style of your images is consistent.
This is the reason why custom characters are so convenient. You can order a mascot for your brand and get it in several poses. Also, based on the categories and the content you are creating, you can plan several actions of your character (e.g. talking on the phone, working on the computer, etc.). You can later put them on different images and backgrounds.
This way you can continue creating your images the usual way, using tools like Canva, and just include your character in the image.
If you are considering to get a brand character, check out my post on How to Create a Brand Mascot.
Nobody wants to live on a desert island, especially if this island is your blog.
Here we’ve discussed three branding strategies to make your blog distinctive:
- Branded color palette
- Distinctive illustrations
- Brand characters
These strategies are not mutually exclusive, you can use two or all three of them.
Always keep in mind that branding is not a sales strategy. Branding is the process of creating a face that people will like. So be creative and entertain your audience!