Visual communications are not just something your marketing team creates. Other departments within an organisation also produce content that can be more effective if they apply your visual communications strategy.
HR, for example, could communicate employer brand values more successfully if they had visual communication tools to create memorable graphics. Sales could make proposals more compelling if they are aligned with the marketing assets SQLs have previously engaged with. Internal comms could see better engagement with company comms when content is created in a visually engaging way.
But how can you support different content creators across your organisation with the tools they need to create visual communications assets without overburdening your creative team?
Promoting your visual communications strategy effectively
Consistency is the key to successful brand communications. So we recommend you create a visual communications toolkit that empowers different teams to create consistent and effective branded content. Here’s how:
- Brand guidelines
Review your brand guidelines to make sure they include enough detail for people in different departments to keep their communications on brand. Have a look at the type of content being created by different teams to see where the brand is going ‘off piste’, and update guidelines to cover these scenarios. Make sure all relevant content creators have an up-to-date copy of your brand guidelines.
- Explore opportunities to visualise content
When you’re reviewing content created by different departments, look for opportunities to visualise it. Many teams will use the same content time and time again in different documents, such as a service description in a proposal doc or details of how a new starter is on boarded by HR.
This content is often ideal for creating as visual communications to help increase understanding and the retention of important information.
- Create branded templates
Help your teams generate different visual communications with branded templates. While you may prefer to design visual comms using In Design and other graphic design tools, think about what other teams use day-to-day. It’s possible to create branded assets like graphs and charts in Excel and PowerPoint, so create templates in these apps to ensure brand consistency across all content generated in-house.
If you have people creating videos or webinars, such as company announcements, L&D activities etc., provide them with branded slides for intros and outros to ensure consistency across these visual comms too.
Also, review your company slide decks. Most companies will have a branded slide deck template for presentations, but make sure it includes plenty of options to visualise information in different ways.
- Centralise branded content
A common problem in many organisations is that content exists in departmental siloes. Make sure all teams across your organisation have access to the most up-to-date brand guidelines, templates and other assets so there’s no excuse for creating content that doesn’t reflect the brand accurately.
Use collaborative tools like the company’s Intranet or file sharing apps for keeping these assets up-to-date and accessible to all who need them. Creating a bank of images and visual comms available for repurposing is also a great way to encourage people to use visual communications in their content.
- Have a hotline to creative
How can your creative department help other teams create visual communications? Templates and brand guidelines will help, but what if someone needs something unique created? We recommend thinking about creative workflows and how you can support teams with visual communications easily.
In our experience, internal teams won’t have allowed much time for creative to produce an asset before a document or presentation is needed. Often deadlines can be just a few hours between someone realising they need a visualisation and them needing to deliver the asset.
If you can’t work to these tight deadlines you risk that individual creating their own version which might be off brand, ineffective and potentially damaging if it looks unprofessional. So to avoid this scenario, think about how you can simplify processes so that visual communications can be created quickly and effectively.
Creative could have a suite of design templates that, while not suitable for non-creatives, can speed up turnaround times for ‘on demand’ visualisations. If you don’t have an inhouse team to do this work, you could outsource to a digital agency that can deliver fast turnaround times and develop a bank of templates and visual assets for your organisation.
At NRG Digital we provide this service for a number of our clients. We’ve standardised the creative brief process so that we get all the information we need regardless of whether the request comes from marketing, HR or any other department; and we’ve built a library of branded templates for different types of visualisations so we can quickly drop in information, then fine-tune for each different asset. This allows us to deliver a fast and responsive service for all kinds of visual communications.
If you need support delivering stand out visual communications, or to discuss your visual communications strategy, we would love to help.