Are your posts getting lost in the Instagram feed? Wondering how to make your Instagram posts more recognizable to your followers?
In this article, you'll discover how to create an Instagram style that's easy for fans to recognize.
Why a Strong and Cohesive Instagram Feed Matters
An Instagram user is scrolling through their feed and comes across a sponsored post for one of your products. Intrigued, they tap on your Instagram business profile to see what you're all about. Scrolling through your feed, they'll make a split-second decision to follow you or go back to their main feed.
You have only a few precious seconds to convince them to stick around to view your profile and follow you. So how do you do that? By creating a feed that instantly attracts your target audience and convinces them to click the Follow button.
If users are looking for products for their home, for instance, which feed would interest them more: one with photos that are pleasing to the eye and show what the brand is about at a glance, or one with no cohesive theme, colors, or photos? Wayfair's Instagram profile features pictures and videos that are light, bright, and airy, which is exactly how I want my home to be.
Tiffany & Co.'s Instagram feed is a combination of old-school charm and contemporary luxury, with a lot of the legendary Tiffany blue peeking through.
Beyond Clothing, an outdoor apparel brand, awakens the adventurer within through their Instagram feed featuring grungy visuals and earth tones.
Whether your business is new to Instagram or you've been on Instagram for a while but aren't getting any traction, you need to work on developing a style for your feed. Your Instagram presence should evoke emotion from your audience and give them a reason to stick around.
Here's how to develop a recognizable Instagram feed for your business.
#1: Settle on Your Instagram Aesthetic
Creating an aesthetic for your Instagram feed is imperative. It's akin to a blog outline or a blueprint—a visual representation of how you'd like your feed to be.
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Here are the elements you need to develop for your brand:
Because Instagram is a visual platform, you want to post strong images and videos on your feed. To decide what to share, do some research into the kind of visuals in your industry that look best. Take screenshots of all of the images you like on Instagram, whether they're from a rival brand or an influencer's feed. Also search for your niche on Pinterest and save the pictures you absolutely love.
If you're in the natural skin-care business, for example, these are some of the photos you'll find in a Pinterest search for “natural skin care photography.” Notice how most of these pictures follow the same bright, minimalist theme, which is common in the natural skin-care and hair-care niche.
Once you've gathered relevant images, you'll have a swipe file of incredible examples for inspiration.
If you're an established brand, chances are you've already chosen your brand fonts. To build a cohesive Instagram feed, you'll need to use the same fonts consistently in your visuals. Use two to three fonts in all videos, pictures, and illustrations you create for Instagram. Try using the same font in your Instagram stories, as well.
If you haven't yet chosen your brand fonts, here's an excellent guide.
Most beautiful, successful accounts on Instagram follow a specific color palette.
Warby Parker, for instance, uses a fresh color palette with lots of blue (their brand color) sprinkled in here and there. They even started a hashtag campaign encouraging followers to take pictures of things that have #warbyblue in it.
Usually, your color palette will revolve around your brand colors and guide most of the pictures, videos, and illustrations in your feed.
Jemilah Basson has divided her feed into multiple sections, each of which focuses on a different color.
REI uses a natural color palette with deep, gorgeous blues, warm ochre, vibrant oranges, and pops of black here and there.
Brands use a variety of themes for their feeds. Some have a monotone Instagram feed with a single color dominating the entire feed, while others add pops of color throughout their feed.
Brilliant Earth evokes a sense of understated elegance with their minimalist feed. You'll notice a lot of luxury jewelry brands take this approach on social media.
If you want to use more negative or white space in your posts, add a white or a black border to your posts or crop your posts into different shapes. Andrew T. Kearns adds a playful touch to his feed by cropping each of his posts horizontally and vertically.
Another cool theme that's trending on Instagram is the puzzle theme. While it's a little hard to nail, it can add a lot of interest to your feed. The Juniper Oats Instagram account is a great example.
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Take screenshots of the Instagram feeds you like and you think would go well with your brand image.
#2: Assemble a Mood Board to Visualize Your Instagram Style
Now for the fun part: Create a collage from all of the pictures you've gathered. You can use an app like Canva for this purpose, Photoshop if you're design-savvy, or just good ol' Microsoft Paint. If you want to turn this into a team activity, print out all of the pictures, paste them on a large card sheet, and place it on a board where your social media team works.
This is your mood board. You'll consult your mood board when making Instagram post decisions (what kinds of photographs to take, what colors to use, what kinds of videos to create) so you can foster a cohesive, consistent Instagram feed.
#3: Create and Edit Visuals to Align With Your Instagram Style
To develop a strong Instagram presence, you need beautiful visuals—high-quality pictures and videos with the right lighting and background and a gorgeous layout. Keep in mind that all of your visuals need to follow the same theme and be in sync when placed in the feed together.
Note: Grainy, low-quality pictures reminiscent of the 1980s don't work on Instagram, and no matter how much you edit them, they'll still be inferior quality.
You don't need fancy-schmancy design software like Photoshop or Illustrator to create quality graphics. Mobile photo apps can produce professional-looking visuals. For video, Mojo (iOS and Android) is a free app that offers a ton of options for creating interesting visuals.
Taking attractive photographs may have a bit of a learning curve for some marketers. But there are YouTube tutorials that teach you to take excellent photographs using your mobile phone. Also read this article for tips on taking better photos for Instagram.
Use your mood board for inspiration for your photos. To visualize this, for natural skin-care brands, flat-lays with white backgrounds work really well. Here's my attempt at emulating those pictures for a natural hair-care brand:
Once you have your photos, take the time to edit them, which can make or break your pictures and overall feed. You need to edit your pictures not only to make them look prettier but also to ensure they match the vibe of your feed. Use similar filters, tones, backgrounds, brightness levels, and so on.
The free Lightroom (iOS and Android) and Snapseed (iOS and Android) mobile apps are excellent for editing Instagram photos on the go. They have robust editing features, and there's hardly any learning curve to using them. You can easily tweak the brightness, tones, and details in your images. Lightroom also lets you sync your favorite presets so your pictures are ready within seconds.
If all else fails, Instagram's built-in editing tool isn't too shabby. It has all of the basic tools and a ton of filters that you can control.
Whether you're going the DIY route or hiring an agency, remember to keep your mood board in mind while making design decisions.
#4: Preview and Plan Your Instagram Posts
Your pictures are ready to be uploaded. Now what? Plan your feed and see what layout looks best.
The Instagram planner app Preview (available in free and paid plans, starting at $6.67/month, billed yearly) works well for that. You can edit your images within the app and plan your entire feed, ensuring it looks perfect before you start uploading posts.
To add pictures from your photo library, tap the + button in Preview and then tap Photos/Videos in the pop-up. When your camera roll opens, select all of the images you plan to post and then tap Done.
Now move the pictures around until your Instagram feed looks perfect.
While you can't rearrange the photos you've already posted to Instagram, this tactic will help with future feed planning. Of course, you always have the option to delete older posts if you want your feed to look more in sync.
When you're satisfied with how your feed looks, you can edit individual images, write captions, add hashtags, and schedule posts through the Preview app. Batching your posts and scheduling them in advance will save you time and result in a better feed. Plan posts for the week or month ahead.
Later (free and paid plans, starting at $9/month) is another great app to use for playing with your feed layout and scheduling your posts.
If you look through successful brand accounts on Instagram, you'll see beautiful feeds that instantly tell their brand story. This is the difference between a strong, follow-worthy Instagram profile and one that fails to impress your audience.
To create a cohesive Instagram profile for your business, you'll need to decide what your feed will look like, plan it meticulously, and develop high-quality visuals. If you stick with this approach, you'll soon develop an Instagram style that's easy for your fans to recognize.
What do you think? Have you developed an Instagram style for your business? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
More articles on Instagram marketing:
- Find out how to get approved for Instagram Shopping and product tags.
- Learn how to write persuasive Instagram ads, captions, and bios.
- Discover how to attract and nurture quality Instagram followers.
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