Ah yes, Instagram – social media’s rising star when it comes to marketing. We’re all victims of endless scrolling and stumbling upon screenshot-worthy content wishing that we, too, could create dazzling posts. Visually-captivating feeds are are easy to spot, but feel incredibly daunting to accomplish.
There is a common misconception that you need to be a professional photographer and use expensive equipment to create brilliant visual content. However, you really only need basic knowledge of how to create images with visual appeal and display them in a way that creates a cohesive Instagram feed. We’re here to show you how in eight easy steps!
1. Know your brand.
Truly ask yourself what product, service, and/or value you’re wishing to share with the community. Until you have that concrete “why” governing what you’re posting, the cohesion of your Instagram feed layout will never fully exist.
2. Understand your audience.
Instagram is an extension of your brand. In order to stand above the noise of what other brands in your field are posting, mindful intention is key. Consider this – what is your audience hoping to gain from your posts? We believe that an Instagram post should do three things: inform, entertain, and/or inspire. Bonus points if you achieve all three!
3. Find your visual voice.
For businesses, finding your visual voice is crucial. You need to know your personality in order to choose your aesthetic. Is it quirky and authentic? Sophisticated and chic? Innovative and edgy? A combination of a few? It helps to pick three things that you and your community values; for example: exploration, art, and nature. This visual expression of what makes your brand unique will be your guide when posting pictures. If it doesn’t align with your personality, save it for another platform or scrap it all together.
4. Capture fresh content.
Depending on your line of work, you may have a steady stream of content coming in or you may be rolling in stock photos. If you are capturing your own content, be sure that it aligns with step three. We believe using similar lighting is key to creating consistent, quality images that reflect your visual voice. Experiment with angles, shadows, and lighting to find your groove.
PRO TIP: Let the seasons inspire you. Your layout or colors can shift through the seasons as long as long is it still aligns with your visual personality.
5. Edit content with style.
Editing can drastically change the presentation of your photos. Choose your go-to editing parameters, such as a pre-selected filter, and stick with it. From there, you can decide on exposure, saturation, contrast, etc. Use a tool like VSCO where you can replicate your filter and edits from photo to photo for brand cohesiveness.
6. Post consistently.
Not only is it important to post consistently, but maintaining consistency in theme is just as important. Before you post ask yourself the question: “Does this photo fit both conceptually and visually with the rest of your brand”? If the answer is no, save the photo for Facebook, another platform, or scrap it all together.
7. Plan in advance.
The key to delivering quality content consistently is planning in advance. Choose a monthly or weekly theme based on your business objectives and use it as a guide for creating or curating content for your Instagram feed. Create a publishing schedule and partner with experts if you need help implementing your plan.
8. Find inspiration.
Ah, the beauty of the internet – there is so much to see and nearly 800 million accounts to pull inspiration from. Research top brands in or out of your field to notice how they are visually presenting themselves. Save their content for inspiration and send them a direct message complimenting them on what they do well and asking for tips (e.g. “What camera do you use?” “How do you filter your photos? “How did you decide your Instagram feed layout?”). Don’t be afraid to be social and ask!
Creating a cohesive Instagram feed is a journey of constant learning. Every influential account started the same way you did. Use Instagram not just to post content, but to connect with others you’d like to emulate for an effective Instagram marketing strategy.
With practice, the process will get easier, you will get better, and most importantly – it will become more fun! Do not let yourself be halted by the fear of being perfect. Get out there and start posting, because you will continue to learn how to create a killer Instagram feed even more along the way!