Instagram is a visual platform, so your content, and feed, needs to be engaging and attractive, as well as effective at conveying your brand message and ethos. Quality photography, attention-grabbing video content and cleverly designed graphics should all be part of the mix to represent your brand and help you achieve your business goals!
Things that may seem like minor details to some, such as colour palette, framing of imagery and font choice, have to be consistent in order to ensure your account has a cohesive aesthetic. These small things all add up to create your overall brand identity on social media.
Your first move when planning a visual content strategy for Instagram, should be to refer to your brand guidelines. These rules should be followed and implemented across the Instagram platform, just as they would when redesigning any new print materials, or even a new website design. This is the best place to start to ensure that your social media presence reflects your brand and that it’s clearly identifiable!
Setting photography and imagery guidelines is important to help you maintain consistency on your Instagram feed – this is a great place to start, setting the tone for your brand on this highly visual platform. Treat this platform as another creative brand project!
When producing content, it’s important to refer to your imagery guidelines and Instagram strategy to ensure your content is on-brand. If shooting new visuals, ideally you would work with a photographer, or art director to develop a whole suite of assets for use across social, however if taking photos yourself you can set a range of parameters to ensure your photography reflects your brand look-and-feel. In the editing process, consider using the same filters or treatment to maintain a cohesive look. If you’re not able to shoot your own content, why not create your own graphics? There’s so much scope to create your own designs, either working with a talented graphic designer to generate assets from scratch, or even consider using pre-made templates that you can easily edit yourself!
If you’re not able to shoot your own photos, you could source imagery from free stock photo websites, such as Unsplash or Pexels. Take a read of this blog, by one of our in-house creative designers, Rachael to find out ‘how to approach visual content creation without a ’shoot’’. When using stock imagery, it is important you use it sparingly to tell your brand story – don’t over use it, just add it to the wider content mix!
Once you’ve identified a style of imagery that you like, try and stick to that. You may already have an image style for your brand that you adhere to on your website, so try to be consistent with this style across your social channels and Instagram feed too.
Fonts and colour palette
If you’re going to be posting graphics or animations on your Instagram feed, these will play an important role in establishing your theme and visual identity on the channel. The fonts and colour scheme you use, if not already outlined in your brand guidelines, should be consistent with those on your website. This is important to ensure users have a seamless user experience across your digital channels!
If you do not use any particular fonts on your website, make sure to select which ones you’d like to use moving forward so that your graphics all fit your desired style. Select and note down your chosen fonts, and use these for your newly created graphics so that your Instagram feed is easily recognisable, while also effectively representing your brand.
Colour scheme should be something you already have. This should be predetermined by your brand colours – the colours in your logo, or on your website. If you have not already established your core brand colours, you will need to do some further work on defining your brand. Working with a creative agency, or designer, research into the kind of colours that you’d like to use, and make sure to use these when designing graphics or animations for your feed in order to maintain consistency.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when maintaining a consistent brand identity on Instagram is the layout of your feed. It’s important that it flows well, and that there is a good mix of product imagery, aesthetic content and content that educates your audience on the people behind the business, and what your brand ethos is.
A good way to ensure you’re posting different types of content regularly, while still maintaining the look of your Instagram feed is to use a feed planning app such as; Planoly, UNUM, or Later. These apps allow you to input your content into the app, then move the content around the grid until you decide on the order that looks best. By doing this, you can ensure that the content that goes out covers all the topics you need it to, while also looking good and maintaining the look of your feed!
Don’t forget to make the most of other exciting features and content formats that Instagram has to offer, such as Stories, Reels and IGTV! With so many different content formats to explore, you can really get creative and mix up the ways in which you communicate your brand message. Just remember the advice above – don’t forget your brand – but also, don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things! The beauty of digital, is that you have an opportunity to test and use the results / data to back up your findings.
What didn’t work?
Which format resonated best with your audience?
What imagery did they respond to best?
What type of content saw the most engagement?
Be bold, try new things, but never forget your brand story, your brand identity and why you are doing social media in the first place!
If after reading this you’re still feeling lost on how to get your brand to translate on social and keep your Instagram feed looking cohesive, get in touch. Our social team can help you with all of your Instagram queries and ensure you look good on this all important visual platform.