I ‘ve had an Instagram account for my blog ever since I started, but its not until recently that I have actually begun to understand how I can use Instagram to grow my brand. Especially if your brand is has one to many visual elements, using Instagram can been very beneficial in expressing your brand outside of your website.
Although I don’t have a super huge Instagram following, I am frequently asked about my eye for creating a cohesive feed. So today, I am sharing my 2 cents on the topic and my tips on how you can create a cohesive feed for your brand on Instagram too. Plus I ‘ve also created a FREE Instagram style guide to help you with the entire process step by step. You can download it , print it, fill it out and use it as a reference for your own Instagram feed. Wohoo!
Understanding your audience:
You have most definitely heard the adage – “If you try to please everyone, you will please no one”. When you are using Instagram for your blog and business, its important to hone in on your target audience. By understanding what they need and like, you can create a feed that is appealing to them and give them a feel of well-flowing content. This is the first step to creating a cohesive feed. Here are a few questions to get you started with to understand your target audience:
– What kind of people are you trying to attract?
– What do they do for a living?
– What aesthetic do they appreciate?
– What do they like to see?
– What is their lifestyle like?
– Where do they hangout?
– What content can you create that can help them?
The answers to these questions will help you create conceptual content for your feed – which is the next step.
Creating a concept for your content:
I think, as anywhere else, when it comes to Instagram too, content is king. For your feed to look good, your content first needs to be conceptually cohesive. Depending on the topic that you blog about or have a business around, its important to create content that fits conceptually and attracts your target audience. For instance, say you are a fashion blogger and you want to attract people who are interested in fashion. Now, you could create content that shares fashion tips, or create flat-lays to showcase what you wear on a daily basis or you could create looks and teach people how to style their clothes as well. You could also do a good mixture of all these ideas for your content. However posting fashion tips one day and a picture of your cat on another would confuse your audience and drive them away. So deciding on a concept for your content is the second-most important step towards creating a cohesive Instagram feed.
As my brand focuses mainly on design and photography, for my Instagram content I post images that showcase my photography, share behind the scenes photos, photography tips and snippets from my branding client processes. If I do want to share an occasional travel picture that I really like, I make sure to keep my caption centered around my concept. Here is a snapshot of my Instagram feed.
Follow me on Instagram here
Create a style guide for your photos :
Once you come up with the concept for your content, you need to decide on how to stylize your photos. Instagram is a great way to extend your brand visually. So while creating the style guide, decide on the following things:
– What colors can you use to reflect your brand in the photos?
– What filters / effects are you going to use for your photos?
– What props and backgrounds can you use in your photos?
– If you use text on your photos, what font is it going to be? What are the specifications (case, size, letter-spacing, line-height etc.) for it?
Download the free style guide that I’ve created for you and use it to create the style guide for your Instagram feed. You can download it right here!
The style guide is not a hard and fast rule book that you have to follow, but you can use it as a visual guide while creating content for your Instagram. This way you will not stray away too far from your concept, style and aesthetic – something very important for creating a cohesive feed.
Shooting photos :
Whether you use your iPhone camera or DSLR to click your pictures – all that matters is that they are high-quality. When it comes to taking photos for your feed, its important to make sure to use similar lighting conditions for all the photos in your feed. Using natural lighting for one and tungsten, yellow lighting for another will throw your feed off balance and it may not look cohesive. I am all about experimenting to encourage creativity with angles, shadows and composition but again, the key is not to go too out-of-your-style. Na’mean? 😉
Editing can make a huge difference to your photos, and following a consistent editing workflow is the easiest way to create a cohesive Instagram feed. Develop an editing workflow that you can apply to every photo to make them all look cohesive. Based on your style guide, decide on the exposure, contrast, saturation, colors, hues of the photos. If you decide to apply a filter for your photos – pick the one that suits your brand the best and stick to it. I love how Tamira Jarrel uses the same filter for all her photos to give her Instagram feed a minimal vibe and keep it cohesive.
Consistency in posting regularly to your feed is one thing but you also need to follow a consistent visual guide. Before posting any photo to your feed, ask this question to yourself: Does this photo fit in with the rest of my content – visually and conceptually? If your answer is yes, go ahead but if you aren’t sure – refrain from posting it. Not posting at all is better than posting something that may hurt your brand reputation.
Content planning :
In order to create high quality content consistently, you need to plan in advance. Use a scheduling tool like Later to schedule your posts in advance. This is easier said than done. Despite having a huge library of photos to choose from, I still struggle in keeping a consistent posting schedule. And that’s okay. I ‘d be happy sharing content that adds value once in a while rather than just anything and everything. So as long as you are happy with the value you are sharing through your Instagram content, there’s no need to worry about it. Let’s just try our best!
Cohesive Instagram Feed: Best examples:
Cohesive feed is a concept that is best understood with the examples. So here are some of my most favorite Instagram feeds that are cohesive and uber-gorgeous as well.
Cohesive Feed by Content : Cristina Colli
Cristina is a freelance stylist and photographer. I love how she uses flowers to tell a story in every single image of her feed.
Cohesive Feed by Mood : Our food stories
Notice how all the photos in their feed follow the same feel. Each photo is minimalistic and has a mood to it, plus delicious looking food. Ah!
Cohesive Feed by Color : Corina Nika
Hands down one of my favorite feeds. Look at the blue hues that appear in every photo of her feed. How she manages to curate a gorgeous feed like that is beyond me!
There goes my tips for you on creating a beautiful Instagram feed that flows together and binds the person looking at it. Make sure to download the free Instagram Style guide I’ve crated for you by clicking right below:
Now its your turn:
Tell me what is your Instagram feed all about? What are your biggest challenges in creating a cohesive Instagram feed? What tips do you have for creating a gorgeous feed for your blog and business? Let’s share and help each other out in the comments! Leave a comment below.