Remember the good old days, when we’d painstakingly print bundles of business cards or mail a heavy portfolio to potential clients? Well, in today’s world, things are a bit different. Business now happens on the internet — more specifically, on social media.
While Facebook definitely pioneered the trend of social media marketing, it was Instagram that really gave it momentum, changing the way we communicate forever. With its beautiful photo grids and simple algorithms, the platform reminded us of all the power of visual content and the deep impact it can leave on your target audiences (TG).
However, that doesn’t at all mean that having an Instagram account with pictures is all you need to boost your business. There’s much more to the process — starting with creating a relationship with your audiences through engaging content, relevant hashtags, and most importantly, a curated Instagram feed. Surprised? Yes, the look and feel of your Instagram account matters more than you would have thought.
While there’s no one way to create aesthetically appealing Instagram feeds, here are three ground rules to help you put your best foot forward.
The first step — choose a theme. This overarching visual idea that acts as your skeleton. It aligns with your brand and its message, helping you compose an eye-catching feed. There are thousands of themes that you can go for — from dark and grungy to clean and minimalistic depending on what your brand stands for. One of my personal favorite themes on Instagram is that of a popular online marketplace for homestays and tourism experiences. The brand goes with the ‘real life’ theme, where all the pictures of beautiful destinations are raw, minimally edited, and high-quality. It brings out the aspect of authenticity (one of the brand’s values), creating adventurous and aspirational experiences for people who love to travel.
The World Wide Web is your best friend, so go ahead browse through for inspiration. And if you still don’t find anything that makes your heart skip a beat, create your own!
While deciding the theme, simultaneously create a colour palette that is in line with your theme. However, don’t forget to include your brand colours. This is often a tricky part to crack but once you do, the next steps become a piece of cake. Once you decide on your basic colours, pick filters and textures that will enhance the pictures and create a consistent look and feel. The best example of this is a well-known New York-based luxury handbags brand that employs different shades of pink in their posts with hints of purple, blue, and green. This highlights the brand’s feminine personality, giving the audience a peek into their playful and sophisticated vibe.
Establish one colour as the master, and include elements of it in all your creatives.
Planning ahead, planning smartly, and planning with a vision is the secret behind consistency. It’ll help you understand what posts look good next to each other, what colour to use where, thereby enhancing the overall aesthetic of the feed. Today, there are many free tools available online such as Planoly, UNUM, and Plann, that’ll help you drop, swap, and shuffle the pictures before posting. In addition, this step will also give you an idea about the kind of shots and lighting required for the future.
Make sure your feed does not look cluttered — aim for balance when arranging your posts.
Use the above as a starting point and don’t forget to explore. After all, great work is a product of trial and error. But throughout the process always remember — think outside-the-box to fit your brand inside the box!
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