How to curate your Instagram aesthetic and create a brand identity
Do you know that Instagram aesthetic is effective in establishing your brand? Do you want to learn how to use your Instagram aesthetic to create a brand identity?
Instagram is proving itself to be a force to be reckoned with in establishing brands. According to HootSuite, Instagram has over 800 million monthly active users, and not to mention the highest interaction rate of any social media platform at 2.2 percent per follower.
Here’s a real-life example from Jumper: McDonald’s posted a video of a sizzling hamburger on both Facebook and Instagram. In four hours the company’s 64 million Facebook followers liked the post only 79 times. Sounds okay, until you check out their Instagram: their 1.4 million Instagram followers liked the same video 9,000 times. That’s a lot of people looking at burgers!
However, building a brand identity on Instagram takes time and dedication. You have to share well-thought out posts with a cohesive visual style and steer clear from posting random photos. So, carefully curate the visual media of your posts. Globally recognizable brands like Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola, Taco Bell (and many, many more) use this technique, helping these brands solidify their household name status.
Random and disjointed posts are confusing and may cause you to lose followers. Plann mentioned that among the reasons one can lose Instagram followers is because of posting something that doesn’t quite fit the theme.
Why should you maintain a cohesive visual style on Instagram?
Elle & Company said that your business needs cohesive and well-designed branding. If your Instagram posts are cohesive, you’ll reap the following benefits:
Accurate first impressions
A cohesive and well-thought out brand communicates the right message and gives first-time visitors an accurate impression of your business.
78% of consumers find companies who focus on creating custom content more trustworthy than those who simply post generic photos. Street cred is worth more than gold on social media.
If your brand isn’t cohesive, it will be difficult for your audience to notice you. Inconsistency also means you’re diluting the staying power of your brand.
A consistent brand identity also helps set you apart from your competitors. When your posts consistently reflect the same messages and themes, it makes you distinct from everyone else.
A cohesive and well-designed aesthetic on your Instagram will give your followers an accurate impression of you. French luxury fashion house Balmain is a great example of this. If you check their Instagram account, you’ll see that they rarely post boring product shots—they always post pictures of people actually wearing their pieces, and it’s always the most attractive, famous, and wealthy. By doing this they connect you to their idea of the Balmain army—that wearing their pieces makes you part of a bigger whole and brings you closer to big-name celebrities.
Now that you know how important cohesiveness is to your brand identity, it’s time to learn how to curate your Instagram aesthetic.
How to curate your Instagram aesthetic and create a brand identity
1. Determine your brand personality
Since you want cohesive content on your Instagram, it’s best to start with determining your brand identity. Business 2 Community suggests that you consider these four factors:
Define the person behind your brand. Identify the person that defines your core target audience. Then, think about how that person would use your products or services.
Research for helpful stats. Look for Instagram influencers that closely relate to the person that defines your brand. See what they post and check their stats. You may also check the analytics of their Instagram competitors. Consider their strategies to help determine what content would be best to post.
Determine the photos and videos to share. Now, consider the actual content that you would share. Step into the shoes of your target audience and determine what fits and what doesn’t. Do you want to post informative or fun posts? These decisions should be planned strategically for optimum effect.
Be Creative. Do not skip your captions! Be sure to add entertaining or informative posts to go with your visuals. Also, don’t forget to use hashtags. Ever. According to this study, posts with 11 or more hashtags received nearly 80% engagement. This is in sharp contrast to just 22% when using 10 hashtags and 41% when using two.
When identifying your brand personality, you can take Taco Bell’s example. As observed by Hubspot, Taco Bell’s account includes lots of cool shots of their menu items, uses bold colors, and presents an on-the-go lifestyle—all of which contribute to the brand’s overall appeal.
2. Choose a theme
Most of the popular personal or commercial brands on Instagram have certain themes which give their profiles a particular look and feel, making them more memorable. This attention to detail pays dividends in the long run.
Consider the following Instagram theme ideas:
- Dark / Moody
Here are a few examples of well-themed Instagram accounts.
You can always change the theme of your account but do not switch right away after one or two posts. If you do, it’s best to use a theme divider. When planning your Instagram layout, be aware of all the tools that are in your arsenal. Instasize offers dozens of filters, desaturation tools (to make those colors POP!), and text styles for custom-made, professionally-designed text on your posts.
3. Pick a filter
According to statistics, 60% of the top brands on Instagram use the same filter for every post they made. The lesson here is to pick a filter and stick with it.
If you want a broody, cool hue, the A2 filter from the Amber Collection of Instasize is a great option. But if you want a light and bright theme, H2 from the Havana Collection is recommended. Meanwhile, if you are aiming for a dramatic black and white feel, check out Radio and Nova filters—both are free.
4. Choose a grid layout
A grid layout will help you visually organize your feed for a cohesive look and feel. This will also help you decide what photo to post next.
Here are some grid inspiration samples:
5. Create a story
Another way to curate your Instagram content is by tying in a narrative to your brand identity. Doing so creates an emotional connection with your audience and gives meaning to your content. A brand that tells a story ends up making content that is valuable to followers simply because it is relatable.
Nike has successfully done it. The brand is popular for its trademark “Just Do It” slogan and this shows in their posts. Notice as well that they use superstars such as LeBron James alongside normal people — the message is clear: Just do it, and you can reach the same heights that top athletes do.
4. Post content that reflect your brand’s core values
For businesses, it’s great to create detailed shots of your products. In fact, doing so can encourage your followers to create their own posts that feature your product.
Office Depot is a good example of a brand that curates relevant content. See their well-thought posts that promote their brand identity while sticking to a cohesive theme.
So, there it is. We hope these insights help you understand why a cohesive Instagram aesthetic is important to creating a brand identity. And, most importantly, we hope that these proven tips and tricks will be useful in your Instagram marketing. So go ahead, get your creative juices flowing, and curate your Instagram account for a consistent look that makes your brand easy to recognize.
Looking for an all-in-one content curation tool? Get Instasize for free on iOS and Android!
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Natasha Ponomaroff is the Senior Marketing Director of Instasize – a content creating tool kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile. A weekly contributor on the site’s blog, Natasha tracks social media trends and updates the millions of “creatives” who are currently using Instasize to curate awesome online content. When she isn’t writing up the latest trend, Natasha is overseeing a team of 10 over at the Instasize HQ – ensuring that the marketing content on the apps various social platforms is ready to go.