The Official Instagram Strategy Guide
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Scrolling through your Instagram feed you have probably noticed that all of the top influencers and brands typically have one thing in common – good, consistent branding. The biggest influencers on Instagram know that in order to stand out from the competition and connect with followers you must weave branding into your posting strategy.
But how can you incorporate branding into your Instagram business strategy? Here are the top four things you need to consistently think about:
One of the easiest ways to create cohesion in your Instagram feed is to follow a consistent theme and/or color palette. These elements help followers to better understand the purpose of your brand and make a deeper emotional connection. For health and nutrition expert Jenna Davila (@livepurejenna) this strategy means making her account hyper-focused on sharing a rainbow assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables which help followers to feel alive and excited about living a healthier lifestyle. Here are few other ways you can identify your theme and/or color palette:
If you’re stuck on how to kick start your Instagram theme, Pinterest is a great place to start. Just search “Instagram theme” to discover a #ShitTon of ideas to inspire you. Some Pinterest pins will even tell you the exact filter, exposure, saturation, and temperature their accounts use to create their one-of-a-kind photos.
Sometimes you don’t even have to look far to find inspiration. With more than 40 filters to choose from, many successful businesses on Instagram create cohesive content by using the same Instagram filter. This not only helps draw your content together, but it’s also really visually appealing when users look at your entire Instagram account.
Cropping is also a great strategy you can implement throughout your Instagram account. By cropping your photos a certain way, you can create a bold white line which helps to break up your content. @sunnylenarduzzi does this and it looks great.
If you’re a brand that adheres to a specific color palette, make sure that comes through with your Instagram content. Try picking a certain accent color and sticking with that throughout your feed. This strategy is a win-win because it adheres to your branding, but also provides a more visually interesting story for your followers. Check out @ihavethisthingforpink.
Quotes are a fantastic way to inspire your followers. But make sure you consistently use the same font and/or positioning so people will instantly recognize your content, like @chriskubby.
If you’re still experimenting with your Instagram’s content, why not try alternating between black and white and colorful images? Although it might not seem like your go-to choice, it’s actually a great way to grab the attention of followers who might otherwise scroll quickly through their feed.
Remember, you should always ask yourself “does this image fit in my theme.” If the answer is no, don’t post it.
It’s no secret that hashtags are one of the best ways to get more eyeballs on your Instagram content. But what’s even better is if you can create a hashtag hub that is unique to your business. Instagram hubs allow you to create a larger community among your customers on Instagram.
One account that does an awesome job creating its own unique hashtag hub is the skincare brand Frank Body, @frank_bod. This business uses two brand-specific hashtags, #letsbefrank and #thefrankeffect, to create a large volume of user-generated content. By allowing other customers to see how people use the product, Frank Body provides a great opportunity to reach an even larger global audience. But don’t just stop at Instagram posts! Like Frank Body, you should be sure that you are including your hashtag(s) on all of your packaging, brand promotions, everywhere! Get people talking and excited about your brand.
Even if you have beautiful Instagram pictures, you will lose your audience if you don’t have good, on-brand image captions. However, you don’t have to just rely on run-of-the-mill descriptions. Here are two accounts that are totally owning their Instagram descriptions:
I’ve always loved Social Studio Shop’s, @social_studio ability to seamlessly showcase all of the aspects of their brand. But they take their posting strategy to another level with their use of fun emojis and symbols in their image captions. Whether it’s a shooting star or a list with bold numbers, the Social Studio Shop makes their text fun and something people will actually stop and read. Even better, by using emojis and symbols in such an intentional way, they also break up the text so it’s more readable.
If you tuned in to our Instagram Live today you heard the big news that we’re hosting our first Social Hour at @communalcoffee on January 11th from 5-8pm!⠀ ⠀ What’s a Social Hour you ask? Think of it like speed-dating for your business! You’ll get to sit down 1-on-1 with our boss babes to get your questions answered! We’ll be covering topics such as. . .⠀ ⠀ ♡ Social Media: @social_studio⠀ ♡ Business: @littlepetuniainanonionpatch⠀ ♡ Branding: @_littlecreative⠀ ♡ Web Design: @feelsdesignstudio⠀ ♡ Photography: @brookealiceonphotography⠀ ♡ Public Relations: @katalystpr⠀ ♡ Graphic Design: @alvaradocreativeco⠀ ⠀ Mix, mingle + #InspireConnectGrow with us & like-minded creatives! Tap the link in our bio ☞ @social_studio to learn more + save your spot! ⠀ ⠀ Photo | @ashleykelemen
As an artist, photographer, and writer, Charli Burrowes, @meohmygirl is never short on beautiful Instagram content. But what makes her brand even more special is the way she writes her Instagram descriptions in a journal entry style. Even though she has a global audience, this intimate style of writing helps to connect Charli with her followers across the globe. She isn’t just sharing an Instagram post; it often feels like she’s writing directly to you.
Evenin’ pals✨ To celebrate another year rotating around the sun, I thought I’d flick back through my archives + share some of my oldest work with you in a new blogpost. @thedairy was my first ever client + kind of the reason I was able to sort out my life + work out what I really wanted to do. After I lost my job, I was super depressed. Cam saw something in me that I couldn’t see myself at the time. Potential. Sometimes all it takes is for one person to say, ‘I think you’d be good at this’ for you to get back on your feet again. Self-doubt is such a pesky beast. I find I’m in constant pursuit of confidence. And unfortunately, sometimes building up that confidence often requires someone else believing in you first. If Cam hadn’t seen potential in the very lacklustre snaps I’d taken for him 4 years ago + the work I did for him while I was directing shoots at Black Milk (old job) I might not be here now doing this weird thing I love. Instead, I think there’s a good chance I’d be lost, depressed + very underwhelmed with my tiny little existence. What happens after someone puts their trust in you, is up to you. For me, it meant hard work. A lot of it. I’ve found in life that if you’re willing to work your ass off doing something you love, you just might get a little bit better at it. And better again. And then better again. Til one day, you might find yourself reading light + shadow like you would the newspaper. You’ll spend your spare time doing retouching courses, because that elicits more joy than a night of Netflix. You will constantly thirst for more information about this weird thing that you love to do. I read somewhere that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. After running my eyeballs over my archives today, I’d have to say I think that’s true. I’m by no means a master, but I can definitely see improvements in my work after years of repetition- and that’s so incredibly rewarding. For the last few years of my life, I have shot + edited at least one image a day. Most days, I spend 10+ hours at work- editing + shooting + styling + light testing + mood boarding + sketching out concepts. Experience is one of the greatest learning mechanisms. Go out + do✨
What’s the point in running a business without a little risk? That’s exactly what Jihan Zencirli, @geronimnoballoons, is doing with her Instagram captions, and it’s paying off – big time. As a master balloon artist, Jihan uses her talent and skills to create ginormous, one-of-a-kind balloon installations. She carries this energy into her posting strategy with a very unique style – she uses all caps in every single post. While this might initially come across as yelling, Jihan isn’t afraid to let her big, bold personality come through. And her followers love her for it!
I WAS RAISED WITHOUT ANY LIMITATIONS OF PERSONAL AMBITION. NOT IN SPITE OF MY GENDER- BUT WITH NO THOUGHT OF MY GENDER. (Thanks Mom!) AS A 31 YEAR OLD WOMAN / HUMAN / ARTIST / ENTREPRENEUR, I STRUGGLE WITH GENDER QUALIFIERS, AND I’M BORED WITH TALKING ABOUT MY CAREER OR LIFE OR OPPORTUNITIES WITH ANY CONNECTION TO THE GENDER I IDENTIFY AS. (I PHYSICALLY BRISTLE WITH BEING CALLED ANY COMBINATION OF “GIRL BOSS”.) IMAGINE MY HORROR THIS PAST WEEK WHEN I WAS DRIVING THROUGH THE MANSIONS OF LOS ANGELES AND DISCUSSING WITH MYSELF IF IT WAS MY ASPIRATION TO OWN A HOME AND HAVE A LIFESTYLE TO MATCH, WHEN I FOUND MYSELF CALMING THE ANXIETY OF ALL IT WOULD REQUIRE TO AMASS THIS MATERIAL WEALTH WOULD BE TO “MARRY WELL”. LIKE… GASP! THIS WAS MY CLICHE, CULTURALLY PROGRAMMED, ARCHAIC AND FRANKLY BORING, JANE AUSTEN SOLUTION FOR MYSLEF. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO PROCESS MY OWN #JIHANTHOUGHTS OR EVEN WRAP UP THIS POST, BUT I SUPPOSE IT GIVES ME EMPATHY TO OTHER HUMANS WHO MIGHT FEEL LIMITATIONS TO THEIR HAPPINESS AND DREAMS AND I SAY WITH MY WHOLE ENTIRE HEART: IF YOU WANT SOMETHING TO HAPPEN FOR YOU IN YOUR LIFE… YOU CAN HAVE IT/DO IT IF YOU’RE WILLING TO NOT LET ANYTHING HOLD YOU BACK, ESPECIALLY AND MOST DIFFICULTLY, YOURSELF. ❤️️| photo by @contextofcontent
Instagram Stories are an amazing place to create more personalized, behind-the-scenes content for your brand. But it’s important that you continue to stay on-point with your brand messaging even when you create Instagram Stories.
Jeff Mindell (@jeffmindell) is a Los Angeles-based lifestyle photographer who uses his Instagram feed to highlight both his professional work and all of the outside quirks that make his brand work. If you click into Jeff’s Instagram Story, you’ll find that he continues to show his own unique brand voice with fun behind-the-scenes videos and glimpses at his photo shoots.
How will you tell your brand’s story?
Here’s a challenge: Think of 3-5 words that describe your brand. Write it down and commit it to memory because you should always post with those words in mind. Remember, consistent posting is everything. When people recognize your content they are more likely to stop, engage, and even click over to your website. Your brand is unique, make sure your Instagram branding strategy captures it.