Branding Your Instagram Account For Success
A lot of people are choosing Instagram as their blog platform, you don't necessarily need a website to tell your story. If you are thinking of starting an account or maybe you have one now but are struggling with keeping it cohesive and consistent then today I'll be sharing a few tips to get you on track!
Figure Out Your Story
What will you be showcasing to the world? Maybe you are a lifestyle blogger, a fashion expert, a baker, maybe you'll be crafting items and selling them through Instagram. No matter what your story is, make sure you have a clear understanding of it.
Some questions to ask yourself are:
What am I offering to the world?
What is my number one goal with my account?
How will my content stand out from other's in my niche?
Who is my target audience?
How will I draw them in?
Once you figure out your content plan you can then move on to figuring out how you will communicate your story to the world.
Figure Out Your Brand's Voice
Your brand's voice is everything from how you communicate in your posts (are you strict and serious or do you come across as playful and use terms such as AF, yo, haha, etc.) to the content you put out there for other's to see.
It's important to humanize your brand so that your personality shines through and your viewers will get a better understanding of you. If they feel connected to your account, it'll keep them coming back for more.
A few questions to ask yourself to figure out your voice and help give your account personality are:
Who is your target audience? I mentioned this above but really figure it out the small details. How old are they? Are they M or F? Below is a few more questions.
If your account was a person, what would they do in their spare time?
If your account had a full-time job, what would they do?
What kind of personality traits would your account have if they were a person?
Would they be an introvert or extrovert if they were a person?
Would they be colourful or prefer to keep it minimal?
Just because Instagram is a photo app doesn't mean you should avoid having meaningful and engaging captions. You should let your personality shine through, share your experiences and struggles, let your followers know you are in fact a human, respond to comments and ask questions.
Pick Your Theme
Having a specific niche and sticking to it will bring in the followers you want. For example, if you are a food grammer you probably aren't going to post outfit photos, or photos of you and your friends out on a Saturday night. Your followers are there for a specific reason, your recipes. Not to say posting the random dog or cat photo every once and awhile is a bad thing but it's important to stay consistent.
As a designer, I drool over beautiful Instagram feeds. While it's not necessary to use a specific filter to keep things cohesive it definitely helps. I've seen plenty of grammers who have large followings post photos that are filterless and that's perfectly fine. However, if having a pretty feed is up your alley then pick a filter and stick to it.
My favourite photo editing apps are VSCO and Snapseed.
Personally, I don't use a filter on my photos on my Forth and Create Instagram account. Instead, I stick to my brand colour palette, up the brightness on darker photos and keep my content consistent.
Plan Your Content
If your plan is to put out quality content then planning your posts in advance will make your life a lot easier.
My favourite app to plan my content is Plann. They have quite a few features that will make your content planning fun and easy such as:
Drag and drop your images to create the perfect cohesive feed
Plan your posts in advance so you can hit publish on the go
Plan and schedule your Instagram stories
Learn what hashtags are working for you, the best time to post and you can even find out what colour schemes work best for you.
They have a few different plans including a free option.
Do you have a favourite app to plan out your content? I'd love to know what you are using!
If you are struggling to plan out your content an easy way to get around this is have specific posts for each day of the week. For example on my Instagram, I might follow this schedule:
Colour Inspo Tuesday
Design Tip Wednesday
By keeping a specific schedule not only does it make your life easier but your followers have something to look forward to.
Have Templates On Hand
Instagram templates are a great way to display your content in a fun and interesting way. Now that Instagram stories have blown up templates are especially helpful for displaying your content. You can promote a new post, share your favourite quote, post a photo collage, host a GIF challenge, and more. Keeping your audience engaged is mega important for keeping them around.
Thankfully, if you aren't a designer or even if you are but don't have the time to whip up your own templates then you can easily find pre-made templates.
Below I've listed my latest Instagram templates.
By no means am I an Instagram pro, however, I've listed out a few basic tips that I like to follow.
When possible use natural light when taking photos.
People are visual creatures. While sharing content in your descriptions is a great way to engage your audience try to keep it short. If you plan on writing quite a bit in your descriptions then break down your content in easy to digest paragraphs. Long blocks of text will scare away your followers.
Use Instagram stories to engage your audience. Share your latest posts, share a quick tip, ask questions, etc.
The Instagram story poll feature is a great way to get feedback from your followers.
Avoid posting too much in one day. 1-2 times is plenty, you don't want to annoy your followers. Besides, that's what Instagram stories is for ;).
Use Linktr.ee as a home for multiple links. Since Instagram only allows one link in your bio Linktr.ee is a great alternative. Post a link to your latest blog post, a free course, anything you want to share with your followers.
Hashtags are a great way to draw in new followers so plan them out. By using the right ones you'll attract the right people. A great tool to find out popular hashtags within your niche is Display Purposes. Simply type in a hashtag related to your niche and the most popular ones will appear for you to copy and paste.
Use your bio wisely. Avoid telling your followers who you are, instead tell them what you can do for them. In my bio, I explain that I can help you create killer designs for your business. Right away you not only know what I do, but you know how I can help you. Keep it short and sweet.
I would love to know any Instagram tips and apps you use! Post them in the comments below.