First impressions mean everything – especially when it comes to your Instagram feed. Developing a consistent theme can deliver so much value for your brand, whether you’re wanting to increase followers, engagement or set yourself apart from competitors, you can do so by being intentional with your feed.
One of my favorite things about Instagram is how unique everyone’s pages can be. The first step in planning out your theme is reflecting on what makes you, you. Do you have an exceptional product? What is the team behind the brand like? Are there certain feelings that resonate with your brand? What goals do you have for the brand? What type of personality do you want to shine through? Do you have beautiful photos or graphics? Why are you on Instagram and how can you leverage it?
Below are 11 of my favorite Instagram feeds and some tips on how to achieve a similar theme.
1. Saves matter
According to Later, saves on Instagram are now considered a “super like.” Create content followers will want to use later and you’ll be in a great place in terms of the engagement algorithm. Chewy does an incredible job of creating content people love and will use later like this Pup-kin Spice Latte:
2. Experiment with the horizontal and vertical thread
I love this feed, not only because it’s beachy, but because they experiment with the colors horizontally and the imagery vertically, too. Scrolling through the feed is visually appealing and quickly gives a good feel for the brand.
3. Be creative with multimedia
Jenna Kutcher does an amazing job integrating her podcast content with her Instagram content while maintaining the aesthetics of her feed. She includes a beautiful photo of the person she interviewed in the first slide, the title of her podcast in the second and a snippet of audio in the third. Her captions do a great job of recapping exactly what they had talked about as well so users can quickly decide if they want more of the content or not.
4. Get personal
If you haven’t heard of Morgan Harper Nichols, you are missing out. Every day she posts beautiful hand-designed sketches of quotes on her feed and stories, with different versions of each design for followers to save and use elsewhere (repost, Pinterest, stories, wallpaper, etc.). Her artwork and words are inspired by the stories sent by her followers, and this personal touch shines throughout her feed.
5. Utilize user-generated content
Who doesn’t love a calf trying to eat a banana? The American Farm Bureau does an amazing job of curating user-generated content for their feed. 99 percent of their content seems to come from its followers and thanks to that strategy, they can showcase a great mix of what agriculture is like on their feed. When using user-generated content, make sure to repost the content properly (ask for permission, credit the owner, tag the owner).
6. Show off the final product
It would be easy as a grocery store to just show off the products in the boxes or weekly sales, but Sprouts Farmers Market steps outside of the ordinary. They do a phenomenal job of showing off life around the meals you can create with their products. The color theme changes every three rows and integrates different patterns, faces, text, food, drink, and occasional packaging. I could scroll through their feed forever.
7. Let your personality shine
Chipotle takes a different approach to the previously listed accounts. They post strictly memes about their brand onto their feed. This is a cost-effective strategy and helps mix up the content with something other than pretty food pictures. There’s only one of you, so let it shine.
8. Cater to wants/desires
The Home Edit is by far one of my favorite accounts. There’s something therapeutic about scrolling through their endless home organization tips. They color code everything and balance those colors out with white backgrounds throughout their feed. Although not everyone has a beautiful business of organizing people’s homes, you can identify which colors align with your brand and make an effort to integrate the color throughout.
9. Be a resource
Canva walks the talk. They pride themselves on making it easy to design and publish anywhere, and their feed is filled with design inspiration. This is an easy way to highlight the resources available to their customers while creating a beautiful feed. If you are an expert in an area or service, use it to your advantage and provide value to others.
10. Integrate brand patterns
Halo Top Creamery has a variety of flavors with colorful packaging and they aren’t afraid to integrate those colors, patterns and textures with their feed. Their feed stays bright and vibrant throughout and does a great job of making you crave their ice cream. Halo Top does a great job of engaging with every single comment on every post as well, helping to build brand affinity.
11. Create presets
Even if your brand has a large mix of content or subjects to focus on, you can create (or buy) presets to use throughout the feed to maintain consistency. Presets can be used in Adobe Lightroom either on the desktop or mobile app and are fairly simple to use. Jenna Alexander Studio has a very subtle preset on all of her photos, and it all ties all of her content together nicely.
A quick recap on Instagram feed inspiration tips:
- Saves matter
- Experiment with the horizontal and vertical thread
- Be creative with multimedia
- Get personal
- Utilize user-generated content
- Show off the final product
- Let your personality shine
- Cater to wants/desires
- Be a resource
- Integrate brand patterns
- Create presets
Once you decide what themes would work best for your brand, finding the right tools to achieve your feed goals is key. Some of my favorite Instagram tools include: