May 17, 2017

5 Top Tips to Improve Your Instagram Feed Appearance

Your Instagram feed is a small but mighty billboard for your brand. That’s why it is crucial that it is curated to look amazing and hook followers quickly. You probably already know that top-notch photography is key to having a stand-out Instagram feed (if you need a refresher on what makes a great photo, check out our helpful hints here). Once you’ve set the stage and chosen your best photos, the next step is arranging them in a way that will not only be interesting and aesthetically appealing, but will communicate your brand message to your followers with clarity. Below are 5 tips for a stunning Instagram feed.

The bigger picture.

When you land on an Instagram feed you get a visual overview of a brand or individual. This is why it is essential that you choose a layout that is unique, visually appealing and attention-grabbing. You are already selecting the best photos you’ve got but are you concerned about the overall presentation of your page, too? As a quick summary, there are two basic approaches to laying out your page:

  1. Go all photos: this means that your page is 100% photos and no text. To maintain consistency – a KEY to successful brand marketing (more on that below)– be sure to use the same color scheme and filter in your all-photo layout.
  2. Integrate text and photo: there are many ways to lay out your page using text and photo. A more thorough discussion of the options available to you are detailed stunningly here. But to give you an idea – you can use the grid system on your Instagram home page to create designs with text tiles and photos. Alternate text and photo for a checkboard look. Or create a striped appearance by using three consecutive tiles of photos horizontally across your feed, then adding three consecutive tiles of text below, then three more consecutive tiles of photos below that one, and so on and so on. Try a vertical stripe of text down the center of your feed by adding a text tile as the second image in each of your rows. Or haphazardly throw in a text-only tile post amidst mostly photo posts to break up the aesthetic.

Whatever you choose, consider the entire layout of your landing page in your design – the more creative your concept, the more likes you’re sure to get.

Maintain consistency.

Consistency is probably one of the most important aspects of your marketing strategy on Instagram. Being consistent ensures brand identity and recognition. To accomplish this, pick a theme for your page. Your theme should be pretty obvious and support your brand and image– if you’re a yoga apparel company for example, in addition to featuring your clothes you might also choose meditation and general yoga as the overarching theme of your page. Posting meditation mantras and images of yoga poses with advice and tips will draw viewers in and convert them to customers.

Color scheme.

Picking a color palette that suits your theme is also a good call when creating a consistent theme. Muted, bold and bright, black and white – choose whatever seems to best express who you are and then, don’t deviate!! Use those colors in all your photos – and even your text tiles – as another aspect of branding to create a focused page.

Pace yourself.

Pacing your page is another way to improve its overall look. In other words, don’t put too many photos with the same type of content next to each other. Unless your theme requires a certain kind of photo – like GirlEatWorld, where her photos are always of her outstretched arm holding some awesome-looking food in front of a cityscape – you’ll want to change it up from pic to pic. Pace your photos, but don’t lose sight of your theme. A great way to create a consistent and well-paced page is to plan your posts ahead using the Preview app. This app allows you to set up a grid of 6, 9, 12, or 15. This way you can see what that chunk of your Instagram feed will look like. You can upload your photos there, rearranging as necessary, and see what is the most balanced, cohesive, and visually pleasing arrangement. Preview also lets you edit, apply filters, and explore themes for maximum ‘wow’ factor.

Filters.

To help you curate a naturally flowing Instagram feed, you should have a consistent strategy to editing your photos. This doesn’t mean you have to choose one filter and one filter only, but limiting yourself to a few will help you stick to your chosen aesthetic. There are a couple of ways to do this: you can apply one filter on all your photos and adjust it to suit your needs (pro tip: Hefe, Rise, Mayfair, and Valencia were particular favorites in recent research indicating these filters attracted more likes, views, and comments than photos with other filters). Another option is to pick three filters you like to change up the look of your feed while still maintaining a cohesive appearance to your photos. If you’re feeling limited by the built-in filters on Instagram, try outside apps. A Color Story is a great option if you’re into a “bright and fresh” look; alternatively, VSCO Cam is preferred for moodier feeds.

Instagram gives you a unique opportunity to use a purely visual medium to connect with your fans. Think hard about what you want to show them, and then dive in to re-designing a great page. What are some of your favorite Instagram feed design elements? Comment below!