Building and maintaining your Instagram aesthetic can be as easy as 1, 2, 3. You don't need professional photography or expensive editing software to reach your Instagram profile’s full potential.
All you need is a unique and eye-catching feed that will attract new Instagram followers to your brand and ensure that your content is easily recognizable so that followers will instantly identify with the content that your brand posts.
This can all seem a bit overwhelming, but don't worry! This article will help you define your branding as well as the different aspects of your aesthetic, such as color, theme, and content, and inevitably help you build an Instagram aesthetic that will catch viewers’ attention.
Why is a cohesive Instagram aesthetic so important?
Having an Instagram aesthetic is a way to gain followers and generate traction for your account. Recently, more and more people are turning to Instagram to search for their favorite brands and businesses. Therefore, having an attractive Instagram aesthetic is just as important as having a great homepage.
Your Instagram page is the first thing a visitor sees when searching for your business on the Instagram platform. As you only get one chance to make a first impression, it is important to have a unique profile to impress these new visitors.
Now you might be wondering how to ensure that these visitors hit the follow button. Well, a cohesive Instagram aesthetic can definitely help you with that.
How do you make your Instagram feed look aesthetic?
Creating an aesthetic Instagram feed that fits your brand's style and spirit is a process.
Here are the steps you should take if you want to do this efficiently:
- Define your brand
- Imagine and draft your brand’s aesthetic
- Choose your theme
- Select your brand colors
- Create a style guide
- Leverage editing options
- Go a step further than just your feed
- Plan your posts
Step 1: Define your brand
Your Instagram aesthetic should give your audience a sense of who you are and what makes you or your brand unique. Therefore, defining your brand is an important step in the process of creating your aesthetic.
You can ask yourself a few questions to help you understand what your brand is:
- Who is your target audience?
You should identify who you are trying to reach with your content and who would enjoy it most. As, for example, a sports store that sells running shoes and clothes will have a different audience to a bridal boutique that sells wedding dresses.
- What are your core values?
It is useful to understand what you are going to post and if it is a true reflection of who you are. Your brand’s Instagram page should reflect your core values. For example, if you strive to be more eco-friendly, then your page needs to reflect this value. It can be in a subtle way such as through color and you can use earthy tones to reflect this.
- What is your vibe?
It is said that your vibe attracts your tribe, so you need to consider what you are trying to achieve. Are you cool and edgy? Down to earth and modest? Formal or casual? Answering these questions will help you identify your ‘vibe’.
Step 2: Imagine and draft your brand’s aesthetic
Your Instagram aesthetic refers to how your Instagram page looks and what the “feel” of your feed is. You should take the time to think about what your favorite profiles look like and use them as inspiration to help you navigate and decide on your aesthetic.
Your Instagram posts should be well thought out and fit in with your desired aesthetic. Therefore, it is important to choose specific pictures, fonts, colors, and filters. Moreover, it is important to plan your photos according to your aesthetic in order to achieve a specific look.
Consistency is key when it comes to deciding what you are going to post. Therefore, it is important to consider what and where you will be photographing to ensure that you stay in tune with your brand's aesthetic.
Lastly, you can create a mood board to help guide and build your Instagram aesthetic. A mood board is a creative way to decide on the feed you are going for. Your mood board can include color, quotes, texture, and maybe even pattern. It is a great way to visualize what you want your Instagram to look like and represent. Therefore, it is useful to take a step back and depict what comes to mind when thinking about your brand.
Step 3: Choose a theme for your Instagram aesthetic
Choosing a theme for your feed is an important part of creating your aesthetic. This will include content, subject matter, and possibly composition or patterns.
To identify your theme it might be useful to consider what you are passionate about. Moreover, themes help connect you with your target audience and can also help you choose relevant hashtags that will allow you to grow your following.
The Madgicx Instagram page is a great example of where a theme is evident. There is a great use of vibrant color as well as clear text and quotes throughout the feed.
Step 4: Select your brand colors
Associating specific colors with your brand can be a very powerful marketing strategy and can be a great representation of your brand. Once consumers automatically identify this color with your brand, your brand can gain a presence and then increase its market share.
For example, we all automatically associate Coca-cola with the color red and associate the brand IKEA with the colors yellow and blue. Sometimes these two colors are more associated with IKEA than the flag of Sweden. Therefore, using color can be a great way for followers to identify you and your brand.
Once you have picked your brand’s color palette, it is important to stick to these chosen tones. This ensures that your Instagram looks neat and consistent. Viewers find pages with uniform color schemes pleasing to the eye and easy to understand. Consumers tend to judge what your page looks like at first glance, therefore it is important to choose your colors wisely and ensure that they do justice to your aesthetic.
Step 5: Create a style guide
As said above, it is important to be consistent with your aesthetic. A great way to do so is to create a style brief or guide that contains the types of content, colors, and filters that you use, as well as your aesthetic goals. This gives you a reference and something to look back on when creating your posts.
A simple guide can contain the following:
- The types of content you want to post: it can't hurt to write down the types of content you are interested in posting. This can be behind-the-scenes posts, product images or user-generated content. This way you can identify what content you have and have not posted.
- Your preferred editing apps and tools: In order to be consistent, you need to use the same fonts, colors, etc., every time. Therefore, using the same editing apps and tools is important to achieve just that.
- Filters: Using the same filters for all your posts will also help improve consistency for your Instagram page.
- Hashtags: Use hashtags that are associated with your brand as this will improve your searchability on Instagram and help grow your account.
Step 6: Leverage editing options
Editing your posts similarly or the same is a great way to keep your Instagram looking consistent and cohesive. The fonts, filters, and other editing options should all be the same to create uniformity in your posts. The best way to do this is to use presets from Instagram or third-party apps such as VSCO, A Color Story, Snapseed, and Canva.
Presets make the editing process quick and easy so why not use them to enhance your brand's identity and make your aesthetic more appealing to your viewers.
Step 7: Go beyond your Instagram feed
Don’t forget that your stories also play a significant role in your Instagram aesthetic. Therefore, you should make sure the fonts, filters, etc., are the same on your stories too.
As you can see, Madgicx is consistent with its color choice on the feed and on its story too. In addition, the company maintains the same key elements and uses geometric and bold shapes in each post. This example depicts circles floating around the main element in the image.
Another feature to consider when maintaining your Instagram aesthetic is the Stories Highlights covers. When choosing these colors, you should ensure they match your brand colors, to add an extra element to your profile and make it more appealing for viewers.
Step 8: Plan your posts
Planning may seem like a tedious task but it will certainly allow you to enhance the overall aesthetic of your Instagram feed, as your posts will look well thought out and precise. This can help you identify what looks good on your feed and what doesn't.
There are many apps that can help you do that, such as Planoly, UNUM, Later, and Loomly. These apps let you plan your posts by dragging and dropping images on a grid without you having to actually post. This can make your feed look more professional and well-structured, therefore, making your Instagram page more aesthetically pleasing.
You can also schedule your posts to a certain date and time, which will give your followers an idea of when to expect new content. Moreover, this creates anticipation among your audience, which will keep them hooked and wanting more.
Instagram aesthetic examples for inspiration
Milk Makeup (2 Million Followers)
Milk Makeup (@milkmakeup) is a creative makeup brand that is based in New York. It is vegan and cruelty-free and strives to incorporate its consumers' style into the brand. This is shown on the feed as the company reposts consumers’ pictures using the brand’s products, which makes its page look original and authentic.
Milk Makeup maintains a consistent, bold, and brightly-colored feed, which also includes pictures of influencers and bloggers using its products. Each post is unique and portrays striking images.
Milk Makeup constantly makes use of user-generated content (UGC), in which posts are sourced from customers, influencers, and followers. UGC allows for account growth as new customers review these UGC posts when looking to buy. It also makes your feed look trustworthy and esteemed.
Murad Osmann (3.8 Million Followers)
Murad Osmann’s Instagram account (@muradosmann) perfectly captures his unique lifestyle of traveling. Each post is evidently well thought out and depicts his wife in each new country they visit. His “follow me” series is a creative way to show his travels with his wife while using a unique #followme hashtag, which became a popular trend.
Note how each post is edited with the same presets and filters, which creates a ubiquitous feel about Murad’s feed. His posts are all brightly colored and his beautifully curated feed makes viewers of his page envious of his travels.
Now over to you
Now that we have gone through the steps on how to build or maintain your Instagram aesthetic, you can experiment and create your own. It may seem like a time-consuming process but the results are worth the hassle.
If you are just getting started, it is important to remember that you don't need to be an expert in design or photography. You only need to be willing to try different techniques and experiment with different aesthetics until you find the one that suits your brand.
You should experiment with different filters, fonts, colors, etc., because this way, your aesthetic will evolve and eventually improve over time.
So, don't be afraid to post. The more you post, the more you understand what works for your feed and what doesn't. This will inevitably take your feed to the next level and create the most aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed you can.