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Instagram is without a doubt one of the most popular social media platforms today with 500 million daily active users. The photo and video sharing platform is on its way to growing into an e-commerce hotspot, making a brand’s Instagram more important than ever. Individuals and businesses alike use Instagram to present themselves to the world and showcase how unique they are with only a grid of photos, videos, and Instagram stories, which is why curating a cohesive Instagram feed is a crucial component of success.
Why does your Instagram Feed Matter?
Instagram relies solely on visuals and the human brain process images rapidly meaning you only have seconds to leave an impression on visitors. As blogger Everything Na Art says, your feed is like a quick visual resume. It should capture the attention of your audience, make a good impression, and spark engagement. If not, you could be in trouble.
An Instagram page is arguably one of the most important aspects of branding. It was predicted that 75.3% of businesses in the United States would use Instagram in 2020 and found that 90% of Americans follow at least one business. With a highly saturated platform, brand perception through Instagram feeds plays a large role in distinguishing a brand from its competitors.
Moreover, an academic journal indicates a positive brand perception and brand attachment by gratifying the consumer through aesthetic and hedonic experiences that have immediate mood-altering properties. Brands can deliver gratification through a combination of sensory experiences, including visual and auditory, Instagram’s signature features. An aesthetically pleasing, coherent Instagram feed provides gratification and can spark brand-self connection based on the user’s appreciation of the brands attractiveness and pleasing aesthetic qualities.
Instagram feeds also matter because they speak volumes about a brand, including its purpose, personality, and story. These brand frameworks are communicated not only through photos and video content but also through captions and engagement with followers.
What Makes an Instagram Feed Cohesive?
As previously mentioned, brand frameworks are communicated in a variety of ways. Using the same edit, unfortunately, does not inherently make an Instagram feed coherent. A cohesive Instagram feed is comprised of these four characteristics:
1. Content Complements Each Other and Brand
Instagram posts and stories relate and are similar to one another. Moreover, the content relates directly to the brand’s purpose and does not stray from the objective of the company or individual.
2. Consistent and Relevant Brand Voice and Tone
All captions and engagement with followers use language that is consistent with and relevant to the brand’s target audience. One brand may use a modern approach with slang, while another may use a professional and informative approach.
3. Consistent Picture Aesthetic
It takes more than a filter to accomplish a consistent picture aesthetic. A filter is important but so are lighting, edits, texture, and balance. An overly busy feed, whether in colors or texture, can be harsh on the eye but too plain of a feed can be boring. Finding the perfect balance and maintaining the balance is what makes a feed appealing to the eye.
4. Active and Engaged
Cohesive Instagram accounts are active and engaged with their followers, posting multiple times a week. These accounts regularly show up in their follower’s feeds’ and more often than not have high engagement.
Tips to Achieve a Cohesive Instagram Feed
Whether you are an influencer or business looking to revive your Instagram feed, it’s not as difficult as it seems. Consider these tips and tricks to take your Instagram to the next level.
1. Go back to branding basics
When reviving your Instagram, think about what your brand stands for and how you want it to be portrayed. Who is your target audience? What are your core values as an organization or an individual? What is your ambiance? How do you want to address your audience?
2. Pick an aesthetic and create a mood board
Do you want a bright or warm feed? Neon or patterned? Dark and moody? Happy and cheerful? Once you decide what aesthetic fits you and your brand, create a mood board with various colors, textures, locations, and graphics to further your inspiration. Pinterest is a great place to create a mood board.
3. Learn how to edit photos
There are a handful of photo editing platforms available for anyone’s disposal. Adobe Lightroom, Snapseed, and VSCO are just a few to name. For those who aren’t editing savvy, presets already created by influencers are available to purchase for Adobe Lightroom, Tezza, and more.
4. Plan ahead
In order to maintain your aesthetic, planning is a must. Not only should you create a plan for when you are going to schedule and make posts, but you should also plan how you’re going to post. The Preview App is a great way to plan when and what you’re going to post. Check out their 9 types of Instagram grid layouts for inspiration.
If you work with a team to collectively run an Instagram, create guidelines for the team so everyone is on the same page.
Creating a cohesive Instagram feed is just a first step in building your brand on Instagram, or the next step in elevating your already growing brand to a higher level.