What feeling do you want a visitor to leave your Instagram page with?
Your Instagram aesthetic is the first thing anyone notices when they land on your page; The style and type of pictures, edits, color scheme, and the overall feel of the page.
A neat and cohesive Instagram aesthetic is not just visually pleasing but can also be a great way to build brand image; for personal brands as well as businesses. It conveys your brand’s voice, personality, and helps your followers instantly recognize your content when it appears on the feed.
I remember when I first started to pay attention to my feed and went in search of helpful information. Most of what I found was PRESET! PRESET! PRESET! It’s a no-brainer, right? The same preset should have all your pictures looking the same but the folly here lies in the fact that the same preset does not do the same thing to all your pictures. Depending on the pictures, you usually have to tweak different things to get what you want. Food pictures will require different touches from a person’s picture.
So what then solves this aesthetics challenge? let’s dig in
What’s Your Vibe?
Without clicking on a single post, your Instagram aesthetic gives your audience a sense of who you are and how your brand stands out if it does. This makes defining your brand one of the foremost things to be done.
A list of questions to help guide you through this process:
- Who is your target audience? Developing your brand’s aesthetics becomes easy when you understand who your content is trying to speak to. A lifestyle content creator’s page will have a different audience than one that sells baby food.
- What are your core values? Different brands have different priorities which ultimately determines the content you put out. It doesn’t need to be in-your-face every time but can show up through color choices (more on that later), photo styles, etc etc.
- What’s your vibe? Are you formal and composed? Does your brand like to keep things casual and fun or minimalist and cool? Do you use a conversational tone and are you friendly with your audience? These questions can help identify the type of ‘feel’ you’re going for.
According to research, color influences consumer buying decisions by around 85% and increases brand recognition by 80%. Color is actually the most important thing when it comes to creating a unique Instagram aesthetic for your brand.
If you already have a website, logo, use your pre-established brand colors.
Once you’ve picked your colors, incorporate them into your content. This doesn’t confine you to those particular colors, you can create a palette of complementing colors of a certain tone or color family.
If your dream is to have your feed look like an amazing vacation to Seychelles but you are a student in Ikere Ekiti 300 miles away from a beach, you’re doing something wrong. Pick something that works for the environment you spend most of your time in or you will run out of ideas quickly. Some schemes that usually work are: white, blue, grey, and black (colder scheme) as well as yellow, brown, white, reds (warmer color scheme).
So, time for your pictures. Picture perfect moments do occur randomly sometimes but more often than not even the unlooking shots have been carefully planned to the last detail. So you have to think about your background, your outfit, your poses, your props, your makeup, the direction of the sun, where the wind blows, etc. Every little detail matters.
When you plan out Your feed, you’re able to see what posts look best next to each other and what posts don’t. This may sound like a time-consuming task but planning out your Instagram feed could actually save you time and enhance your overall aesthetic.
Free apps like Planoly, Unum lets you upload pictures to have a preview of your freed without posting anything until you’re ready. Once you’ve planned out where you want everything to go, you can use Hootsuite’s Instagram scheduling feature to save yourself even more time.
Discover The Power Of Editing
Pick an editing style. If your editing style is not consecutive, your feed won’t be either. The feed will look random and every photo will look out of place if you edit one photo with a cold filter and the next with a warm-toned filter.
This is where presets come in. What are presets? Presets are predefined edits that allow you to transform images in a single click. What this means is the color of your page, i.e the content that goes on it is affected by whatever preset you choose to use. The same preset doesn’t work for all types of photos.
My favorite editing apps to use VSCO, RNI FILM, Snapseed, and my phone’s editing tools.
Take Photos of Everything and Anything
I take photos of everything, my friends are all tired. The most important part of putting effort into your feed is creating content. If you’re not tuned to always keep an eye out for content you will get stuck with what to post on your feed. Take photos of everything and anything. If you think, “that sunset is amazing” and you take the photo and it doesn’t come out as well as you expected, there is no consequence. Maybe that same photo in a filter will work perfectly for your feed in a month, and if it never does oh well.
Sometimes photos don’t look that great by themselves but can help bring together a feed.
Spread Out Texture, Landscape, and People
An Instagram feed that has too many personal pictures except it’s a brand that’s focused on that might look too person-oriented. Be spontaneous with your feed mixing up texture, landscapes, and people. A quick rule of thumb is to put a person, a landscape, and a close up in thirds.