A Quick Guide to Maintaining A Cohesive Instagram Aesthetic
Instagram profiles are becoming just as important as a website homepage. It's essential for brands with Instagram to create and maintain an attractive, cohesive, and distinct Instagram aesthetic.
So, what even is an Instagram aesthetic? And, why exactly does it matter for brands marketability?
An Instagram aesthetic is the mood, or general vibe, of an Instagram profile. It's created by the curated images, the coloring of the photos, and content being posted. For brands, aesthetic plays a determining role in how brands will be perceived by potential followers and consumers. This can be a powerful way to use social media to shape the brand's personality and share its story.
With a well-crafted Instagram aesthetic, brands can attract more followers and increase their customer base. Aesthetic might be a daunting, seemingly all encompassing term. However, creating a cohesive, strong aesthetic starts with a few simple steps.
An easy way to make an Instagram feed more cohesive is by choosing a color theme. Think of the Instagram feed like a collage - the photos might be unrelated, but there is something tying them together. By coordinating colors within each photo, the feed will have more continuity.
Check out how Starbucks' Instagram feed is loosely tied together by bright pink. The color is incorporated into each photo, in both subtle and not so subtle ways. When looking at the larger feed, the pink cohesion looks pretty rad.
Color coordination can play a huge role in setting the mood of a brand. Bright, poppy colors could create a more upbeat vibe, whereas cooler earth tones might lead to a more sophisticated look. Whatever the aesthetic, consider how color can creatively be used to shape the brand.
Commit to a filter
Long gone are the days of being limited to Instagram’s set of strangely named photo filters (What does Hefe mean, anyway?).
Photo apps like VSCO, Afterlight, and Snapseed provide a much wider range of filters and editing tools. With these apps, it's easy to get fancy with saturation levels, different contrasts, and shifting focus, among many other very professional sounding photography things.
However, be careful to avoid the paradox of choice. Choose one or two photo filters or edits to consistently use so that all of the photos fall under a similar look. This will bring more continuity to the feed, creating a stronger, more cohesive overall image.
Be consistent with captions
To use or not use emojis? And if so, how many?
By creating a standard format for captions, posts will follow a common pattern and readability. Caption consistency will help familiarize followers with the brand’s voice.
Take Shake Shack, for example. Through their captions, they've created a fun, lighthearted voice for the brand.
Yet, they keep things cohesive with the consistent presence of the burger emoji, and their brand hashtag.
Be forward-thinking with posts
As the importance of aesthetic is becoming increasingly emphasized, new programming is coming out to address the specific goal of creating a strong Instagram profile.
Apps like Preview and Later can be used to plan a beautiful feed and plot which photos will look nice next to each other in an Instagram layout. With apps like these, brands can see exactly what their feed looks like to their followers, and be proactive about how to best shape their image.
Balance the feed
An account that posts only one type of photo might not attract as many followers, unless, of course, its a very cute pet. To keep things interesting, post a well-balanced variety of images. For brands, this could mean creating a mixture of photos of products, people, and places.
Luggage brand Away's profile has some great Insta-feed feng shui going on. By mixing in pictures of their product with photos of people and places, the brand makes their feed more dynamic.
A strong Instagram feed will incorporate different types of photos into a harmonious collection that is not only visually pleasing but interesting to follow.
In a social media world full of meticulous curation, endless filters and editing tools, and carefully written captions, being natural seems like a directly contradictory concept.
However, aesthetic is ultimately a unique way to tell a story. A mood, energy, or message can be conveyed through the small details of color, content, and caption. These easy steps can certainly be taken to get experimental and creative with Instagram aesthetics, so have fun with it!
But do remember: the story behind a brand is what ties it together before anything else, so make this the strongest part and the rest will flow naturally.