Instagram is a powerful tool for brands. Not only does it provide a place to connect with your audience and showcase your products or services, but it is the perfect space for you to define your brand. This is where you can really get across what your brand is all about, sharing your aesthetic and ethos with your followers.
As Instagram is a visual platform, it makes sense for brands to see it as a mood board.
Rather than simply sharing photos of your products, mix it up by sharing images that convey the mood that you want to get across. People don’t like being advertised to on social media, but they won’t care that you are a brand if you are clever with your feed.
Before you get visual, start by refining the aesthetic of your brand. Are you fun, bright and colourful, or slow, muted and ethical? Do you have a strong feminist message or are you focused on organic products? Take these words that define your brand, and use them as a guideline for selecting the images that you will share on your feed. Every single image that you share should fit with these words.
Consistency is key
Not only should your content be consistent throughout your Instagram feed, but it should be in line with your branding elsewhere. If someone looks at your website and your Instagram side by side, it should be immediately obvious that it is the same brand. Use your logo as your profile picture, and carry the colours and tones used on your website through to your Instagram feed. If you are selling physical products, the easiest way to do this is by using the main colours of your collection.
For example, Ren London’s (see above) feed is beautifully cohesive, using predominantly neutral tones. When you click through to her website, these same colours are evident in her look books and collections. Or perhaps look at Rose & Grey (see below) who sell vibrantly hued furniture. The bright pops of mustard, blush pink and emerald green that are predominant through their collection are clearly visible as the highlight colours on their Instagram feed.
It isn’t just the visual aesthetic that you need to keep cohesive on your feed. Also, think about your core messages and beliefs. What is your brand all about? What do you believe in? What is special about the products or services that you sell?
You can convey this message visually with images that represent the answers to these questions.
If you are selling organic skincare products - scatter pictures of nature throughout your feed, or if you hand-carve your own wooden spoons, show photos and videos of the process, tools and materials that you use. It’s all about creating more of a story behind your brand.
You can you also show your brand messages through your captions, or through behind the scenes content in your Stories. Take your followers on a tour of your warehouse and show them what a nice environment it is to work in. Talk about the ingredients of your products in your captions. Show the process of how your products are made. This information gives people a reason to follow you, but also helps to define your brand and get across the message of what you are all about.
It’s also important to follow the right people. If a potential follower looks at who you are following and sees that you are already following lots of the same people, they will think they have found a kindred spirit and be more likely to follow.
The people you are following on Instagram should be the people you want to buy your products, or the publications that you would like to write about your products. Who you choose to follow defines your brand just as much as the pictures that you share.
Ultimately, people will judge your brand by your Instagram profile.
If you are a creative brand sharing badly lit photographs that don’t represent what you are all about, this will reflect badly on you. Likewise, if you aren’t sure what images to share and don’t have a cohesive feed, this could confuse potential customers.
When you are planning the content to share on your Instagram, always have your brand identity in the back of your mind. If you are aware that people will define your brand themselves through looking at your grid, then you already have the right attitude towards creating a strongly branded Instagram.
Words by Emma Lavelle.
Image by @kerryvillers for Gousto.