12 May How to Create a Cohesive Instagram Theme
In the last post I covered how to rebrand your Instagram account if you’re ready to step things up or change a little. Part of that is creating a cohesive Instagram theme. I went over a few basics on how to go about it, but in this post I’ll dive a little deeper into how you can create a cohesive Instagram theme for your account.
Before You Start…
Decide How You Want To Use Instagram
Like working backwards from objectives, consider what you want to achieve with your Instagram account. Will it be simply for visual branding or will you want to drive traffic from posts? Maybe both?. Make a list of your goals.
Scroll along and find some accounts that you love. These can be within your industry or not, just gather examples of photos that catch your eye, and accounts that you love overall.
Consider Your Content Capability
While coming up with what you want your Instagram account to look like visually, consider your brand and what kind of content you have or will have the capacity to create. Some of you wizards out there are great at creating graphics and taking your own photos, but if you aren’t as talented, or may have trouble gathering content keep this in the back of your mind as you plan out your theme (we’ll quickly tackle this issue at the end of the article)
How to Create a Theme
Creating a theme can help you stand out from competitors and reinforce your branding. Your aesthetic will also attract your target audience – so consider them in your choice as well. With that said there are many ways to theme an Instagram account besides simply having a color scheme (although I’ll start there). Here are a few different ways to create a cohesive Instagram theme.
Using One Filter Or Consistent Photo Editing Style
Does your brand use specific colors? You may be able to incorporate the color or tint into your photos. Same goes for any other colors or tones that may just appeal to you or reflect the mood you want your followers to experience. A good example of this is lifestyle blogger @Marianna_Hewitt. She is currently using a pink and gray palate on her account and the result is soft and dreamy.
To create this kind of theme you’ll need to edit photos on your computer, by using an app or choosing a specific filter to use consistently. Try taking your photos in the same lighting and create a photo editing sequence that you can use on every photo you choose to post. My favorite photo editing apps are VSCO and Snapseed. They have a wide range of options and filters to help you tweak photos. You’ll need to spend some time playing with the apps (or watching tutorials) but once you get the basics you’ll be surprised at the editing power behind these apps. Both also have the capability of saving your editing sequence so you can easily apply them to any photo.
Use Frames Or Cropping Style
A basic way to start to create a cohesive Instagram theme is to always crop your images the same way, or choose to post only narrow or horizontal photos. A simple frame or crop can go a long way. Using a specific frame can help space photos out evenly – creating a consistent look. Look at how @Balloonstand has a created a fun, bright, happy account by simple using a circle frame on brightly colored images.
Following A Specific Posting Pattern
A cohesive Instagram theme can be as simple as choosing a posting pattern. I’ve seen really great accounts that will alternate lifestyle images and quotes to create a cool grid effect like @SocialStatic (see below). For my client, @2ndCityNYC we post a big grid photo every week featuring the restaurant’s special. Following a pattern helps create a routine – now every week our customers wait for the grid!
One last way you can theme your account is by the composition of the photos. This means you’ll only use photos with specific criteria which can include only bright colored photos, photos with lots of space between objects, photos that feature a specific items or subject, or only post a specific type of photo (flatlays, lifestyle, etc). A good example of this is @Away, the luggage brand. Their Instagram not only has an overall color tone, but all the photos are more lifestyle oriented even when the product is the feature.
A Few Tips To Help You Theme Your Account
Creating a cohesive theme for your Instagram account will take planning before and going forward from the moment you decide to theme your account. The benefits are worth the efforts as your account will serve a purpose beyond just posting photos online.
When creating your new theme, think about the following:
What you want your followers to think or feel. Do you want them to see you as clean and crisp? Or is your brand more edgy? This may help you decide if you want to go for a bright or dark look.
Your brand vibes. Is your brand super modern or more old school? Fun or more serious? Think about how you can visually capture the essence of your brand.
Considering these questions are crucial to really being able to reflect your brand to your customers through visuals and your Instagram feed. Remember, Instagram can be a valuable branding tool if used correctly.
A few general tips to keep in mind:
Create A Schedule
Creating a content and posting schedule will be the easiest way to stay on top of your feed, your theme, and not scramble to decide what to post. Learn how to create a content schedule here.
Don’t be afraid to curate content to keep the consistency of your new Instagram theme. Curating content can be a solution to having a lack of content to post. Repost user generated photos and quotes that match the look and feel of your account. You can even purchase stock image packs that go with your theme.
Use a dummy account or app to test images before you post them
I use UNUM or Planoly to check that my edited photos fall within the color scheme and tone of my account. Both apps will pull in your feed and allow you to upload your own photos so you can plan grids, and compare your edits. Even if you follow the same steps you always do when editing photos, some require a little more tweaking. Both these apps will save you time and the frustration of posting an image that just isn’t quite right.
The obvious tip is to stay consistent – yes, having a theme may require more effort but keeping that consistency will eventually help you save time, and will give you a polished looking Instagram account. After putting more effort into theming my own Instagram account and stepping up the quality of my images I’ve seen more engagement on my account.
Taking the time to really think about your content, and your feeds makes such a big difference for you social media marketing. Your cohesive Instagram feed will have one look and feel and become an extension of you or your brand. It will help your customers or potential followers know immediately that you care about what you’re putting out there for them. Your feed will also benefit from a put together look and feel.
P.S. What do you think of my Instagram theme?
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