Unearthing your Brand's Aesthetic on Instagram

Posted by Nic David - June 11, 2019 • 13-minute read

Unearthing your Brand's Aesthetic on Instagram

Here’s an open secret—people are attracted to a well-managed brand aesthetic. But what some content creators and curators fail to realize is that there is such a thing as being too visual. This is a mistake that even established brands can make, which can result in losing the message they want to communicate to their market.

Remember: aesthetics are more than just your logo. Your brand’s overall look and feel should also consider the image and reputation that your consumers choose to attribute to your business, especially on Instagram where these can dramatically influence how your market views your company.

Food items in scenic travel locations from Instragram

credits: Slaying Social

In today’s world, social selling is something that can make or break your business. Discovering the perfect Instagram aesthetic can be challenging, but once you unearth the right strategy for creating consistently beautiful photos and also a well-curated and cohesive look for your feed, these aesthetics will help your brand following grow as well as engage better with the right audience.

When talking about social media platforms like Instagram, an Instagram aesthetic refers to the look and feel of a feed. It's basically the underlying principle and main guide to all your digital branding.

Since Instagram has proven itself to be a powerful platform for brands to market themselves, it's important that your feed reflects who your brand is and effectively communicates your message to your audience. Having a cohesive aesthetic helps your posts stand out on your followers’ feeds against hundreds of other accounts.

We cannot stress the importance of social media enough, especially in the role it plays for the overall growth of businesses and brands. The onset and growth of social media channels—especially Instagram—has stood the test of time by satisfying audiences’ thirst for instant fulfillment.

But what exactly is your market looking for when scrolling through their feed? Out of the millions of posts uploaded minute-by-minute, what makes them stop to take a second look?

Instagram is all about your brand's creative representation and engagement with your audience. It's for sharing appealing visual content with the goal of increasing post reach and drawing in users to interact with your brand.

There's a wide variety of ideas that your brand can choose from, which can make the process of creating, sharing, and selecting content quite the challenge. All you need to do is scroll through your discovery page and you’ll see a wealth of images and videos.

But before you start planning your posts, you need to know why you're posting in the first place. Is your goal engagement? Is it visual communication? Or are you simply hopping the bandwagon of a trend because every other brand is doing it?

A big problem that Instagram handlers face is the pressure to "just post something". But the release of content for the sake of just releasing is the wrong approach. Believe it or not, your market can sense mediocre work. They can tell when your content is dull and when your captions are monotonous.

Curating and creating on Instagram takes time and dedication as you need to share well-thought out posts with cohesive visual media style. But before you even start thinking of content to post, you first need to establish your brand’s personality and identity. Here are five steps to start:

Establish Your Brand Personality

sephora instagram feed

credits: Canva

It’s best to start with determining  your brand personality so that you can begin developing solid content for the platform. Here are suggested factors to help you with your brand personality:

  • Specify a persona that defines your core audience and how they would use the products and services you offer.
  • Probe for helpful stats by looking into Instagram influencers that relate to your target persona.
  • Decide on which photos and videos you want to share for the consideration of your market. Strategically determine what fits and what doesn’t.
  • Be creative and add flair, but remember to still be informative through captions and hashtags.

Select Your Theme

These days, brands develop certain themes that they match with a look and feel in order to make them memorable. Choosing a theme is a key detail that pays off in dividends in the long run.

Instagram Accounts with basic color palette theme

credits: New Lune

Choose a Filter

Based on statistics, we’ve learned that it’s best to pick a filter and to stick with it. According to them, around 60% of top known brands on Instagram use the same filter for each post.

Different examples of Instagram filters

credit: Cleopatra Blog

Decide on a Grid Layout

An Instagram grid layout helps you think about the overall look of your feed based on the individual squares of photos shared. This also helps to organize a cohesive look and feel, serving as a guide when you need to decide on which photo to post next.

Instagram profile fixing photo grid before and after

credits: Bloguettes

Create a Story

Curating your brand’s aesthetic shouldn’t be limited to feed posts. Tying a narrative to your brand identity creates an emotional connection between you and your market, and delivers real meaning to your content.

Now that you know the five main points in establishing brand’s personality and identity, let’s discuss and determine what is needed to achieve your brand’s Instaesthetic.

Color Palette Inspiration

Color palette inspiration for mobile

credits: Dexigner

The goal for Instagram marketing is getting to the same level as your audience through communication and inspiring real engagement. To get your market to click the “follow” button, you’ll need to catch their attention—without creating a jumbled mess on a brilliant looking photo.

To be clear: a color palette is not about matching everything on your feed, but giving your audience something to expect. And while consistency is subject to preference,  if it can work for the purpose of your brand’s feed, then run with it. Make sure to review your brand’s purpose and be mindful of posts that may be off-putting or confusing.

Here are some things to consider when it comes to your brand’s Instagram color palette:

1. Analogous color palettes are those with colors that are next to each other and give off that warm and cool look. Starbucks during the autumn season showcases a warm analogous themed feed.

starbucks instagram profile using analogous color palette

credits: Sked Social

2. Monochromatic color palettes are perfect for brands who are strongly associated with a single color. This gives your brand the option to expand the meaning of that single color by adding tones on your feed.

Pantone ultra violet monochromic color palette

credits: Sked Social

3. Complementary color palettes tend to feel a little more creative because of the disparate colors.

complimentary color palettes example

credits: Planoly

4. Neutral color palettes are not exactly considered a “type” of palette but they perform very well on the platform. Neutral colors allow that “pop” factor that bring invariable color elements to your feed.

Neutral color palettes example

credits: Planoly

As you can see, consistency really does matter. That said, it also shouldn’t limit you from being creative.

Learn to switch things up by allowing one of your colors to take the spotlight once in a while. One example of a brand that has learned color spotlight consistency is Fossil—for every nine to twelve images, they allow a new color to stand in the spotlight.

This alternative could enhance your channel if color-theme choosing is challenging for your brand, but do take into consideration that switching colors does not equate to switching your style. Consistency should still be key with your composition.

Filters vs. No Filters for Brand Aesthetic

As brand and business owners, you’ll come across numerous arguments on whether placing filters on your posts and stories is good for you. But it’s worth noting that filters are like an outfit that can make or break your brand’s feed.

Choosing the right filter gives off a cohesive look; choosing the wrong one leaves you with a messy brand feed. Remember that you want to leave two things to your customers: a presentable feed and a good FIRST impression..

There’s also no harm in visiting other Instagram accounts for inspiration. And if you can’t find Instagram accounts that have themes that appeal to you, you can always try searching filters via the Preview App which offers the option to customize, design, and schedule your posts for your Instagram feed.

Overall, it’s important to stick to one filter because it’s the easiest way to create your theme and make your feed look more cohesive.

Add Quote Images

Instagram post with quotes

credit: Sked Social

No one can deny that beautifully photographed product shots can be eye-catching, but too much can also make your feed too busy. Adding quote images is great for creating negative space between posts. It's also a way to hack extending your brand palette.

Consider using a white background with black text to offset colorful graphics. This is a great trick to make sure that your graphics don’t compete with the colors in your photo. Feel free to get creative by doing the reverse as well by using a dark background with a white text.

Aesthetically Captivating Stories

Fashion Mood Instagram post

credits: BannerSnack

Now that you’ve created a beautifully curated feed, it’s time to level up on more captivating ways to engage with your market without losing your brand’s aesthetic on the platform.

When it comes to leveraging your audience and showcasing your brand, the best place to do this is through Instagram Stories. By creating a strong Instagram story strategy it becomes more than just being creative and engaging, making it easier for your audience to fall in love with your products or services.

Learn how to design stories that match your brand’s aesthetic, captivate your audience, and eventually turn your visitors into followers. If you’re a small brand with little to no prior knowledge, it's always good to check out apps like Over that offer pre-designed templates which you can match with your aesthetic through the use of your phone.

Here are a few tips to customizing templates, which can be applicable to both big and small brands and businesses:

Tip #1: Be Consistent

It can be really tempting to get creative for the sake of engagement purposes, but using different templates could compromise your branding and impact how your market recognizes your posts. Stay consistent with the style of your Instagram Story templates.

Tip #2: Play Around with Typography

Instagram Stories Template with different typography

credits: Later

An easy way to scale up the designs for your custom story templates would be to use your official brand fonts and to incorporate others that compliment them. Here are some tips you might like to consider when picking out fonts:

  1. Pair handwritten fonts with bold angular fonts.
  2. Pair san-serif fonts with serif fonts.
  3. Pair chunky sans-serif fonts with light serif fonts.

Tip #3: Look for Stock Images

When it comes to Instagram Stories, images are one of the most important things to consider. A good hack when trying to find the right stock photo to establish a certain feel or style is to actually search by theme rather than looking for the exact image that you need.

Sample stock images from Twenty20.com

credits: Twenty20

Tip #4: Get Animated!

A big trend in the design community is adding animated videos to your stories. For one, it adds that instant wow factor—and there are lots of media libraries out there that offer graphics and animation for customized templates.

McDonalds Singapore Instagram Feed

credits: McDonalds Singapore

Tip #5: Incorporate your color palette to your Stories.

As mentioned earlier, color palettes play a big role in the overall aesthetic of your Instagram branding. Sticking to your palette is one key to build brand recall.

Instagram story with great color palette

credits: Colorlib

Now that we’ve listed down all the things to help you deliver an aesthetically pleasing feed, it should be easier for you to turn your visitors to followers and potential customers. Remember: a good curated Instagram aesthetic strategy starts with the right strategy. When you apply the right tactics and tools, everything else will follow through.

Ready to get started with creating a cohesive and curated Instagram feed? We’d be more than happy to join you in this journey.

Let us help you discover your brand’s Instagram aesthetic with our Social Media Packages. Click the button below to find out more!

social media packages

Topics: Social Media Marketing, Social Media

Written By

Nic David

Nic David

is a Social Media Specialist at Straightarrow Corporation. Proving the phrase “small but mighty,” she enjoys tackling under the sun in a good game of Rugby. When she isn’t in her Rugby beast mode self, she enjoys traveling and reading.

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