Every brand has the same goal on social media: To build their online presence and to gain a massive following.
With over 1 billion monthly active users , Instagram has become an invaluable social media marketing tool for all brands. Whether you’re using the app to promote a small business or to launch a personal brand, it’s crucial for all businesses to figure out the best practices to remain relevant on the platform.
Because there are over 500 million active users on the app in a single day, it’s really not much of a surprise 90% of the top 100 brands around the world are on Instagram. But with those stats, the real question is… how are you going to make your brand stand out?
First, you need to remember Instagram is a photo and video-sharing network. So when it comes down to it, it’s all about the visual aspects of your account. To stand out from the rest of your competition, the key is to maintain a consistent theme and aesthetic that will resonate with your target audience.
Not sure how to build your brand on Instagram? Here’s what you need to do to establish a consistent theme and aesthetic to pull in more followers organically.
1. Know your audience
The very first step is to determine your target audience.
Who do you want your content to reach? Who is your ideal customer?
Identify your audience and do some research to figure out what type of content they like to see. Draw inspiration from your competitors by checking out what other brands (within your niche) are posting!
The goal here is to develop a visual representation of your brand that will also appeal to your intended audience.
2. What’s your story?
What’s the story behind your brand? What’s your company’s purpose or mission statement?
Besides getting familiar with your audience, it’s equally as important to know your brand and its story. Figure out what that story is and use your content to tell it!
There’s a lot we can learn from Nike’s Instagram account. When it comes to building their brand and maintaining consistency, this brand has nailed their marketing strategy in every aspect. With each and every post, we can visually connect with the #justdoit mentality.
3. Figure out your “look”
Besides knowing your audience and your brand identity, you need to decide on a “look” to be a visual representation of your brand. By keeping up with your theme, people will soon recognize your aesthetic as a part of your brand’s identity.
Early on, you should decide on a color palette and stick with it! Also, be consistent with how you edit, format, and shoot all your photos.
The goal here is to create a cohesive content feed and to always carry the intention of maintaining that harmony. Truth is, the greatest photo means nothing if it doesn’t fit in with the vibe you’ve got going.
Before you post anything, ask yourself if it fits in with your brand’s theme. Think of every single post you make as a piece of the puzzle, the puzzle being your overall aesthetic.
4. Subject matter
What you take photos of is just as important as how you take your photos.
People are following your brand for a reason: They enjoy seeing your content on their feed when they’re scrolling through the app.
The point here is, be consistent with the subject matter you post about! Make sure every single post features subject matter that’s relevant to your niche. Edit these photos properly to maintain your aesthetic.
Irrelevant subject matter will cause a disconnect between your brand identity and your target audience. If you want more of the right people (your target audience) to follow your brand, you need to curate an attractive content feed out of the subject matter your target audience actually cares about.
5. Step up your photography skills
Ultimately, the key to gaining a larger following on the ‘gram is to take great images.
While mindlessly scrolling through the app, a great image gets people interested immediately. Besides a double-tap, a great image can bring your profile more visits – and if they like what they see, these people become new followers.
How to step up your photography skills for Instagram?
Natural lighting is your best friend. Good lighting and a bit of tweaking with your favorite photo-editing app is how you create outstanding content.
Reminder: Avoid over-editing your photos! Apps and filters are only meant to be used to enhance your photos, not to alter them entirely.
The best approach is to play around with your camera. Set up a photo sesh at different points in time of the day, and shoot your photos from various vantage points to figure out what works best. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little!
Natasha Ponomaroff is the Senior Marketing Director of Instasize – a content creating tool kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile. A weekly contributor on the site’s blog, Natasha tracks social media trends and updates the millions of “creatives” who are currently using Instasize to curate awesome online content. When she isn’t writing up the latest trend, Natasha is overseeing a team of 10 over at the Instasize HQ – ensuring that the marketing content on the app’s various social platforms is ready to go.