How to Brand Your Instagram
One of the most overlooked aspects of social media marketing is underestimating what it takes to brand (or rebrand) your Instagram channel. Instagram is one of the best, if not the best, ways to market your business today. People can instantly tell when businesses actually spend time and curate a great looking feed, versus throwing random pictures up.
We put together a short but strategic guide on how to properly brand (or rebrand) your Instagram channel. YASSSSSS!!
Step 1: Optimize your profile
If you don't have a business account on Instagram, take the time right now and sign-up for one here. Having a business account gives you a lot more options, such as:
Adding your business email and phone number to your page
Adding a business address (very important for brick & mortar businesses)
The ability to check insights on your weekly page visits and top performing content
Once your business account is set up, it's time to give your profile a little makeover. Your profile pic matters! Make sure to use a well lit, professionally taken headshot of you SMILING. Sorry, but even the best selfie doesn't make as good of a first impression as a professional headshot. Studies have shown that profiles with a headshot perform better than profiles where the profile pic is a logo or other type of image. (Need headshots? We can take them for you! Click here.) If your company has multiple people or headshots aren't in the budget right now, your logo will work.
Next, make sure that your bio is clearly written. Describe what your business does in a short, concise manner. Make sure your location is visible. (I can't stand it when I find an awesome account but can't figure out where the heck this person or company is based.) I recommend including your email address in your profile, in case people miss the button that says Email below your Highlighted Stories. Your bio is also a good area to showcase some personality, so don't be afraid to add some emojis! 😃🦄🍔
Last, include a link to your website or any related press/articles where customers visiting your page can be directed to. If you have multiple links where you want to send people to, we suggest signing up for a Linktree account where you will be able to create a landing page offering many link destinations.
Here's what our profile looks like:
Step 2: Stick with your brand colors
This step is where we see a lot of brands f*%$ing up. If your business is about selling designer shoes and your brand colors are red and black, then your Instagram images should reflect those colors. Reinforcing your branding through your images and content will strengthen your brand and keep it at the top of the minds of customers who are visiting your page.
Also, if you are going to apply a filter to your images, please make sure to only choose one, and keep it consistent with your other images. We get that there are a lot of options out there, but by choosing one you will have a grid that is much more organized and will look cleaner. Personally I think Instagram's filters are pretty cheesy, so we developed our own filter for our IG. We can develop a custom filter for you too! Click here to email me about this.
Check out how we rebranded Eyeland Lash's Instagram and what a HUGE difference it made when we started using their brand colors! Which account would you be more likely to follow?
Step 3: Plan your grid ahead of time
Want to make sure that you are being consistent with your posting and keeping on brand? The simplest way to achieve this is by planning your grid ahead of time. If you are planning your grid at least a couple weeks to a month in advance, then you already have an idea of what you want to feature, which will make gathering the content that much easier.
We recommend writing out a social media content calendar a couple of weeks in advance with placeholders of the types of content you want to feature, along with the copy and notes about what images to create. That way when you go into the new month, you aren't scrambling to figure out what to post because you already have your content prepared. YAY!
I use a grid template I created with Adobe InDesign to plan my feed ahead of time, but there are a handful of apps available that serve the same purpose. I've heard good things about MOSAICO although I haven't tried it myself.
PRO TIP: Set an alarm clock to go off at the same time every day (mine is 3pm) to remind you to post on Instagram. This is helpful since it's recommended to post at least once per day.
Step 4: Get your messaging down
A picture may speak a thousand words, but that doesn't mean that the caption isn't important too. Choosing a consistent voice and messaging style will be the cherry on top of your Instagram rebrand. You must take the time to identify and become super clear on what your brand voice is, and stick to it throughout your posting. (For example, one of my clients almost always calls their readers either "love" or "darling.") It creates consistency and makes the reader feel connected to the brand, like they're reading something posted by a friend instead of a company. Consistent messaging will give the customer a clearer sense of your brand as a whole, and it will allow them to see your brand through the lens that you've created. YASSSSSS!!! (See what I did there?)
Step 5: Don't be too random
Your Instagram posts should (for the most part) be relevant to your business. If someone is following you because they love your homemade candles, they probably don't want to see a pic of your dog or a ton of selfies, sorry Fido. If your company sells makeup, but you are posting cooking recipes, your customers will get confused and will not really know what your brand is about. Sticking to your brand and business in terms of content will really help establish and reinforce a proper connection between your brand and your customers. Having said that, it’s okay to share some other aspects of your life here and there to give people an idea of WHO is behind the brand. Just make sure they aren’t too random and that you use photos that are well-lit and professional looking.
PRO TIP: If you’re dying to post something on your grid, but it doesn't match your feed, then create a carousel post with the images that you want to feature in it. However, make sure that the first image of the post matches the branding style of your grid.
Here's an example. I wanted to showcase the awesome images we shot for Eyeland Lash, but since my grid is mostly light, bright, neutral colors, the bright blue and pink images would have F-ed up the whole thing. So I created a carousel of images and used the white image first, since that's the only one that shows on the grid.
Carousel image 1
Carousel image 2
Carousel image 3
As a business, it is extremely important to showcase your brand through social media. Instagram is fun, but it is also a powerful tool. I have gotten a handful of great clients through Instagram, some in other states. Amazing, right!? Just remember, you must be strategic and intentional to be successful on IG. There is a lot more thought and strategy going into successful profiles than it may seem.
We hoped you learned a lot about how to rebrand your Instagram page! However, if you get stuck or don't know where to begin, then shoot us a message to see how we can help!
I'm Gretchen Kamp.
I'm a graphic designer turned business owner who lives in yoga pants and is fueled by pizza and red wine. I am a soon-to-be fiancé to a handsome nerd, and a mom to a goofy snaggle-tooth rescue pup. I love traveling the world and teaching other female entrepreneurs everything I've learned in the last three years of full-time self-employment. When I'm not in my design studio, you can find me at Cyclebar or galavanting in San Diego with my semi-insane girlfriends.