A question we often see from our PLANOLY fam is how to make your Instagram feed cohesive. We have a few tricks to help you make sure that your feed is consistent and always in line with your brand. The first step is to establish what your brand actually is, and a great way to do that is by creating a brand guide or mood board. Check out this previous post, 5 C's of Creating Content, for a downloadable worksheet that will help you narrow down your visual strategy on Instagram. Read on for more tips and watch our IG Live video below!
The best way to get started when establishing a visual guideline for your brand is to create a brand guide, which is the one key element many Creative Directors create for the brands that they work on. This breaks down the colors, lighting, fonts, tone, and overall description of the visual guidelines of the brand so everyone working on creative has a clear understanding of what is and isn't accepted when creating content. Another way to create an easy visual guideline for what you would like your Instagram to look like is by creating a mood board to draw inspiration from. This can be as easy as cutting some of your favorite photos from a magazine that inspire you to set a theme for your feed, or creating a Pinterest board for you to always refer to. Once you've established your visual guidelines, you know how to move forward with the brand you want to establish for your feed.
One of our favorite tools to maintain a cohesive grid is PLANOLY's very own Placeholder tool. Placeholders are the perfect solution when you're planning out your grid but don't have all of the images yet. Simply add in a placeholder on your PLANOLY grid until you're ready to swap it out. There are several different color options so that it matches your grid scheme, and you can even label them with words or emojis. Check out this blog post to learn more about how to use this tool!
A huge factor in helping to keep your grid cohesive is by using the same kind of photo filter and editing tools on your images. Whether you use Lightroom, VSCO, Snapseed, or anything other photo editing tools, make sure you're maintaining the same editing practices. We suggest batch editing to save time and keep your images consistent. To learn about a few of our favorite editing apps, read more here. Aside from using the same photo filters, using the same kind of lighting for all of your photos is also key. Whether that's natural light, nighttime, indoor lighting, flash, or even the angles in how you shoot your photos, are crucial details to keeping a cohesive aesthetic across your feed. To make things easier to when you're editing photo editings apps, we've also recently rolled out a Share Extension feature that allows users to directly upload images to PLANOLY from your favorite apps!
The background of your images and videos is an important aspect to keep in mind. If you haven't already, start collecting various backgrounds that fit into your feed. You can buy different color foam core boards from places like Staples or Michaels - they're super helpful and versatile when it comes to blocking shadows, adding dimension, or changing up your backgrounds. If you love marble table tops, but don't have an actual marble table or slab, you can buy decal rolls from Amazon to place on a foam core. Easy, elegant, and affordable. Seamless rolls that stick to your color feed are another great tool for product styling. Make sure you avoid colors that don't fit into your theme. If you have a dominantly black, white and green theme, then you shouldn't include photos that have orange or red in them. Your followers know your color scheme, and they might be thrown off if you change it up too drastically. Make sure to keep in mind how your feed looks as a whole before you post a photo your feed, even though you think it may be a great photo! When you upload your content to PLANOLY first, you can make that call first before you actually post your content directly to your feed without making sure it fits the theme.
Collaborating with brands that fit your aesthetic is essential. If it matches your lifestyle and brand, then it will look more authentic and flow with your feed better. A lot of people think that the more content you put up on your feed, the more successful you are, but quality over quantity is the golden rule when it comes to Instagram. Make sure that you're picky when saying yes or no to collaborations, because you are your own feed's creative director and only you can make sure your feed continues looking great and on-brand. When collaborating with photographers that want to use their photos on your grid, pick the images that best match your color scheme. Sometimes that could mean saying no to a beautiful photo, but as an option you can put it on your Instagram stories so it doesn't ruin your feed! You can also try to communicate beforehand or make sure that you work with photographers who understand your aesthetic and overall vision.
Using the right kind of props will enhance your feed and add some extra flair. Look for props that you can reuse when taking pictures! Finding props that match your color scheme will help you maintain a cohesive feed throughout. At the end of the day, we're all essentially the Creative Directors of our own Instagram, so make sure you stick to the foundation you established. Know your brand and preserve your aesthetic, but don't be afraid to get creative and try new things within your brand umbrella.