July 12, 2017

You wanna know what drives me crazy? When I go look at someone’s Instagram profile and it looks completely random – you know what I mean… the content is completely disjointed, tells no cohesive story, and the images look like they came from 20 different sources. Maybe there are some random memes, a video with bad cover image, the photos are all of different content, one photo is dark, the next is bright yellow. Its. Not. Good!

And, yes, if your account looks like this, I’m totally calling you out on it! Because it needs to stop. Your Instagram doesn’t need to be one giant repetition, but it should be cohesive and one look at it should tell your audience exactly who you are and what you do.

So, to help you out, I’m gonna show you some example and share some tips on how you too can create a beautiful Instagram feed.

Pick an Accent Color

If your brand is focused on a certain color, consider making that a component of your Instagram content. Find ways to add this pop of color into each of your posts to create a cohesive look as well as branded content that your audience will recognize immediately in their feed.

This example from @yellowillow shows you how Anne incorporates a pop of yellow into all of her posts.

Pick a Style

I love @sugarandcloth for a lot of reasons, but when you look Ashley’s account, there’s a definite style to it. There isn’t one specific color, though pink shows up a lot, but the styling of the content, the accents, and the photography all tell a consistent story.

Another great example of styling is @yorkelee_prints. Their photos are all in a consistent hue, no matter what the subject of the image is – even selfies and quotes. That takes dedication to staging and editing but it’s so worth it when you see the well-crafted gallery.

Pick Consistent Content

Your Instagram feed will look much more cohesive if all your content is consistent. Whatever theme you choose, ensure that your content aligns with that theme.

This example from @christuckerphotography shows how he typically photographs boats and other aspects of ocean living. Even if he deviates from this on occasion though, the styling and editing stays consistent.

While that’s a pretty narrow choice of content, you also look at @cbre who typically shares cityscapes. They are all different and from all around the world. Yet, it creates a well-organized and cohesive gallery.

Pick User Generated Content Carefully

A lot of people want to include UGC in their Instagram content but when they do, it’s obviously out of sync with the rest of their Instagram content. This is not what you want! Instead, be selective and choose only the type of content that aligns with your branding and styling (hint: if people notice this, they’ll actually try to create content to match in hopes of getting featured).

You can see how @marriottmarquissd does this with their content. A lot of their content is UGC but it aligns well with their brand style. And it consistently tells a story of fun and excitement in San Diego.

Whatever method you choose to create cohesion is up to you. From picking a color palette, to using only select filters, to incorporating consistent objects of focus, to creating an alternating pattern of content, to incorporating text overlays, to whatever you want… find what aligns with your brand message and focus on strategically creating content to support that message.

When someone visits your Instagram account, they should know immediately what you do, who you are, your personality, and your style – all from the first 9 photos in your gallery (and every photo after that). If your content isn’t conveying this clearly, it’s time to sit back and figure out your content strategy on Instagram!

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
    1. Thank you Eileen! I’m so glad this was helpful for you 🙂 There are a TON more blog posts here for you to read through. You can use the Search field in the right menu to find posts on pretty much any topic you can imagine! Let me know if you have any questions.

  1. I found this post very interesting and helpful! I always wondered if I was doing things wrong with my shared food account, as we are always trying to post different cuisines to show our eclectic taste in food, while of course keeping in mind what photos will look good beside others. I will keep these strategies in mind moving forward. Thanks Jenn!

    1. I’m so glad this was helpful for you Arielle! There are a ton of great food accounts on IG, who really create great feeds. Some of my favorites include @thekitchengirl, @rachels.fit.kitchen, @vanillaandbean, @piercafe, @cucinarestaurants, and @biteofbermuda. I hope these can give you some more inspiration 🙂

  2. Can you show any examples of cohesive pages that sell products, instead of lifestyle and photography

    1. Hey Dani! Absolutely. Check out @stickstonestyle, @madeby.kasia, @thebrelli, @thelovebombco, and @britelitetribe
      Also, @yorkelee_prints as mentioned in this post is a product based business.

  3. Hello Jenn,

    I have been following you closely and you have been a mentor from afar for me. Thank you for your awesomeness and practical tips you keep giving out.

    1. Thank you so much! I’m so glad you find value in these posts and that they’ve been able to help you 🙂

  4. Hi Jenn, thanks once again for the great post! Can you advice me on what type of content to post or who is doing well in the digital space? We’re offering services but would like to have a more -behind-the- scenes feed. We decided to go for the entrepreneur / start-up style but that didn’t seem to attract the right audience for our agency. Any Instagram accounts you can recommend for some inspiration? Thanks

    1. Hey Maura! It looks like your comment is here and good 🙂
      The digital space is a little harder to work with and takes creative and strategic planning. It makes sense that the entrepreneur/start-up vibe didn’t jive… you want to appear as the expert and a resource people want to work with and sometimes companies take that casual startup vibe a little too loosely and it can convey the wrong message to your audience.
      I love @social_studio (who has since closed shop but still has an amazing IG account) – this one is definitely an account that gets it right. @mollymarshallmarketing isn’t my favorite style but it’s cohesive and she does well on IG. @devanifreeman, @smexaminer, and @sojennymedia are also good examples to look at 🙂

  5. This is my fav blog about Instagram strategy, very easy to read. Hu hu hu, Im verry happy to found it. Sorry for my English, I hope you still understand what Im talking about 😀
    Thank you so much <3

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed this one and I hope you find other blog posts here to help you even more.

Comments are closed.

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