How To Create The Ultimate Instagram Grid Layout
If you look up Instagram ‘how-to’ guides, many of them will tell you that it doesn’t matter if you don’t have great imagery for your business yet, you should just focus on getting started. But is this really true?
…if only it was that easy!
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but when it comes to attracting new clients/customers, having a professional, aesthetically pleasing Instagram grid really is vital. Instagram is often the first touchpoint for potential customers so it’s important to make that first impression count. Even if you have the best food in the world at your cafe or sell amazing products, if someone looks up your business and sees a messy grid and bad lighting, it can leave a negative impression. In an already highly competitive environment, this is the last thing you want.
On the other hand, if they see beautiful imagery and high quality content, they will be much more likely to delve deeper into what you have to offer. Furthermore, it shows you are invested in your products/service and they should be too!
Read on to find out how to create the ultimate IG feed.
Use a scheduling tool
The biggest piece of advice we could give to any business owner running their own Instagram account would be to use a scheduling tool. This lets you plan out what your feed will look like and ensure there is a visually pleasing flow. Not to mention, you can plan weeks worth of content in one go. If you schedule a time for it to be posted, the app will automatically push it out for you – this will save you a lot of time and energy in the long run. Some of our favourite tools include Later, Falcon.io, PLANN, and Planoly. Most of these options have both free and paid plans, depending on your needs. The grid below was originally planned using Later.
Hire a photographer to shoot your content
We know what you’re thinking…..’but that’s expensive!’ While yes, you do have to pay for the services of a photographer, it could be the most valuable investment you make for your business. It doesn’t matter how good you think you are with filters or portrait mode, nothing will be better than the content produced by a professional. They can also help you design the aesthetic look to go hand in hand with your brand personality. Professional photos elevate your business and give you an edge against competitors in your niche. Ideas for what you could shoot include; product photos, behind the scenes, employee portraits, flat lays.
Use stock images
If you are in the infancy stages of launching a business, and you really cannot afford to pay for a photographer, then stock images can come in handy. Though we definitely recommend having professional photos of your own content over stock images, they can still be used to fill the gaps in the early days. For example, if you were selling a sunscreen product, it would be okay to use a stock image of a beach that matches your aesthetic. Be sure not to base your whole strategy on stock images though, as Instagram favours new and original content. Great options for high-quality stock images is Unsplash, Pexels and Pixabay.
Use design tools (like Canva)
If you want to make an announcement post, or even post a quote, then tools like Canva will be your new best friends. Canva allows you to create gorgeous graphics that look like they’ve been created by a graphic designer. The best part is that it’s super simple to get the hang of and even people who struggle with technology will wind up having fun in the process. You can also animate your graphics if you really want to level up your IG. Read our blog post about free online design tools for more ways to level up your social media graphics.
Pro-tip: When making graphics, ensure that you are clear on your brand colours and fonts. We recommend having approximately 1- 4 brand colours and 1 – 2 brand fonts. This will ensure a more cohesive vibe.
Make sure your brand personality shines through visually
As mentioned earlier, photos on your instagram feed help establish your brand personality. Therefore, it is important to get very clear on what that brand personality is. Are you going for a moody vibe, or more of a fun, colourful energy? The brand personality of your grid should appeal to your ideal customer – that is, the person you most want to attract. As you can see below the grid has conveys a friendly, happy persona that will likely appeal to families.
If you are opting to hire a photographer, ensure you convey your brand personality and target audience to them before the shoot. Another idea would be to create a mood board for them that clearly defines what it is you want out of the content they produce for you.
The most important thing to create a professional grid is consistency. This includes consistency of style, content, colours, fonts, even temperature. If you’re not sure what temperature is, it refers to whether you’re using warm or cool tones. Warm tones are more yellow based, whereas cold tones are blue based. The feed below is predominantly utilising cool tones for a sophisticated look.
If you find a really great photo but it doesn’t quite align with your Instagram aesthetic, then perhaps use it on your insta story instead. In our opinion, your feed represents a professional portfolio of what your brand does and what it stands for. Consequently, we think it’s best to prepare your feed to be slick and professional looking, whilst any ‘on the go’ or spontaneous content should be diverted to your IG stories.
IF YOU’RE SHOOTING YOUR OWN CONTENT ALWAYS REMEMBER TO:
-Use natural light. One sure fire way to make your feed look unprofessional is by shooting with dim lighting. Another option is to invest in some studio lighting.
-Have a nice background. If you’re making a flat lay you can use white cardboard from the newsagency as your background. The company Every Day Co also sells beautiful Vinyl backdrops that will suit many different brands.
-If you are opting to use filters or presets, always use the same one.
So there you have it, our guide to creating the best IG grid for your business. If you’d like someone else to do the hard yards for you when it comes to Instagram marketing, Contact us at MBP today.