How to Create a Beautifully Themed Instagram Feed (+ Free Workbook!)
One of the best ways to create a beautiful brand identity and gain followers on Instagram is to have a cohesive theme or aesthetic to your feed. But how, exactly, do you go about creating one? It might be easier than you think. Creating a themed feed can be a great way to cement your brand identity; Instagram is the biggest visual social media platform there is, and it's only getting bigger. Some brands now exist solely on Instagram, using it as a microblogging platform instead of a networking site.
Whether your theme is content-based or aesthetically focused by using one or two dominant colors, there are plenty of ways you can achieve a cohesive and beautifully themed Instagram feed without taking a huge amount of time and energy.
Decide on your goals
All of the strategy in the world can't save you if you don't have clear goals and guidelines laid out for your brand or business beforehand. Deciding who you're targeting and what you want them to do with that information will have a huge effect on aesthetic of your feed. For instance, a blog or business targeting millennial women in the workforce is probably going to look completely different from a site geared towards middle aged men who are interested in bow hunting.
After you've decided what your audience and goals are for your Instagram strategy, start looking up hashtags that fit into your niche or area. Make a note of them to use later for your own photos, but also search through them for inspiration and ideas on what to post and what will resonate with your audience.
Batch your photography
When you have a specific aesthetic or theme, it can be hard to just shoot and post like you may have done in the past. This means you have to start being intentional about what you're posting and when. The way I do this is to batch all of my Instagram photography into one or two sessions a week. This means that you plan out as many shots as you can and take the photos all at one time. This way you can build up a gallery of photos to use in between others you may take on location.
Scope the competition
Find other feeds in your niche that you admire, and use them for inspiration. Never steal other people's photos and never rip off someone else's idea - use these photos for INSPIRATION only! Try to look for common threads, what works, what doesn't, what kinds of photos get great engagement, when they post, etc. Be careful not to fall into the comparison trap while you're at it. It's perfectly healthy and normal to get inspiration from other people's work, but if you find yourself endlessly scrolling through other people's feeds and wondering why your content isn't as good as theirs, it's time to take a step back.
Get the perfect recipe
The best way to get a perfectly themed Instagram feed is to use a specific "recipe" of filters and editing apps. For instance, I always use VSCO Cam to bump up the brightness, warmth and shadows, then use the Fawn filter pack from A Color Story for the finishing touches. Using the same filter across all your photos will make your feed look more cohesive and aesthetically pleasing at a glance. (P.S. wanna know my step-by-step process for editing my photos? I laid it all out in this post!)
Explore various photo editing tools, tricks, and filters to find the best ones for you, then stick to a few of them. Much like you'd only use a couple colors or fonts in your website branding, only use a couple filters or editing styles in your Instagram photos.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Listen... sometimes life happens and you get busy and can't take a bunch of beautiful photos that perfectly match your aesthetic. I get it. In this case, go back through your old Instagram photos and pull some you may be able to reuse or repurpose in some way. I had a lot of ones that just needed a few extra touch ups to look great in my new feed, so I use them when I'm feeling uninspired or too busy to shoot a new photo.