How to Make a Good Lookin' Instagram
Instagram has become so much more than a collection of pictures that represent your life. Especially when it comes to using Instagram as a marketing tool. A jumble of dimly lit food photos, pictures of your dog, someone elses baby and the trip you took last summer are most likely not going to describe to your followers, and potential clients, what you do and what service you have to offer. Even a collection of very high quality photos can seem messy if there is no flow. So today I’ll teach you how to flow with three C’s. But not like yoga…god I’m inflexible.
C number 1, COHESIVENESS. You’ve probably heard someone say your Instagram page should be cohesive. But what does this mean? Cohesiveness means there is a clear pattern throughout the page. Sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle, but always enough to be eye catching. For example @Addidas . On the Addidas page they use multiple themes for short periods of time. Obviously all pictures represent athleticism, sports etc. but if you scroll through the page you can see how the patterns change, sometimes after as little as three posts, but since the overall look is similar they have cohesiveness. @CarlyCristman is another good example. Her page has a very grey and desaturated look, even images that have hints of bright colour are dulled to continue the neutral-coloured appeal. Thirdly, @minimalistbaker, she does such a good job of incorporating a massive colour scheme and still creating a cohesive look. Her backrounds, frame and depth may change by the image depending on what works for the dish but ALL her photos are high quality, detailed and of mouth watering food.
So how can you create cohesiveness? My best advice is to create a pattern within your page. The best way to do this is post something similar every third image. We’ve seen this example with pages who post a quote every third image. This means that at any given time you will have a row of quotes running down your page. The key to making this work is making sure that the quotes look similar; same background colour, same/similar font, and font colour. You can also create patterns by creating a colourscheme like @dreamingoutloud . Hailey has an overall travel & vintage theme but every photo has a light blue or orange/rust coloured detail. This allows her to post basically whatever but she adds the same filter to get her cohesive look. And while we are here adding the same filter to every post is an EASY shortcut to creating cohesiveness no matter what the images are.
C number 2, CONSISTENCY. “How often should I post?”..well you should post consistently. For different brands this means different things. Posting daily is a good rule of thumb. Less than every three days just isn’t enough to create consistent engagement. Some companies post 4 times a day and deliver massive content and it works for them. But read your audience..are they begging for more or engaging more with 1 post a day than 4? If you are posting multiple times a day, space them out. If you have an international following you will probably be hitting different people at 9am and 9pm.
C number 3, CREATIVITY. This can be really challenging. It’s not easy to be able to stage photos, take and edit good photos and write creative and engaging captions. It’s just not, and that’s why I have a job. But for those of you working on building your Instagram by yourself I have a couple tips for keeping it creative.
1. Use original content. Using other people’s content for every post is very transparent and doesn’t create a lot of trust from followers, especially if you aren't giving credit where credit is due. Your own pictures will always be better because you are then posting something no one has ever seen. Pintrest is for reposting other people’s content, not Instagram (although there is a time and place but I won’t get into it).
2. Use a pattern. (< seems to be a pattern in this post, ha). Creating a pattern for your page forces you to also create images that are in-line with your pattern. So if your pattern is to have an image with green food every third post then you already have a rough idea of what you need to do. This key here is to be relentless in holding the pattern- there’s nothing like being 30 posts into a pattern and then posting something random because you feel like you need to post. Your page needs to be cohesive as a whole. If you have nothing to post try throwing something a little more casual into your Instgram story instead so it doesn’t mess up your mojo but still says "I'm here!".
3. Watch what other people are doing. Being inspired by other’s is not copying. For me it would be very hard to exactly recreate a food photography flat lay because they are usually so dynamic. But at the same time I love using little ideas from other food photographers I’ve seen and incorporating that into my images.
Alright friends, lets recap. In order to have a good-lookin’ Instagram you need COHESIVENESS, CONSISTENCY and CREATIVTY.
In a sentence – post your own shit daily that all looks similar and beautiful.
You got this.
Love & health,