Instagram Branding 101: How to Create Your Own Voice and Aesthetic

If you are a business in 2021 and you’re not on Instagram, are you even a real business?! The lengths these brands and CEOs go to, in order to ensure a cutting-edge, sleek Insta feed that’s eye-catching to the masses and money-spending worthy to the folks at home are just astonishing. 

And boy oh boy do the folks at home love a good Pinterest-like Instagram feed to spend endless hours on. The purpose of your Instagram or social medial presence isn’t to just co-exist with your peers and competitors, but to do it imaginatively.  To help your idea get a clear, and quite visual image, here are some amazing Insta savvy tips on how to brand an online business in 2021.

The Magic Three: Name, Logo, and Avatar

Your business’s name is one of the most vital aspects of putting your idea and product out there. What linguistical sound will the greater public know and remember you by?  In the Instagram sphere, that would be your username. And as far as usernames go, the math is pretty simple: keep it short and keep it sweet

No need for excessive characters, numbers, unreadable words, and even sentence-length names. The shorter and more direct it is, the more people will remember it.  Just think of all the biggest, monster brands out there: Nike, Addidas, Apple, Amazon, Tesla…Do you see what we mean?

Short and impactful people, short and impactful.  As for the Logo and Avatar picture, which in some cases are the same thing; try making an outline of what your business is about. Almost like a character or doll-like version of your core message. Simplicity works here as well, just take a bite from Apple’s logo for example. 

The Three Color Rule

Before you even think about any front-end development and Instagram feed posting, the three-color rule is your first and foremost task.  And what’s the three-color rule? Picking black or white, and two additional colors that will dominate all of the visual media surrounding your brand. We’re talking website, logo, email marketing, and most importantly, your Instagram feed!

Now if you end up picking green and yellow, for example, that doesn’t necessarily mean your Instagram feed has to be filled with those two color schemes excessively. Those two colors should merely represent your brand’s image, social media presence, as well as the emotion-provoking vibe you’re going for. 

For example, on a psychological level, the color blue, or cyan to be exact,  is known to keep its audiences more awake; this is exactly why the most prominent social media platforms dominate the color blue in every way they possibly can. But when we’re talking about eco-friendly/vegan/”save the planet” type brands, they’re most likely to incorporate the color green, as it represents one’s connection with nature, prosperity, and kindness.

Food brands on the other hand, usually go for the reds, yellows, and oranges, as they drive hunger and lust towards the food in question. In other words, make sure to wisely choose the color scheme of your brand’s overall image in relation to the message you are trying to portray. Lastly, just like with your brand’s name and logo, the color scheme is the third most memorable aspect of your brand’s visual persona.

Bios Are Like Windows to your Brand’s Soul

Similar to the monologues we would get in traditional and modern-day literature, the bio on your Instagram is a mere introduction to whatever you have in store. A lot of businesses tend to make the mistake of creating a bio that’s too long. We mean, this isn’t The Irishman of Instagram bios, there genuinely isn’t that much to say.

Newcomers and folks just stumbling upon your page like to see information in bullet point-like fashion, as if it is being spoon-fed to them.

  • Just
  • Like
  • This!

Keeping it witty but informative, professional, yet positive – all underneath 50 characters or so, is the best introduction you could possibly think of. Just look at it this way, all of the greatest marketing schemes that have created the utmost commercial success have been kept short, impactful, and memorable.

You know… “Just Do It”…Or something along those lines.  And lastly, don’t be afraid to use emojis, especially if their colors go nicely with the color scheme method in the above-mentioned paragraph. And how could we forget, the CTA’s just might be the core of your entire page. 

Whether it’s a link to your website, a new YouTube video, or a blog, one thing is certain; the more buzz your Instagram produces, the more traffic gets transferred to your link of choice. In other words, choose your Instagram bio’s words wisely. And also add keywords, they are greatly beneficial too.

Finally, the Core of Your Brand

Content, content, content… it surely makes the average Joe spend that extra hour scrolling through a genuinely aesthetically pleasing feed.

In a time where visual sciences sometimes represent the core of who we are, or at least who we want the world to see, how you portray yourself and your business will greatly influence your sales, click rates, and everything in between. 

  • Do the Puzzle-gram;

One of the more popular, and very neat ways to create an aesthetically pleasing feed is by dividing it into puzzle-like images that create an amazing picture altogether. In other words, for one week, you would only post three pieces of content that are all one piece of the puzzle. The week after that, you would add the rest, building on top of that greater image, so to say.  Ariana Grande did the same thing for the Sweetener album and tour account, most notably.

 

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A post shared by Sweetener (@sweetener)

  • Main color scheme;

Some businesses don’t just mean business but also consistency. After choosing their dominant color they tend to, well, stick to them quite a bit. 

It wouldn’t be too much in your face all the time, but you’ll definitely see a few lines, pieces of clothing, words, and other tiny aspects holding those colors, creating a visually beautiful palette for the one looking at it. 

  • 2 by 3

Perhaps the least popular, but certainly not bad, the 2 by 3 basically means the following:

You would post two similar posts on the sides of the feed, and one original in the middle. For example, if your business is high on body positivity or mental health, those could be two quotes and a portrait containing a background story via the caption. 

The week after that, you can think of something else while following the same pattern, creating an almost path-like feed that’s very symmetrical and pleasant to look at. 

 

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A post shared by BRESKVICA (@brrrreskvica)

Editing

Hiring a good Social Media Manager or Graphic Designer sure can mess up your budget; those goys aren’t cheap. But who’s to say you can’t do it all on your own?! There are numerous FREE editing apps on your Google Play or App Store that can greatly benefit your editing style, and save you some cash too.

VSCO, FaceTune, and Lightroom are just three of many, many that are out there. 

Additionally, if you are currently unable to produce content of your own, because lack of time or a good camera will do that for ya, you can always look for free stock images on sites like Pexels and many others.

To download some of their pics is completely free of charge, plus, adding your own touch with editing, a few brand-themed colors, and a logo here and there will really make it yours. And on top of that, most of those pics are quite high in resolution, so your feed will look very professional too. 

Instagram (Brand) Stories

Quite possibly the most engaging way to approach or speak to your audience or clientele; Instagram Stories sure can be an insane engagement booster.  The prescription is pretty simple, one to ten Stories a day keeps the lack of engagement away. Truly!

Thankfully for you, there are so many ideas and witty creative Stores you can do on a daily that don’t take too much of your time. 

  • Think of the brand’s message and style;

If your business is very free, open, and positive – memes, funny polls, “this or that” Stories are your poison. 

If your business has a more serious or mature undertone, sharing stuff like tips, advice, and trick within your industry can also be a fantastic daily fix.

There are also a lot of free Story editors you can download. They can really turn a basic Story pic into a memorable one. Wherever the case just remembers to incorporate the brand’s core with whatever you do – the colors, vision, logo, and the folks responsible for its inception. 

Instagram Story Highlights

The most important thing here is to wisely choose which Stories you wish to keep on your page forever. Since they disappear after 24h, the Highlights feature allows you to save a Story on your page, so that all the newcomers can see it even after its time is served. 

For businesses and brands, you should definitely have highlights like “Team”, “About us”, “Our mission”, or some brand-exclusive feature or launch, and so on. Whatever piece of content or information you think is extremely valuable to your brand should certainly be kept right then and there.  

Now, as for the Highlight covers – free apps on Google and App stores got you covered there too! You can create and design something to really boost your brand’s narrative without putting that much effort.  You can also add regular pictures as the covers, just make sure they are both very high resolution and pleasing to the eye. 

Message and Vision

Now, the part that ties it all together.  When people think of your brand, from what they’ve seen on Instagram, what do you want them to think about? What association do you wish for them to draw? 

For example, Selena Gomez’s beauty brand Rare Beauty is high on self-love, mental health, and destroying unrealistic beauty standards; all while keeping the makeup itself light, soft, and dewy, just like the color palette of their actual visual Instagram feed.

Just take a look at their “Always An Optimist 4-In-1 Mist” – talk about branding! Lastly, packaging it all together, there are some finesses, although minor, certainly don’t lack importance.

For example, the music you use in your Stories might give a specific vibe to your brand and account. The stickers, tone of voice in your captions, even all the way to the emojis you use – all of them combined give a certain feeling or “taste” to whoever is experiencing your page for the first time or getting to know it, at the very least.

Here are some pro tips that might be helpful to you.

  • Create a Spotify playlist that creates the “sound of your brand”; in return, most folks invested in your page will then associate the given songs with none other than you! Furthermore, it would be like having your own OST for your brand.
  • Have special days for brand-exclusive activities such as Motivation Monday or Fun Fact Friday – only highly branded with your name and game all over it!
  • Do Instagram contests! For posters, promotional packaging, launches, literally anything you can think of! See if your audience has captured your vibe and message by allowing them to design a piece of content for you.

When choosing the winner, you get another free piece of branded content, and they get their work out there. A true win-win! 

At the end of the day, your brand should be the main voice of your vision. Visually, spiritually and even sonically; don’t waste it on half-done pics and barely average products.  Allow it to be an extension of who you, as a businessperson and person in general, are. 

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