Your Instagram profile is like a first impression of your brand, so you want to make it a good one! Long gone are the days of posting in the moment to Instagram, and now the growing trend is to have a well curated and cohesive Instagram feed. To help make your feed look amazing and save you time, here are 3 steps to planning the perfect Instagram feed!
Why Your Instagram Feed is Important
The first thing that your customers and potential followers see when they visit your Instagram profile is your Instagram feed! This is your chance to catch someone’s attention and inspire them to view your photos, check out your website, or follow you…and this all happens in just a few seconds! Because of this, having a well curated Instagram feed is becoming just as important as having high quality photos on Instagram (if not more so!). Let’s get started with the 3 steps you should follow:
Gather All Your Instagram Content
The first step to plan your Instagram feed is to collect all of the photos that you could potentially post to Instagram. These days, it’s more efficient to plan Instagram content in chunks of time, instead of a little bit each day. This way, you can still post everything you want to, but in the most visually appealing way.
If you’re creating your own content for Instagram, a great idea to maximize your time is to have “shoot days” where you can create a ton of content for your Instagram at one time. Whether you’re doing a bunch of different flat lays at home to have on hand as extra content, or doing full photography shoots with your product, thinking ahead will help you not only plan better, but it will also make your photos flow better in your Instagram feed. If you capture, edit, and post a new photo each day, it makes it a lot harder to have a good Instagram feed because you never know what is coming next, or if the photo will even turn out the right way. This is why taking the time to collect all your content is important: once you have, say, 5 photos that you want to post, all you have to do is find the right order to post them in. You can have a new Instagram post every day, and a beautiful feed to boot.
Saje Wellness has a very cohesive Instagram feed, and you can tell that they really value their brand by how the photos all fit together. Each photo is unique, but the lighting and edits remain consistent, which is key if you want to create the best possible Instagram feed for your business.
Once you have your final photos ready to go for Instagram, you can upload them to your media library with Later. Just drag and drop, or import a folder from your Dropbox or Google Drive, and all your photos for Instagram will be together in one place!
If you’re curating content for Instagram, or doing a mix of both, it’s still important to gather all your content in one place so you can view it all together before you post to Instagram. An easy way to collect user-generated content from Instagram is to use Later’s Search & Repost feature, which lets you search Instagram hashtags, users, and locations to find content from your community. When you find a photo you like, you just click “Add to media library” and you can view both reposts and your own content together. Once you have all your photos together in one place, it’s time to start planning!
2. Plan Your Instagram Feed
One of the hardest parts of making your Instagram feed look amazing is figuring out how to make all your individual photos look good beside each other. Take a step back from posting one photo, and look at your Instagram feed as a whole: how do all of your photos fit together? The prettiest feeds have a good variety of subjects that are evenly spaced out. The goal is to create balance and depth of field with your Instagram feed as a whole, just like you would in a photo. If you post a busy photo, you’ll want to balance it out with a lighter photo or a photo with a lot of white space around it. Avoid posting the same shots close together, so switch up the top-down flat-lay photos with other content or a different angle. Pro tip: space out photo subjects by either one or three photos, not two, to avoid having two selfies or two food shots on top of each other in a column.
The Junipero does a great job of balancing out the subjects in their photos, showing both product and lifestyle shots, using a mix of original and community content, and even weaving a consistent color palette throughout their feed. When you look at their feed, you instantly understand what The Junipero is all about and shows why you would want to to visit. #instagramfeedgoals
Your Instagram feed is a representation of your brand, and having a consistent editing style or color palette is a great way to incorporate your branding into your Instagram feed. One of my favorite examples of this is from Dry Bar, who has little pops of yellow throughout their feed. It’s not in every photo, but you instantly get a sense of their brand from their Instagram feed, which helps Dry Bar with both brand recall and product recognition on the shelves.
3. Plan and Schedule Your Instagram Posts
Now that you know what to look for to create your perfect Instagram feed for your business, it’s time to try it out! So how, exactly, do you plan out your Instagram feed? The best way to curate and plan an Instagram feed is to preview it beforehand. Once you’re happy with your feed, you can schedule Instagram posts for free to make your week easier.
Once you’ve uploaded your photos to Later, all you have to do is drag and drop them onto the content calendar to start planning your feed. Then, you can preview your Instagram feed with both your current Instagram feed and your planned posts, and you can easily move around photos as needed to create the best feed. Or, if a photo just doesn’t work, then you know to replace it with a different photo or save it for later.
The best news? Instagram Grid Preview is now on mobile, so you can easily plan your Instagram feed right from your phone!
Want to see how I plan Later’s Instagram feed each week? Add us on Snapchat and be sure to tune in to Tuesday’s story! 👻 : latermedia