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Design, Instagram

How to Visually Plan Your Instagram Feed

If you’re looking to convert your viewers into followers, putting time aside to plan your Instagram feed in advance is a worthwhile investment!

Some of the best brands on Instagram have gorgeous, curated aesthetics that show off their unique style — and that isn’t by accident.

Having a cohesive Instagram aesthetic is one of the best ways to grow a large and loyal following while showing off your brand’s unique style and tone.

But with new photo editing trends and different types of media living on your feed, there’s a lot that goes into visually planning your profile in 2019.

That’s why we’re sharing our favorite tips and tricks to plan your Instagram feed to help you leave a lasting first impression:  


How To Visually Plan Your Instagram Feed

Planning out your content in advance is really what’s going to make or break your Instagram aesthetic.

Your Instagram feed is one of the first things a visitor sees when they land on your profile. If you want to stop them in their tracks, you need to think about more than just your individual Instagram posts — you need to consider how each post looks in the grid as well.

By taking the time to plan your Instagram feed in advance, you can create cohesive, on-brand content that aligns with your business as a whole and keeps your followers coming back for more!  

Here are a few tips to help you visually plan your Instagram feed and create your own, cohesive aesthetic:  

Choose the Aesthetic of Your Instagram Profile

The first thing you’ll want to do is decide on the Instagram aesthetic of your profile, and a great way to do this is just by looking at other accounts for inspiration.


What do some of your favorite feeds look like? Are they bright and airy? Dark and moody? Do they follow some sort of pattern?


Taking the time to think about these things while you’re browsing your favorite profiles will help you decide what “aesthetic” will best represent you and your brand.

You also want to consider what types of photos you’ll be posting. For example, you might prefer a dark and moody feed, but if you live somewhere like Miami, that may be a hard look for you to achieve. It’s important to think about where you’ll be shooting your content as this can impact the look of your feed.


If you’re a business, an easy way to create an Instagram aesthetic is by pulling in elements from your brand.

Take Ritual Vitamins, for example. If you’ve encountered the brand before, you’ll quickly recognize the bold blues and bright yellows that covers their feed:


Summer Friday takes the same approach, including colors from their cult-favorite face masks, paired with contrasting neutrals:


Another way to help you determine what look you’d like to create on your feed is by creating a mood board.

There are a ton of different programs and apps, like Pinterest, that you can use to create a mood board. Creating a mood board is a really great way to help you get your creativity flowing and guide you in deciding what you want your feed to look like.

When you’re creating your mood board, make sure to include a mix of colors, textures, patterns, and quotes to help you better visualize what your Instagram feed will look like.

Looking for more inspiration for your feed? Check out our free Instagram aesthetic video guide to learn how to design, curate, and plan your feed and stories to attract new followers:

Once you have a clear picture of what you’d like your feed and photos to look like, it becomes so much easier to curate and plan your Instagram content for your feed!

No matter what your inspiration, you can start to design, plan and schedule your own, unique feed for your followers.


Use Similar Filters to Keep Your Instagram Feed Consistent

One of the easiest ways to create a cohesive Instagram aesthetic is during the photo and video editing process. Choosing the same filter, set of filters, or editing “rules”, will help you keep your photos looking consistent. 

And while there are tons of different apps out there for touching up and editing your photos, two of our favorites for easy, on-the-go edits are VSCO app and Adobe Lightroom.

Editing your Instagram Photos with VSCO App

If you’re looking to level-up your Instagram photos, often with just one or two taps, you might want to check out the VSCO app. It has lots of free filters to choose from and even curated preset packs of complementary filters making it a cinch to edit your photos and create a beautiful Instagram feed.

If you find you’re consistently applying the same adjustments to your Instagram images, you can even save editing “recipes” to quickly recreate your favorite look over and over again. It’s a personal and unique filter that you can create just for your content! 

How to Create Your Own Instagram Filters in the VSCO App:

Creating your own VSCO Instagram filters is easy!

First, create your Instagram filter by making edits to your photo in the VSCO editor. Try playing with the brightness, temperature, grain, contrast and any other adjustments to find your perfect “recipe”.

Once you’re happy with your photo, tap on the recipe button and select + to save your current edits:

Once you’ve created your Instagram filter, you can find it anytime on the recipe dock:

Editing your Instagram Photos with Lightroom:

If you’re looking to give your photos a more professional look, Lightroom is by far one of the most powerful photo editing tools out there, especially because you can use ready-made Lightroom presets!

Lightroom presets are one-click photo editing tools that can dramatically speed up your workflow and give your Instagram photos a professional look.

While mastering Adobe Lightroom on desktop takes time and practice, using Lightroom presets on the mobile app is a quick and easy way to take your Instagram photos to the next level.

Since many presets are offered in “packs” or collections, you can choose from a selection of filters for each of your photos while still maintaining a cohesive look on your Instagram feed.

Another great way to give your photos a more cohesive look is by making adjustments to the temperature, brightness, or contrast to keep things consistent.

Check out our guide on how to edit your photos with Lightroom presets (on mobile and on desktop!) for more info on how to create your own aesthetic on Instagram. 

Tip: Try to find a “set” of filters or presets that all have the same look or feel to help you maintain that consistent aesthetic, no matter what type of content you’re posting.

Editing your Instagram Videos:

This year, you’ll also want to consider how you edit your Instagram videos!

Video is everywhere on Instagram in 2019 – whether you’re watching videos on stories, tuning in to an Instagram Live, or scrolling through videos on your feed (including IGTV now, too).

Everything including Boomerangs, graphic GIFs, and stories are registered as video content on Instagram. There’s really no limit to what you can do with Instagram video posts — that’s why it’s so common to find them on your feed and more important than ever that they match your overall aesthetic! 

The good news is that videos are just as easy to edit as photos when it comes to matching your Instagram aesthetic! From VSCO filters, iMovie color correction and Adobe Premier’s “video presets” called LUTs, there are tons of ways to scale up your video content.

Check out our post to learn how you can edit Instagram videos to match your brand aesthetic here.

There’s really no one-size-fits-all filter for your photos or videos, so it’s really important to play around and figure out what filter is the best fit for your brand, content, and style.

Create Balance on Your Instagram Feed

“Authenticity” has become a big Instagram marketing trend in 2019. And that goes for how Instagrammers are curating their feeds, too!

Bloggers and influencers are slowly shifting away from highly curated feeds and taking to the #nofilter trend. You may only spot subtle filters or edits to their photos to create an “in-the-moment” and unedited look into their lives:


While there’s much less focus on how images are being edited, there are some things these visually-pleasing Instagram feeds all have in common. To keep things looking consistent, Instagrammers are taking more time to think about what is being shot, lighting, and most importantly, how their images will look next to each other on the feed.

No matter what editing style you choose, you’re going to want to think about how your Instagram photos look side-by-side. It’s important to create balance on your feed, and make sure it’s not too busy or cluttered. Basically, you want to make sure it’s easy for new eyes to move throughout your feed without interruption.

The goal here is to create a depth of field, similar to what you learn if you’ve ever taken a  photography class. A great way to do this is by placing more busy photos next to clean or minimal photos to break things up a bit.


If you’re a business selling products on your Instagram feed, you can do this by mixing up your product shots with some user-generated content post, lifestyle photos, or any other different types of content you plan to publish.


Don’t forget to think about where your Instagram shopping posts will live on your feed too! If you post too many shoppable posts in your grid in a row, your feed may come across as overly sales-y — creating this balance between lifestyle and product shots is key!

If you aren’t already, it’s really time for you to start thinking in “grid-terms.” This will help you achieve a nice balanced look on your Instagram feed and help you create that killer aesthetic.

Set Aside Time to Plan Your Instagram Feed

Planning out your content in advance is really what’s going to make or break your Instagram aesthetic. You don’t just want to focus on how you’re editing your photos, but start considering what they look like next to each other, and what going to sit beside, below, or on top of your new posts!

The best way to plan your Instagram feed and make sure everything’s flowing together is by using a visual Instagram planner like Later.

Later’s visual Instagram planner shows you exactly what your Instagram feed will look like with your future posts in it — and it’s a game changer when it comes to nailing your aesthetic! The visual planner lets you easily rearrange or swap out photos to find that perfect balance for your Instagram feed.

Scheduling out your posts ahead of time doesn’t just help you maintain a consistent aesthetic, but it also helps you to post regularly, which is also really important when you’re trying to get more followers. 

Plus, you can schedule your video content alongside your photos so you’ll never miss a chance to show off your aesthetic to your followers!

How to Schedule Videos with Later:

Just like regular Instagram posts, you can also schedule Instagram videos that will automatically publish using Later on the web. Just upload your video, select a date and time, and your video will be published to Instagram at the scheduled time!

And to help you keep your Instagram aesthetic on point, you can also choose a thumbnail — a still from your video that will appear in your Instagram grid — for your scheduled video ahead of time too.

Here’s how to schedule videos on Instagram:

Drag and drop your video from your media library into your calendar.

Add your caption and adjust the time and date of your video to when you would like to publish. To select your thumbnail image, click the Thumbnail Cover button below your video and select a still from your video. 

Finally, make sure Auto Publish is selected from the drop-down menu, click Save, and that’s it!

Instagram video scheduling is available now on all of Later’s paid plans, starting at $9/ month. Upgrade now to get access!

New visitors to your profile are much more likely to convert into followers when they know exactly what they can expect from your feed.

And now that you’ve learned exactly how to create and curate an Instagram aesthetic for your brand, you’re ready to design, execute and show off your very own beautifully-crafted Instagram feed!

Ready to create your own Instagram aesthetic? Design, curate, and plan your feed using a free Instagram marketing platform like Later!


Written By

Lexie Carbone

Lexie is the Marketing Campaigns Lead at Later. She’s helped dozens of brands build their social presence and take their content strategy to the next level. You can connect with her on Instagram @lexiecarbone.