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Plan an Aesthetic Instagram Grid With Later

Learn how to organize, schedule, and optimize a stunning Instagram grid.

Getting Started With Visual Planning

Now, more than ever, customers use social media to discover new businesses. Your Instagram profile is likely the first impression you make on new customers, meaning it’s just as important as a website or storefront.

Curating a grid that communicates who you are and what value your business provides is essential to attracting new followers and customers.

In this guide, we’ll cover how to take your aesthetic plan and set it into action from organization, to building posts, and using the Visual Instagram Planner.

For a refresher on how to build your visual brand, check out the video below.


Organizing the Media Library

Scheduling content with balance and cohesion requires some organizational steps upfront. By optimizing the Media Library for your visual brand, you’ll save time scheduling and eventually publish the perfect grid in half the time.

Once the images and videos are added to the Later Media Library, labelling them will make the next step — scheduling — even quicker.

When it comes to labelling for aesthetic planning, you should create some labels that indicate the colours or main aesthetic qualities of the media items they’re attached to. Since labels are searchable, when you’re ready to schedule your blue, yellow, or red images (for example), they’re just a search away.

To bulk add labels, open the Media Library. Select the media items you want to label by clicking the check mark, then label. Apply an existing or new label and save.


Building Posts to Match Your Brand

To create your perfect brand aesthetic, it’s crucial to think big and small. While focusing on the overall look of your grid is important, so are the individual post details. When you weave your brand through every piece of a post you’ll attract new followers and engage your current audience.

Later offers editing options to help you create a seamless visual experience. When you are in the Post Builder for a single image, Multi-Photo, video, or story post, the editing options will appear when you click the image.

Screenshot of the Later app highlighting the Edit button in the Post Builder

If you apply filters, make sure you use a single or set of filters to remain consistent. The same applies for text overlay: commit to one or two different fonts and styles that best represent your brand aesthetic.

Screenshot of the Later app showing the Edit Image window

Once the images and videos are styled, you can turn your attention to the caption. While this won’t affect the overall look of your grid, it affects the cohesion between all the moving parts of your brand.

Coming up with the perfect caption on the spot isn’t always easy to do. When inspiration strikes, write your on-brand captions and store them with Saved Captions. To access Saved Captions in the Post Builder, click Saved Captions — you’ll be able to add or use captions from this tab.

Screenshot of the Later app showing the Saved Captions button in the Post Builder

Preview Your Feed With Visual Instagram Planner

Now that the individual posts are picture perfect, it’s time to organize your Instagram grid. To execute your aesthetic and brand vision, it’s important to create a feed that has balance, dynamism, and consistency.

Later has tools — like Visual Instagram Planner — that help you achieve this aesthetic while saving time with the scheduling process.

Screenshot of the Later app showcasing the Visual Instagram Planner

Before you jump into the Visual Instagram Planner, be sure to set up Quick Schedule time slots to optimize your schedule. When you use Quick Schedule time slots with Visual Instagram Planner, all rearranged posts will be automatically rescheduled to your preferred dates and times.

To add a Quick Schedule time slot from Later on the web, double click on the Calendar.

GIF showing how to add a Quick Schedule on the Calendar in the web app

TIP: publish when you receive the most engagement by enabling Best Time to Post and using the suggestions for your Quick Schedule time slots.

Visual Instagram Planner displays your Instagram profile with scheduled posts just as it would within the Instagram app. To access Visual Instagram Planner on the Calendar page, toggle on your Instagram profile and click “Preview”.

Screenshot highlighting where to select your Instagram profile and where to click the Preview button

You can drag and drop posts to achieve your desired look, or add new posts directly to the Visual Instagram Planner from the side library. The posts will be automatically scheduled to your Quick Schedule time slots.

 

You’ll know which posts are scheduled by the small grey icon in the corner. Scheduled posts have an icon with crossed arrows and published posts show a grey Instagram logo. The post schedule provides an overview of each post’s publish date and time.

Image highlighting the mobile app's Post Schedule Overview, showing the difference between scheduled and published posts

Drag, drop, and delete scheduled posts until you’re happy with how your grid looks all together. You should try and achieve a sense of cohesion with your feed, with your main brand colours and message appearing throughout. If you face difficulty deciding what layout is best, try spacing out or rearranging content types in new patterns.

It’s important to note that any posts scheduled from the side library in the Visual Instagram Planner will be set to notification publish.

After saving your changes, head back to the Calendar page to enable Auto Publish on any new posts, update the caption, and add any other details.


Visually Planning With Clients and Team Members

Working with others is a crucial aspect of social media marketing. Whether it's a client, team member, or your boss, you likely work with someone else to manage your Instagram. Visual Instagram Planner gives you the opportunity to collaborate on the aesthetic and layout of your Instagram grid.

At the bottom on the Preview page, you’ll notice a Share Calendar button. This button opens a pop-up with a randomly generated link. The link leads to a preview of your Instagram content calendar and only works for 48 hours to keep your content safe.

When your collaborators open the link, they will see the posts scheduled within Later alongside your published posts. Unlike Visual Instagram Planner, this page doesn’t allow you or anyone else to rearrange, reschedule, or delete posts. You’ll have control over the final product while your collaborators can provide feedback or approval.


Next Steps

Now that you understand the basics of building your aesthetic on the main feed, you can tie your visual plan into all of your Instagram marketing. This creates an even more holistic experience, turning those new followers into engaged customers.

Check out these resources to learn how others are using Instagram Stories to support their business.

How to Design Instagram Stories That Captivate Your Audience

Did you know that you can repurpose Instagram Stories for other social channels like Facebook and Pinterest?

Read More >

How to Edit Instagram Video to Match Your Brand Aesthetic

Did you know that you can edit Instagram videos just like you edit your photos?

Read More >