— February 12, 2018
The Instagram feed is very important.
After all, when people first see your profile, they see it first, instead of the individual posts. That’s why its important not just to plan the look of each individual photo, but the look of your feed.
The feed also forms your brand’s story. As people scroll down, they form their impression of a brand based on the feed itself.
What’s the brand’s theme? What is its main message? How are these impressions are formed? A viewers’ answer is based on their perception of the feed.
That said, creating a good Instagram feed is a challenge.
There are thousands of creative feeds on Instagram. There are tons of accounts with good color schemes. So how do you get maintain a followers’ interest? How do you standout?
9 Instagram Feed Ideas to Make Your Profile Shine
Starting out with a plan and knowing what you want is super important. That’s why we’ve gathered Instagram feed ideas to help you get inspiration.
1. Determine Your Instagram Aesthetic
All great Instagram feeds have one thing in common—consistent themes and filters.
Winning brands and influencers stick to one or two filters. They also edit photos in the same way. They add the same amount of brightness, contrast, saturation, exposure etc. (Here are some tips for taking and editing the best photos for Instagram!)
But these edits aren’t random. Instagrammers first visualize the ideal look and feel of their feed. After that, they choose filters and colors that match their brand’s identity.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular Instagram aesthetics:
One of the most popular design trends on Instagram and in the design world is minimalism. This is no surprise. The theme enables a polished and organized presentation of visual content.
The Minimalist (@minimaliststyle) is one of the brands that best embodies this aesthetic. Their feed features clean and crisp photos showcasing their various designer made pieces. By sticking to a minimalistic style, they are able to showcase their products in a neat and pristine way.
Bold and Vibrant
A bold and vibrant feed is one way you can get visitors to pay attention.
Having a bright color scheme is great if you want to achieve a fun, cheerful and youthful look and feel. If you want to see the effect of a bold and vibrant feed, then look no further than Tara Whitman’s (@taramilktea) feed.
She has 881,000 followers and she managed to turn her love for photography into a promising career. Her secret? Her feed reveals bold and vibrant photos of various locations from around the world.
Monochrome feeds are very rare on Instagram at the moment.
It is also always in style.
So your feed will definitely stand out.
This is perfect for brands with a classic personality. The contrast between the colors can also highlight more details on the photos.
Here’s an example of the monochrome theme from 555design (@555design).
A lot of Instagrammers love pastel-themed feeds.
After all, what’s not to love?
A pastel theme can brighten up your feed and make your heart skip a beat. They’re also a bit minimalist but vibrant, so they do a great job of highlighting the subject of a photo.
Matt Crump’s (@mattcrump) neon-pastel themed feed is one of the best examples of pastel at its finest. His aesthetic has been dubbed as “candy colored minimalism.” Thanks to his Instagram aesthetic, he’s amassed 232,000 followers.
2. Choose Your Brand’s Core Colors
One way your Instagram feed can standout is by making your brand’s core colors prominent.
Every photo should feature 1 or 2 of your core colors. It can be difficult to make this happen, if your products don’t have your brand’s core colors. But if you use consistent colored filters, or if you can think outside the box, you’ll be set.
You can also create your own logo and experiment with your product’s packaging. This way, your products’ look and feel will embody your brand.
If sticking to your brand’s main colors is too much of a challenge, then don’t worry! You can create a color themed feed via color replace tools. Apps like PicsArt and VSCO can do a complete overlay. Or they can replace a photo’s colors with your brand’s core colors.
A great example is the Instagram account of Pantone—the leading authority in color.
Their feed’s theme has pops of color that are consistent with the color of the year. In 2018, the brand announced ultra violet as the main color As a result, all their posts have a touch of this color.
Blogger Ellesen Parlent (@ellesenparlent) consistently posts photos in the shade of orange or pink. Its a simple act, but it makes her posts instantly recognizable to her audience. And the consistency increases the visual appeal of her entire feed.
3. Highlight Your Brand’s Identity
Another way you can make your feed standout is by using your brand identity.
Determine the qualities and characteristics that represent your products and services. Define your brand’s personality and create posts that make it clear.
You can also think of props and objects that can represent your brand.
For example, Kate Spade defined the Kate Spade girl as quick, curious, playful and strong. She’s a free-spirited heroine who loves to go on adventures. So everything that the brand posts on Instagram is consistent with this personality.
Their feed has inspirational quotes, fashion inspiration and lifestyle photos for women. Another thing is that they post vibrant prints that mirror their whimsical style.
So think about your brand’s personality.
After that, brainstorm on how you can make this identity more prominent.
4. Experiment with Grid Layouts
For most users the grid layout of Instagram is often left ignored. But for aesthetic-driven users, grid layouts are the key to creating a great feed.
Here’s a list of some of the layouts that standout:
The puzzle layout is one of the most challenging layouts to maintain. It splits a single image into multiple images. After that, each split image is posted to recreate its larger version.
Here’s an example of the puzzle grid layout from Jana (@twigyposts). She sells affordable stock photos that are warm, inviting and unique.
What’s great about her feed is that each individual photo’s connected to other photos on the feed. So its interesting to scroll down to see how these photos fit together.
If you don’t want to stick to your brand’s core colors, then you can take advantage of the rainbow feed. Basically, the main colors in the feed change as you scroll down.
One of the best examples of the rainbow feed in action is at @thecheerfulchica. For every 9 photos the main shades are the same. In the image below, she posts photos with red as the most prominent shade. But as you scroll down across these 9 photos, the shades in each blocks slightly become lighter to make way for next color—pink.
This type of feed requires a lot of effort since you need to change the color by blocks for every 3, 6 or 9 photos. Meaning that the props and the filters that you use may keep changing. You also need to plan how the colors in the feed will transition.
This is a pretty cool grid too.
A checkerboard is when every other photo has a similar background or color scheme. Some alternate between lighter and darker backgrounds. Others alternate the usual photos with quotes.
In the image below, you’ll find an example of the checkerboard feed by @cerebralmist. Her feed alternates with a quote in a black background, followed by a photo.
Vertical Lines Feed
One of the best feeds on Instagram is the vertical lines theme.
The trick to pulling it off is making the middle feed white (or another distinctive color).
You can add inspirational quotes on the middle feed to create a vertical line. You can also make sure that the pictures on the side are related to each other, and to the quote in the middle.
With this theme, the viewers’ attention is naturally drawn to the middle of the feed. They’re also more likely to enjoy scrolling down the feed because of the unique aesthetic.
A great example of the vertical lines theme is in @elskabody‘s feed. She sells non-toxic skin products that have all-natural ingredients. Again, she posts quotes at the middle of the feed and the photos on the side pull off a similar aesthetic.
5. Play with Words
What if you’re not into the typical travel, food or lifestyle niche like most brands on Instagram? No worries!
You can use text in visuals and play with words to get your brand’s message across.
Post motivational quotes and inspiring messages. This strategy is often best suited for B2B’s or non-profit organizations.
If you need an example, then take a look at Marketing Solved’s feed. The company sells hundreds of free marketing strategies, tutorials and resources. But their feed features quotes that will resonate with marketers and entrepreneurs. They’re not directly promoting their products, but they’ve gained a sizable following.
6. Use Great Fonts and Typography
Creating a feed that has good fonts is essential if you plan to post inspiring quotes often. This is also a great idea, if you’re a design agency or a creative who wants to impress clients.
To get typography inspiration, visit Erik Marinovich’s (@erikmarinovich) feed. He’s a designer, lettering artist and business owner. His feed is also filled with his own creations. Thanks to this, he’s worked with brands like Nike, Target, Google, Facebook and more.
Another example is Ahda (@misterdoodle). He incorporates beautiful curvy lettering and inspirational quotes in his illustrations. This led him to snag clients like Sunday Times U.K., Citizen Apparel among many others.
7. Spice Things Up With Illustrations
What if you’re tired of posting product photos and you want to spice things up? Let’s say, you’re tired of posting varied photos of the pizza you sell every week.
Why not try to create product illustrations with a surprising twist?
A good example is Gucci’s #GucciGift campaign collaboration with Ignasi Monreal. The artists created 80 illustrations. These told the myths of Greece and Rome, Renaissance paintings, Medieval alchemy, Spanish era among many others. Each illustration included Gucci’s ready-to-wear products and accessories.
McDonald’s Singapore also used illustrations to add an interesting twist to their product photos. They added a jogging track around the photo of their breakfast meals to show how it kept people on-the-go. In another post, they had a backdrop of a man breathing fire to promote their Spicy Chicken McNuggets.
8. Create Videos That Tell Stories
While more people post photos, others are killing it with witty and creative short videos. The latter is the latest type of content to earn followers’ hearts and time—and for good reason.
If they say a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video may be worth a million!
So Instagram videos have the power to make stories come to life.
In fact, a study from Newswhip found that while the average engagements for photos increased by 46.4 percent in 2017, the average engagements for video posts increased by 53 percent.
Meaning that level of engagement for videos beats engagement for photos. Also, while comments drove more likes per posts, videos drove more comments on average.
Now, how do you freshen up your feed with videos? You can follow Zach King (@zachking) to get Instagram inspiration.
Who’s Zach King?
For starter’s he can shrink, turn into a statue and turn laundry into kitten. Don’t believe me? Then check out his feed filled with creative videos that have great visual effects.
His cleverly edited videos led him to gain 20.9 million followers on Instagram. In an interview, he said that the key to his success was that he tried to relay the brand’s message using his own voice. Since his followers are children, his videos aimed to be relatable to them.
Usually, he thinks of a video concept with him as the main character. Then, he adds an unexpected twist to get the viewers’ attention.
What can brands learn from Zach’s success? Know what your brand’s voice and personality is. Then, try to create storylines with an unexpected twist.
9. Choose a Border and Stick to It
Choosing a border (and sticking to it!) is one way to make your feed standout. Not only do they make your feed appear to have a consistent aesthetic, but they’re also easy to do.
Here are some of the most common border themes on Instagram:
If you want to keep it simple, then why not use the white border theme? In spite of posting pictures with a variety of colors, your feed will appear consistent.
It also helps evenly space out your photos.
ElskaBody—a business that specializes in natural bath and body care—is a fan of the white border theme. The theme is perfect for her feed, since it makes it appear more clean and pristine.
Rectangular photos aren’t common on Instagram.
So this type of border will definitely stand out.
This theme is perfect if you want your feed to appear elegant and sophisticated. Not only does it make your feed appear clean, but it can also highlight certain details in a photo.
The white space can also improves a viewer’s experience. It makes the photos easy on the eyes, and makes it appear clean uncluttered.
Take a look at Naomi Rahim’s (@auroradesign) Instagram feed to view the border’s effect.
Mixed White Borders
Another way you can take advantage of white spaces is by using mixed borders.
This is perfect if you want to achieve a one-of-a-kind feed that highlights each photo. Because each photo’s size seems to vary because of the white space, our eyes are naturally drawn to it.
Here’s an example of the mixed white border effect from @barre_boss.
Over to You
Let’s do a short recap.
Planning your Instagram feed is a must if you want to make it big on Instagram.
Since viewers form their first impression via the feed, you need to plan how it would appear.
What are the filters you’ll use?
What’ll be its look and feel?
This is a challenge if you’re not a photography or design expert.
On the bright side, there are a lot of ways you can spice up your feed:
1. Determine your instagram aesthetic
2. Experiment with grid layouts
3. Highlight your brand’s identity
4. Play with words
5. Focus on your core colors
6. Use good typography
7. Create videos that tell stories
8. Spice things up with illustrations
9. Choose a border and stick to it
Put these ideas into action and you’re bound to create a great feed that’s set for success.
Got any Instagram feed ideas? Let us know in the comments down below!