Instagram is a key social platform to express your brand visually, gain trust and recognition as well as differentiate your brand from the rest. In this guide we will take a look at how to build a brand on Instagram, sharing some useful tips and tricks.
Building your brand on Instagram isn't just about posting your products and sharing what you do, it goes beyond that. There needs to be meaning, substance and a story providing a feel that targets and captivates your audience.
So where to begin?
1. First step to building a brand on Instagram
Let's ignore 'social media' for a moment. The first step is to take a look at your brand outside of social media - understanding exactly what your brand stands for, what your mission statement is, what your goals are and define who your audience is.
When you look at your brand from the outside perspective, the feelings, mood and vibe your brand expresses are the ones you want the end user to feel.
Once you have done this, you will want to transition all of it onto Instagram. Every post you share will incorporate your brand's feel, story and mission statement in some way shape or form.
For example if you are a beauty brand that uses natural ingredients only, you can really emphasise and articulate this using Instagram.
2. Incorporate your brand when setting up your profile
When setting up your profile there are four ways you can incorporate your brand when setting up your profile:
In your profile picture, you will want to use your logo, so that your audience recognises who you are. This makes it much easier for people to identify you when searching for you, especially when you are needing to set yourself apart from personal and other business profiles.
Your Instagram bio a short bit of text at the top of your profile, allowing you to encompass exactly who you are, what you do and what you're all about.
The way you write your bio can also influence the feel of your brand. Is it relaxed? Perhaps you're fun. Maybe you're serious and professional?
Either way, it's the time to make your first impression so make it count.
Tip: Use emoji to enforce messages and be more approachable and engaging. You will also want to look at adding a call-to-action in your bio, as your website url will be shown below your bio.
Instagram highlights are past Instagram stories you have shared on your profile, it is a type of public archive which you can divide up into sections / albums. Highlights allow for custom cover photos so use this to your advantage to implement your brand colours, theme and stylisation.
Your highlight reel will be shown above your feed and it is one of the first things the user will see, be sure to add covers to make you look more established and professional.
Having a stylised feed layout isn't essential, but it can look extremely appealing and may be able to help share your brand vibe that little bit further.
A feed or grid layout makes it so that your feed looks a little different to others, and has recently become popular.
This is an opportunity to get creative. Perhaps you will want a "tiled" look, whereby you post something alternative after every image post. This could be a quote, a colour block, your logo or something else.
You could make it so that your row of 3 images all interlink to look like one image.
Tip: Be sure to understand the order in which Instagram will post, see the mistake made by the pop group steps. You will also need to understand that Instagram will shuffle along your images, dropping posts down to the next row, so sometimes your feed will only look correct every third post - see example below from Redbull.
3. Brand through content
A bit of a no-brainer, however you will NEED to incorporate your brand into your content. If your brand is really exciting, you will want to make every post feel exciting.
If you're very eco-friendly, show this in your content! Perhaps you could do a flat-lay and incorporate soil, plants and water around your product.
You will want to also use your brand colours with-in your content. See below how Creed kept a blue and gold colour palette with soft textures, providing an elegant, luxury and relaxing feel for one of their fragrance products. This gives something users can relate to, encouraging their purchasing decision:
Tip: Use the same filters or light presets to keep the same feel flowing throughout your feed.
Use all this information, but get creative and put your own twist on things when creating content, otherwise you will become another drop in the ocean.
Your brand should differentiate from your competitors and that should be reflected on your Instagram.
Analyse your competition, see what they are doing. Get inspiration, but DO NOT copy. Copying will only make your competitor seem more authoritative and the brand to go to.
Most of all, ensure your content is what your audience wants to see and hear about so make sure to social listen to gauge a true representation of what your audience is about.
Tip: Create focus on your products with-in your content by using plain backgrounds that stick with-in your colour palette or theme.
To grow and build your brand on Instagram, you will want to use hashtags that are relevant for your brand and your audiences. Whether this is feelings, associated words, relevant trends or national awareness days, you will want to get involved in hashtags relevant to your brand, markets and audiences.
You will have to do a bit of research, don't shy away from googling popular hashtags in your niche, or having a peek to see what hashtags your competitors get involved in.
Creating your own hashtag will also allow users to join in with your specific conversations and follow along with your brands journey. Your strapline normally makes a good personalised hashtag and delivers a consistent and recognisable message.
Tip: Be sure to make use of the 30 hashtag limit, enabling you to appear in more places.
Just like everything else we have talked about, be sure to involve your brand in your Instagram stories.
Your stories are a more personal way to engage with your audience and they definitely don't always have to be promotional videos, they might be updates, events, activities, daily life or other.
You don't always have to go extreme when involving your brand either. You could do a small update talking face to face with your camera, then overlay some text with the background being your brand colour - a simple touch can go a long way!
We hope you found this basic guide on how to build a brand on Instagram useful. If you have any questions, we would be more than happy to help!
If you're interested in learning more about Instagram, how the platform works, how to maximise your content and how to implement an effective social media strategy get in touch with our PR & Social Media Manager, Wendy Ford via firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on +44 (0)1780 757666