Beginner’s Guide to Branding Your Instagram Account
Want to brand your Instagram account, get more followers, and promote your business?
Well, I have good news for you: So do most of the other 909.8 million users, many of whom are businesses just like you.
Which means you have an opportunity.
Ah, but there’s a catch!
There’s a lot of visual noise on Instagram—to the tune of 80 million daily photo updates!
So, you’ve got to find a way to stand out.
And when you do, your account has only milliseconds to make a positive and memorable first impression.
Sounding like an uphill struggle?
If so, I have more good news for you. It only sounds hard because you’re a beginner.
All you have to do to master Instagram branding is follow some simple steps for branding your Instagram account, which we have right here.
Let’s begin with:
Why You Need Brand Personality
People don’t engage with brands on Instagram!
I can feel you and my editor staring at the screen with disbelief, but hear me out.
This is where most people who are trying to brand their Instagram account get it wrong.
People don’t use Instagram to engage with brands; they can do that anywhere. They use it to engage with a brand’s personality—to engage with the “human element” of your brand.
So, how do you bring that human element to life?
You give your brand a personality and purpose—a reason for what you’re going to post and why.
You become a storyteller, extending your view and explaining your mission; you give people the reason they need to engage and listen to you.
Brands like Bala, a fitness brand that sells ankle weights, reinforce their brand personality with a unified feed, a strong brand voice, and repetitive imagery (all of which we’ll get to below).
Bala features strong women of all shapes and sizes on their feed, with short, quippy captions that their audience identifies with.
Let’s break down how that happens:
How To Brand Your Instagram Successfully
Marketing budgets don’t cut it on Instagram, but brands that communicate by connecting with customer emotions do.
Your branding is the glue that ties everything together and creates an Instagram presence that gets noticed.
It gives you a personality to work with, one that grows with you as you find your voice. It enables you to create content that people recognize by using consistent font and color schemes. And, it gives people something that’s visually tangible to identify with and connect to.
It all starts with your profile:
Nail your Instagram profile branding
Your Instagram branding strategy starts with your Instagram profile, since that’s where you tell the world who you are and what your posts are about.
And the highest converting Instagram profiles all have certain things in common, such as a high-quality recognizable profile picture, an identifiable username, an informative and engaging bio, consistent Instagram photos and stories, and links to relevant campaigns or landing page.
Your profile photo should ideally be of your logo, one that you’ll use to represent your brand on all channels. If you haven’t yet come up with a logo design, then this is the moment to go ahead and do that! Your logo will help people come to recognize and remember your brand, and it’ll help to have it front and center on your page.
And remember, consistency and recognition are the keys to successful branding; use the same logo and cover photo for all your social media accounts.
Tips on how to optimize your Instagram profile:
- Ensure your profile is set to public (not private)
- Use an identifiable username
- Use a high-quality, on-brand, instantly recognizable Instagram profile picture
- Write a delightful, sizzling, and informative bio
- Enabled notifications
- Choose a business category
- Use a trackable link in your bio
- Create an attention-grabbing Instagram 9-Grid
Give your content a similar look
The ultimate way of branding your Instagram account is by applying a strategy that creates content with a similar look.
Your style, or Instagram aesthetics, is what people first see when they visit your brand’s profile. It’s the instant first impression, so it’s got to be right.
Color is number one when creating a unique Instagram aesthetic for your Instagram account, as it not only influences consumer buying decisions by 85% but also increases brand recognition by 80%!
Next, choose a typeface that suits your language style, then ensure you use that style in every post.
Now you’re onto editing; this is where you really nail your content look and give it the cohesion it needs. Always use the same filter and editing rules, for your images, as this ensures they fit together organically and don’t look out of place.
Check out how Recess, the Millennial sparkling water company, designed their feed; notice how every post looks like it’s related to the ones nearby?
Your goal is to create a unique branding style that runs throughout all of the content you post, enabling you to use lots of different content types while maintaining a consistent look and feel to it.
Establish your brand tone and voice
Your brand’s tone and voice form your personality, which gives your brand the human element that users connect to.
So, what’s yours?
Are you serious, easy-going, or strictly informative?
Now is when you set your style, like the level of humor, slang, or personality you’ll use. Think about how you’ll sound in your captions and how you’ll respond to your audience’s comments and messages.
Look no further than Dollar Shave Club for a brand that sticks to their brand voice regardless if they’re pitching a sale, creating memes, or promoting their products:
Image source: https://www.instagram.com/p/CNswfj6HFwm/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Most of all, your tone and voice have to suit your target audience. So, establish one that suits both you and them, then stick to it.
And when it comes to language, have you thought about emojis yet?
Express yourself with emojis
If you think they’ll suit your tone and voice, emojis are an excellent way of humanizing your content and engaging in social media conversations.
A recent survey showed that 84% of women believe an emoji can help express their message more accurately than words.
And, as we process images 60,000 times faster than written content, they provide a shortcut you can use to communicate, engage and connect with your audience.
Use popular hashtags to strengthen your Instagram branding
Popular hashtags ensure your Instagram account is discoverable by categorizing your content, making it easier for people to find you.
Instagram allows you to use a limit of 30 hashtags per post, and according to TrackMaven, posts with 11 or more hashtags attract the highest free Instagram engagement rates.
You find relevant hashtags to add to your Instagram photos by researching and recording any hashtags your competitors use in their updates. Or, you can scroll through a most popular hashtag list, much like you would for keyword research.
Let’s say you specialize in selling natural hair care products. Start by searching for that direct hashtag (#naturalhaircareproducts) and see if there are a lot of posts that use it.
Then, come up with several different hashtags using similar keywords, but try to find ones that have varying post amounts, to make sure your content doesn’t get lost among millions of other posts.
You can always use a hashtag suggestion tool like Later to find related hashtags and see how commonly they’re used.
When you add popular hashtags, you’re instantly expanding your post’s reach, so it’s a great tactic to use when branding your Instagram account. But, try to only use ones relevant to your brand’s personality, products, or services, in order to ensure that you’re reaching a relevant audience with your posts.
Consistent posting is crucial for any online branding strategy, but especially so for Instagram.
There’s no better way of securing your audience’s continued engagement than maintaining a consistent posting strategy. And while you don’t want to overload your followers, posting once a day and at the right time will ensure your brand remains relative and memorable.
You can use social media tools like Sprout Social to find the optimal posting times for your target audience and set up a pre-scheduled posting calendar.
Time to Start Branding
Hopefully, you no longer see branding on Instagram as an uphill struggle.
Because now you know what most of the other 909.8 million users don’t: That it’s as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.
So, take it one step at a time, and you’ll brand your Instagram account, stand out, and grow your community.