Instagram Feed Guide

Instagram Series: Plan an Interesting and Engaging Instagram Feed

For Businesses, Instagram is undoubtedly a major platform to help grow and promote your brand. So many people use Instagram to shop weekly. It’s likely that your audience is on Instagram, so how do they find you, and how do you turn those views and likes into fans + sales? You create an irresistible Instagram feed.

Consistency is Key

Having a consistent and recognizable feed is the cornerstone for Instagram success.

To get noticed, your feed needs to consistently convey your brand’s aesthetic and express your brand’s identity. Plus it needs to speak to your audience and their needs. 

A successful Instagram feed will help you grow your following and engagement, build relationships with your followers, and catch potential buyers’ attention leading to sales. 

*Disclaimer – don’t expect this to happen overnight, it’s a slow-burn process!*

Planning your Instagram Feed in advance will help you roll out engaging and interesting content, and will also help you save valuable time that can be spent elsewhere to nurture and grow your business. 

Every minute counts when you’re wearing all the hats as a business owner, right?

Here are our top tips for a knock-out Instagram feed, without all the stress. 

  1. Choose and create your Instagram Aesthetic

An Instagram Aesthetic that conveys your brand’s message and identity is vital. You can gain ideas for your feed from your business’ current branding and/or creating a brand kit. 

Colours, fonts, layouts, shapes, and tone all contribute to a brand’s aesthetic.You can also work out a grid posting pattern too, if you really want a super sleek looking feed. (Word of caution here, it’s not style over substance – it needs to be a balance!)

Canva is a great programme that allows you to create a Brand Kit for your business to keep your feed consistent and on-brand. You can add your brand logos, brand fonts and brand colours for an integrated and consistent look across your feed and other platforms. You can also use Canva to content across your entire Instagram feed, including videos, reel covers, highlight covers, profile pictures,and gifs. 

We’re sure you know Canva, but if not, you can find out more about it here.

Take a look at Marketing Manager & Co’s Brand Kit on Canva:

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Social Media Marketing Tip: Pinterest is amazing for discovering ideas for aesthetics and ideas for your feed.

  1. Find and research awesome content for your Instagram Feed.

Now that you have your Instagram Aesthetic sorted, you’re one step closer to creating the perfect Instagram Feed! Now all you need is your killer content.

Engaging and interesting content is the difference between compelling your audience or sending them straight to sleep. A feed full of promotions will repel people from following your Instagram account. Your posts need to be relevant to your audience, useful and speak to their needs. 

Following similar businesses can help you gain an idea of what works well on Instagram. Research relevant hashtags, and save inspiring posts to help you get inspiration for content ideas. 

On my regular social trawls, I like to send myself links from other content to help form the ideas for our posts, Reels and stories.This helps me keep on top of trends, and tap into themes which are popular on the platform. 

Here are some ways to create great content for your Instagram Feed:  

  1. Photography:

First be clear on what is, and what’s not on brand for your feed. Spend some time curating images which reflect your brand aesthetic, save them to a folder and play around with a grid builder to see what your grid would look like with different concepts and looks. Try it – you’ll be surprised how much you can change your feed with slightly different images!

If you can, invest in a photographer to capture you and your brand. Photoshoots can be a great way to create content images for your feed, and you’ll have your own stock of tailored pictures to use wherever you need them (think consistency to maximise their impact!)

Not ready for a photographer? You could invest in a light ring, to take pictures of your product in-house. There are plenty of mini courses to learn how to create the perfect image yourself. Our friend Amy, over at Mooie Fee Photography offers ½ hour creative courses which are great to perfect your photography.

Not ready for any of these, or need a stock to supplement your own then consider using stock images. Stock Images help tie your feed together and tell the story of your business, plugging a gap until you have your own photography. Use them to build a brand presence and show people what your brand is all about and who you are as a business. Shutterstock is great for finding stock images, and we also love Unsplash which has a great range of (uncheesy) stock images. Just avoid the clichéd cheesy pics. The won’t do anyone a favour! 

Instagram Feed Guide for small businesses
  1. Share Customer reviews and testimonials – People can take some convincing before they spend their hard-earned cash to buy your product or use your service. Reviews and testimonials are a fantastic way to inspire trust in your business and share the great things you do.
  1. Giveaways – host a giveaway to boost engagement. Put your products in the spotlight, by featuring a product or service in a giveaway. This will generate a sense of excitement and a buzz around your page and will result in new followers, shares, and new visitors visiting your page. Plus, it’s a nice thing to do, right?
  2. Remember to showcase your products and services. Use behind the scenes info and product teasers to generate a buzz. Tell the story behind them, and show what goes into making them (services, too!. Show up, and bring yourself – people will buy in to you.)
  3. User generated content (UGC) –  get your audience to get involved with your brand. Ask them to tag you in their posts and use your hashtag. Sharing these images will show your potential customers how much your customers love your brand and your business. 

Social Media Marketing Tip: Finding Content Ideas for your Instagram feed may seem daunting at first so follow @marketingmanagerandco for lots of great content ideas for your business’ social media.

Create Great Content for your Instagram Feed.

You’ve created an aesthetic for your brand, researched content ideas. Now all you must do is create it!

Canva is a brilliant tool to create and elevate your social media posts. With thousands of premium templates to use for your brand’s social media Canva is the place to start.

3 things to consider when creating posts visuals, captions, and hashtags. 

Don’t forget, you don’t just need to post pictures, spice up your feed by using a range of media like Images, Videos, GIFs, Reels, Carousels, and guides. 

Instagram Feed Guide for small businesses

Social Media Marketing Tip: Don’t forget to use your brand kit and match your aesthetic when creating posts!

Plan and preview and schedule your feed ahead of time!

Planning and previewing your feed ahead of time is a great time saver. As a business owner, saving and prioritising you and your staff’s time is a must. By planning and previewing your feed ahead of time, ensures you know exactly what content you have and let’s you see how it looks and fits into your grid. Does it match your aesthetic? Does the post convey the message you’re trying to get across? These are all questions you should be asking yourself as you review your feed to ensure maximum engagement.

Scheduling Instagram posts with an Instagram third party scheduling Platform, like our favourite Publer, is an amazing time saver but also has many other great benefits. 

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By scheduling posts, your engagement and views are sure to increase. Publer allows you to see optimal posting times, so you know when your posts are being viewed the most by your followers and when the best time to post your content is! You can also see what posts are performing well and what posts are not, to get a good idea of what your viewers like and what they don’t. Scheduling posts also ensures consistency. Planning your Instagram feed a week, fortnightly or monthly in advance, means you have more time to produce new content. 

Sign up to Publer here.

While you’re here, why not take your marketing health check right now to see where your strengths are and discover new room for growth and opportunities.

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