It’s cool, fun and judging by its 500 million active followers, immensely popular, largely because of the power of pictures to communicate better than words, especially for visually lead or female facing brands, businesses and personalities.
But how do you go from just any-old-filter-and-picture-filled Instagram account to one of those beautifully styled, themed and crafted feeds that makes everyone think ‘Wow’ and becomes a real asset and lead generator for your business.
I’ve become obsessed with beautifully styled, curated and on message Instagram feeds such as this one pictured here.
And I have been determined to work out exactly how they are done so that I can do the same for my client, Zita West, founder of the Zita West IVF Clinic.
Transforming a feed
I’ve already taken her feed from often random images that were not quite on message to the work the clinic does, to an ‘on message’ feed which is all about pregnancy, IVF and fertility.
We’re now better able to attract an audience who might need our services and we’ve increased our following by over 300 per cent.
But my next question was ‘How do I take this to the next level of styled Instagram – in which not only is every post beautiful and ‘on-message’ individually, but also fits together to create a pattern-like feed overall that tells the whole story of the business?’
How do I make it look as cohesive and together as this feed for instance?
Or, even as this feed?
So not only is each individual post and image relevant and on message, but in it’s entirety the feed has a pattern and tells a single and complete story of the business.
I want a WOW feed!
It actually wasn’t a simple question, and one I only found the answer to when I started playing around with the clinics Instagram account and mocking it up online.
To create a sequence for the Zita West Fertility Clinic feed to further add consistency, professionalism and establish the overall message of the business from the feed as a whole – as well as each single post.
The first step
To do this, I first needed to decide what content would both look most attractive and best represent the business and what it offers.
After assessing what types posts proved popular for Zita and other similar accounts, I concluded that ideal feed would be made up of inspirational quotes, photos of Zita herself, photos of her recipes, images of her products, photos of newborn babies through her clinic and images related to her blog posts.
Working out the sequence
Then came the tricky part: formatting her feed through a sequence. Using Canva, (a simple but brilliant graphic design tool), I mocked this up and was able to create a 12 square sequence of image categories (ie photos of Zita, photos of products, photos of babies, photos of latest blog posts) that will repeat indefinitely.
And it looks like this!
The end result is that
- No posts are vertically or horizontally next to each other at the same but there is still a pattern to the feed as a whole.
- No posts on the same line are similar.
- The mix of content which promotes all our offers will always be at the top of the feed.
- Anyone landing on our feed will always see the things that perform well for us: Inspirational quotes, babies and Zita herself.
You’ve got to be strategic
Like with all forms of social media, you’ve got to be strategic if you want to be seen. But what I discovered about Instagram is that it really is all about quality and not quantity.
Rather than think about what photos will draw in the most likes, focus on how to produce and present those photos in the best way possible.
That is what will turn people viewing your account to people following your feed.
So what have I learnt from all of this?
- Think of your Instagram as a whole feed AS WELL as separate images. But in particular look at the 1st and 3rd images each time you post as these will always line up either next to each other or on top of each other. If the 3rd image is dark, then don’t add a dark image, because your 3rd image and your new image will end up on top of each other making a dark block in the middle of your feed. So if your 3rd image is dark, add a light image for your next image.
- Source and produce good quality images and be really brutal about your image selection. Go through your account and delete images that don’t fit. If you put up an image, and later realise it’s a blip in the entire feed, then delete it.
- Stick to a colour palette and use the same filter on each image.
- Create a sequence that tells your story and covers all your offers every 12 images or 15 images.
- Be consistent and do not allow yourself to go off message EVEN ONCE. Unless it’s part of your overall plan and look, drunken selfies are absolutely banned.
Follow these steps and you’ll be the next victim of my Instagram envy!