December 7, 2020
Pretty images. That’s all I need to be an Instagram influencer, right? Right *panicked*? Unfortunately, no. If you want to reach the heights of Lilly Singh (shout out to the original creator Superwoman), you need:
- Great content
- Great aesthetics
- Great community
It’s the one stuck in the middle that we explore today. You know those Instagram feeds that stir admiration and frustration in equal parts? We unpack how they achieve it.
How To Create Aesthetically Pleasing Content On Instagram
Envy is not green, but the perfect shade card on an Instagram feed.
In other words, visuals matter. Adding the right caption increases the engagement of an Insta post. Similarly, creating a pleasing colour palette on the entire feed raises your odds of followers. All in all, aesthetic can make or break a content creator, especially on the photo-sharing platform.
Huh? What Do You Mean Aesthetics?
How your account looks and how it feels make the aesthetics of the feed. Case in point: Pantone. The Instagram account of the acknowledged international authority in colour is like watching butterfly wings unfold, as is evident in the photo below.
That’s the benchmark for any content creator, aesthetically speaking.
How do you achieve it *brick in the stomach*? Ehh, it doesn’t take much except following 6 steps.
Know Your Identity
Posting random pictures doesn’t make you a content creator. That way lies confusion, chaos and disconnect. Each image, video, boomerang and story has to reflect your ethos and purpose. Moreover, the entire page should have some founding uniformity.
The first step to achieving it is to know your brand identity, which includes finding what visual theme best represents you.
- Are you bold?
- Are you dark?
- Are you colourful?
- Are you monochromatic?
The answer gives you the basis of Instagram aesthetics. Rolling with the Pantone example, one can say that their brand identity is vibrant and colourful.
Know Your Colours
Scroll through Burger King’s or Jaden Smith’s feed. In the first, you’ll find an overabundance of reds and yellows and in the second, tones of pink. Why is it so? Because these colours represent them and are part of their visual identity. When a follower sees those shades in a video or picture, they automatically know who posted it.
That’s your second step. Know the colours that mirror you and your content and then make them prominent on your Instagram account.
Think one colour is tiring as hell? Try the rainbow feed where the shades slowly change with time. Most content creators use the colour wheel, to transition from one colour to another.
Choose Your ‘Feel’
Can’t seem to decide if it’s midnight blue you love more or charcoal? Well, that’s the beauty of the digital world, you can express yourself in a myriad of styles. If you can’t fixate on a colour, decide on the feel of the handle. You can do that by:
- Selecting a texture: posting only desaturated images
- Choosing one or two filters: using vintage effect in each photo
- Picking an entire colour palette: repeating the same 3 or 4 shades in your posts
Continually using the same filter or palette ties all your posts together and enhances the impact of the feed.
Pick Your Background
The fourth tool to producing visually captivating Instagram content is the background.
Travel influencers have it easy. The undulating mountains and powdery beaches make for automatic breath-taking backgrounds. The rest of the content creating cadre has to work hard. The simplest way is to put a plain white background to use. Another trick is to stick to the same shade (or 2) of the backdrop for every post. Case in point: Old Navy
Select Your Border
When all else fails, add a border. They’re like magic wands with a Phoenix feather core, nearly unbeatable.
- They make the feed look pristine.
- They give an impression of space.
If you don’t use the same colour or palette for your posts, borders are the best way to creating a harmonious feel. FYI, barnacle yourself to one kind of border. Changing the border type with each image or video nullifies the outcome.
Edit It Out
If you can’t click a picture or record a video that matches your aesthetics, simply edit it to make a cohesive feed. From the filter to the tilt-shift, from the font to the hashtag, pay attention to every little detail while editing to produce a unified impact.
Instagram has a lot of editing tools. A lot of them. So, it’s unlikely you’ll need more. Even still some third-party apps great for editing are:
Is That All It Takes To Create Great Instagram Content?
When you’ve been producing content for donkey’s years, it gets fatiguing to keep track of all aesthetic rules. The complications further increase if you hire an assistant to do the actual uploading #InfluencerLife.
The trick is to create a style guide that you can quickly glance through for reference. It should include a list of your most used:
- Brand colours
- Editing tool or app
- Type of content you tend to post
- Hashtags included in each kind of post
- Personality and tone (They are a whole other story we’ll be getting into in a few weeks)
There is one more route to bring a sense of aesthetics to Instagram. You can organize your content by type. Say you are a makeup artist. Then the next nine posts can be all about cosmetics for eyes or just one product.
For this to work, you’ll have to plan ahead of time. If that’s your forte, do give it a go.
Lastly, Maintain Your Instagram Aesthetic
If you’re aesthetically challenged like a certain someone at DYT (we’re not naming names peeps but the initials are A.A), you’ll be feeling overwhelmed right about now. Begin by getting the basics rights and then experiment.
The more you play with frames, colours, backgrounds and filter, the more you’ll understand which tool does wonders and which effect creates an impact. Slowly, your visual aesthetics will evolve, and you’ll automatically improve.
Lastly, when you have found the magic formula for your content, maintain it across the application. It means being aesthetically phenomenal in the feed and the stories.
Case in point: DYT (shout out to a kickass creative team!)