With Instagram being such a visual platform, it’s no surprise that accounts with eye-catching, engaging themes perform so well. Not only does it give new followers a great first impression, but it also makes sure that your branding is recognisable in every photo of your Instagram feed.
What if I told you I used to be against the idea of having an Instagram theme? Silly, right?
At the time, having an Instagram theme seemed so unnecessary. I was worried it’d be waste of time and effort, but boy was I wrong!
The more I started to take my blog and biz seriously, the more I hated the first impression my Instagram feed was giving.
Once I took the time to sit down and figure out the what and why behind my account, I started to focus on finding my theme. I’ve been thrilled with the result. To illustrate my happiness, here are some embarrassing before and after shots of my Instagram account:
Hey, we all have to start somewhere, right? My start was just a little cringe worthy…
Now my Instagram feed gives new followers a glimpse of exactly what they can expect from my feed. It takes time and effort, but I’ve got 5 reasons you need an Instagram theme to help grow your blog’s visual brand.
You can give a great first impression
On Instagram, first impressions are everything. You want someone to click on your profile for the first time and think to themselves “wow, this looks awesome!”
You want new visitors to hit that follow button instantaneously. You want followers to know exactly what you’re all about within a split second of viewing your profile. Having a well-thought out Instagram theme can do all of this for you.
If you’ve defined your purpose and honed in your target audience, you’ll start to deeply understand what types of content you should post on your Instagram account to create a great first impression.
Here are a few types of content we all love to see on Instagram (which I talk more about in my free email course!):
Lifestyle images: As bloggers, we can only have so many photos of us working on our laptops. Instead, mix in some fun, engaging shots of your lifestyle as a blogger and business owner like this or this.
Quote graphics: Break up the lifestyle photos with beautifully designed graphics featuring quotes that uplift and encourage your followers.
Your audience will know what to expect
People like to know what they are signing up for. I rarely follow an Instagram account without a strong theme because I don’t know what will end up on my feed.
If I’m looking to fill my feed with food snaps or luscious outfits, I would find and follow accounts that focus on those specific things. I wouldn’t follow somebody who has posted a lot of random photos and pray that they will one day post some foodtography. Would you?
Narrowing down what is called finding your niche. No matter if you pronounce it as “nitch” or “neesh”, we can all agree it’s important to nail down early so you can start attracting quality followers who actually care about what you’re posting about.
Having a specific niche builds trust with your audience, which comes in handy when you start your business or monetize your blog.
Take my Instagram account, for example. I teach bloggers and business owners about social media tips, so you won’t see random photos of what I ate for lunch or my most recent workout. I keep my content specific so followers know what to expect.
Your account will be on-brand
A great first impression is important, but it means nothing if the impression doesn’t reflect your blog’s visual branding. There’s no point creating a theme with a calm vibe if your account is for an excitable and upbeat events blog! You need to make sure your blog’s visual branding is obvious from your Instagram theme.
Keep your photos on brand by using the same:
Colours - stick to 3 or 4 colours maximum
Fonts - if you use text on your images, use the same ⅔ fonts
Backgrounds - all white? Patterned? Colourful? Keep your backgrounds coherent to stay on-brand
Props - if you use a set number of props in different ways, your followers will be able to hand pick your photos from everyone else’s in their feed
Your photos will really stand out in your follower’s Instagram home feeds. They will be able to instantly recognise your posts and branding without even having to look at your username! Now that’s good branding.
You will have a consistent account
Once you’ve sorted out your branding and first impression, you need to be consistent. The hardest part of finding a theme is sticking with it - believe me, I know how hard it is!
It may be tempting to post something that doesn’t quite fit into your theme but don’t. You know the little song “one of these things just doesn’t belong”? Your followers will start thinking that while scroll through your Instagram feed.
This one post will stick out like a sore thumb and may even lose you followers. If you go to a rock concert, you wouldn’t expect to hear a church choir sing - give your followers what they signed up for!
If you take the time and effort to keep your theme consistent, the payoff will be invaluable.
Related Posts: Why I Use Planoly to Plan My Instagram Feed
Your visual aesthetic will attract new followers
Along with being on-brand, you’ll want to be consistent not only in the types of content you post but also in the way they look together. A visual aesthetic sets the tone for your Instagram feed. It’s best to post photos that have similar exposure, contrast, brightness, and colors.
Your visual aesthetic is often nicknamed “the vibe” of your Instagram feed. So what’s your vibe? Maybe it matches one of the examples below:
Feminine and frilly: usually lots of pink, gold, and anything that sparkles
Dark and moody: great use of light and dark in high contrast, shadowed photos
Earthy and organic: all shades of green and brown can be found on these feeds
Modern and clean: minimalistic in nature with a lot of white space
If you’re not quite sure what vibe or mood your brand fits into, let’s try finding your theme by creating a Pinterest moodboard. First, start pinning different lifestyle and design images that you gravitate toward.
Once you’ve collected a few dozen photos, look at your Pinterest board and compare your images. Do you see familiar themes pop up? What words would you use to describe the vibe or mood of your photo collective?
Related post: 8 Surefire Ways To Increase Blog Traffic With Pinterest
Now, time for the good part - REAL examples!
These accounts all have their themes down to a T. You know exactly what you’re getting from their grid of 12 pictures and can’t help but love it!
If you’re worried about being able to take amazing photos that fit your new aesthetic, let me help you out. We’re not all photographers and brand designers - we can’t all create amazing content to post all the time. This is where Haute Chocolate steps in.
Haute Chocolate is my go-to stock photo library. Every month they release a new drool-worthy collection of photos that are guaranteed to have your Instagram followers stalking your feed for more. I take my own Instagram photos here and there, especially now that I have my own softbox lighting kit, but I love being able to post a beautiful image from Haute Chocolate when I’m short of something to post.
They also release a set of Instagram quotes each month that I use regularly in my feed (see one of my favourite ones in action here)!
So, how do you create a theme?
I've got just the thing for you! Click here to sign up to my free email course to define your Instagram theme in 5 days!
With #FindYourTheme, you will:
- determine your audience + where they hang out on Instagram
- define the purpose of your Instagram account
- brainstorm new content for your feed
- choose a bespoke colour palette for your profile
- decide on props + backgrounds for your photos
- set a tone of voice for your Instagram captions
I'm really proud of this free e-course so I hope it will be helpful for you too! Don't forget to sign up here or use the form below!
Want an envy-inducing theme?
Sign up to #FindYourTheme in 5 days with my FREE email course!