It’s pretty safe to say that social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools available. With over 3.6 billion users active among platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, the latter seems to be the popular choice for businesses looking to expand their audience.
Why? Well, Instagram focuses more on visual content rather than written content, meaning that this platform is the perfect place for showing your brand’s personality.
Not only that, but Instagram also provides you with a set of tools that will make branding easier. However, before you get to promote your brand, you’ll first need to establish a brand identity.
So, what is a brand identity and how to create one on Instagram? Well, this is what we are going to cover in this article.
What Is Brand Identity?
By definition, brand identity encompasses all elements that a company uses to create the right image for its consumer base. Among these elements are your company’s name, logo, colors, and shapes representing your company and the voice and tone of your brand.
If you pay attention, you’ll notice that most of these elements are visual and that’s exactly why Instagram is a great place for building your brand.
Now that we’ve figured out what a brand identity means, it’s time to look at how you can build one on Instagram.
1. Determine Your Brand’s Personality
Let’s start with the basics. As the name suggests, building a brand identity will naturally require you to determine your brand’s personality.
Think of your brand as a person: it interacts with other people, it has its way of speaking, its mood, its quirks, even its favorite color.
When determining the personality of your brand, keep in mind that it needs to be memorable. Make people fall in love with your brand, encourage them to engage with you.
Take a look at Coca-Cola, for example. When we hear the name, we often think about having fun or enjoying the moment. It’s joyful, easy-going and it likes to share the moment with other people as well.
In other words, if this brand were to be a person, it will be the life and soul of the party without a doubt.
Or Apple, as another example. It’s charismatic, stylish, elegant and sophisticated. It likes to think out of the box and stand out from the crowd in a rather discreet way.
Now, although these two brands are vastly different from one another, they still have something in common: they attract people that are alike.
That’s exactly what you want to aim for. You’ll need to understand your target audience thoroughly. Find out what makes them click and build the personality of your brand based on that.
However, determining your brand’s personality isn’t as easy as it may seem. You first need to know the ins and outs of your company, and most importantly, you’ll have to know how to make it appealing to your target audience.
‘If any of that seems daunting, consider consulting a company that offers brand identity services.
2. Determine the Visual Style Of Your Brand
After you’ve built your brand’s personality, it’s time to take all of these ideas and bring them to life. As we’ve previously mentioned, Instagram heavily emphasizes visual elements. So, take the time and get it right.
Start by choosing your brand’s colors. Find something that will match its personality.
As we’ve previously mentioned, Coca-Cola is a brand that evokes friendliness, passion and energy. As a result, it’s represented by the red color. Whereas Apple, on the other hand, is more sophisticated and elegant. Hence, they chose to stick with black and gray.
The general rule of thumb is to stick with warmer colors if your brand’s personality is more lively and colder colors if you aim to be more formal.
After that, it’s time to move on to the fonts you are going to use. Just like with the colors, the typography also has to match the personality of your brand.
For example, rounded Sans Serif fonts, like Open Sans, work great alongside warmer, more lively colors because they enhance that youthful, playful and friendly feel.
The more elegant look of thinner and more pointy fonts, like Julius Sans One, or Verdana will complement colder colors.
When choosing the colors of your brand, remember to pick something that fits with the industry you’re operating in and the audience you are targeting.
If you take a close look, you’ll notice that banks, for example, mainly stick to colors like white and blue. That’s because these symbolize security, trust and professionalism, something that potential customers are always looking for when their own money is at stake.
Furthermore, companies that operate within the energy industry will mainly use colors like green and blue. After all, green represents stability, growth and prosperity and last but not least, a connection to nature.
3. Create Templates
Now that you’ve chosen the colors of your brand, it’s time to put them to good use. When posting content on Instagram, you’ll need to let users know where the posts are coming from straight away.
And for that, you have to create a set of templates that you will use throughout your posts. Keep in mind that you’ll need to stand out from the rest of the crowd.
After all, Instagram is most likely filled with posts from other businesses that operate within the same industry as you. With that said, get creative, spend some time and play around with your colors until you find something unique.
These templates can act as backgrounds for text-based posts or as borders for your photos. You can even use templates for user-generated content.
Also, remember to find a balance between being consistent and bringing something new to the table. You don’t want to keep using the same template for months on end. Otherwise, your posts might become stale.
You can’t switch between templates too often, either, as that will only create confusion with your target audience. Mixing it up every couple of months or based on the campaign you’re running would probably be your best bet.
4. Choose a Theme and Pick a Filter
As important as the templates are in making your posts more memorable and giving them a certain feel, the photos themselves will also have to reflect on your brand’s personality.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a professional photo editor to achieve this. With the tools Instagram provides, this has never been easier. You just need to pick a theme and a filter that fits well with your brand, and you’re pretty much ready to go.
When it comes to your editing style, keep in mind to keep it consistent. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” as they say, those words being the message you’re trying to convey.
Keep in mind that users won’t connect with the feeling of your brand on the spot; they will take time. That’s why you need to be consistent.
5. Write a Great Bio
After your posts have caught the users’ attention, they will most likely check your profile. The first thing they are going to see is your bio.
Here’s the thing: you might be tempted to write paragraphs upon paragraphs of information so you can make sure that the user knows everything about your company.
Well, you shouldn’t do that. The high volume of text will most likely drive the users away, skipping your bio altogether. Keep things short and sweet.
Present your company’s mission and values as concisely as you can while also including a splash of your personality. And most importantly, make sure to include a link that will lead users to your website.
In other words, first impressions matter and the content you post along with your bio will play a major role in what users think about your company.
6. Make Use of Instagram Stories
Once you’ve started to gain a solid follower base, it’s time to post more frequently so that you can maintain visibility. However, you wouldn’t want to spam your grid. That will only annoy users, ultimately leading them to unfollow your profile.
What you should do instead is to use Instagram’s Stories feature. Why? Well, the content you post there disappears after 24 hours, meaning that Stories aren’t as overwhelming.
With that said, you could post daily, maybe even multiple times a day, without having to worry about irritating your followers.
Not only that but, you don’t need to edit your Stories as much as you would edit the content that appears in your grid. Quite the contrary.
Posting content that is filled with personality will humanize your brand. As a result, users will get to trust you.
All in all, Instagram is a platform that heavily focuses on the visual aesthetics of your account. That’s why, as a business, getting your brand identity right from the start is all the more important.