A picture is worth a thousand words. That's just as true in marketing as it is anywhere else.

That's also why many online marketers love Instagram. They use it to promote their brand with a variety of high-quality images.

There's more to Instagram success than just posting photos, though. Great marketers also look at the big picture (no pun intended) and develop an  Instagram layout.

That way, people who view their Instagram feed see a variety of images that share a common theme. That theme is a reflection of the brand's "personality."

In this article, we'll offer some pointers about how to develop an Instagram layout suitable for your brand.

There are no Instagram Layout Rules (Think of your Audience First)

When it comes to developing an Instagram layout, the first rule to keep in mind is that there are no rules.

You don't have to do exactly what Kim Kardashian West did. You don't have to do what other brands are doing.

Instagram marketing is far more an art than a science. Feel free to get creative and experiment as you see fit.

It might be the case that your brand doesn't even require a layout with a consistent theme. If so, don't bother with one.

On the other hand, you might find that a bizarre or unique layout might be just the thing that appeals to people in your target market. If so, run with that.

Bottom line: play around and have fun with your Instagram theme. Your followers will likely appreciate that.

Your Instagram Layout Need a Clear Color Scheme (In Most Cases)

If you're willing to go the more traditional route when it comes to creating an Instagram layout, start by picking a color scheme.

Truth be told, though, if you already have a logo, then you already have a running start on your color scheme. In fact, you might even have your complete color scheme with your logo.

As a rule of thumb (but see above), it's a good idea for your Instagram layout to use a color scheme consistent with the colors on your logo. That gives you a consistent marketing message across the entire platform.

If your logo only uses one color, head over to Adobe Color CC and check out some analogous colors. Pick one or more of those colors as the general theme for your Instagram layout.

Another great way to select a color scheme is to pick something that corresponds to your niche.

For example, if you're selling topsoil or compost, pick an earth tone as your color scheme. If you're selling offshore fishing tackle, pick cobalt blue.

Hilton Carter frequently uses plants as inspiration for his artwork. It's no surprise, then, that his Instagram layout features a lot of green.

As another example, Aleksandra Zee uses a golden aesthetic. That works for her brand because she's into woodworking.

Remember, though, that you don't have to confine yourself to a single color. You can pick a couple of different colors and post images that use one or both of them.

Take a look at lellopepper's Instagram feed and you'll find a nice mix of pastel pinks and blues.

Finally: once you've selected a color scheme, stick to it. Post only images that are consistent with that theme going forward.

Use Borders in Your Instagram Layout

Another great way to develop a consistent Instagram layout is with the use of borders.

When you put the same border around each of your Instagram images, you're effectively "signing" it. You're letting people know that it's part of your collection.

Make sure that the border is consistent, though. In other words, the border should be always be the same color and shape.

Fortunately, there are plenty of apps that enable you to easily add borders to Instagram images.

Go Minimalist with the New Instagram Layout

Some people think they have to pack as much detail and info into one photo as possible otherwise they won't do a very good job at communicating the image of their brand. Nothing could be further from the truth.

You can do a lot with a minimalist approach to Instagram.

For example, if you're running a nursery that sells exotic flowers, you could post a simple picture of one of your prettiest flowers against a solid white background. That's it.

What will that do? It will showcase one of your more prestigious offerings without letting anything else distract from the natural beauty of the plant.

Take a look at Tania Debono's Instagram feed for a great example of a minimalist approach.

Choose Wisely

Once you've selected your layout, it's time to decide which pictures you'll post that work with your theme.

Images that don't really match your overall color scheme or reinforce your marketing message will appear like a fish out of water in your feed. They will also get less engagement from your followers result in less visibility in Instagram search.

Only post them if you have a very good reason for breaking the rules.

Otherwise, you'll mess up your own aesthetic.

Plan Instagram Layout Grid

Once you've selected a great color scheme, it's time to plan your grid.

Sure, you could just post images and let them lay out in chronological order, but that might not be the best for your brand.

Instead, use a tool like Later's Visual Instagram Planner that lets you drag and drop photos on a grid so you can see how they'll look in your feed. Once you like what you see, scheduling the posts is as simple as clicking a button.

It might be the case that you want to put an "important" image in the middle so it stands out. You can do that if you plan your grid in advance.

Steal the Best Ideas

There is nothing new under the sun. Nobody comes up with something that's totally original.

That's why it's just fine to draw inspiration from other Instagram layouts. In fact, you can outright steal ideas that you think will work for your brand.

Start by browsing the Instagram feeds of some of your competitors. Then, Google something like "best Instagram layouts" to get even more inspiration.

Bookmark the options that you think are the best. Go over them again and decide which layouts lend themselves well to your own marketing.

Finally, just "borrow" those layout ideas and make them your own.

Start on your Instagram Layout Now

Instagram marketing is an effort that requires more planning than most digital strategists realize. It's important not only to post photos relevant to your brand, but also to choose an overall layout that reinforces your marketing message. Invest the necessary due diligence up front to get your layout right and your Instagram feed will generate more widespread appeal to people in your target market.

Published on: Sep 11, 2017