INFO 4. Developing your Brand's Identity to Keep Followers Coming Back for More
Developing your Brand’s Identity to Keep Followers Coming Back for More
Once you have specified what niche you are going to delve into and what unique value (in comparison to competitors) you’re going to provide in your account’s theme, it is time to craft your Instagram branding strategy.
Being well branded is HUGE in staying memorable. You don’t want your followers to say to their friends when talking about you : “Oh man I found the coolest Instagram page! I have to show it to you… but I can’t remember the name, oh well.”
This is what happens when you fail to brand yourself effectively.
Branding involves creating a unique name and image for yourself in your target followers’ minds.
Branding gets people to remember just who the heck you are.
Because having an awesome page is pointless if nobody remembers your name! If they can’t remember your name, they won't be able to search for you later and will instead end up navigating to another awesome page whose name they remembered. A page who did branding better than you. We’re not going to let this happen!
How to craft your Instagram branding strategy so people will remember your name
Before you even pick up your camera and start with content creation, ask yourself: “What’s the point?” In other words, why is that picture you’re taking going to be posted on Instagram? For most people, the answer is no more than “I want to capture this moment,” which is fine and valid, but simply posting pictures of random moments will not build you an Instagram following because you have no brand identity.
What are you trying to achieve on your Instagram account?
Maybe you want to help people lose weight (“Look at this simple ten minute workout you can do everyday”). Maybe you simply want your viewers to smile and read your family blog (insert photo of your silly puppy) or maybe you want them to cry (insert photo of your art that displays grief or poverty).
The takeaway is that you should always have a goal in mind before you take and upload a shot. If the shot you’re uploading does not help you achieve this particular goal, you are not branding yourself. Your Instagram account serves no purpose and will hold no interest.
That value you are choosing to provide to your followers- motivating them to get fit, to smile, to cry, etc. is why they chose to follow your account, so do not deviate from your brand’s goals.
When another Instagram user is deciding whether or not to follow you, it takes 5 to 10 seconds of reading your bio, viewing your profile picture, and skimming through your posts to make that decision—they evaluate your personal brand in all of 5 seconds. This is why branding yourself will optimize your potential for fast growth on Instagram. A well-branded, quality Instagram profile makes your content easily digestible, and keeps your followers coming back for more of that value.
There are 4 key steps of a well-branded Instagram page:
1. A recognizable and searchable username
First things first, we need to discuss having a well branded Instagram username. You need to make it as easy as possible for people to find you in the Instagram search. To do so, make sure you have your full name in the “name” section of your profile so it is more likely that if someone tries to search you by name, you are one of the first people that come up in the search.
Also, complicated @ names are not only hard to remember but also feel spammy. For example, if my username was @__fit1_health__234, that is not aesthetic, easy to remember, & is impossible to brand. @fitnesswithfrank flows better and immediately one may assume that I am in the fitness niche, and then my bio should immediately solidify that assumption.
2. A branded profile picture
Your profile picture is one of the most important parts of your Instagram profile because it is clearly visible whenever anyone clicks on your posts or visits your profile. For this reason, your profile picture should be very distinct & more than likely will either be a picture of your face or your brand’s logo. If you’re in the fitness niche, don’t have a picture of that huge bass you caught on last summer's fishing trip.
Whether you have a logo or a picture of yourself as your profile image, the image quality needs to be good. Having a pixelated, dark, & overall low-quality profile picture leaves a bad first impression. If you chose to have an image of yourself, make sure you are zoomed into your face, shoulders and up (unless perhaps you are in the fitness niche and part of your brand is your body). This way, people can start to form a personal connection with your page through your profile image.
3. A personal and meaningful bio with a call to action and a link
Your Instagram bio should be personal to your brand and outline who you are & what you do. Ideally, you want your bio to say a lot about you, your personality, and your brand, with few words. Your bio should inform other Instagram users of your niche and what you’re all about.
Use your bio to ENCOURAGE ACTION: There are several different methods you can use in your bio to help increase your page’s engagement rate and develop a bond with your followers. You can encourage your followers to use your brand’s personalized hashtag and maybe incentivize them to use your hashtag to be reposted on your page. What most do is incentivize followers to click the link in their bio, that way you can pour Instagram traffic into other places, such as your website- where someone may be able to make a purchase.
4. A personalized and recurring style
Once you’ve set up your branded username, profile picture, and bio, it’s time to talk style. Style is a more subtle element of branding. Your followers will subconsciously notice your account’s style. Style will give a specific feeling, or vibe, to your page. Just like when you match your clothes in the morning according to your style, your posts should match over time according to your brand’s style. You develop your brand’s style by staying consistent with filters, photography, and themes to establish a clear, focused brand DNA.
Elements of style include choosing a color palette, filters, fonts, etc. To help decide on your accounts style visit "Create a Cohesive Color Palette with Ease- Mix and Match Color Palettes, Filters, and Fonts"
Decide on how you will execute the 4 key steps of a well-branded Instagram page – choose a recognizable and searchable username, take a branded profile picture, and design a personal and meaningful bio with a link, along with putting some thought into developing your style.
Here are examples of well-branded Instagram profiles for some branding strategy inspiration! We will explain how and why the branding strategy of each of these accounts are highly effective.
Airbnb’s Instagram page tastefully checks everything off the list in our instructions for how to create a well-branded Instagram page. The username is simple—just the company name—without any underscores, numbers, or symbols that would reduce readability. The profile picture is a clear, high resolution image of the brand’s logo. The bio includes two calls to action, one to share your story of a night’s stay at an Airbnb and another to book rooms directly from Instagram. Asking your followers to share a post about you in your bio is a fantastic way to curate follower-generated content that you can repost on your feed!
Also, your followers’ friends will see their post about you and may choose to follow you too since friends often share similar interests. For this reason, we highly recommend using a call to action in your bio for your followers to use one of your branded hashtags or tag you in their posts.
Lastly, it is evident that Airbnb’s color palette is light blues and greens and brown, which emulate a relaxing vacation vibe. They also use the same few filters.
Flowersfordream’s Instagram page elegantly checks off all of the key areas of a well-branded account. They even take it one step further by associating their business with a charity. This is, of course, amazing because giving to charity is humanitarian but aligning your brand with a charity also helps improve your position in the eyes of potential followers.
Consumers, increasingly more so nowadays, are not just interested in the end product, they’re also interested in how companies give back and operate. This goes back to theme, how a company should provide value outside of promotional content.
The username is easy to read, the companies full name is in the name section of the profile, the bio includes a link to their website and describes their business in a nutshell, and the style is recurring—beautiful photos of vibrant flowers as the key element in the photographs.
The consistency of the content makes it so followers know what kind of value they will get from following @flowersfordreams. Overall, a very well executed branding strategy.
Once you establish the 4 key components of brand design for Instagram, you’re ready to execute your own unique branding strategy and get into content creation!