How to master your Instagram feed with digital branding [with examples]
You’ve seen it on Instagram a thousand times, but could never really put your finger on it. When a brand does it right, you are probably not aware of it, but you still feel it’s there. What are we talking about here?
You know that consistent, polished look and feel on social media that creates a recognisable experience for the customer with every new post? That’s digital branding in action. However, don’t think of it as merely visual appeal. Digital branding aims to build your complete online presence that communicates with your audience, develops loyalty, shares your values and attracts new prospects.
In other words, digital branding paves the way for your unique online identity, visibility and credibility, attracting the right audience with a consistent visual and verbal identity across social media channels.
It’s all about impressions
Did you know over 50 percent of consumers follow at least one brand on social media? For example, on Instagram, 90 percent of users follow at least one brand and 83 percent have discovered a new product or service on this platform. According to studies, 71% of consumers spend, on average, 3.6 hours per day on social media channels – and they expect your brand to be there too. Social media is where your brand awareness starts and where you grow your audience.
Branding statistics show that it takes five to seven impressions for people to remember a brand.
To get that attention and, more importantly, to maintain it, you need to impress a prospect who is going to scan all your social media profiles and published content to get to know you. And if their experience feels off, your prospect might never become your customer.
So, how do you turn your prospects’ social media browsing into a memorable experience that will turn them into customers? By creating a consistent brand aesthetic and messages that align with your – and your audience’s – core values.
Let’s get into the details of that process by using a couple of examples from our practice.
How to start your digital branding journey?
This was the precise question that two of our clients asked: Flain, a digital marketplace for Middle Eastern consumers of quality activewear, and Osh, another eCommerce site from this part of the world that offers underwear and wants to increase their social media audience.
Flain’s biggest challenge was to create a consistent digital branding experience unique to their business, especially since its social media posts present another brand’s products, such as Nakd, Storets, or Four Laps. Osh needed a more modern look and feel for their brand that takes the specifics of the Middle Eastern culture into account.
We approached each digital branding project individually, however, they both included these five, essential elements:
1. Your logo, everywhere
It goes without saying that the logo needs to be a primary element of your social media profile, but we strongly recommend its usage across all visuals when creating social posts. Make sure each post includes the company’s logo as a ‘silent companion’ to your content. We handled it subtly for Flain, which had posts promoting specific (other) brands from their offering. Note how the Joah Brown brand name is at the centre but then a ribbon at the bottom of the post visual belongs to Flain.
2. Stick to your colour palette
This is a big one, especially on social media channels that are primarily visual, such as Instagram. Your feed, stories and everything you post will look consistent and professional if you are staying true to your brand’s colour palette – something that is an essential part of your overall visual identity. Believe it or not, colours can make or break your feed. As research proved, colour can improve brand recognition by 80 percent! Know your colour scheme and implement it into everything you post. That can mean specific filters (60 percent of the top brands on Instagram use the same filter for every post!) For Osh, we rebranded it with mostly pink and red, which is why these colours always appear in their feed, while used in the smallest of details.
3. Underpin your visuals with the right messaging
Besides photos and videos, your media space on social channels can include a graphic display of your verbal elements. Slogans, taglines, questions, ideas and inspirational messages all stand out better when they are designed. The main rule is to keep them short and sweet, so that the media space doesn’t get too busy. This is a great way to express your business values and create those meaningful connections to your audience – those who share the same thoughts and ideas.
4. Vector art & photo visuals
Social media posts are a great canvas for displaying your brand elements, such as textures, icons, typography and photo imagery that a brand designer creates alongside your logotype. They work as complimentary assets to your overall visual identity, and sometimes just one such element is enough for your audience to connect the content to your brand. Our favourite example – the ribbon that includes the word “Shhhh” created for Osh. It signifies a gift-wrapping element for their products and, when used in a social media post, it instantly evokes that feeling of gifting someone or receiving a present.
5. Dynamic visual elements
What are dynamic visual elements? Think GIFs, stickers and similar interactive elements that can take your digital branding efforts to the next level of engagement. It’s a great way to create a fun experience that is unique to your brand, but also in line with the latest trends in the digital space, making you look modern and ‘cool’. Instagram story GIFs are a very popular trend right now, so make use of that tool.
We also suggest utilising the option to create branded polls and questionnaires, also available on Instagram, which can generate user engagement very quickly and efficiently.
We hope this overview of the main digital branding elements was useful. If you would like to start your social media branding strategy with an expert at your side, reach out; we would love to help.