Curating A Cohesive Brand Aesthetic for Your Instagram

Welcome to 2020 where Instagram aesthetics are as common as people who claim they have a gluten intolerance. What is an “Instagram aesthetic” you ask? Well, it’s an underlying set of rules that visually represents you and your brand, sort of like a digital mood board. In today’s world, optimizing your social selling has become increasingly important as consumers take to their phones and ditch in-store retailers. When a potential customer lands on your social profile, you have seven seconds to catch their attention, draw them in, and get them on the follow button— you need to make ‘em count.


So all of this sounds easy, right? Well, that’s where you’re wrong my friend. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you define your own aesthetic that showcases your brand identity and turn visitors into followers. 


Step 1: Create and Establish your Color Scheme


Look around your office, property, or storefront and think about what colors and textures represent you. (These might already be laid out for you in your brand guidelines!) If you own a flower shop, what colors do you see? Maybe light pink, white, and green with an overall white and airy feel. If you’re a cowboy boot brand, you might choose a scheme of light brown, black, and tan with brick or stone textures. After doing some discovery, choose your color scheme/patterns and stick to it. This will help your photos look like an actual planned collection rather than a jumbled pile of disconnect. 


Below is an example of the color scheme we created for the Trammell Crow Center. You will notice shades of light blue, black, and white with sprinkles of clean lines and organic shapes.





Step 2: Create Buckets of Content Type


Choose 3 – 5 main “types” of images that you will rotate. This will keep your feed fresh yet consistent. When deciding these buckets, think about what matters to your brand. This will likely stem from your purpose/history, the city you’re located in, your products, and your employees. I’m sure you’ve followed a brand that posted the same kinds of promotions over and over again – finally annoying you to the point of unfollowing them entirely.


Here you will see a before and after of an Instagram account for a brand of townhomes that we were asked to help take to the next level. Notice that the grid on the right shows the exteriors and interiors of the townhomes as well as local neighborhood spots. Sticking to these three main buckets of content gives viewers a glimpse of what living here could be like.





RBA’s buckets are agency life, behind-the-scenes, client work, Dallas life, and dogs. These categories can evolve and change over time, so don’t fret if you feel the urge to start moving into a new image type.




Step 3: Edit Photos in Lightroom with a Preset


Now that you’ve decided to follow our advice, you plan to take photos that adhere to your scheme. But real life happens, you take photos, get home, and realize they’re not the same color scheme at all. Here’s where the magic comes in. Lightroom is a tool that helps us tremendously with creating that perfect photo every time. You will want to design a preset that matches your brand and the overall “hue” of your chosen color scheme. This preset will help save you time during editing and will ensure all your pictures look uniform.


Want to learn how we edit in Lightroom? Read our full blog on this topic here


Step 4: Put Photos in UNUM + Arrange them


UNUM is our favorite tool for planning posts and laying out our Instagram vision. Simply take your edited images and upload them to the app. You can then organize and arrange images to find that perfect balance.


Here’s a quick video to see how we use UNUM to organize our photos.

Step 5: Post to Instagram


Finally, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. This part is easy. Grab your phone and upload your photos in order as they appear in UNUM. We shouldn’t have to explain this part though because if you’re here, we’re sure you made it through Instagram 101 already! 


Now that we’ve walked you through how to create a brand aesthetic to employ on Instagram, it’s your turn to dive headfirst into the process and execute your own strategy.  This isn’t a fast or easy process but the result will truly be worth it.