When you post to your company’s social media accounts, imagery is everything. Each social platform presents unique benefits, but Instagram (IG) is in a league of its own when it comes to aesthetic opportunity. With a square format leading the way, its side-by-side grid layout causes posts to neighbor each other in a way that calls for cohesion.
If you have a social media manager, layouts for Instagram are likely already on their radar. If you handle social on your own, through a trusted partner, or simply want to know how to get ahead on one of the world’s most used social platforms, discover why this effective way to communicate your brand via social is worthwhile.
Intro to Instagram Grids
While making other creative marketing decisions for your brand, your expression of IG content should be top of mind. Seeing that 70% of users actively look up brands on IG, the platform may be a potential customer’s first interaction with your SMB (small and medium-size business). Your Instagram layout serves not only as content, but an opportunity for visual strategy, so you should do all you can to achieve love at first scroll.
As one of the first image-based social apps, Instagram begs for cohesion that creates a seamless experience for users. Having a dedicated grid layout helps consumers absorb information, and therefore, realize reasons to press “Follow.” Most people follow brands to learn about promos, to be inspired and to be educated. Grids organize your posts in a way that quickly reveals all your brand has to offer.
Most Popular Instagram Grids Right Now
The Classic Square | @apinv
While this style may not require much thinking outside of the box, the classic square is a tried-and-true layout for Instagram. This feed will focus more on your brand’s color scheme and theme, and rely on Instagram presets for its own unique harmony. An Instagram preset is a regularly used filter that creates a specific look for brands and bloggers in a single click. Many are created in Adobe Lightroom.
The Checkerboard | @crewhealthinc
Another traditional grid style, the checkerboard (also known as tiles) alternates between two post types. When using this layout, most companies alternate between photos and a text-based graphic like a message or quote. So, if you find yourself making announcements and often have something to share with your audience, checkerboard is worth checking out. No matter your preferred posts, be sure to keep fonts, palettes and backgrounds on brand.
The Row-by-Row | @findsomewinmore
Because the human eye tends to scan content left to right (like reading a book), row-by-row layouts naturally tell a story. The idea behind this grid is to group posts in threes. There are a few ways to achieve this look. Here’s an overview of two widely used methods:
- Themed: like the example above, themed photos are similar, but not identical. Think multiple shots from a photoshoot, similar graphics, or a photo series centered around a product.
- Widescreen: this layout incorporates a single image that’s cut to fit into three horizontal squares. Like a panoramic photo, the widescreen effect creates a cinematic look and feel.
The Puzzle | @dixhite
The puzzle, one of the most difficult layouts, displays a single image recreated by multiple posts. By posting each frame of the photo consecutively, they reveal a larger version of the original image. Although challenging, the puzzle grid is unlike any other, making it the ultimate statement piece for any IG. It’s especially impactful for reveals, such as a new logo.
Laying It All Out
So, how do you know which layout for Instagram is right for your business? As discussed, there are several layout options other users and companies utilize to tell their stories, and really, there’s no one-size-fits–all. To gain more insight for your SMB, try an exercise in which you create a sample of each layout with previously posted content. To up the ante, try this exercise with content you haven’t posted yet and honestly ask yourself if it still feels like your brand. You can test these through programs like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Adobe InDesign or a website like Planoly that helps visually plan, manage and schedule Instagram posts. Once you’ve laid out and executed your plan, your followers are sure to take notice.