Instagram is a powerful marketing tool for businesses because it visually conveys your brand’s story while also providing a platform to interact with customers. Creating a strong Instagram presence that draws followers is about more than just posting a lot of pretty pictures. Instead, it requires careful planning, styling, and consistency so that your feed looks cohesive, professional, and aesthetically pleasing.
So what does that look like? There are two main things to consider: first, you want your post to stand out on its own amongst the scroll, and second, when your page grid is viewed all at once, you want it to look like a pleasing whole made up of many cohesive posts, instead of a jumble of random squares. Choosing one or two font styles and sticking with a predetermined color palette for all your posts is the easiest way to ensure that your overall Instagram presence appears thoughtfully created. Another idea is to use the same filter on all of your photos when editing them.
17 Instagram post ideas using PicMonkey templates
Inspired to get started on making your own polished and professional Instagram feed? Here are a variety of post types you can consider creating as you build your cool, consistent, and cohesive Instagram feed. All of these pre-designed, square templates are available in the PicMonkey Template Library.
Quick steps for making an Instagram post from a PicMonkey template:
Browse the template options at PicMonkey.com
Pick the template that you like, open in the editor
Simply click to replace our words and images with your own
Your work auto-saves in Hub where it remains editable
When you’re ready to publish, export your image and upload to Instagram
1. Provoke thoughts with a bold quote post
Bold and no-nonsense, there is no misunderstanding what a quote post is saying. Simple words on a colored background make for a high-impact message, especially when you add just that little extra touch of something—in this case, a couple of paint brush graphics and a mod font. Use this type of post to share on-brand facts, famous quotes, or to convey simple messages like “quality over quantity”.
2. Use words and images in an inspirational post
Similar to its cousin above, the words atop an image style of post takes the messaging one step further with a photo background. Make your words really pop by layering them with shapes on your canvas. Use this type of post to share inspiration with your followers, because positive encouragement is always in style and it helps your brand to be seen as authentic and relatable.
3. Spread the word with a promotional post
Promotional posts are perfect for announcing a sale, a special coupon code, or a pop-up event. With your style guidelines top-of-mind, crafting one of these posts can be as simple as changing out the background image, or the text color every time you have a new promo to advertise.
4. Set an emotional tone with a mood post
Set a big mood when you create an impressionistic post. No sales tactics here, folks (well, not obviously anyway), these posts are all about feelin’ emotions—in an on-brand way, of course. Why did you create your brand? A fanaticism for fitness? A love of travel? For racking up dope street cred? Match your mood to the feeling you want your customer to experience when they wear your clothes, listen to your music, drink your cocktail, etc. In the post above, we used a faded shape graphics on a photo background to get the celestial look.
5. Mark the occasion with a holiday post
Posting holiday-themed content is a great way to be festive, and it shows that you are keeping your feed fresh. You can use holiday posts to promote yearly sales events or to link to special content on your blog. These posts are also a great way to reach out to your customers and just say, “Thanks for your support” and to wish them a merry happy celebration.
6. Round our your feed with a flatlay post
The flatlay look continues to be popular, and it’s no wonder because it serves up a clean, appealing aesthetic with plenty of negative space. This bird’s eye view, almost two-dimensional, type of post is perfect for showing off food or cosmetics, or even an array of curated items that tell your brand story—think: a tiny globe, compass, journal, passport and camera for a travel blog. Want to round out your flatlay skills? Check out our video and article all about Acing the Flatlay Photography Trend.
7. Present a collection of pics with a collage post
Sometimes you need to use more than one image to tell your story, and that’s why collage posts were invented. Arranging a series of squares, a quantity of quadrilaterals, or a rummage of rectangles, lets you show off multiple images at once which is great if you have a collection to present, or just really adore the quilted look. Not all the images have to be photos, as in the template above, throw in a few blocks of solid color to mix it up.
8. Pull back the curtain with a behind the scenes post
Invite your followers to take a peek behind the scenes at your business when you feature an employee or show the inner workings at your company. These types of posts show that you are real people, and are a great way to let your authenticity shine through.
9. Share an interesting factoid with an infographic post
Infographics are all the rage and there’s a good reason: they pack a lot of info into a small footprint. People love a good statistic, so pull in followers with a BIG percentage and then let them know something interesting in smaller print. Tie the stat to your business or a current event, or go for humor and obviously make one up, like, “78% of dads like us. The other 22% love us.”
10. Celebrate the hashtag holidays
“Hashtag holidays” are a big deal in social media land with everything from dogs to tacos to pirates to national wine days being celebrated in photos. Creating a #holiday post shows that you are paying attention to the conversation, and ups your relatability to your followers because you’re showing what you’re into. You don’t need to celebrate every hashtag holiday, of course, that’d be a full-time job, just the ones that are somehow meaningful to you and/or your brand.
11. Feature your followers with User Generated Content
Say you have a clothing company and a follower tags herself wearing one of your sweaters, well, you just scored yourself some free marketing, friend! When your followers tag your business or products, share it out on your feed. Reposting User Generated Content (UGC) shows that you are paying attention to your social media accounts, and you’re also making a meaningful statement about appreciating your customers or clients.
12. Connect to national events
While it’s totally uncool to use a national or a local tragedy as an opportunity to shill your product or service, it is appropriate to acknowledge it in a tasteful way—especially if it affects your customers. There’s no harm in letting your followers know that you are aware of the current events and that you care.
13. Give it away now with a free gift post
Everyone loves getting something for free, and giveaways are the perfect way to up your engagement because they stop the scroll and encourage clickage (if that’s not a word, it should be). Consider uploading multiple pics in a giveaway post so your followers can swipe through and see what it is you’re offering.
14. Encourage engagement with a contest post
Besides losing, what’s not to like about a contest? Contest posts not only encourage engagement from your followers, they also promote a hashtag that links back to you. It’s like free advertising!
15. Get the handmade look with a mixed-media post
One part inspirational post and one part collage post, this look is completely on trend. Layering images, text, and 3-D elements like tape or push pins results in an effortlessly cool-looking statement. This look works well for travel, fashion or beauty bloggers, or anyone who wants to push the boundaries of simple collage.
16. Stand out with a less-is-more graphic post
Sometimes all you need to make a high-impact post is a few words and a super simple icon or graphic. All that wide open negative space is positively easy on the eyes! If your brand aesthetic leans toward the maximal, this probably isn’t for you, but if you skew to the minimalistic, go for it.
17. Remember the good old days with a throwback post
Throwback Thursday needn’t be limited to so-bad-it’s-good 80s hair and baby pictures, it’s also an opportunity to reflect on how far your business has come, or use the day to throw out an old skool vibe and cash in on that sweet nostalgia trend.