How to Develop a Visual Strategy for Instagram

With its popularity increasing exponentially in recent years, Instagram has become one of the titans of the social media landscape. Younger users in particular are captivated by the platform, with statistics showing that a massive 71% of members are under the age of 35.

Posting on Instagram

On top of this, those under the age of 25 tend to spend around 32 minutes per day perusing the site, as opposed to just 24 minutes for those of an older pedigree. To this end, Instagram is a formidable business marketing tool particularly for those seeking to engage with the younger generation.

This is by no means, however, an exclusive trait. With 80% of all Instagram users following at least one business, savvy marketers have recognized that if utilized properly, the site can be an absolute goldmine for optimizing your visual marketing strategy.

Further evidence, if needed, lies in the fact that of the 51% of video marketers who have used the platform to date, 88% have found it to be a success.

If you’re serious about kick-starting your visual marketing campaign, then Instagram quite simply cannot be ignored.

In this blog post, discover how to develop a visual strategy for your Instagram and useful tools to get you started.

Planning your Instagram visual strategy

There are several important elements that should make up your Instagram visual strategy:

Your Instagram marketing objectives

The first step you need to take is to identify and establish your Instagram marketing objectives; for example, it could be:

  • Generating traffic from Instagram
  • Boosting your brand awareness and growing your followers
  • Generating more engagement
  • Boosting your sales and conversions

Whatever your goal might be, be very specific about what you want to achieve; if, for example, you wanted to boost your brand awareness, then you might set goals like “gaining 100 new followers in 21 days” and/or “boosting engagement by 50% in 30 days”.

This will allow you to shape your visual strategy based on actual marketing goals, as well as help you measure the results of your Instagram strategy.

Content Theme

Another important element you’ll want to think about is developing your content theme.

Far from merely posting a photo or video, this is your way of expressing your brand’s personality to the world at large. You want to create a tone that is consistent throughout, conveying a certain mood for anyone looking in and instantly letting them know what you’re all about.

Madewell’s feed, for example, is a tremendous example of this, their unfaltering use of light pastel colours, clear blue skies and summery vistas emanating a warm and relaxed vibe that shines through immediately:

Instagram visual guide example from Madewell

Pick a mood that suits what you are trying to say, build up your persona and stick with it.

Plan your Instagram grid

Another crucial element of establishing your Instagram personality is the layout of your grid.

With some careful planning you can ensure that pictures which complement each other can sit side-by-side, similarly avoiding any potential conflict, or that popular and evergreen content can be dragged and dropped to stay close to the top of your page.

The more you grow in confidence, the more creative you can be with your grid, for example strategically arranging your content to pull together a narrative of sorts or schedule posts for a time that is convenient for you. A nifty trick is to split a landscape image into multiple images, so that the individual images put together, make a sort of eye-catching collage on your feed, like musician Teko Lewis does on his feed:

Instagram collage example from Teko Lewis

Master your calendar

In order to optimize your strategy for maximum potential, it is vital that you plan ahead as to when certain content should be published.

Your marketing goals may vary on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis, and as such your images or videos should always be of relevance to help you achieve your aims. Figure out exactly how often you want to post, if your output should be varied or uniform and how it all ties in with the message you’re trying to put across. If you create your content far enough in advance you can always be one step ahead of the game and stick to a meticulous schedule.

Not to mention, planning ahead and scheduling updates means that you can come up with unique grid layouts and ensure that your Instagram feed looks amazing and the content you post works well together.

Which Instagram Scheduling Tools?

Better yet, there are a few useful tools that help you plan and schedule your Instagram content:


Agorapulse screenshot

Agorapulse is a full-suite, easy-to-use social media management tool that does all of your Instagram scheduling for you.

You can plan all your output on the platform weeks or even months in advance if you desire, pulling together your entire social media calendar into one place if your marketing output encompasses other networks.

You can set the time and the date that you wish to publish your videos or images, and take a back-seat as the tool does the rest for you. Plus, beyond scheduling images and videos, you can even schedule carousel posts (i.e. posts with multiple photos).

If necessary, you can also set said posts to be republished regularly at pre-determined intervals for as long as you see fit. This is particularly useful if your brand has a message or promotion that never fades in relevance, ensuring it remains visible to your audience. Conveniently, you can also pull together tags to see which type of posts are garnering the most engagement for future reference.

You can also preview your posts before scheduling or publishing them and save groups of hashtags to use in your posts with one click.


Later screenshot

Similarly, Later aims to simplify the process of scheduling your Instagram visual marketing strategy.

The beauty of this one is that you can get a sneak preview of exactly how your page will look after your scheduled content has been published – affording you complete control over your brand’s image even if you choose to go on holiday for a month and let the tool take care of it for you.

You can even drag and drop the images in your grid before they have actually been posted to guarantee it turns out exactly how you want it to every time.

The schedule itself operates in an equally uncomplicated manner, allowing you to drag and drop images and videos into a basic calendar for a time and date that suits you, giving you the option to auto publish them as such.

And if you have a dedicated team working on your Instagram strategy, the media library ensures that they can all gain access to your content at any time, from any device. Team work makes the dream work, after all.

As with Agorapulse, Later allows you to pull all your social media feeds into one place to keep things nice and simple, as well as opening up the potential for at-a-glance monitoring of your performance and statistics across all platforms.

The quicker you wrap your head around what these statistics actually mean, the sooner you can make any relevant amendments to guarantee your strategy is always operating at maximum efficiency.


With the rise and rise of Instagram showing no signs of slowing down any time in the near future, there is quite frankly no excuse for not taking full advantage of its business potential. A well-executed Instagram visual marketing strategy on the platform can boost engagement with your target audience significantly, particularly if said audience is of a typical user age, and ultimately optimize your brand’s performance to untold levels.

Think carefully about what it is that you’re looking to achieve from your strategy, the type of content that you wish to create and the message that you’re looking to put out to the world. From there, use the tools available to you to help your vision become a reality, strategize your campaign and – most importantly – stay one step ahead of any competitors.


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