The 5 must-have Instagram templates your business needs + key styling rules for your feed

By October 11, 2018 October 25th, 2018 Branding, Design, Marketing
No need to go super complicated with templates for your Instagram feed. You only need these 5 to be able to post in style

Have you ever purchased Instagram templates? You know, those packages on Creative Market and similar sites with 50+ layouts for sharing your content in style.

I actually sell those products myself and this post is going to be a bit controversial… I don’t recommend you to buy too many of those products.

You might think I’m nuts. Why would I tell you to stop buying a product that I actually sell?

Well, I just want to be honest.

I’m a digital hoarder myself (I currently have more than 1000 purchased font on my laptop) which means that I understand you. You think that “If I buy that next, shiny set of Instagram templates, my feed will finally become irresistible and I turn into an Insta Superstar!”

If life could be so easy!

STRATEGY COMES FIRST

Truth is: random purchased tools can’t replace a strategy. They can’t communicate your message if you are not aware of that in the first place.

Before hopping on Creative Market and click on the purchase button, think about these:

  • Who I want to communicate to on Instagram?

  • What I want to share on Instagram?

  • How often I want to post?

  • How can I help, inspire, educate or entertain my followers?

  • What results am I waiting from Instagram (e.g. website traffic, sales, new clients)?

If you haven’t answered these questions, do it now. If you already have the answers and a strategy, the next segment helps you with top Instagram feed design rules.

#1 - LESS IS MORE

The first thing I realised when I started to post consistently on Instagram is that images without any “magic add-ons text layers” had the most engagement. I also got a good amount of positive feedback on inspirational quotes with very minimalistic design.

So I went to check some big Instagrammers, who actually teach Instagram marketing, to see how many text based content do they post compared to the images.

Result: less is more when it comes to text overlay on your Instagram posts.

@JASMINESTAR

No need to go super complicated with templates for your Instagram feed. You only need these 5 to be able to post in style

Good example is Jasmine Star’s Instagram feed. She’s a badass Instagram marketing coach and photographer. Her feed consists mostly of photos, taken in a consistent style but time to time she posts plain black & white text based images.

@INSTAWITHALEX

No need to go super complicated with templates for your Instagram feed. You only need these 5 to be able to post in style

Another great example is Alex Tooby’s (other awesome Instagram coach) feed. She has lots of simple and plain text based posts with just a few key words about what she wants to share that day. In fact, her ratio is 50% images, 50% text based posts.  

Her text based posts are like little blog posts: headline on the image, content in the captions and the simplicity grabs your attention when you are scrolling through your jammed home feed.

Here, good copywriting is crucial. You can’t paste a whole novel into that tiny rectangle but you have to be powerful enough to grab attention.

#2 - CONSISTENT COLORS & FONTS

You have your brand colors and fonts. Be proud of them and use them consistently on all social platforms. Instagram is no different.

Instead of changing up colors and typography style over and over again, stick to the same ones from your brand palette.

Also, if you have a repeating type of message (e.g. new item in your shop, new blog post), use the same template / layout for your post.

This will help people memorize your brand aesthetics and they will be more likely to recognize your content while scrolling through their home feed.

There are a few exceptions though…

@CAUSEBOX

No need to go super complicated with templates for your Instagram feed. You only need these 5 to be able to post in style

Causebox is a seasonal subscription box supporting good causes. Their feed has repeating, core branding elements (like the little causebox logo on some of their posts) and they use the same fonts, font sizes. But colors are changing depending on the design of the current subscription box they offer. 

This is a great way to make their followers get into the mood of box for that season.

@MAKEMEDIACO

No need to go super complicated with templates for your Instagram feed. You only need these 5 to be able to post in style

Callie Hegstrom from the Make Media Company is a lettering artist and font maker so it makes sense that her feed is text heavy. She needs to showcase her work that means that she has lots of different fonts all over her feed. 

However, she consistently uses the simplicity of black and white to keep her feed neat and clean. She uses another trick, our #3 on this list.

#3 - WHITE SPACE

You can’t go wrong when adding white space especially on text based posts, like quotes.

And no, when I say “white” space  I don’t mean that it can only be white. This is a design term used for the breathing room around a specific content to make it cleaner, more legible and bring it more in focus. You can use your brand colors as a background and still achieve these.

The white space makes it easier for your followers to distinguish the focus point of your post from other content and your caption while they scrolling through their home feed or your feed.

When creating a lot of text based posts, like Make Media Company, add at least 25% white space around the text content.

THE INSTAGRAM PUZZLE

You might have noticed the trend of “Instagram Puzzles”: Instagram feeds that make a huge image out from the gridview on your feed.

This can be interesting if you do it with purpose and strategy. Use it for example, when you build up a big reveal for your newest product. Share only hints of the product in the individual images. Then on the launch day, those who go on your bio will see the full product built up from the individual posts.

But otherwise I don’t recommend using them.

First of all, not everyone will see your post in the gridview on your feed. Chances are that they will only see the individual post when they scroll through content on Instagram. For them, this puzzle won’t make a difference.

Second, if you are not careful about how to cut up your images into a puzzle, you might create individual posts that simply doesn’t make sense. Who wants to see half of your hair with nothing else on the image? Yeah, sure if they go on your feed, they’ll see that it’s just one puzzle element of your headshot. But would that image with hair convince them to click over to your feed? Nope.

Last but not least, making these puzzles are often problematic and time-consuming without any real ROI.

I’d recommend you to focus your extra efforts on hashtag research and better copywriting instead.

YOUR 5 MUST-HAVE INSTAGRAM TEMPLATES

Finally, here are the 5 Instagram templates that will help you make your feed look more consistent and professional. These are templates that you can use in multiple ways, not just once so they really save time and energy for you.

Don’t forget that you can get the 5 Instagram templates I use as examples for free. Just click on the image below to get access.

No need to go super complicated with templates for your Instagram feed. You only need these 5 to be able to post in style

#1 - Text Based Template:

No need to go super complicated with templates for your Instagram feed. You only need these 5 to be able to post in style

Text based templates consist of a simple background and easy to read, short text. They are perfect for:

  • Inspirational quotes

  • Sharing your daily thoughts

  • Giving step-by-step instructions (as part of a carousel post, combined with photos)

  • Sharing testimonials from your happy clients and customers

Design requirements:

  • At least 25% white space around your text

  • Simple background (solid color is the best) that doesn’t interfere with the text

  • Legible fonts

  • Good color contrast between text and background

Who is it for:

  • Small businesses who want to inspire

  • Writers, coaches, travellers and artists to share their thoughts, advice and poetry

#2 - Mood Board Template:

No need to go super complicated with templates for your Instagram feed. You only need these 5 to be able to post in style

These templates consist of multiple images, put together as a collage. They are perfect for:

  • Sharing a mood (of a product you are working on, your brand, your experience, your work environment or process, etc)

  • Sharing close-up details of a product

  • Sharing featured products (for example your favorites for that season)

Design requirements:

  • Add white space / border between elements so they don’t blend together

  • Use up to 5 images to create the mood board. More than 5 is too much and individual images become too small.

Who is it for:

Both product and service based businesses to share the inspiration and behind the scenes details about their products or services (e.g. how a dress was made, what inspired the color of a branding project, etc)

#3 - Image + Headline Template:

No need to go super complicated with templates for your Instagram feed. You only need these 5 to be able to post in style

This is my top, most used template on my own feed for a reason: it’s the ultimate player because it can be used for so many things:

  • Promote a blog post with it’s headline

  • Ask a question

  • Share an opinion

  • Announce a new product / service

  • Announce a promotion

  • Announce a hashtag to follow (for example for a challenge or give-away)

  • Count back ‘till a launch day

  • Share step-by-step instructions

Design requirements:

  • Use short headlines. If you want to share something longer, use the text based template instead or add details to your captions

  • Use legible fonts.

  • Create enough contrast between text and background image

Who is it for:

Every business that posts regular online content (blog posts, podcasts, vlog posts) and wants to highlight their newest topic. It’s also great to call out information about a new offer or to grab readers’ attention with a question.

#4 - Testimonial Template:

No need to go super complicated with templates for your Instagram feed. You only need these 5 to be able to post in style

This is a bit more complicated template and it consists of a main text (the testimonial), a smaller text (person and business giving the testimonial) and if possible, an image (of the person giving the testimonial.

Testimonial posts are really important to share social proof that your service / product worked well for previous clients. They build trust and make it possible for you to talk about a project from a client’s viewpoint. This helps your followers imagine how it feels to work with you or buy your product.

Design requirements:

  • At least 25% white space around your text

  • Simple background (solid color is the best) that doesn’t interfere with the text

  • Legible fonts

  • Good color contrast between text and background

  • Good quality photo of your client that she provided (always ask for consent before using someone’s feedback as a testimonial).

Extra tip:

  • Make sure to mention the client’s instagram handle in the captions and ask her to reshare your post if possible

Who is it for:

Both product and service based businesses to share their customers’ success story after purchasing their product or service.

#5 - Promotional Template:

No need to go super complicated with templates for your Instagram feed. You only need these 5 to be able to post in style

In some cases, the plain Image + Headline Template won’t be enough for promoting your newest product. That’s when a Promotional Template comes handy. This consists of images of your products (1-3 images max), promotional text and maybe a call-out.

Design requirements:

  • Max 3 images

  • Main offer in focus

  • Short text, add the details of your offer to the captions

  • Use legible fonts.

  • Create enough contrast between text and background image

Who is it for:

Every business that wants to promote a new product, service, special deal or a new launch.

GET 5 FREE INSTAGRAM TEMPLATES

These 5 templates will save you a lot of time and make your feed look more consistent.

But I know, you don’t always have the time to create these templates yourself.

This is why I created a simple and versatile set of the 5 must-have templates for you. It’s in Canva, so no need for any fancy tools or years of experience in design softwares. Click on the image to get access now!

No need to go super complicated with templates for your Instagram feed. You only need these 5 to be able to post in style

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