Developing a Visual Strategy for Instagram

It’s undeniable that social media has become an essential tool in most business’ marketing strategies in the past few years, and I think we can all agree that for any business for whom visuals are important, Instagram is leading the pack. We use it on a daily basis to connect with current and potential customers, as a way to offer personalized and exceptional customer service, to share our story, our offerings and unique point of view with our followers, and to provide VIP access and visual inspiration.

As businesses, we know the importance of creating a consistent and strategic presence on social media, but there’s always the question of how to actually go about doing that. That’s where a social media manager (or strategist) comes in. And whether you hire someone (like me!) to take on this role or plan on doing it yourself, there’s a certain set of skills that this role requires, as well as a process to go from strategy to implementation.

My specialty is more on the visual side of social media management, with Instagram being my favorite platform for the branding, styling and storytelling potential it offers. I not only help clients develop a social media strategy, but I also help them implement it with beautiful, custom imagery and content creation, or at least a visual strategy with which to do so. Whether developing a visual strategy for my own Instagram feed or one of my clients, there’s a certain process I go through in order to bring the vision to life:

Brand story & goals

Answering a series of questions to understand the brand and business goals. It’s important that content is planned and developed strategically, aligning with the overall goals of your business and also aligning with your brand values, voice and vision. This is also where we’ll determine what types of content we’ll be sharing: Do you sell products or services? Are you a lifestyle brand? Is your feed meant to be a source of inspiration for your followers? Is it informative?

“It’s important that content is planned
& developed strategically,
aligning with the overall goals
of your business & also aligning
with your brand values, voice & vision.”

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Mood board

Development of a custom mood board. This is a way to capture the style of imagery, types of content, colours and overall feeling we’re trying to evoke, while keeping the brand and business goals in mind.

Studio Bicyclette mood board

Content ideas

Brainstorming content ideas. We’ll start to come up with strategic ideas that align with the brand, business goals and overall style we’re trying to achieve, developing specific shot ideas for execution.

Content Calendar

Building out a custom content calendar. Now we’re actually focused on building out a content calendar and scheduling everything in, making sure that it aligns with other business activities as well. For example, if a client is launching a new product on a certain date, we’ll want to make sure we’ve scheduled complementary content to be published leading up to that. Oftentimes as we go through this step, more shot ideas will surface as well.

As you can see, there’s quite a bit of discovery and planning that goes into creating a visual strategy before the content is even created, but following this process ensures that we’re creating the right kind of content and setting ourselves up for Instagram success.

Ready to start the planning process and move on to the content creation stage? Here are three things to consider when planning instagram content on Studio Bicyclette.


About our Guest Contributor

Paige is the owner and creative director of Studio Bicyclette, a lifestyle blog and creative studio that aims to inspire and help brands and businesses find their magic, style their brand and tell their story. Her wanderlust and ability to find and create beauty in the unlikeliest places comes from a belief in fairy tales that started at an early age, a place where imagination is a tool that can be used to tell a story, spark creativity and solve any problem. When she’s not styling a photoshoot or helping clients implement a social media strategy, you can usually find her dreaming up fancy cocktail creations, planning her next adventure or hunting for the perfect shade of pink lipstick.