8 Ways to Share Your Brand Story Using an Instagram Grid

Evan Brown

Evan is an Expert in Digital Marketing. He has been working in the social media space since 2008, focusing on design services, user interface planning, and branding. Currently, he is leading content marketing efforts at DesignMantic and has played an integral part in the success story of DesignMantic through strategic marketing campaigns. Evan is also a design pro with a predilection towards DIY design projects.

This Instagram marketing technique tempts you to look at the bigger picture.

The tantalizingly incomplete (but still somewhat complete) images lead you to break the endless scroll and visit the brand’s Instagram feed to find the whole puzzle.

It works like this: instead of posting individual photos on each square of your Instagram grid, you use themes to connect a series of images. Each tile acts as a cookie crumb, leading you to the big finale. A few interesting details are left out in each illustration that you can only find when you see the whole grid.

When done right, the finale is always worth the wait.

But How Can You Effectively Use Instagram Grid?

If you are new to the marketing side of Instagram, properly utilizing the potential of the grid can be a bit of a challenging task.

But here’s a cheat sheet to give you a handle on things.

We have curated a list of 8 creative ways brands use the grid layout to differentiate their feed from the rest, tell their brand story, and add more meaning to that storytelling

Without further ado, here’s what you need to do.

1.     Create a Mini Website with a Grid

Let’s start with something practical. Remember that your creative use of the grid is not for the sole purpose of looking – though that’s a big part of it – the true aim is to sell your brand through your Instagram feed.

Therefore, using the grid to share a minuscule or pared-down version of your main website is always a great idea. Frozen Bottle, an Indian dessert brand, often uses grid tiles to promote its brand in unique styles.

Creating a mini-website with an Instagram grid
 Source: Frozen Bottle via Instagram

Grids like these help people get essential information about your business, product, and purpose. Be upfront about it. Tell people why you are there and sell your stuff. Sharing contact details will help you get more traffic to your website or your physical location than a tired old ‘linkinbio’ hashtag.

How to pull this off?

Utilize the full potential of what grid can help you do for your business. Why not use the grid to create a logo for your brand on your entire Instagram fold? Let people see your brand in its entirety and appreciate it in its glory.

2.     Build a Catalog or a Menu

Lifestyle brands, fashion brands, and even food brands continue to be enamored by Instagram’s grid layout. One of the primary reasons is that you can manipulate the grid to make it look like multiple things – a puzzle, a checkerboard, a magazine catalog.

Building a catalog and a menu with an Instagram grid
Source: Burberry via Instagram

Take a look at Burberry. Their grid changes with every row. In each row, all three tiles seem interrelated and connected, and then it changes in the next row. And the style continues for almost an endless scroll. The effect is gorgeous but also beautifully thematic. You feel like you are looking at a fashion catalog and not individual images.

How to pull this off?

Plan the look/feel for each row and then choose images that convey that feeling. Avoid using the same product in each tile as that’s too repetitive. Instead, opt for a connecting thread that binds the unique images together. In the example above, the middle row features three shades of lipstick. The product is the same, but each shade is highlighted individually in the two corner photos.

Remember to post three pictures for each row simultaneously, or you’ll mess up the order of the grid and the viewing experience.

3.     Try a Panoramic Shot

Ok, so this style uses the row-style too but with a twist. Instead of thematic images, you use one panoramic shot of a single image and display it along the entire row. Or more than one row.

Panoramic Shot for an Instagram grid
Source: william.wanderlust via Instagram

See how the travel blog william.wanderlust has done it.

Each row contains a single, continuous shot but is divided across three tiles; it not only creates a theme but lets you appreciate each picture in its entirety and its relation with the rest of the two.

How to pull it off?

First off, create a panorama shot. Then divide it into your required number of images using an app. You can use InSwipe for Android and Swipeable for iOS. The app will help you divide your single panorama shot into multiple images that you can display simultaneously for a swipeable panoramic effect.

4.     Use Columns to Elevate Your Brand

Rows are not your only option when creating a consistent look for your brand to win customers over.

With every brand, influencer, and their neighbors using the horizontal grids to showcase their brand, break the monotony by going vertical.

Columns are great for showcasing unique products, graphics, and information. Think of your grid’s columns if you have anything standing tall, strong, and vertical. For example, a fitness guru wants to showcase his entire body, a medical blog with a human anatomy series aims at a larger canvas, or an architect is looking to showcase their high-rise project in all its visual entirety.

Columns in an Instagram grid
Source: Community Breathwork via Instagram

Community Breath Work is a holistic health blog that uses vertical and horizontal rows to maximize the brand’s idea.

How to pull it off?

To fully use what a vertical grid can do for you, ask yourself if your brand truly needs it. As you can see in this example, if an image genuinely requires vertical representation, a grid column can work. Otherwise, try not to force anything.

The most impact you’ll make on your audience will come from an organic development of what your blog looks and feels like. Let that grow.

5.     Use the Diagonal Grid

Only try this if you are brave and can commit to the process. Unlike the simple square tiles and horizontal row grids, a diagonal grid is trickier to manage but strikes the most punch.

You have to create the theme/story across a diagonal line on the grid. In practical terms, this means that you share a thematic image on every 4th tile. Unlike the previous styles we have discussed so far, this style does not require you to post all the grid-style pictures in one go. Instead, your main job is to pay attention to the order in which you post the image. Remember, every 4th tile.

Diagonal Instagram grid
Source: We Have a Wish via Instagram

We Have a Wish, a small blog of positive news with cute illustrations uses the diagonal style grid to tell its story. While you can use each diagonal row for your posts, this blog chooses to do it sparingly. Every third diagonal row is used for these thematic images making you look for the posts and engage with them with more enthusiasm.

How to pull this off?

Remember the rule of every 4th tile. That is the most crucial rule. Secondly, keep the themes broad and more general. For example, keep the color theme while switching up the graphics. Or instead of ‘vegan foods with soy,’ go with ‘vegan foods with a peach background.’

Make your life simpler.

6.     Use Text to Take Your Instagram Grid to the Next Level

Text posts are popular on the social media platform, empowering your Instagram marketing message. Book quotes, movie lines, meme accounts, and Tweets are some of the most engaging forms of content on this image-hungry platform.

Using text posts on a grid can be a lot of fun. You can use them to create the rut and give the audience something to munch on. You can also make horizontal or vertical grids composed of only text-based posts. You can also take the center column of your grid and dedicate it to text posts for an entire fold. Or you can keep the whole thing visual and reserve text for the diagonal tiles.

Using text in Instagram grid
Source: Mint Content via Instagram

Mint Content does something entirely different. The account uses the left column to create a continuous line of text posts, and the other two columns are reserved for images, following a 2:1 ratio.

How to pull this off?

Make your text-based posts stand out even more by incorporating unique elements into them. Mint Content uses green borders to decorate its text posts. You can do something similar. Or associate a whole separate color differentiating your text tiles from the rest.

7.     Make the Colors to Do Their Thing

Colors bring your grid to a whole new vista. You can use color-coded rows and columns, do a rainbow style, play with color blocking, or present everything from tinted filters for a consistent brand look.

There are tons of ways to incorporate color in your Instagram grid.

Playing with colors in Instagram grid
Source: Sarah Peretz via Instagram

Sarah Peretz is a masterful influencer whose entire feed is an endless scroll of an infinite rainbow.

How to pull this off?

Color-coding your Instagram feed is a complicated task at best of times, but if you want something with a more bang, such as a rainbow grid, you are in for a lot of hard work and commitment.

A lot of planning will pull off this effect, so investing in an Instagram image planning tool might come in handy.

8.     Break the Monotony with an Abrupt Change

As branding experts, we keep harping on about ‘consistency’ and more ‘consistency.’ However, when it comes down to it, we’ll be the first to admit that there is a fragile line between consistent and monotonous. If your brand is crossing that line, it’s time to shake things up.

It applies to everything: your brand, your core offer, your logo design, and yes, your Instagram grid, too.

To make people – Millennials and Gen-Z especially – notice your brand again, bring an abrupt change they are not anticipating. If you have been sepia-toned all along, change your grid to bright neons (staying within the brand guidelines, of course). If you have always posted style pieces, buzz up the grid with light, funny, heartwarming text.

Tiffany and Co. are a pro at breaking the grid monotony and presenting you with unique stories, ideas, products, and imagery after every block.

Telling a brand story with an Instagram grid
Source: Tiffany & Co. via Instagram

Here is a very distinctive diagonal grid from them.

How to pull this off?

Do not commit to a single style for too long. For modern brands, especially those that want to connect to the young audience, sameness can be death. Instead of religiously following a single grid style, try mixing things up and keeping everyone hooked for more.

Make the Most of Your Instagram Grid

What your Instagram grid can do for you is limited by only your imagination. Let it run wild and see the grid explode and rain down opportunities on you. Word to the wise, though, let your brand take the lead. If the style you are going for makes sense for the brand, it will only have the legs to take the grid and fly. All you can do is plan, strategize, and commit to the journey.

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