9 Swoon-Worthy Instagram Feeds (and Why They Work)

Here is some Insta-inspo for when your blank Instagram grid stares back at you and you have no idea what to post first.

So you’ve claimed your username and created your Instagram account. Then your blank Instagram grid stares back at you, dull, empty and uninspiring. And you have no idea what to post first.

We’ve all been there.

But, remember, even the largest brands on Instagram had to start somewhere.

Before you post a thing, you want to have some sort of strategy in place. I know the S word sucks the fun out of everything, especially those creative endeavours.

Your Instagram strategy is a whole other topic that warrants its own post, but one way of helping you come up a plan that works for you is to have a strong idea on your grid layout to start.

After all, each post on your grid contributes to your profile at large, and there’s nothing more satisfying – even just for the eye – than to see a cohesive, creative and colourful Instagram feed staring back at you. Bold, meaningful and inspiring.

And to paraphrase Oscar Wilde: talent borrows, genius gets inspired by other feeds…

9 of the best Instagram grid layout ideas

I’ve picked a few of my favourite feeds to inspire your grid ideas for Instagram. Regardless of the sector the profile is in, what they’re talking about and what they do, these examples are here to show you the possibilities of Instagram at both the individual post level and on the profile overall – and why they work.

Here are 9 brands killing it on Instagram right now:

  1. Boots UK (@bootsuk)
  2. Later (@latermedia)
  3. WorkParty (@workparty)
  4. Quotes by Christie (@quotesbychristie)
  5. Gucci (@gucci)
  6. IBM (@ibm)
  7. Facebook Life (@facebooklife)
  8. Desenio (@desenio)
  9. Starbucks (@starbucks)

Boots UK is rocking a sweet pastel colour scheme right now, with a generous balance of User Generated Content, promotional and informative content. Really well pitched right now, considering buying habits are changing rapidly due to COVID-19.

I love Later’s fun, punchy colours and simple but effective Instagram Story highlight covers. Whenever I think of brilliant corporate feeds, Later’s always stands out because I love the way they integrate and promote their website content through their Instagram channel – often through infographic posts or typography-led guides. The video content they create is also worth a mention, often sharing tutorials and facts and features about Later, their Instagram scheduling tool (ah, so that’s why they’re so good at making IG content!). Let’s face it, they also choose bold stock photography that complements the feed beautifully!

Psst! You can find my favourite FREE stock photo sites here!

WorkParty’s feed speaks directly to its “milleni-gal” audience, with bold, empowering typography and consistent soft pink colour scheme. The highlight covers work well in both light and dark mode too! Its parent company, Create & Cultivate, has a similarly soft and sweet Instagram aesthetic too.

Let’s continue the typography love with Quotes By Christie. This feed is full of sharable posts that are inspiring on their own and shouldn’t work together on the grid – but do! As we move towards summer, I’m enjoying the rainbow of colours across the ‘gram. Which feeds are working for you right now?

The marketing team behind Gucci’s feed have got their brand aesthetic nailed. It’s effortlessly cool and innovative, making deliberate use of colour when needed (such as the pink backgrounds used in the screenshot I’ve shared in this post), while also playing with shape and space by framing their shots in each post. A few years back, they had a great campaign where they were using circular frames, which was really impactful on the feed. However, with the advent of dark mode, this can now start to look a bit odd – so tread carefully with the frames!

How do you make AI, cloud and IoT cool on Instagram? You follow IBM’s lead and create an Instagram grid that mixes quality photography of technology with portraits so it still feels human, then top it up with on-brand quote posts to keep up a dialogue with your followers. I love that shade of blue too – it really pops on both the feed and as Instagram Stories highlights. Bonus points for having a separate Life at IBM Instagram account that works as the cool kid approach to recruitment.

Following on from Life at IBM, Facebook also do a stellar job at recruiting new talent through Instagram, which is just as well considering they own the platform! Through Facebook Life, the company showcases their team with high quality portraits, interspersed with video footage and quotes that reflect a sense of inclusivity and positivity.

Desenio – the online poster store. Wow, this feed is how you do UGC! User generated content is so underrated and underused on social media, but when it’s done right, it’s so effective. On each UGC post, Desenio celebrates how the customer has used their print and informs the audience of the print to use to recreate the effect. The careful curation of this feed means that the UGC posts fit seamlessly in between their professional shots, and the similarity in colour schemes between each post is the key in achieving this finish. The sparingly used quote posts provide a poignant pause so the feed doesn’t feel too busy.

For the coffee fans, the main Starbucks account offers an energising combo of engagement, inspiration and… thirst traps (*shudders*). The US-led account has a stronger overall aesthetic compared to the UK account. The classic Starbucks green is prominent in the feed, accompanied by original shots of their drinks – showcasing that you don’t need to have the traditional product shot on your feed. Their originality shines through, and posts like the mini wordsearch keeps it engaging – a timeless tactic for ensuring your posts are pride of place in your followers’ feeds!

Key takeaways

There’s lots of Insta-inspo to take away from these examples above. All these feeds might look different, but they share these common elements:

  • Brand colour is prominent
  • Post-by-post, the content for each is varied
  • Typographic-led posts break up the busy
  • The content is informative and engaging – working towards their marketing KPIs
  • Full of fun!
  • Bonus points to the profiles that have matching Stories highlights

Check out my post on getting started with Instagram templates with my post here: how to create your own styled Instagram feed.

Want more advice on getting started with your Instagram feed? I love auditing feeds and making recommendations, so get in touch and see how I can help you!