How to Create a Brand Identity With Instagram Filters

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These days, social media marketing has become one of the central pillars of building a successful brand. If your goal is to reach as many potential customers for as little cost to your company as possible, you can’t do better than social media. It’s a fantastic medium that seems almost tailor-made for marketing. Instagram alone boasts one billion monthly users, and over half of those people use the platform every day. Those numbers should get any prospective brand marketer’s attention. But with more than one million monthly advertisers and eight million business profiles on Instagram, how do you get your brand to stand out? The key here is establishing your brand identity. One simple way to do this is with Instagram filters.

instagram screenshots

Your Best Brand-Building Tool

Most social media platforms and Instagram, in particular, are intensely visual in nature. This is actually a very good thing from a marketing standpoint. People process visual imagery and information much faster than text, which dovetails perfectly with the inherently mobile way most people experience and make use of Instagram. Having your brand’s identity come across quickly and clearly is much easier, then, when done visually.

Connected to this is retention. Images stick in people’s minds faster and more easily than text.

In fact, studies have shown that people retain 80% of what they see, but only 20% of what they read and 10% of what they hear. Another advantage of using imagery is its ability to elicit emotion. In fact, emotion plays a significant role in a consumer’s decision to buy. You’ve all heard the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words,” right? This is absolutely true. An image can bypass your logical, analytical brain and affect you on a subconscious, emotional level. What does that mean for your brand?

How to Choose the Right Instagram Filters

instagram filters comparison

There is a psychology about colors, a language if you will, that speaks directly to your subconscious. For example, cool colors such as greens and blues can elicit calm, soothing feelings. This makes them great for brands that promote leisure and relaxation. Warm colors on the other hand, such as reds, yellows, and oranges, can convey a sense of action and warmth.

That makes them perfect for brands that promote adventure and an active lifestyle. And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. This has a profound impact on your brand identity. Handled correctly, connecting to your potential followers on an emotional level can form a bond between your brand and its community. This relationship can change a product or service into a trusted name and partner. You’d be crazy not to put some effort into this.

I’m a marketer, Jim, not an artist!

working with instagram filters

The great news is you don’t even have to be a talented graphic artist or even have in-depth technical skills to fully utilize the power of visuals in creating a distinguished brand identity on social media. Instagram features a handy set of filters that makes selecting the right look for your brand incredibly easy.

Filters, for the uninitiated, are a suite of convenient color profiles that a user can overlay on their image to enhance or completely change its look. There are even third party apps like Instasize that give you even more filter options, the better to find the right look to communicate your brand’s identity. Whatever message you want your brand to convey, chances are there is a filter out there that does it perfectly.

How Professional Brands Choose Instagram Filters

Earlier, we spoke about the psychology of colors. Let’s look at real-world examples of brands that make great use of color and filters to create a brand identity. First up, let’s take a look at OK Motels and Barefoot @ the Mona Lisa Surf Resort.

ok motels instagram


The warm colors featured on the walls of both accounts evoke a welcoming and comfortable feeling, which helps entice potential customers to consider a stay in both establishments. Notice how Barefoot makes good use of warm filters to really bring out the rich reds and yellows in their food shots.

This is a pretty good trick to use with your typical top-down social media food pictures and food shots in general. Choosing a filter that enhances the natural color of the food, especially one that deepens the color and adds a lush richness to it, will make any dish look like a culinary masterpiece.

Sometimes, you might want to take a different approach. Here are some examples from F.E. Castleberry and Julia Nimke.



Both accounts make great use of desaturated tones and cool colors to project a relaxed, almost vintage feel through their images. When you desaturate colors, you lessen the intensity of that color’s hue. This effect mimics the effect of a faded photograph, which is what lends the image that classic, authentic feel.

The look also evokes treasured memories, which travel photographer Julia Nimke uses to great effect. If you look at F.E. Castleberry’s pictures, you can see how the choice of filter gives his brand the appearance of classic, timeless style. It’s a great look considering his product is bespoke clothing.

Posting Consistently With Instagram Filters

Choosing the right filter isn’t the end of (Instagram) story. You have to have a posting schedule to increase the reach and imprint yourself in your follower’s minds. Combine your brand’s look with the consistency in posting, and it won’t be long before you see the results.

Don’t forget to promote your brand and strengthen your identity by regularly posting on Instagram and following the color schemes you chose. You can always use a social media management tool that can publish posts to Instagram directly.

Bringing It All Together

Once you have a solid grip on your brand’s look, it’s time to apply that to the other aspects of its Instagram presence. An important thing to keep in mind at this point is to keep things consistent. We can’t stress this enough. Consistency in your look will make your brand appear professional and credible and can mean the difference between a curious browser and an engaged follower.

This also applies to things like the text you apply to select images, the look of your Instagram stories, and even your Instagram live posts.

You want to develop a look that your followers will associate with your brand’s message, and the key to this is to be consistent. Remember, there is a veritable forest of brands on the platform. Having your own look that both stands out and is instantly recognizable should be part of your Instagram strategy.

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