Templates are ready-made layouts and formats that make it easier for users to create captivating content. These layouts are designed to stun your Instagram followers—to add style to your posts.
However, it's fairly easy to use templates the wrong way! This guide addresses just four of the numerous ways brands and businesses use IG templates wrongly.
1. Using too many Instagram template apps and tools
Granted, these tools aim to provide you with a series of existing designs that you can work with. So each of the apps offers a plethora of templates to choose from.
Jumping from one app to the other for the right template, however, suggests that you don't know what you want.
Now the question is, what should you look out for in Insta templates? There are many options out there, but you need to be sure you're getting the best. So focus on choosing what fits your particular message the most.
A lot of times, being spoilt for choice literally puts you in a bad spot as you want to try every template you come across.
Factors to consider before choosing an Instagram template
Make sure it's up to date in terms of size. And if it's a Story template, ensure it's in the right portrait size.
You should be able to differentiate templates for main-feed posts from those for Instagram stories. You don't want to mix them up.
If your brand is a unique one, you might not find a template that 100% fits. In situations like this, it's best to opt for customizable designs that allow you to throw in a couple of elements.
The necessary adjustments might require you to learn editing apps, which can be pretty straightforward as long as you know what the right outcome should be.
The best way to make your IG post or Story gain more traction is by including interactive elements. Look out for some of these features when you next use a template: polls, questions & answers, gifs, hashtags, etc.
The template should have some features that will not just catch attention, but also force followers to react.
Choose something flexible—something that adopts as many design options as you can joggle. That way, your posts don't look a bit dreary or too similar.
Make sure, though, that you achieve this without compromising your brand’s style, look, or visual consistency.
2. Using the wrong visual theme
Your visual layout should be unique, appealing, and captivating to your audience. Prospects will be able to identify your brand with ease, as long as you're consistent with your theme.
Don't just pick a template that looks cool or has bright colors. Only choose a template that relates to your brand and amplifies the uniqueness of your products or services.
For instance, an average Heineken commercial typically features a group of (white) people behaving strangely or doing something very silly.
After a while, when the special sound associated with the brand comes up, the characters burst into exuberant happiness and infectious jubilation.
Heineken is mostly associated with football; hence, the lots of green and presence of footballs.
Interestingly, these commercials have a reputation of not making so much sense, but Heineken's visual theme remains exemplary. Because they do it so well, five seconds into the commercial, you already know that it's a Heineken ad.
So it's a good idea to match the color of your product with a fitting font but visual theming goes beyond that. Be mindful also about how you blend in emojis and stickers.
Another vital aspect is the style. Choose a style that matches the rest of your content.
One common scenario is when brands provide details of a new product launch—in collage style. This style is usually very confusing, and your readers might not grasp your information at first glance.
3. Expecting Instagram templates to do all the work
These ready-made layouts are usually released as generic as possible so that numerous users can use them. That means, whether it's free or costs you a couple of dollars, you have to fuse in some creativity.
Evidently, IG templates make it harder to stand out. This point isn't to water down their relevance but to ensure that you use them the right way. Never forget to throw in some individuality.
Making Instagram templates unique
These layouts have become so mainstream that Instagrammers can discern templates 100% authentic posts. Let's take a quick look at an example, shall we?
Imagine posting a template of motivational quotes on entrepreneurship, with the messages having no relevance to your entrepreneurial experience or your followers.
The idea is that you shouldn't take Instagram templates hook, line, and sinker—not even when you pay for them.
Now imagine a brand that deals with, say, products for nursing mothers in Africa. Posting quotes on Instagram is entirely obtainable from online templates.
This approach might not promote your brand as much as real-life advice from the experience of African mothers but it'll still drive engagements.
You can stick with captivating text styles and backgrounds but keep your content as unique as possible.
4. Linking all your social media platforms such that they contain identical posts
While some social networks share plenty of similarities (or even parent companies), they each have a different class of audience. Your followers on Instagram and your fans on Facebook might be of very diverse age groups.
Using animated Instagram Story templates might not be as cool as pushing it on your Facebook Stories, where you might have most of your work colleagues as friends.
So, transferring a template from your Facebook post to Instagram might not hit the spot—at least now in 2021. Different platforms have different trends, features, and user tendencies.
What works on Facebook and Twitter might not be the same as what works on Instagram or TikTok. Test around and know what works.