5 Tips to Build a Thriving Brand on Instagram

instagram tips to build your brand banner

Instagram has over 1 billion active monthly users and is the fastest growing social network globally.

We recently researched the top 100 US and UK financial services firms to see how the industry is currently using Instagram.

The findings on both sides of the Atlantic paint a similar, but surprising picture.

Of the 100 US firms we researched:

  • Only 31% had active accounts
  • 21% had followings over 100
  • Just 11% had followings over 1,000

Of the 100 UK firms we looked at:

  • Only 30% were active
  • 20% had followings over 100
  • Again just 6% had followings over 1,000

This means there is a significant opportunity to use Instagram to reach the audiences of the future that financial services firms are at present failing to capitalise on.

Below are 5 tips for financial services firms to make Instagram work for you.

Tip 1. Optimise your images for maximum impact

instagram image optimisation graphic

Instagram has very precise image/video specifications, it is important that these are followed. If they are not your images/videos will be cut off on your profile page and you will not make the most of your virtual real estate. Instagram video specifications can be found here. Image specifications can be found here.

You should remember that users primarily view Instagram on their phones so all visuals should be optimised for mobile.

Instagram is all about visual identity. It is very important that images/videos are sized correctly. You must ensure that photos are of the highest standard (use a proper camera), and videos are specially made for Instagram. This may mean adjusting the size of the frame when filming so that it incorporates a square format.

Get to grips with the editing tools on Instagram. You can select a standard filter, such as Mayfair and Clarendon when uploading an image, or you can try manual editing for contrast, brightness and warmth.

You should remember that users primarily view Instagram on their phones so all visuals should be optimised for mobile.

Tip 2. Track your efforts

tracking instagram marketing

As with all marketing efforts, it is crucial that you track your progress. Tracking informs future strategy. By monitoring which posts perform well, you can create content that is more likely to spike engagement. This can be done by signing up for an Instagram business account, which gives you insights on your audience demographics, meaning you can tailor your content to specific regions and age groups.

By monitoring which posts perform well, you can create content that is more likely to spike engagement.

An Instagram business account will tell you which of your followers are using Instagram and when. You can then schedule posts to appear at optimal times.

You should also monitor mentions and relevant hashtags/topics so that you can look for opportunities to engage with your customer base.

Tip 3. Create Instagram specific content

Instagram is not a platform to be used for pushing products or services.

Brands who are successful on Instagram take a more informal / creative approach to posting content, compared to the approach they take on other social media platforms. Our research showed that only10% of UK financial services companies and 13% of US firms are utilising video and gif content.

Employee related / charity/ or educational content are usually the most successful options for Instagram. Only 12% of UK financial services companies and 8% of US firms currently use educational content. Differentiate yourself!

In addition, to maximise the reach of your content, include relevant hashtags in your posts so they can become part of trending topics.  Don’t overdo it though, crowding as many hashtags as you can into your post doesn’t look great.

Only 11% of UK financial services companies and 6.2% of US firms currently use educational content

Tip 4. Keep your branding consistent

brand consistency instagram

It is important that your visual identity is consistent on Instagram. Maintain a similar style on all your Instagram posts. It is worth picking a colour palette and a selection of filters and fonts that you stick to when creating content.

Select a tone and a theme for your Instagram account. Whether your voice is playful, informal or professional is up to you, but once you pick a voice, stick to it!

Tip 5. Engage with your audience

Don’t forget to engage with your target audience. Follow relevant accounts, tag prospects/clients in posts and like photos to draw attention to your presence on Instagram.

You can also regram (repost) other users’ posts if they are in keeping with your brand. Just make sure you include their handle in your post so that they feel recognised.


Article by Peregrine’s Digital Account Manager, Alex Layzell-Payne.