Managing an Instagram account can take time, so as social media strategists, we’re always looking for ways to make our jobs easier. And one great way to do that is by taking advantage of Instagram templates.
An Instagram template is a reusable graphic or video template that social media managers can customize again and again to easily share Instagram content. These can be used for posts, Reels, Stories and more.
A social media manager’s job consists of so many moving parts:
- Content creation
- Content scheduling/publishing
- Caption writing
- Online engagement
- Community building
- Analysis and reporting
- And more
Why burden yourself with even more work by requiring yourself to create Instagram content from scratch every single time? Especially because many marketers are managing multiple social media accounts at a time.
So let’s talk more about Instagram templates—why you’d want to use them, what they might look like, successful brands who are already making the most of their own templates and free downloadable templates you can use.
Why use Instagram templates?
Instagram templates make content creation quicker and easier. Which can be necessary because content creation can be a time consuming process.
Some influencers say that creating one single Instagram post can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few months, depending on everything involved in the process (i.e., brand partnerships, photo opps). And the same can go for brands.
Chelse Hensley, social media strategist at Visme, says, “A piece of content created for Instagram can take anywhere from 5 seconds to 3 hours. You can engage your audience in a split-second using features such as Instagram Stories, polls, Q+A’s, or you can build more complex pieces of sticky content like Reels which require a longer time requirement from idea to editing to execution.”
But utilizing a template is a great way to cut down some of the time on that creation process, and there are several benefits to doing so that aren’t all about the time savings.
Create a visual content strategy and brand aesthetic
Using Instagram templates isn’t all about laziness—far from it, actually. Having a set of templates helps to give your feed a more cohesive feel that matches your branding and the types of graphics or patterns you use in your brand visuals.
Take a look at this grid from Instagram planner tool Planoly:
Their Reels covers use the same style to share the reel topic/title. They utilize similar fonts throughout as well. And we’re able to easily recognize a post from this brand if it were to appear in our feed, because they have a very specific aesthetic all of their templates fall under.
Plug-and-play Instagram templates save time
Creating templates that match your branding might take a bit of setup time—unless you utilize a design tool like Canva or Visme that has thousands of pre-made options—however, once you have a solid set of templates, you don’t have much additional work to do.
This is what we mean by “plug-and-play.” Once you have your core design, each time you need to go in and create new Instagram content, you can replace the old content, adjust some of the colors to give the template a different look and feel, download and share. Easy peasy.
Highlight text-based posts
Information-based or B2B brands often have a difficult time with Instagram marketing because they don’t have a visual product. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t still hop on the bandwagon. By utilizing templates, brands can put educational information or text into a visual format, reaching and engaging an audience all over Instagram.
8 Instagram template examples from brands
You can create recyclable Instagram templates for both your Instagram posts and your stories. To see what types of content you might want to use a template for, take a look at these eight successful brands and their template usage.
Instagram post templates
There are many reasons to use a template for your Instagram posts: sharing a testimonial, inputting educational information and more. Let’s take a look into some real-life examples of Instagram post templates.
One common Instagram trend lately has been taking a Tweet and placing it onto a template to share on your Instagram feed. Ritual does just that with some of their own Tweets as well as some of their mentions.
This is a great way to promote cross-platform content, especially when you have a fun voice on Twitter and want to share it with your Instagram followers as well.
Sharing educational tips is also a great time to use a template. This example from Perelel Health utilizes a similar look for each of their main graphics before diving into a carousel with even more facts for their audience to read and learn from. Some of the templates have a photo in the background, some are a gradient and others are a solid color.
Keeping a aesthetic vibe while still making sure each template is different is a great way to keep your feed cohesive yet unique. The last thing you want is for every single one of your graphics to look exactly the same. Your audience will get bored very quickly.
Vegamour is also queen of educational carousels. Their feature photos showcase a closeup of someone’s hair with the name of the topic they’re discussing before moving onto similarly designed text graphics. It’s smart to use a carousel for something like this with an actual image as the cover photo so it blends seamlessly into your feed.
Classy Career Girl
Who doesn’t love a motivational quote? Classy Career Girl uses a simple template for their quote graphics, sharing a classic #QuoteOfTheDay every so often to break up some of their other Instagram content. You can do the same thing for sharing testimonials, case studies, etc.
Instagram Story templates
While your Instagram Stories give you more freedom for sharing unstyled, behind-the-scenes content, you can also choose to create graphics or templates for sharing things like recent blog posts, educational tips and more.
Hungry Root created a template for sharing graphics based on their partnership with wine company Winc. They created a single template to update with different meals and wine pairings, utilizing the same fonts and logo placement throughout. This template is stunning, simple and eye-catching, making it extremely effective.
Email marketing software Flodesk often has Instagram takeovers on their profile and they save them to a new Story highlight each time. Each one utilizes the same template as the first image in the highlight to keep each takeover cohesive. Hosting takeovers is a fun way to engage your audience as well as create mutually beneficial partnerships so both you and the person taking over can reach new audiences.
Career Contessa has a number of story highlights, several of which utilize templates to create similar looks. If you’re sharing similar information across several stories, using the same template for all of the stories is a good idea to make sure your audience knows they’re related. You can then change up the colors or other elements when you move onto a different story, topic or series to let your audience know you’ve switched gears.
The Everymom took advantage of some of Instagram’s story features by leaving a space for the link stickers right inside of the template above. Stories offer a number of stickers, like questions, polls, links, quizzes and more, so you might consider creating a template that you can utilize to add creative backgrounds behind these stickers.
A/B test the performance of Instagram template posts
Just because you’ve created a set of templates doesn’t mean they’re a winner. Make sure to A/B test your new templates and consider creating a few different varieties to see which set performs best. Also pay attention to which color schemes do well—some colors from your branding may work better as dominant colors than others.
You can take advantage of analytics tools like Sprout Social to monitor growth in followers, as well as track the number of impressions and engagements that each of your Instagram posts received.
Testing on social media is key to making sure you’re sharing the most popular content you can. What really grabs your audience’s attention? By A/B testing your Instagram templates, you can land on the best options for your feed.
Free Instagram templates to use in your strategy
Make managing your Instagram much easier by starting with a template. Using templates both for your Instagram posts and Instagram stories can exponentially cut down on your design time, while simultaneously improving your brand strength. Download our free customizable Instagram templates, with both 1:1 and 9:16 formats, to start creating your own stunning Instagram content. You can also resize images for Instagram using our free social media image resizer tool.