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Ensuring that your Instagram page looks as professional and appealing as possible is highly important to your brand’s image these days. A well-constructed, eye-catching page will draw followers and social interaction, which can skyrocket sales or drive traffic to your business site. All it takes is the right knowledge of what you’re photographing, where you’re doing it, and when to post, and you can turn Instagram into a lethal marketing tool that will boost your business to the next level.
If you’re looking to take that next step with social media marketing and skyrocket your either your business or personal brand exposure, then follow along as we show you how to master Instagram, like a boss.
Before you even begin your quest toward Instagram mastery, you have to set out with a general understanding of what it is you’re trying to accomplish with the page. Are you ultimately hoping to drive business sales? Increase exposure for a personal brand or blog? Simply gain internet stardom? Knowing your goal is essential to mapping out a plan for reaching it. Once you have a focus in mind, you can start brainstorming ideas for your central content theme.
Identifying what kind of content you’re going for is of the utmost importance when starting an Instagram page. The reality is that the most effective way to build a successful page is by maintaining a steady stream of similar content, that reaches your target audience. Sure, it would be nice to have a page that millions of people would follow, but it’s best to temper your expectations and focus on what can help build your brand.
This means that your posts need to remain centred around your general theme, so that users can comfortably hold a level of expectation with your posts. Familiarity is key with your Instagram page, as random posts (although they may seem cool or trendy) can oftentimes alienate followers who are following you for a specific kind of content. The first step is to identify who you want to reach, and what kind of content you can steadily produce to satisfy that demographic.
Once you have a baseline for your brand, it’s time to get creative. The beauty of Instagram is its flexibility, which allows users to share both photography and videos to create a truly engrossing feed. Here are some ideas for types of posts to draw attention to your feed:
Relevant Quotes. This is a powerful tool to use on your Instagram page. Quotes can serve a multitude of purposes for your page, whether it be something inspirational, witty, or simply informational. The key to posting quotes is to use them sparingly, but make sure the few that you do post are relevant to your audience. This can help drive a lot of engagement with your followers, which is essential to a successful page.
Reposts From Fans and Followers. Speaking of engaging your followers, there’s no better way to do it than with a repost from one of them. This allows you to tap into the creativity of others, which can relieve some of the pressure of generating entirely original content, and can make your followers feel important, while showing them that you are actively engaging with them. Just make sure that you credit the original photographer by tagging their page in your caption.
Opportune Posts. Social media is all about being ahead of the curve. What happened a week ago is already old news. As such, it’s highly important to stay on top of the latest trends, and make timely posts when possible. This means tailoring your content to a big event or recent news item, which can engage audiences by demonstrating that your page is up-to-date with recent happenings.
Interesting Statistics. People love reading statistics, especially when it’s something surprising that they likely have not heard before. Posting original statistics that are compelling and unexpected can generate a lot of buzz on your feed. You can overlay text on your photographs to create these statistical posts, using one of numerous inexpensive photograph editing applications.
Brand Your Photographs. Using the same simple text overlay applications, you can create an appealing stamp to put on all of your photographs. This helps show your followers that the photograph or video that you post is your own original content, and helps protect against other users who may try to use the photo without crediting your page.
Captivating Videos. Effectively utilising the video feature of Instagram is important to your page’s success. When used sparingly, they will stand out from the rest of your feed, and can convey a lot more than a simple photograph, when used correctly. Make sure that your videos are relevant, entertaining, and grip viewers within the first few seconds to keep their interest throughout. Instagram allows videos up to a full minute long, so the possibilities for this feature are endless. A few ideas for utilising videos are hyper-lapse videos, which condense a regular video into brief, high-speed ones, GIFs, and Boomerang videos, which play a short clip backward and forward continuously. Videos allow you really explore the more creative side of your brand, and catch followers’ attention.
Behind-the-Scenes Looks. People love to feel like they’re getting an inside, special look at what goes on behind the scenes. These kind of sneak peek posts can help people feel a genuine attachment to your page, while generating excitement about an upcoming project, event or product. This can help give a face to your brand, and aid followers to make a human connection, rather than just a brand-name connection.
Contests and Giveaways. One of the few things that people love more than a behind-the-scenes look is free stuff. Contests and giveaways are one of the best ways to drive new followers to your Instagram page. Just make certain that the prize you are offering is both something relevant to your page, and something that people would be excited to win. Contests can be extremely easy to format on Instagram, just ask followers to comment their favourite type of something, or tag a friend who they could share the prize with.
Product Promotion. Last but certainly not least is product promotion. If you are building an Instagram page for your business, this is of utmost importance to generate interest and increase sales. Promotion is your opportunity to highlight a product or service, and do so in a compelling, creative fashion. Making a product post both fun and relateable can help to take the edge off the feeling that you are essentially posting an advertisement. Make sure that you strike a good balance with these type of posts, as too many promotional posts will turn followers away from your page. A good rule of thumb is to generate four posts that are helpful/entertaining/valuable to your followers for every one promotional post that you create.
Great content is key, and the bedrock of your brand on Instagram. But the simple truth is that some finishing touches and a stylised look are just as important to present a professional and alluring aesthetic that will draw followers and engagement to your page. Touching those photos up just right will separate you from the pack, and set you on your way to Instagram fame. Here are some ideas to get those posts looking picture perfect:
Colour Matters. The colours you select to dominate your Instagram feed are highly important. Colour creates an overall aesthetic that can either draw an audience in or push it away. It’s a constant battle to find the right balance of vibrance and subtlety, making sure your page stands out enough, but not so much so that it comes across as gaudy. Selecting the right colour palette will go a long way to drawing users to your page. Within individual photographs, make sure that you select items with colours that fit cohesively. On a broader scale, make sure you have a general palette that all of your photos fit within, making your brand look clean and cohesive.
Utilise Attractive Backgrounds. While the focal point of a photograph is what initially draws the attention of an Instagram user, the background works to create the mood of the photo, and is just as important. Try using backgrounds and objects that offer a good contrast to the main object, and make it stand out. The background should work to complement the focus of the photo, without overpowering or overwhelming it. Different surfaces make for effective backgrounds, such as wood, contact paper, or fabrics.
Add a Personal Touch. The best Instagram feeds offer something that make followers truly connect to the page. There are unlimited sources of high quality photography, it will take more than that to make your page truly stand out. Adding a personal touch to the page gives users a way to connect to your brand, whether it’s as simple as putting yourself in a photograph or even just your hand. Implementing yourself and the people you are connected with will help to humanise your brand.
Keep it Consistent. We touched on this a bit earlier in the article, but its importance cannot be overstated. Keep your content consistent. Followers don’t like to see random posts that deviate from the overall theme of a page, or stray away from the type of posts that attracted them in the first place. There is a lot you can do to maintain the consistency of your feed, and the more you pay attention to the finer details, the better it will look. Try to make sure that all of your photographs are taken under similar lighting conditions so that your photographs look uniform. Use backgrounds and textures that are consistent with the brand’s colour palette, and edit your photos using similar cropping and filter effects to maintain consistency.
Once you have put together an Instagram page worthy of your brand, it’s time to utilise a few social media techniques to help jump start your page: