If you have been keeping up with these articles, you know by now what you need to do in order to gain more traction on Instagram. However, none of these tips I have shared will work unless you have one thing: great content.
No one is going to want to follow you, visit your business or buy your product if you do not showcase it in an appealing way. Content creation is probably one of the hardest parts of Instagram, but it is arguably the most important part of your #instalife.
Even if you bring people to your page, they are only going to hit that "follow" button if they see that your feed is something that they will enjoy viewing. Once they click on your profile, they are going to take about 3 seconds to decide whether or not they want your content popping up in their feed in the future. This is why content is SO important, and this is why themes are important as well.
In this article I'm going to share with you some insight on how to create content for your Instagram. It may sound difficult at first, but once you change your perspective I promise it is not that bad!
I am going to split this up into two broad categories (PERSONAL/BLOG & PRODUT/BUSINESS), but keep in mind that Instagram is different for everyone depending on what you are trying to accomplish. If you take these tips and adjust them to fit your style, you can be on your way to having a #killerinstagram.
I currently am reading @songofstyle's book "Capture Your Style." Aimee Song is a fashion blogger who loves telling stories on her Instagram, connecting to a community and blogging about fashion. In this book, she goes into detail on how to create captivating stories and engaging "uh-mazing" posts that will bump up your #instagame.
She goes into detail about the Rule Of Thirds, which I touched on in my last article.
Song says, "At first it might feel weird to take pictures that seem off balance, but in time it will become second nature."
Song gets inspiration for her pictures from other personal/blog/fashion/lifestyle accounts, as well as photography books. She calls it, "Learning from the masters!" Draw inspiration for your pictures from other accounts, but don't steal ideas. To avoid copyright infringement it is always a good idea to credit the photo.
Photos that have contrast are extremely appealing to the eye. We are visual creatures, after all, and in order for someone to stop scrolling and really take in your photo, you want something eye-catching.
Location is also very important when taking and making great content. If you are in an interesting location, people will take interest. You don't have to fly to an exotic place to get great pictures, but you do have to make what you have look interesting. The lesson here is to use what you have!
"No matter where you are... pay attention to your surroundings and think about whether or not [it] makes an interesting narrative."
Take Nashville for example. We live in a city full of possibilities (and great photo-opts). Not only that, but the Nashville community is so supportive. As you'll see in my next article (stay tuned!!!) You'll see how to get some great pictures in our amazing city.
If you're not in Nashville, just try changing your perspective. Look at where you are and turn it into something beautiful. If you always keep in mind that you have to create content, photo-opts will start to pop out at you.
In sum, if you are a personal/blog/lifestyle account, make your pictures tell a story. Instead of just a picture, make it speak. What is the meaning behind it? Why are you taking this photo? It has to be part of your narrative. Stories are key when creating Instagram content. Show your personality. Show that you are more than just a photo. Show your story!
Content creation is a little bit different if you fall into this business category. Instead of showing your personality or life story, you are sharing your product and trying to make sales. Don't get me wrong, you can definitely share your story, but content creation is a bit different when it comes to showing off your product.
Lets take @threebrotherscoffee for example. Three Brothers is one of my personal favorite coffee shops in Nashville, and they do an excellent job of showcasing their product (coffee), and encouraging people to visit their shop.
Pictured above are some amazing pictures of drinks that I would for sure buy. Also, they take pictures of their baristas. They are giving a face to their store and showing the people (and the story) behind their coffee! They also take pictures of their customers, either hard at work or having fun while drinking coffee.
If people see that other people are enjoying your product, then they will want to try it out for themselves. Showcasing your customers is a great way to turn them into loyal customers and draw other people into your store.
*BONUS* Something else that Three Brothers has is a really cool painted wall right outside their store. It provides a great photo-opt for customers, who will post it on their Instagrams accounts. It is basically free advertising and free content (if you choose to regram it).
*DOUBLE BONUS* Dogs. See that dog in their feed? You can never go wrong with dogs.
Another tactic you can try is to showcase your product in a flatlay.
So... what exactly is a flatlay?
"A flatlay is basically a photo of several objects laid out in an aesthetically pleasing fashion, usually themed or organized by type. Flatlays can include elements of nature, products people sell, an outfit someone is going to wear, ingredients to a recipe, what to take on a trip, or what someone might need to make a particular craft" (@melodyfulone).
It's definitely easier to show than explain, so here are a few examples.
You can find some more flatlay inspiration like these on Pinterest and Instagram.
Instagram is meant to be fun, so don't take it too seriously. Have fun with it! Yes, it is a powerful place for marketing and to find potential customers, but at the same time it is a great place to connect with people and share your story. Your genuineness will shine through your content.