How to Choose the Right Content for your Instagram Strategy
Selfies, staged images, and perspective shots, how does one choose? With a variety of options out there for your brand to choose from; creating, sharing and, selecting the right content for your brand can be a challenge. And it’s not hard to see why. If you were to scroll through your discovery page on Instagram, you’d find a variety of content. Rich, and colorful imagery, viral videos and at least one video of a Kardashian (they know what to post).
The impact of the algorithm
Instagram is always working to update the types of videos and photos you see on your discovery page to better tailor your interests. The algorithm features content on the discover page it thinks you’ll enjoy. So if you’ve been looking at healthy recipes, the fashion of style influencers or travel bloggers, now you know why. The point I’m trying to make is that there is a HUGE – and sometimes overwhelming – variety of content out there.
The world is currently experiencing a state of content shock, a state caused by too much low-quality content and a limited human capacity to consume it. Algorithms are becoming smarter and are eliminating poor-quality content, meaning if you’re the one creating such content, it won’t be seen by your audience. Leading to wasted time, energy and no results. So before your manager, client or colleague pressure’s you into posting, pause for a moment. Think of what content your audience will find of value.
Developing a clear understanding of WHY you’re posting in the first place is key to know WHAT to post.
Know why you’re posting in the first place
Why did you create an Instagram account for your brand? Was it because you heard all about how engaging the platform was? Was it because It was the cool thing to do? Perhaps you wanted to communicate visually with your customers. If you answered ‘yes’ to all the above, then you’re correct.
The pressure to ‘just post something’ is a real problem marketers face. If you’re pumping out content for the sake of it, is the wrong approach. Your audience will be able to tell when you’re lazy as it shows through your boring content and careless captions.
Plan and set your marketing objectives
Abraham Lincoln once said; “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe”. By investing the time to discuss with your team – or noting down for your reference, if you’re the head honcho – establishing your business goals that social media marketing can achieve is crucial. Set some short-term, medium-term and long-term goals on what you want to get out of your posts.
Do you want to grow your Instagram following? Do you want to increase your conversions on your website from the traffic you get on Instagram? Do you want to get your customers opinions on their preferred choice of colours for an upcoming product?
This is the first step, don’t do anything else until you’ve established your goals.
Have a clear Instagram marketing strategy in place
So your audience LOVES your brand, but what do they want to see more of? Knowing what you want to share, when to share and how you will do so where you strategy comes into play. Beating Instagram’s algorithm and the existence of your competition are two things you cannot control. The good news is, the content you choose to distribute and the way you communicate with your audience is up to you.
Feel like you need to do a complete overhaul of your Instagram? Here are some articles to help answer all the question you have when planning your Instagram strategy:
This captures inspiring scenery including: nature, wineries, cities and, landmarks (from a distance). Tara Milk Tea is a travel blogger who uses her Instagram account to promote brands that operate in the travel and hospitality space. She documents and shares her experiences through powerful and inspiring landscape photography.
Landscape images are great if you want to empower your audience with a ‘taking on the world’ vibe.
Content featuring people:
Ahh, sweet selfies. Where would Instagram be without them? Jokes – and an endless camera-roll of selfies – aside, they are the best way to showcase how your products use. Best suited for beauty and cosmetics, this type of content shows the result of your product to your audience.
A brand that has gained serious traction over the last two years, and repurposes user-generated content and shares their customer’s selfies is oral-hygiene brand, Hi Smile.
You might’ve seen their videos of Kylie Jenner and Connor McGregor popping up on your feed, but this brand knows what their audience wants to see! The teeth-whitening solution Instagram features selfies of men and women aged 18-25 using HiSmile to for glowing, whiter teeth to its audience of 662,000+ followers. You can incorporate elements of HiSmile’s strategy by encouraging your customers to post photos and videos using your product.
Not sure how to find the right influencer for your social media strategy? TRIBE and The Right.Fit are two platforms connecting influencers and brands to promote products and services on social media.
Editorial fashion photography
Is your brand a fashion or lifestyle label? Then editorial fashion photography is what you should be focusing on. Creating edgy and bold content to make your audience change their current state (or in your case, wardrobe) is essential for your brand. It’s up to you to create that immediate desire, sending alarm bells into people’s minds that they HAVE to have, say, those shoes.
Adidas captures this well through their creative copy and clean, sharp imagery which focuses solely – pun intended – on the product.
Flat lay images
Perfect for things you would find on a table, desk or the floor, the flat lay’s stage’s a variety or of products in one picture. Right in time for Christmas, empowering stationery brand, Mi GOALS created a flat lay in situ with wrapping paper and its 2017 diary. Prompting its audience that it’s stationery is the perfect Christmas gift.
This affordable, easy to create style of photography is popular with brands – especially those with multiple product ranges.
Point of view images
When we take photos of our coffees, shoes, sky, or lunch – whatever it may be – it’s our point of view. Such photos help customers position themselves as if they’re doing what’s in the image. Think of it as the old-school version of virtual reality. Glossier does this well when sharing images of it’s cosmetics in bathroom cabinets.
Aside from women’s purses and bathroom sinks, beauty products live in bathroom cabinets – sounds obvious – but when combined with the products ‘glossy’ nature and relatable copy, you can’t help but want to replace all your cosmetics with that of Glossier’s.
How can you do this with your brand?
First start by asking yourself, where does your product/service live?
Where do people see it most often?
Another example of a brand who uses point-of-view imagery is Chobani. The yoghurt company, which recently underwent a rebrand, focuses on how it’s products can are incorporated in almost any meal. Take this image of biscuits recently posted, using its natural yoghurt.
It showcases the diverse ways its product can be used. Who would’ve thought? Soft, mushy yoghurt in a crunchy biscuit? Not only can you picture your cookies were a hit at this picnic, because of your friend’s scepticism and how delicious they taste. They’ve even provided a simple recipe, featuring popular household items, in their caption.
Quotes and Sayings
Not quite the visual brand? Sharing quotes on Instagram can get you some killer engagement. Why? Because quotes resonate with people’s emotions. The message is clear, it’s either relatable to that person, at that time, or, they’ve resonated with that feeling before. Goalcast is a motivational blog which features inspiring videos of athletes, celebrities and visionaries. They share empowering quotes and encourage their audience to comment and, tag friends who think their content would relate to.
Still not quite sure how to create content for your ‘not-so-visual’ brand? Learn more here.
How can you scroll through Instagram and not ‘double-tap’ on a cuddly puppy? If your brand is associated with cosiness and warmth – you’re in luck – cute photos can be part of your Instagram strategy! Peter Alexander is an Australian sleepwear brand. Its founder made an early decision at the beginning that his beloved daschund would be his logo. Smart move – not only are puppies cute, feeding and cuddling your pets in the morning is integral to many people’s routines. What do morning routines consist of? You in your pajamas of course.
Creating, choosing and sharing content on social media isn’t difficult. You don’t need an expensive budget. With careful and smart planning and tracking your results, you’ll be able to implement your strategy and achieve your brand’s goals.