Staying consistent in producing quality Instagram content is crucial for growing your brand and building a loyal customer base. This article will guide you through the steps and provide tweaks and tips for making your best high-quality Instagram feed.
For a social media platform that has over 112 million users, trying to create “quality Instagram content” can seem intimidating. The good news is, more content is not correlated with less demand. It also means there is that much more content out there to gain inspiration from.
There is no one magic formula that will work across all Instagram accounts. There are, however, some guidelines and tips that you can follow to integrate with your business identity for creating the best Instagram marketing strategy tailored to you and your business. This article will highlight said steps.
Visualize to impress
First and foremost, there is one important aspect that ought to be mentioned—for an app created for sharing images and videos, the visuals are everything. Integrating your business identity into your Instagram profile through visual cues will be a crucial step, regardless of whether you are a small business owner, influencer, or an agency. For advice on how to create a brand identity, check our guide on building a mood board.
Staying consistent with your brand identity throughout all your posts will help elevate your content. It will also help the visitors of your profile remember that image. Some ways to achieve this are:
- Color palette
- Sticking to specific content themes
- Choosing a few font styles and sticking to them
- Use of the brand logo
- A specific style of editing/filters
The following page by Lancome is a great example of uniformity, as they group products of a similar color palette, creating separate mini-stories within their main feed. This helps followers cruise through the content more effortlessly, as it divides over 2,500 existing posts into smaller chunks, making them easier to digest.
This new cafe called Kanto has a great brand identity as its minimalistic interior is translated perfectly into their Instagram feed, with photos focusing on specific areas of the cafe. Some seemingly random posts, such as a black fire extinguisher or a piece of a white wall come together to highlight the brand identity and keep the color scheme of black and white (the two colors used in the logo).
The following grid layout by The Female Hustlers provides cohesion to their feed. It also creates another larger design on top of the already impactful individual posts, thus encouraging Instagram followers to scroll down to see more. Involving more visual cues and catching the attention of the eyes will cause Instagram users to stay on the feed longer, thus making them more likely to remember your brand, and, consequently, follow it.
Photographer Kiva uses white borders to give a cleaner and more uniform appearance to his visual content, thus reducing clutter and making it easier on the eyes.
For photo editing and filters, apps such as Adobe Lightroom, Vsco and Snapseed are some great options. Filter presets are also available online and can be either purchased or re-created in your own photo editing program.
Consistency, consistency and more consistency
Having consistent content on your feed is almost as important as the type of content you post. Regular Instagram posts will give off a sense of reliability to users, knowing that they can expect to see a new piece of content on a specific timed schedule.
The not-so-good news is, for small businesses who don’t have a marketing team able to take care of the Instagram page full time, you as the business owner will need to manage it yourself. The good news, however, is that there are plenty of apps that allow for scheduling posts to go up at certain times on specific days. This, in theory, will allow you to plan the upload schedule a whole week ahead, so as not to spend more time on it throughout the week.
Instagram schedulers such as Buffer, Later, Combin and more allow for creating a content plan and schedule the uploading of photos, videos and Instagram stories. Check out the best schedulers and learn about the functions they provide.
You may also choose to still publish posts one by one manually but use a schedule template to help you plan and organize your uploading schedule.
Know your audience
The kind of content you post will be heavily influenced by who your target audience is. Knowing the customer will increase user engagement and thus user-generated content (UGC), helping build further trust towards your business and brand. Knowing the interests and characteristics of your audience will also help with finding the right hashtags for your posts.
In the same way as you learn and remember things better by doing them, encouraging your followers to take some form of action and be directly involved with your brand will take the relationship from a superficial level to a more personal one. UGC will also let the Instagram algorithm know that your account is getting traction and positive engagement, and will make your content more easily accessible to a wider audience and put it on the trending pages.
Lush is an excellent example of a company that regularly features UGC on their Instagram page to indirectly promote and increase faith in the quality of their products, going as far as giving the name Lushie to avid users of their products as well as Lush employees.
The online jewelry company Engelsinn encourages a strong community culture by posting almost entirely UGC. The way they achieve that is by encouraging followers to become ambassadors, providing discounts and special offers to purchase their products to later be featured on their page, as well as providing a discount code to be shared on their own post that can generate further perks—a win-win situation.
For ideas on how to increase engagement with Instagram users check out our guide on Instagram slideshows and how to use them to increase user interaction.
Generating quality visual content
I have good news for you—creating high-quality visual content doesn’t require that you be a professional photographer (although kudos to you if you are one). A well-functioning phone camera will do just fine. On top of that, there is a large variety of apps and websites with readily available collections of stock photos that can be used as background for quotes, facts and more, such as Unsplash, Pixabay and Shutterstock.
Be versatile and resourceful
As of now, Instagram offers the following features: Instagram live, IGTV, Instagram stories, Instagram shopping (or shoppable tags), as well as the regular posting of photos and videos (including in carousel form). This list is by no means exhaustive and will keep growing as Instagram releases more updates.
Post an Instagram story to show the behind-the-scenes of your business and day-to-day work, or to highlight a recent post. Go live to interact in real-time with your followers. Post a longer IGTV video (up to 15 minutes long) to take Instagram users on an office tour, host Q&A sessions, tell brand stories and more. Create your profile into a shoppable experience by attaching price tags to your products that are clickable and will take users directly to the store. Use all these functions in combination to achieve maximum reach and engagement.
For your Instagram content strategy, the sky is the limit. Try out different features and see what works and resonates best with your followers. Plan out what you want your brand feel and message to be, and input that visually into your Instagram profile. Stay consistent, and you will see results.
For help with creating high-quality visual media and help to integrate your business identity into your Instagram feed check out our ManyPixels monthly plan to get your own personal graphic designer to meet your needs!