Instagram has grown from a niche photo-sharing app to a platform with broad appeal for influencers and brands. Influencers on Instagram generate a massive following—and, with the right graphics and branded content, your brand can, too.
If you’re a small business owner looking to build your following and engagement, these tips and tricks will help you create stunning visual content.
Create a feed that’s on-brand
On Instagram, the way your photos look together is just as important as the photos themselves. Just like with any photo collage, you’ll want to find common threads that tie all your photos together. First, pick a theme; it could be travel, fashion, food, or really anything at all. The important thing is to show some consistency between your photos.
You should also be consistent in terms of the format and layout of your posts. Are you doing drone photos? Portraits? Videos? Images with inspirational quotes? Pick one style for presenting your content and stick to it as much as possible.
Your choice of color should be consistent, too. Some Instagrammers opt for bold, bright colors, while others prefer the minimalism of pastels; some prefer warmer tones, while others opt for soothing blues and greens. Whichever color palette you choose, make sure it reflects your brand image and personality.
You can plan your feed’s design before you post using the Instagram Preview app. The app shows you exactly how your photos will appear side-by-side before you post and lets you rearrange the order of your content. This helps ensure your different posts complement one another, rather than clash. Want to check out more cool apps for Instagram, as well?
Combine photos with text
Text posts have become increasingly trendy on Instagram. They serve a variety of purposes, sharing everything from inspirational thoughts to funny tweets and jokes.
If you have a quote relevant to your organization—perhaps a business tip, product announcement, or employee shout-out—you can make the quote more interesting by embedding it in a photograph or colored background. You can also take a snapshot of a relevant tweet and overlay it onto an image to emphasize the quote in a visually appealing way.
For Instagram audiences, pictures speak louder than words. Share information with your audience, draw their attention to important text, and add visual texture to your feed by overlaying some of your images with compelling written content.
Engage with animation
If your business has a design team, animating your illustrations and graphics can help you stand out from other brands.
Adobe Character Animator is a popular tool for animating illustrations. The tool uses Adobe’s artificial intelligence Sensei technology to analyze your facial movements in your webcam, and then it applies these same movements to your illustrated characters. Want to learn more about how this facial animation software works?
Animation can also be used on photos. Apps like Enlight Pixaloop let you incorporate motion, like moving clouds or falling snow, into your photographs. Motion is often more effective than static images at capturing users’ attention, and enhancing your photos with movement is a great way to draw attention to your brand.
Design your own infographics
Infographics are one of the most shareable forms of content, since they make information straightforward and easily digestible. For businesses with complex products or services, infographics are a great way to explain the features of your product or industry in a way your target audience will understand.
Rather than simply share an existing infographic, you can create your own infographic that’s unique to your brand. For those of us with minimal design experience, Piktochart is a helpful infographic tool. The platform provides customizable templates and interactive charts, icons, and videos. Here a few more suggestions for easy online infographic tools if you’d like to compare your options.
As with your other posts, any custom infographics you create should be visually consistent with the rest of your Instagram page. To ensure a strong brand image, be sure to use colors, images, and themes that align with the rest of your posts.
Make your Instagram Stories interactive
Instagram Stories give your audience a behind-the-scenes glimpse into your organization, helping you humanize your brand and build deeper connections with prospective customers. You’ll want to make your Stories as engaging as possible so that viewers watch them all the way through.
You can drive engagement by making your Stories interactive. Rather than simply ask your audience a question in your Stories, add a sliding scale sticker to encourage users to respond. As users drag up and down the scale, different emojis will appear that they can use to answer your question.
You can also add text boxes to your Instagram Stories in which you ask audiences a question and give them a space to respond. You can ask questions like, “What do you think of our new product?” or “What would you like to learn about in our next blog post?”
On top of that, you can add clickable Instagram stickers so that users can interact directly with your stories. Try adding the clickable hashtag sticker to expand your brand’s reach to other users interested in those hashtags.
Want to grab a collection of completely free Instagram story templates?
Instagram as a marketing tool
Instagram isn’t just a social media platform; it’s also an amazing and free marketing tool. Using Instagram, you can create eye-catching visuals that help you brand your business, reach new customers, and form stronger relationships with your target audience. Placing special attention on your Instagram strategy can transform your small business into an influential brand leader.
In addition, you could also take advantage of many popular digital marketing podcasts that are available for marketers globally. Such podcasts focus on different marketing strategies, ideas for social media, share tips and valuable insights and often interview big names in the field.
Furthermore, you would probably enjoy reading these related articles:
- Awesome Instagram Layout Ideas and Examples
- How to Design Awesome Graphics For Social Media: The Must-Read Guide
- How to Make Instagram Stories in 2020 + Awesome Ideas and Tips
Contributed by Shai Shmarel, a SEO Associate with Tailor Brands.