Content is your business image on Instagram. Basically whenever someone looks at your Instagram feed, they’ll get to know your business and what you’re all about in a matter of seconds.
First impressions count, as we all know, however creating a lasting impression which truly represents your business is also a really important factor.
That’s why it so important to produce the right content to share with your Instagram community.
What is the problem with creating content?
Creating quality content can be hard work, especially if you’re working solo. You may be having trouble finding inspiration for posts, let alone actually crafting them… And you could be wasting your valuable time looking in the wrong places.
As well as having to deal with the quality of the content you’re producing, you’re probably also finding it hard to produce large quantities of posts to share with your followers on Instagram. That’s because creating quality takes time!
This blog post will teach you some quick tips on how to:
- Discover useful and interesting topics for your posts
- Create engaging content in advance, on a regular basis
- Share this content efficiently with your Instagram community
For quick inspiration for your Instagram posts, we’d suggest selecting themes you want to communicate to your followers about, laying them out into a schedule, and repeating the cycle every week or 2, depending on your posting frequency.
Depending on your industry, resources and the relationship you have with your Instagram community, you may want to have a content cycle that looks something like this:
Company news, employees, products
This can be anything from a company announcement to a special promotion on your newest product, or even some snaps of your employees in the office! This is the company related post which you should 100% incorporate into your Instagram strategy, because these are the pieces of content that you use to win over your customers. You can use Stories to post temporary photos if you don’t want to include them in your feed.
Also under this category are your sales posts, with product information and CTAs to your website. Soon, businesses will be able to sell their products directly within Instagram thanks to new shopping tags which are being tested by a select test group of American brands as we speak. Keep an eye on the blog by subscribing to our newsletter for an update as soon as it happens.
User-generated content or UGC is for example a photo one of your happy customers has taken of your product. With their permission, you can reuse this image on your own Instagram. This works both ways because it’s authentic and believable content for your own feed, and it also gives extra visibility (and let’s face it, popularity!) to the original author of the post.
One word of warning. It IS important to get permission even though Instagram is a public platform, to avoid any copyright problems further down the line.
Repost of a customer or a partner
This can be a repost using a 3rd party app or simply a saved picture that you post again on your own account, with the permission of the original poster (like for the UGC post). It’s always a good idea to let your followers know who you’re supporting or who you’re in partnership with by shouting them out in this way as it encourages trust on your followers’ behalf – and after all, they are your potential customers!
Fun, entertainment, quotes, etc.
Entertaining posts or news-jacking type posts are also great fun because they help to show the human side to your business and help your followers to feel closer to you. A sense of humor never hurt anyone and no matter how big or small your company, having a laugh with your followers is never a bad thing.
Just make sure you’re never offensive or out of order, because that will have the exact opposite effect!
TOP TIP: Take 30-60 minutes every day to read though any newsletters and blogs you have subscribed to in your area of business. This will help you to keep your eye on the ball and not lose track of your company’s environment both within your industry and on social media. This is why we recommend reading the Iconosquare blog for tips and advice for businesses using Instagram.
Shoot your products in their natural environment or put them on display for a high quality photo shoot. These images will really do your products justice, although professional photos do come at a cost. If it’s within your budget, we’d definitely recommend professional photographs for your Instagram feed!
Most recent smartphones possess a really good camera, which means you can get some pretty professional looking photos for absolutely nothing if you have the right technique.
Flickr, Google Images, Pexels and Unsplash are all stock image websites, some with paid and some with free images for you use as Instagram post content. Simply use these websites to type in your keywords and select images which resemble your business and gel with your Instagram’s overall look and feel.
Be careful: Intellectual property must be respected and sources must be mentioned if you use an image which isn’t free from copyright.
DIY creative apps
There are a few of these online apps which let you feel like an amazing designer when really you’re not. Canva is our favourite!
Canva actually incorporates a huge gallery of free and paid stock images for you to choose from, plus tons of fonts and text templates and different pre-sized templates for all your social posts. We would definitely recommend using Canva for your Instagram posts, because as well as allowing you to be creative, the templates will give you more ideas for future posts, so you’ll never run out of content!
Contests for UGC harvesting
UGC is authentic, genuine content. If you are lucky enough to already dispose of a bank of UGC, don’t hesitate to use it on Instagram! If you don’t yet have any UGC for your brand, there’s a very simple and fun way of getting some. Hosting a contest on Instagram is great for you as a business but also really fun for your followers. Any contest you hold on Instagram, whether a UGC harvesting campaign or a simple prize giveaway, you’ll also gain in visibility and undoubtedly see your follower count rise.
As we saw at the beginning, it can be great fun to share photos of your offices, your employees and work functions behind the scenes, to show the faces behind your brand and build a real relationship with your followers. But it can be tricky to know how these kinds of pictures will fit into your Instagram feed. You may be wondering if they’re really “appropriate” for your business profile.
Instagram Stories is the feature that will conquer this problem! A Story can be a photo or a (up to) 10 second video and once uploaded will be available for viewing by your followers for exactly 24 hours, before disappearing forever (unless someone takes a screenshot!).
Perceived by most as the Snapchat of Instagram, the fun thing about the feature is that no one judges these photos. They’re taken quickly, in the moment and shared instantaneously. The quality and preparation that goes into Stories completely counters that needed for traditional Instagram pics. So have fun with them!
You will be able to go live on Instagram in the Stories section of the app. The great thing about live broadcasting on Instagram is once again the ephemeral nature of the content. You can broadcast for up to 60 minutes, but once the broadcast is over, the content is gone forever as no recording is made of the live video. This takes the pressure off a bit, and means that you can pick up your smartphone and film your employees hard at work, your boss having his morning coffee at his desk, your Christmas party and anything else you can think of that will entertain your followers and let them feel closer to you as a business, without the worry and preparation time.
The Instagram Live feature is steadily rolling out right now so don’t panic if you don’t have access just yet!
The average brand on Instagram posts 1.5 times per day. This doesn’t mean that 1 to 2 posts per day will work for every brand, however it’s the norm. But we’re guessing there are other things you need to be doing with your day than just posting to Instagram, which is why we suggest scheduling your posts at least a few days in advance. Scheduling your posts with your caption pre-written, hashtags pre-selected and of course your image all ready to go will allow you to post regularly, at specific times, focus on your Instagram strategy and most importantly save time!
How can you achieve this goal? By using Iconosquare’s scheduler on desktop and iOS app. If you’re already an Iconosquare user, all you have to do is download the app form the App store and begin scheduling immediately.
Want us to walk you through the scheduling process step by step? Anthony, our Customer Success Manager has recorded a tutorial video for you! Watch it here.
Thank you for reading! Was this post helpful? How could we improve it? We’d love your input!