Did you know that Instagram is used by half a billion users every single day? Just think about it!
For those people thinking Instagram isn’t yet big enough to put any real marketing effort into, think again!
When using Instagram for Business, it’s essential to build up an audience that is engaged and loyal to your brand. But how can you ensure these followers engage with your posts and, in turn, help you to grow as a business on Instagram? Two words: quality content.
This blog post will give you 5 tips on how to create that quality content in order to wow your community and make it near impossible for them to stop scrolling. Want to know what those tips are? Well then, keep scrolling 😉
How to Create Quality Instagram Content
to Engage Followers in 5 Easy Steps:
1. Create YOUR OWN content
Although tempting, try to stay away from using too many stock images in your Instagram feed. The thing about stock images is, anyone and everyone can potentially use them, meaning your followers might have already seen the same pics in someone else’s feed or on another platform altogether. If you’re short of great quality images, create your own. And yes, that might imply improving your photography skills and becoming a pro at photo editing.
Online design tools such as Spark Post from Adobe are incredibly useful when it comes to crafting attractive visuals for social media. You can go for a plain or patterned background for a simplified look or even use a product image if you’re boosting for sales. Having a bank of high-resolution photographs of your products could really help get you out of a sticky situation if you ever find yourself low on content for Instagram. A simple, slick product photo can work wonders for your engagement if you have a strong community of fans.
Also, it’s important not to neglect the variety of content formats available to you as an Instagram user. Try out the carousel post to share up to ten images in one go, creating a photo-album feel. A 60 second video can also be a great way of showing your products in use for example, or simply a short tutorial or demonstration. Be careful not to come over too pushy with your product posts, though. You’ll want to vary your content themes to keep things balanced and encourage engagement from your followers!
Finally, you can make a step forward and go on creating GIFs.
Here’s an example from @stylelobster:
GIFs (which Instagram recognizes as videos) are simple to do and are an easy way to stand out from the crowd. GIFs are interactive. People like that.
2. Define a clear focal point
Instagram is all about getting your followers to pause on and engage with your photos, and there are a few knacks to getting them to do just that. For instance, having a clear focal point could help users linger on your image. An image which is too busy is confusing to the eye and will have the opposite effect. Our brains do all these calculations without us even realizing, so it’s important to really take the time to ponder over your own content before asking your followers to do so once published.
Take a look at this example from @konaction: everything about this photo pinpoints to an object (the girl). The bold contrast (black object against a white background) also makes sure that the eye is immediately drawn to the image’s central focus:
3. Abide by the rule of thirds
The rule of thirds is a classic photography rule which any photographer would be able to tell you about. To execute the rule of thirds, you need to imagine a 9-part grid overlaying your image, aligning its most interesting features along the intersections. For a more interesting shot, adjust the focal point in one third of the image.
4. Allow for white space and borders
Leaving white edges around your Instagram images can create an unusual effect which attracts the eye more than an image with no border. This is especially true if the image respects previous points such as the rule of thirds and the clear focal point. Borders help ensure that elements in your design have room to breathe: an important aspect to consider if you want to avoid an overly busy post.
5. Pay attention to contrast and balance
For an image to stand out in an Instagram feed, it must have contrasting elements. The contrast can refer to colors, shapes, fonts, light and exposure, scale, white spaces and many more. Finding the contrast which makes your image pop is entirely down to you – and it is an essential step in getting your followers to engage with your content.
To begin with, you can play around with filters and the editing suite on the Instagram app. These editing tools don’t get a lot of publicity, but they’re really nifty and simple to use for great results. More often than not, the only thing it takes to make your photo stand out is to adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, and temperature.
You can also check out VSCO and A Color Story, our go-to tools at Iconosquare when it comes to a quick pic edit. But if you really strive to improve, a good old Lightroom is your best friend!
6. Make sure your caption game is on point
Last but not least: your captions. Often underrated, they are, however, one of the most important elements of the Perfect Instagram Post.
Captions do not only give you an opportunity to narratively compliment your visual (i.e. say something more about it and give it more context), but also a place to include a CTA (call to action), directing your followers on how they should react to your posts.
Shared a personal opinion in your caption? Ask people if they agree with you.
Vetting for a cause? Ask people to take part in that cause.
Threw a competition? Ask people to tag their friend, or leave a comment
You get the rules of the game now, don’t you?
Without captions, your Instagram posts are incomplete and not as engaging. So when you’re bulk-preparing your posts and scheduling them in advance, make sure you have a cool caption to accompany each and every photo you’re going to post.
There’s more to creating the perfect image than meets the eye, and the best way to make sure you’re getting it right is to keep asking yourself: “Would my followers stop scrolling if they saw my new post in their feed?”
If people take a moment to stop scrolling, read your caption, engage with a like or a comment – that’s when you know you made it 💪