This is a post by one of our guest bloggers.
In 2018, Instagram is nearly always integral to an effective social media strategy.
For business owners in 2018, the platform offers businesses a pool of 800 million potential customers just waiting to be reached out to.
However, eight years on from the birth of the app, ‘grammers are increasingly discerning of quality content.
For any businesses looking to nail your visual content and get great value out of Instagram, have a look at these 3 tips we have compiled to improve your content with very little effort and investment required.
3 Tips to Build a Brand & Increase Engagement on Instagram
Instagram is a photo sharing app and the only way you can promote your brand and represent it on Instagram is through pictures.
If you scroll through your Instagram you will be able to put together a few points on why some images appealed to you and made you stop on the way. And you should be able to relate to these points we are speaking about below.
Professional Equipment = Professional Photos
It’s no secret that the vast majority of images uploaded to Instagram have been taken on a smartphone of some description.
The majority of users are, after all, casual members of the public, who use the platform to update their friends and family about their latest news. It may surprise you, but to stand out from the crowd, we recommend keeping your smartphone in your pocket.
The reasoning here is simple.
You want to make your page as distinctive as possible so that your users genuinely engage with your content. This won’t happen if your photos look exactly the same as what’s being uploaded by everyone else.
This becomes especially problematic if your competitors are uploading professional quality photos.
Invest in a good DSLR camera, and learn how to use it. The difference it will make to your channel will stun both you and your audience.
The idea of spending hundreds on something you may need to see proved first may be ringing alarm bells in your head.
Fear not: there are plenty of options outside of straight camera purchasing. Traditionally, rental companies were always a reliable and safe bet, but they can cost dearly over time.
Why not try instead borrowing your gear through the sharing economy?
Websites like Fat Lama offer the option to borrow professional grade kit from local professionals and hobbyists.
This allows you not only to get really great gear cheap, but also to get some valuable tips from the lenders about how best to use the items on hire. You never know, they may have some useful tips for Instagram marketing…
Limit your Uploads. Maximize Engagement.
Another symptom of the smartphone-approach is that we can often sacrifice quality for quantity.
If you have a tendency to ‘spray and pray’ with a camera in your hand and you’re not seeing the engagement levels that your competitors’ content receives, you may need to be more selective with the photos you’re uploading.
Less really can be more.
If you’re peppering your followers with samey snaps 24/7, then the overall efficacy of your content will reduce. Period.
So, if you find yourself uploading many times a day, or too many times in a short period, draw it back a little. You’ll find that people are much happier to give your content a look, and maybe even like and share it.
At the end of the day, share only what you’d be interested in yourself – if you’re purely posting to hit your weekly output quota, then think twice.
A day or even a week off posting need not be the end of the world – on the contrary, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and a more selective content calendar could help grow loyalty to your brand.
Embrace Professional Editing Software
They may seem scary at first, but programs like Photoshop are easier to use than you might imagine and will make a vast difference to the quality of your content.
As mentioned, you need to be producing high quality content to be competitive with both your professional competitors as well as battling user-generated-content.
Sometimes, the battle for a great image is won in the editing suite, so don’t neglect your post-production duties!
Instagram’s own image-filters have become a little infamous in the last few years. If you’re using standard filters, your audience will likely recognize them!
Again, if you want your content to pop off the screen, ditch them now.
Try learning Photoshop or it’s free counterpart, Gimp. These are easy to use out of the box, and if you’re really pressed, you can find a lot of presets on the web and in the programs to make editing your photos easier.
If you’ve been improving your gear, and being more selective with your photos, you will find that you will have more to play with in terms of image quality, and far more time to actually make the edits.
Another plus is that Photoshop skills are abundantly valuable in the world of marketing and business in general, so it couldn’t hurt to pick up a bit of knowledge in it.
Your Instagram feed is a primary visual expression of your brand, and may be the first impression you give to a customer.
With Instagrammers becoming increasingly discerning of quality (and not-so-quality) content, you can’t afford to pedal second-rate images.
Get to grips with professional gear and editing software and remember to be selective about what you post and you should see a steady increase in brand engagement.