HOW TO: Find Great Instagram Content
We’ve all been in a content rut. Maybe all your photos are from the same day you were feeling artistic, but they’re running low. Or you have great photography, but people never seem to get excited about a product on a white background.
Finding new and creative ways to release content is pivotal to developing a digital identity. There are a number of methods and free tools that provide a seemingly unlimited supply of photo possibilities.
Here’s how we freshen up our Instagram feed when our photos start to feel a little blah.
First, know how you want to make people feel
Brand standards are the style of photography and visual content that reflect how you want to make people feel when using your service or product. They're the glue that holds your brand together to create and protect your firm's brand identity. You aren’t alone if you occasionally draw a blank when thinking about all the different kinds of images you could share. We like to find image examples that resonate with us, then put them in a Pinterest board. This way, you can pull from multiple sites and outlets, but see all your inspiration in one place.
Reach out to the people who reach out to you.
You don’t just shout what’s on your mind to your friends without asking how they are and what they’ve been up to. Ask your fan base what they want to see, or what piques their interest.
Not everything you post needs to be directly related to your business. Feature your audience's photos and ask them about accounts they enjoy. Mention the cultural things that your audience and you share- there’s always a favorite movie, food or meme of the moment!
If you do want to focus on your products, try putting out a poll or survey about upcoming collections or events. If you are able to find out what people want to see, delivering can be the easy part.
In our experience, people tend to get fired up about user-generated content when it’s done right. This example from our client Moxie & Moss Workwear, had double the engagement and impressions of the previous highest performing post. The key to this was connecting with the audience. The woman featured in this photo and her testimonial is part of that enthused audience, making her even more relatable.
Know how to find great royalty-free images.
Using copyrighted content to promote your own business isn’t just frowned upon, it’s actually illegal. Luckily, there’s no shortage of free images, texts, and memes at your fingertips. If your business is in transition, or you are just wanting to spice things up, use free content from sites like Unsplash or Pexel. You can also filter your Google image search to only show royalty-free images. Be relatable, be humorous, and try to connect with people.
Try to use an image that has a story with information attached. Narrating a story can be a great way to connect with your audience. If you are able to, always give credit where it’s due! This particular example has excellent visual composition, symmetry and attention to detail.
Before you start downloading everything in sight, make sure the pictures you choose are stylistically similar to what you see on Instagram already or your most popular posts. It’s also important to make sure your posts are relevant to industry trends. Try to avoid posting content with low-quality resolution, as well as anything that appears unnaturally posed or overstyled.
When in doubt, do it yourself!
If you want to keep your posts directly related to your own products or services, affordable photo shoots and behind-the-scenes photographs can be a great avenue. Even if you don’t have any new products or promotions, give your audience a sneak peek of what you have in the works from behind the scenes. Keep them informed, and let them know when something is coming!
Visiting a popular destination for an impromptu photo shoot is another great way to showcase a new product. It isn’t difficult or expensive to find a coffee shop with nice decor and aesthetics for a few street shots.
Before you pick up the camera (or iPhone), make sure to do your homework! Angles are everything - shoot your product from above, below and the sides to see which you prefer. Play around with the coolness and warmth of photos, as well as saturation to find a unique perspective. Candid photos of people using a product can be very engaging - But if you’re looking for a change of pace, flat lay shots are a trendy way to capture a few items in one shot from a bird's eye perspective. Here’s a layout from our latest photoshoot with our client, Klum House.
If your tried and true marketing techniques are working to expand your business, more power to ya! Feel free to share some of the ways you collect photos for Instagram below!