Are you looking to beef up your Insta game but just don’t know where to start? Well, we’re here to help you become an Instagram Pro.
Instagram is a great platform for your brand to utilize because there is minimal production required and it encourages engagement with your audience.
Today you are going to learn how to be consistent in your branding, some different tools you can use to step up your processes, and how to generate content for a whole month in as little as a day.
Sue B. Zimmerman says, “It’s the REAL, RAW, AUTHENTICITY, that connects you to others.” Zimmerman is an expert on Instagram stories. She emphasizes that Instagram is not your sales platform. What you need to do is focus on building and nurturing relationships. You can do this through your Instagram story. Zimmerman says your story needs to be “edu-tainment.”
There are 300 million active daily users on Instagram stories. Focusing on this tool for Instagram can be a great way to connect with your audience. But how do you get your stories to stand out from all of the others? Try using interactive elements to connect with your audience such as polls, geotags and hashtag stickers.
- Polls drive engagement and provide market research feedback to business profiles.
- Geotags help people who aren’t following your profile discover you and help you get noticed by influencers.
- Using hashtag stickers will show your content in search results.
- Follow hashtags that are relevant to your brand, which allows you to connect with similar brands and business owners.
Highlights are another great way to showcase your best stories. Zimmerman says, “The best real estate on Instagram is the highlights.” Donna Moritz says Stories give you the ability to rebrand your storytelling. She suggests using www.easil.com for premade Story templates to give your brand and profile a more professional look.
Jasmine Star is big on saving time and getting the most out of your content. Your brand is the only thing that sets you apart from all the other businesses on Instagram competing for those likes and comments. Instagram has 800+ million active users. So, in order to make a splash in this big pool, you need to ask yourself, “Are you ‘on’ Instagram, or are you ‘using’ Instagram?”
If you are really utilizing Instagram you should be posting constantly, having one-to-one connections, and have a plan/strategy. Sometimes it can be really hard to find something to post every day, but Star has some tips on how to create a month’s worth of content in a day.
- Determine how many posts you’ll create for the month.
- List the types of photos you want to share.
- Sort into categories, about 9-12, that relate to what you’re selling (literal.emotional) and what you’re trying to attract.
- Books you’re reading (Self-development)
- Food you’re eating (Lifestyle)
- Your spouse or significant other (Family and connections)
- These categories don’t necessarily have to relate to your brand, but they give your brand an extra layer of meaning.
Take the categories and select a specific number of photos until you have covered the entire month.
For example: If you choose 10 categories for your brand, you just need to plan 3 photos for each category and you’ll be set for the month. This is a way to “publish with purpose,” and Ben Blakesley helps us understand how to stay on brand in order to be consistent and receive meaningful likes. Like Star, Blakesley says that it’s easy to be consistent when you have a plan in place. To be consistent, you need to give yourself guidelines because then the elements of your visual identity will display a clear brand. He suggests choosing three elements to be your bread and butter that you incorporate in each picture to display consistency and produce a recognizable brand.
Some examples he gives to consider are:
- Tonality/warmth – blue tends to receive more engagement.
- Saturation – social loves more saturated images.
- Composition – rule of thirds, and colors that are consistent with your brand.
People want to see stories from humans. You can’t connect with your followers if you’re just a faceless brand without a purpose. Having a direction, a plan and clear branding will set you apart from the crowd.
So just a few reminders:
- Visual identity matters
- Create your guidelines
- Be consistent