It’s no secret that Instagram has become a powerful tool for any business to keep under their belt. With over 400 million active users, Instagram can allow you to have access to a massive audience. Many incredibly profitable businesses have created their success entirely from Instagram. However, achieving this takes hard work and determination. What kind of pictures are you going to post that are engaging and also in line with your brand image? What is going to be your “voice” for your captions? What is it about your content that sets you apart from other accounts? How are you going to connect with the Instagrammers who are most likely to find your company interesting? These are the main things a business owner needs to think about when they are developing their Instagram. This three part blog series will address these questions and help prepare entrepreneurs for having a successful Instagram account!
First and foremost, Instagram is a platform to share visual media. It can be photography, video, or graphics. It’s absolutely vital that whatever it is that you decide to post be of professional quality, because this content represents your brand. Whether you are selling a product or a service, consider investing in hiring someone to create beautiful images for you to post. Be honest with yourself—If you do not have experience with composition, photography, and editing, find someone to help you who does. The impact that a beautiful Instagram account can have on your business is worth the investment. Though a digital SLR camera is ideal, a smart phone can certainly also be used for your posts. However, it can be more challenging and typically more editing will need to be done in order to achieve a professional appearance. Take a look at what other brands similar to your own are posting on Instagram and use it as inspiration.
Since your Instagram page is an extension of your company, it is best for you to create original content that is as unique as your business is. This is key in setting your brand apart from others. However, in a pinch, it is okay to occasionally post imagery that you have found online. If you do this, it is extremely important to make sure that it is properly licensed. If not, you run the risk of being penalized thousands of dollars for copyright infringement. There are plenty of great stock image websites with very affordable media such as Shutterstock, iStockphoto, and Fotolia.
Your Instagram feed is essentially a gallery of images representing your brand. In many cases it may give clients their first impression of you. Just like any media that would appear on your company’s website, your Instagram content should be cohesive with your brand image. Is your branding clean and minimalistic? Soft and feminine? Rustic and earthy? Consider matching your Instagram to the feel of your brand for a consistent overall look.
Since an Instagram gallery is displayed as rows of three images, it is helpful to plan out in advance how images will look with those surrounding it. Keep colors and compositions cohesive while not being too repetitive. You can even create a second Instagram account just to test and play around with possible image layouts.
While not quite as impactful as your photos, your writing voice for your Instagram captions, bio, and comments is still very important for your brand image. Do you want to appear fun and trendy and include emojis and humor? Or would you like to maintain a strictly professional appearance? Whichever way you choose, make sure to keep it consistent. Also, always double-check your spelling and grammar. It’s easy to slip up when you are typing on your phone (sometimes autocorrect does more harm than good), but that’s no excuse to be sloppy with your text.
I hope this post has helped you to feel more prepared to develop an Instagram for your business. It can seem a bit daunting and it is certainly time-consuming to successfully use it as a tool to build your brad, but it can be very rewarding. Stay tuned for our next post in which we will dive deep into developing a strategy to drive traffic to your Instagram.
Read the next part in our series here.