Recently, Facebook has taken more steps toward prioritizing meaningful interactions between friends and family and less on brand content, allowing Instagram to step in as “the new home for brands.” This means it is more important than ever for Instagram marketers to step up their game. As a consumer, one of my favorite pastimes while scrolling through Instagram is analyzing branded Instagram feeds. What I find most interesting is how quickly a feed can draw me in or push me away — it’s a gut reaction. We all know what it feels like to find something that catches our eye so much so that we fall down a rabbit hole and end up spending far more time on Instagram than we intended. And with more than 95 million posts per day, there’s plenty to keep us coming back for more. However, some feeds just don’t make the cut. For various reasons, the content doesn’t keep us interested and we keep on scrolling. As a marketer of any kind, whether that be a small-business owner or an influencer, it’s important that your feed displays that you have what it takes to create effective on-brand visuals that keep consumers wanting more. Here are 4 tips on how to create a “stay awhile” vibe for your Instagram feed:
- Define your target audience
Start broad by familiarizing yourself with Instagram’s top demographics. For example, a large majority of brands are focussed on visuals that resonate among millennials since more than 70% of users are under the age of 35. However, in order to streamline your content, you need to identify a target audience that is more specific and unique to your brand. Try asking yourself the following questions:
- Who already buys from me?
- Who follows me on my other channels?
- What am I trying to communicate to my consumers?
From there it is important to look at your competitors. Find people or companies that are selling a product or service that is similar to your own. What does their content look like? How are your targeted consumers similar and how are they reacting to the competitor’s content? Once you have a better understanding of your target market you can work to create a cohesive and eye-catching feed while keeping their preferences in mind.
- Choose grid styles & themes
Because Instagram is a visual-first platform, it’s important that you give your profile a visual voice so consumers know what type of content to expect. Curating your profile’s grid to reflect a consistent pattern shows consumers that you’ve put time and energy into the content you post. Here are just a few popular examples:
- Splitting images across multiple tiles can be ideal for announcing a new product launch or an important announcement.
- Another effective visual involves breaking up posts that contain text with posts that contain only images. This checkered pattern is visually appealing and can better highlight important facts or product photos.
- You can check out more examples of brands using these grid styles on Hootsuite’s showcase Instagram.
- Selecting and sticking to a color palette
Did you know that up to 85% of consumers believe color is the biggest motivator to choose a particular product? Seeing as color is a prominent persuasive factor, it is important that your brand selects relevant color palettes that are reflected in your Instagram feed. Try and ask yourself, what mood is my brand trying to convey? Notice how brands like Coca-Cola use red to convey excitement and passion while tech logos like Facebook and Intel use blue to convey technology and trust. You can read more on selecting an effective color palette and take a look at a comprehensive color wheel here.
- Post things that engage
Last but certainly not least, it is essential to post content that engages your target audience.
- Don’t just sell, inform. Posting tips and tricks positions you as an expert in your field and also builds trust between you and the consumer. But
don’t just stop at facts, feel free to post inspirational quotes that your consumers might want to share with others by reposting to their Instagram stories. This is a great way to bring in new followers!
- Ask questions. Your brand should present a two-way conversation between you and the consumer, but it’s your job to get the conversation started. Ask questions that pertain to the consumer’s interests that are related to your brand. And don’t be afraid to sprinkle in some
- Incentive. This example from Lululemon urges their consumers to engage in the comments and be rewarded with a surprise in their DM’s.
The truth of the matter is, the trick to posting engaging and visually appealing content is a constantly evolving field. Large companies hire entire teams of people to focus on just that. But with plenty of online resources available at our fingertips, these tactics can be achieved by even the most novice entrepreneur. And remember, the team at NISM is always here to help.
Click here for a second blog post detailing the apps and tools you need to make these tips a reality!
Author: Celeste Russell, SMS
Hailing from Las Vegas, Celeste began working with NISM as a summer intern in 2019. Since then she has found a real home in the community, earned her SMS certification, and currently works as the Social Media Coordinator for NISM and the Social Media Manager for OMCP. Celeste graduated from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Acting & Communication for the Arts. Her passions have always included effective communication both on and off the stage and she is grateful that working remotely allows her the opportunity to pursue her acting career simultaneously. She currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her wonderful husband and their three pets.
Feel free to connect with Celeste on LinkedIn.
Check out one of her other NISM blog posts: Battling Imposter Syndrome as a Social Media Professional