It is now becoming increasingly difficult to create unique and engaging content that makes one user stand out amongst the billion other active users that are on Instagram. This is more important now than ever as this can help creators grow their business, and if you aren’t tuned into what your audience wants to see, this can affect your levels of engagement
The introduction of the new Instagram Algorithm is something that needs to be taken into consideration when planning out your content. While the algorithm has been met with endless complaints since it was introduced, it is important to understand that it is not stopping you from growing, but rather changing how you can grow. Which unfortunately is becoming increasing difficult.
In the early days of Instagram, it didn’t take much to grow a following, even with images that might have been of lesser quality. But now, users have to take into account many different factors that weigh in on the success of their posts and overall account as whole. This can mean simple things such as paying attention to what your followers want to see and engage with most in order to even attempt to reach the old levels of engagement.
If you consistently post high quality and engaging content, the algorithm picks up on this and places your content in a better position on your followers feed. This then can help your content be seen by more people, and though it’s very difficult now, it may even increase your following a little bit, and the circle continues.
So, where do we begin with our content creation? The logical first step is to implement a strategy. Below are four simple ways to help you to ensure your content is on top of its game!
The first pivotal thing you should be thinking about is finding the balance between the type of content that aligns with your brand, as well as the type of content that your audience wants to see from you. By doing so, you’ll be able to pinpoint the exact type of content to create for your account from the beginning, without too much guesswork.
Also, if your account is centred around a particular niche, keep to that and don’t stray with your content. If you get side-tracked with your content, this could slow down the success and even growth of your account.
The next important step is to begin planning out your content. The easiest way to do this is to think about what you want to post to Instagram for the month (or week if you feel like that’s too intimidating!) Start a visual moodboard of inspiration, colour schemes and ideas. Make sure that there is some variety in the content to keep things interesting and engaging for your followers. Ideally you will then set a date to shoot content in bulk so you have enough content for multiple Instagram posts.
The more organised you are in the planning stage of your Instagram content, the better the outcome will be for your account (as well as your level of engagements from your following!)
Our favourite source to find inspiration:
www.pinterest.com – simply search any keyword in your desired niche for an endless flow of Instagram worthy images to gather inspiration from
While it is true that higher quality equipment will provide higher quality content, if a professional camera is a bit out of reach for you, your phone camera can also work well. Some of the more successful accounts on Instagram use their phones to capture images, and it works out well for them because the composition and the content of the image is more important to your following.
When you’ve decided on what content you want to shoot, you can then start to think about angles, lighting and composition, all important aspects that help to elevate your images. As you shoot, consider changing up the angle the photo is taken, maybe move closer or even further back. It’s the little changes like this that will enable you to have a wider variety of images to choose from, as well as potential extra content for your feed for that particular month.
One thing we can’t stress enough is the importance of good lighting. You don’t necessarily need any professional lighting or O ring lights, natural lighting can just as well do the job. Whatever you do make sure your images are not blurry, shadowed or pixelated (low resolution).
Our camera recommendation:
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II – Pro quality, smaller and easier to use than a DSLR. Perfect for creating clear, high quality images for Instagram. Also a typical favourite of many bloggers/vloggers!
One thing most successful accounts on Instagram have in common, is that their feed has a strong aesthetic that they stick to for all their posts. This can really help audiences shape their understanding about you as a brand, as a persons opinion is generally formed in the first 3 seconds of viewing your page. It’s your job to make sure you are doing your best to stand out in just those few seconds someone might glance at your feed. First impressions are very important for your brand!
To edit your pictures you will need a photo editing app or program.
One of the easiest apps to use to edit pictures is Lightroom. It’s free (which is a major plus), but still gives you all the tools you need to edit your images, and presets so you can keep your feed consistent!
Some of our favourite apps:
Lightroom (Desktop) – Edit multiple images, buy beautiful presets (filters) to use on your images, advanced editing options to choose from.
Lightroom (Mobile) – FREE basic version of the desktop program.
VSCO – Beautiful filters perfect for Instagram. Both free or paid filters available. Bonus: You can copy & paste edits on multiple images, which means you can edit all your images the same easily.
Unfold – Create beautiful Instagram Stories.
Okay, so you have planned, captured and edited your content. Now it’s time to pre-arrange your images in an order that looks good cohesively in your feed, ready to be posted! Before you go ahead and start posting any image at any random time of day, it’s important to understand that you need to think strategically about when and what to post, to get the most out of the aesthetic you’ve spent so long planning.
Try not to post similar pictures too close together, as this might bore your followers. One of the best ways to plan your feed is to use a ‘feed planner’ app. There are several apps available and many are even free. You should find one that allows you to also pre-caption & schedule your images. This way you can visually pre-arrange & draft your feed before posting it. If you don’t like what it looks like, or the flow of images is off, you can simply shuffle the images around until you are happy with the layout.
When it comes time to post you should take into account what time zone majority of your followers are in, test different times and pay close attention to your analytics, over time this will create a pattern and this will tell you exactly when the best times to post are for your audience. Most find mid week to be the best time and many like to post in the morning rather than late in the evening or during typical 9-5 work hours.
Finally, you are ready to caption and schedule your images to be posted (this can be done in many feed planning apps).
It’s important to keep in mind that the users you see who are gaining the highest engagement on their posts, either made it in early and already achieved some level of ‘Instagram fame’, are celebrities OR they are doing their part engaging with their community of followers. Truth be told (I know, no one wants to hear it), the users who spend the most time on Instagram are the most successful.
Most successful brands or influencers are either investing thousands on marketing or a minimum of 4 hours a day engaging with other Instagram users. We understand that most people don’t have that kind of money but this doesn’t mean you can’t be successful in your own Instagram strategy.
Whilst there are few other options to grow and reach a larger audience, try using a growth service agency, such as Gramiety, who engage with users on your behalf and grow you a relevant following for your brand, without you having to lift a finger ☺
Grow your following:
So there you have it! Simple ways to create captivating content to help grow your account. If you feel like you could use an extra little boost, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org & we can talk about different ways we can help you organically grow your account.