CREATING A MOOD ON INSTAGRAM
You’ll need to ensure consistency in subject matter or theme, composition, colours, and editing of each photo you post to Instagram, as these are the important elements that'll tie your grid together.
Let's start by thinking about your grid's theme.
Different types of images evoke particular emotions. In order to determine the types of images that you’ll want to share, it’s important to understand the “feeling” that you’re trying to create with your aesthetic.
Use this exercise to outline the mood of your brand.
List 5 words you'd want your ideal customers to use when describing your brand:
Jot down how you'd like people to feel when they buy something from you, or collaborate with you if you're an influencer.
Describe the results or "the promise” that your brand delivers to it’s customers.
There are many different types of content that can be shared on the platform. Not all of them will work for every business. You’ll want to decide on the best mix of content for your brand to meet your goals on the platform.
TYPES OF CONTENT
LIFESTYLE/ BRANDED for product-based companies are those that show your product being used “in life”. Think of catalog shots, where you can see an item being used or worn in the way it’s intended for the buyer. Service-based businesses can also post lifestyle shots, showing the themes or concepts that represent the “promise” that your service delivers or the lifestyle that your target audience aspires to.
NON-LIFESTYLED PRODUCT photos are typically just a shot of the product alone, sometimes on a white backdrop, (although these are usually not best for Instagram as they seem very sales-y), they can be dropped into the grid sparingly in some cases.
FLAT LAY and STYLED photos are really great for this platform. They are compositionally + aesthetically pleasing arrangements of items, generally shot from above, and they can be used for both product + service based businesses.
“INSTA- CLASSICS” are photo themes that have been made famous on the Instagram platform. They can be interpreted in a variety of ways + can be used by just about anyone.
Some of the classics are :
By incorporating some of these “classic” Instagram photo styles into your content mix, you allow your content to be viewed as culturally relevant.
STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY can be purchased or gathered from many free sources online. Using stock images on Instagram is a topic for debate among many business owners + marketing experts. Some say its OK, while others believe it’s a big fat “NO”.
It’s really a personal choice that you have to make in your own business. Some business owners simply do not have the time or resources to create their own content to post everyday, so supplementing with stock photos is preferable.
Do note, in terms of authenticity, if you aren’t purchasing the exclusive rights to the images, you won’t be the only person on Instagram using it.
Depending on the quality of the stock photo, followers may or may not realize that you aren’t creating the content yourself, but when they see it in multiple places, they might figure it out. Whether they care or not is another story, and will probably have a lot to do with the accompanying value that they find in your captions or other content.
There are also ways to edit/filter stock photography, (as long as the image creator states that it’s OK), so that it still aligns with your brand.
However, sometimes sourcing the right stock content for your feed can take just as long as creating it for yourself! If the issue is time, stock may not always be the best option, if the issue is skill + you still want to be on the platform, it might be an excellent choice.
UGC is User Generate Content and it can be extremely valuable for businesses. If others are creating photo content with your products, you can use their images to repost on your account. If you make it known that you curate + highlight customer photos of your product, you can potentially source a lot of great images for your feed that you won’t have to create yourself.
MEMES are humorous or provide shock value + are definitely not for every business or brand, especially if you're going for more of a “pretty” or “well curated” feed. However, there are some who have built entire businesses off of accounts filled with this type of content.
GIFS are animated images. You can use Boomerang, (an app inside of Instagram), to create your own gifs easily.
VIDEO is becoming increasingly popular on Instagram. If you want a way to share tutorials or behind-the-scenes footage, or want to humanize your brand, video can be a great way to do that.
GRAPHICS and QUOTES are another way to share a message easily. You can use motivational/inspirational quotes, share tips or tutorials or highlight a promotional message by creating your own graphic images.
SELECT THE CONTENT TYPES THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD INTO YOUR BRAND MIX
Obviously there are many options for content to share on Instagram. Now that you’ve seen some of the possibilities, think about the sorts of content that you’d like to share with your followers:
⃞ Product photos (non-lifestyled)
⃞ Flat Lays + styled shots
⃞ Stock photography
⃞ UGC (User Generated Content)
Brainstorm ways to create the selected types of content for your feed that will attract your target audience + communicate your brand's core values + mood.