How to be Creative Director of Your Instagram Feed | See Girl Work Blog

How to be Creative Director of Your Instagram Feed

If you’re promoting a product, service, or brand, your Instagram presence needs to be strategic and, for lack of a better word, attractive.

Instagram has gone from a fun social media app to a full-out digital magazine platform.

Gone are the days where your selfies and unfiltered photos could cut it on Instagram for your business.

If you’re promoting a product, service, or brand, your Instagram presence needs to be strategic and, for lack of a better word, attractive.

It can be a struggle to keep up, but with the right tools and advice, you can have an Instagram page that attracts not only a loyal following but more importantly, customers that are excited about your offering.

Imagery

On Instagram, your grid is everything. I wish this was an exaggeration, but it’s not. What do people see when they go to your Instagram account? Is it a mish-mash of uncoordinated colours, quotes, blurry reposted photos, mixed in with photos of your dog? Or is it a clean, cohesive set of photos that make sense together?

In an age where the average attention span is 8 seconds or less, your Instagram visual grid is what determines whether you get that follow or not.

I know it looks like a lot of work to create a cohesive grid, but here’s a tip. Just do the work. You may feel like it’s not going to pay off, but if you want people to take your business or brand seriously, it’s something you have to do. Remember, your Instagram is your new business card.

Here are some tips and tools you can use to upgrade your Instagram grid.

1. Choose a Theme

When choosing a theme, choose one that feels like you. Think about your personality, brand, and what visuals comes easiest to you. For example, I have a more serious, pensive personality, but also a very feminine one. I’m drawn to imagery with shadows, blacks, whites, greys, and pops of pink- so you’ll see that all over my Instagram. Let your Instagram be the best visual representation of

For example, I have a more serious, pensive personality, but also a very feminine one. I’m drawn to imagery with shadows, blacks, whites, greys, and pops of pink — so you’ll see that all over my Instagram.

Let your Instagram be the best visual representation of you, or even who you want to be. Some people have vibrant personalities and brands, and they can’t help but be drawn to sunshine, bright colours, and high contrast imagery. Whatever you choose, just be sure to be consistent with it. Here are some examples of themes that are executed well:

Bright + Tropical

@katgaskin uses photos of her tropical travels, focusing on beaches, sunsets, palm trees, and pineapples. It this aspirational and uplifting “goals” quality that keep her followers engaged with her. For more inspiration for this theme, check out @mylifeaseva, @laurdiy, and @sjanaelise.

kat-gaskin-IG

Dark + Moody

@happilygrey‘s Instagram name says it all. Full of shadow and low on contrast, her photo grid makes just as strong of an impact as the bright and tropical theme. For more inspiration for this theme, check out @mikutas, @fashionedchicstyling, and @lorna, and @mr.danielocean.

happily-grey-IG

Pops of Pastels

@marianna_hewitt is one of my favourite IG accounts because of her use of whites and pinks. The colour pink is pleasantly present in most of her photos and ties the whole grid together. For more inspiration for this theme, check out @noellekramer  and @cellajaneblog.

marianna-hewit-IG
2. Edit Your Photos

These accounts look intimidating on first look, but if you know the tricks around editing and filters, then it’s actually not so hard. Editing your Instagram photos can be done easily on your phone using a handful of apps.

Some of them you may have to pay for, but they’re worth the small fee to create a beautiful Instagram page. Remember, before you start editing, always keep your theme in mind.

VSCO — Just about every blogger has this app on their phone because of the endless variety of filters. You can even buy more if the free ones don’t tickle your fancy, but the free filters are a great start to a cohesive Insta. Some of the VSCO filters that most bloggers use are: A4, A5, HB1 & HB2.

Afterlight — Afterlight has endless filters, and cool features like light leaks, frames, and cutouts that you can use to make your photos unique.

Facetune — This one is addictive for beauty IG’ers. It allows you to smooth out your photos, including blemishes and lines from your face to create a flawless finish. The whitening tool allows you to create white backgrounds where they don’t exist.

A Color Story — This app is great for brands that want to go with a bright, happy, tropical vibe. The filters, light leaks, and effects will add a pop to any photo.

Get the Help of a Photographer

If you’re a business owner, maybe artistic photography isn’t your strong suit, but every business owner knows the importance of working with a solid team.

If you’re on a shoestring budget, reach out to a friend who’s passionate about photography and see if they can help you shoot some awesome shots. If you’re more forward, reach out to a photographer whose work you admire, but keep in mind that they might (and rightfully) charge a fee for the session.

Just keep in mind that no matter what photographer you work with, you should always credit them in the photos unless you’ve worked out an agreement to otherwise not to.

Planning

On Instagram, consistency is key. Not only will frequent posts keep your followers around, but Instagram will prioritize your posts on your followers’ timeline because of it.

It’s tempting to ignore this tip, but with planning and organization, the consistency doesn’t have to be so hard.

The best brands and content creators post to IG every day, but every other day is a good starting point until you can work up to posting each day. Here are some tips to keep your posts on a schedule:

1. Get a Planner

Whether it’s your iPhone calendar or a physical planner, make sure you write down when you’re going to post and set reminders for yourself. Set your reminders for the optimal times to post for the given day of the week (more on this later), and when you get or see the reminder, don’t procrastinate. There’s a great physical planner called The Content Planner, which was created specifically for social media scheduling that can help you out.

2. Download an Instagram Scheduling App

Download an Instagram scheduling app like Planoly. This app allows you to set up your Instagram grid ahead of time.  You can move photos around and schedule them before they’re posted. It automates your IG page, so that you’re not stressed out about posting, and what your photos are going to look like on the grid once they’re posted.

3. Post at Optimal Times

At the top of your Instagram page, you’ll see an icon with a set of bars. This is a portal to your Instagram analytics. Instagram makes it nice and easy to see when your posts get the most engagement on each day of the week. Use this to your advantage!

Engagement

Everyone focuses on getting more followers — but what about the followers you already have?

Are you ignoring them, or do they feel like they actually know you? The followers who feel like they know and can relate to you, are likely the ones that will engage with your content.

The more likes and comments you receive on a photo, the more Instagram will promote it across the platform. It might even show up on other people’s explore page!

But that’s not what it’s all about. It’s about creating real, genuine connections with the followers you already have. If they like your photo, go to their page and like one of theirs.

If they comment, comment back. Ask them questions, either in the comments or through your caption. Companies and brands who pay for promotion through Instagram are looking at your following and the engagement you’re getting on your photos.

If you have a product or business, your engaged followers are the ones most likely to buy.

If you have a product or business, your engaged followers are the ones most likely to buy. Click To Tweet
Get Offline

This one is important and often overlooked. Put the phone down and get out of the house. Attend events, or meet up with other brands in your industry. While you’re out, snap a few photos and tag the event, location, or person you’re with.

Give out your IG handle when you’re taking photos with others so that they can tag you in theirs.

This is a great method of cross-promoting and it provides more engaging, interesting content for your followers.

Remember, have fun! Don’t get caught up in giving the impression that you have an amazing life on social media that you actually forget to live it.

 

Courtesy Images

 

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Tracey Moore

Tracey Moore

Co-Founder, Moore Beauty

Tracey Moore is the Digital Coordinator for Global Television and a branding and media enthusiast. Find her online at moorebeautyblog.com.

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