I love Instagram, I’m on it every single day! If I’m not on it personally… I’m working on it for our clients. I am a visually creative person and one of my key roles at Nobull is optimising all our commercial Instagram accounts. Instagram is an incredibly powerful social media channel that allows businesses to be inspirational but strategic, it is also a stage for bloggers and influencers, a place for advertising business and a place of leisure for many. Founded in 2010, Instagram has skyrocketed in popularity with 32 million Instagram users in the UK alone (as of 2018). That means that nearly half of the UK’s population have Instagram accounts according to Rose Mcgory.
So why is Instagram important to so many brands and how is it that Nobull and many others can sell products through it? New stats released by Social Media Today say that 80% of users follow at least one business on Instagram, that means 25 million UK Instagram users follow a brand on Instagram. Therefore, making Instagram a wonderful way of reaching your target audience in a way that is visual, simplistic and strategic. It also has great business growth and engagement potential, if done well.
Since joining Nobull, I have been working on a number of our clients’ Instagram accounts due to my creative and logical genetic wiring. I have a brain that loves to imagine and create, yet craves lists and processes! Here are my five top tips for approaching Instagram, these tips have been utilised by Nobull and have led to an 854% increase in engagement year on year.
There is a lot of creative, calculated thought that goes into brand and commercial storytelling and when creating a narrative there are five main points for consideration. The seasonality, the hashtags on each image, the theme of the grid, brand representation and what products are to be included/the focus.
When approaching Instagram content for a client, the first matter that needs to be decided is what are the objectives and what is the story? Once these are established a narrative can be formed, what is it they say…? “Planning prevents poor performance!”
Next, pick a theme or style that suits your business, product or service and stick to it. Whether that is monthly theming due to the time of year and seasonal events, or one clear design, you need a feed that is consistently recognisable to your audience and that can be picked out of the thousands of posts that are seen daily in newsfeed algorithms.
Research your audience, demographics, competitors, imagery, compositions, seasonal dates and the bests apps that are available to assist you. Research everything! This is in order to understand your core audience and what they respond to? What hashtags do they use or search for on Instagram and when are they active? All of this information needs to be constantly fed into your insights and planning so that you are able to continually evolve with trends, making them applicable to your brand.
Storyboarding and mood boards are useful when planning a feed. Once I have a theme, I do visual research on how other brands have displayed similar ideas. This can be done on Instagram itself, Google Images and my personal favourite Pinterest! I collect all of the images in one place and then create a collage. This shows me the kind of images I would like to create…
Once you understand all the above you are ready to start creating content! Keep your feed exciting by using a mixture of organic content (content created by you) and ‘regrams’ (content created by someone else that you put on your feed and credit). Organic content is great fun to create yourself, remember tips 1, 2, 3 and 4 to make sure you are creating content that works well with your brand. The best content to ‘regram’ is images where a blogger or influencer has tried your product or has used your service. This is because customers like to see real people reviews. Plus, an extra bonus is that the blogger/influencer should already have their own network of fans, it’s a win, win.
With these starting points, you will be well on your way to achieving something that is aesthetically pleasing and assists your brand in achieving growth, engagement and awareness.