Instagram: The Basics

Branding questions to ask yourself in 2018_ What's your big, hairy, goal?-16.png

Instagram boasts 400 million monthly active users, with a wealth of opportunities for brands to present their brand identity in a creative visual format. Here are some basics to get your Instagram strategy started.

Visual Appeal

Choose photos that match your brand aesthetic. This could mean photos that tie in with the colours in your logo or product, or choosing a theme that appeals visually to your target consumers. Look through your website, products, and marketing materials to see what colour scheme emerges. As well as high quality individual photos, have a broader appeal by designing a flow of content that harmonizes when a user looks at your profile. Keep in mind the use of dominant colours, white spaces, frequency of quotes/writing, and the subject of your images to keep them consistent but also visually pleasing. Make use of the photo editing capabilities before you post your photo – but don’t go overboard. Always adjust sharpness, contrast, and brightness even if you don’t use a filter to make your image clearer.

Strategy & Guidelines

Find your objectives. Are you increasing brand awareness, sharing company culture, focusing on certain marketing campaigns, or solely driving sales? These objectives will help guide your content strategy in terms of frequency of posts and who you engage with. Keep in mind which users you are following, liking, and commenting on as this is publicly available to your audience. Determine what your posts will communicate; will they be professional, whimsical, inspiring or informative? Perhaps your account will only show one side of your brand whether this is a community project, or posts to target a niche audience within your larger target market.

Curate User-Generated Content

Instagram presents a unique opportunity to grow an interactive community around your brand. Start by delving into hash tag communities to see what content is trending and relevant to your brand values. Use these hash tags on your photos to reach new users and awareness of your brand to users already searching for similar content. Monitor your brands tags and hash tags to see if users are sharing content featuring your brand. Keep your content themes in mind but don’t hesitate to repost users photos to increase engagement. Always give credit by tagging the user @username in the caption. 

These guidelines will give your brand a head start on Instagram, also be sure to keep an eye on trends and which content performs better than others so you can adjust your schedule or themes.