Beginners’ Guide to Creating Instagram Content: 5 Ways to Win
There’s a reason we call IG the king of all social media platforms. It’s because it offers a beautiful layout, values quality aesthetics and keeps up with the latest news while ensuring fresh and accessible content. You’ll find a full range of content of what’s new in every sector, from fashion to health, politics, and education.
That’s what makes it so unique.
You might have to spend some time reducing the word count for your Tweets or learn how Pinterest works. But IG is incredibly user-friendly! Anyone who downloads the app will instantly learn the ropes, and we’re talking about users of all ages and aesthetic preferences. This fact is not lost on businesses either.
Brands are all set to take their marketing campaigns to another level, but slipping flyers under doors and inundating mailboxes with promotional mails are outdated tactics. They’re not cut out to meet modern retail challenges, especially with the pandemic restricting physical access and limiting businesses to virtual operations.
If your brand wants to anchor the power of social media, you need to know what you can do with an IG business account.
This feature is the backbone of maintaining an IG account. Mixing business and pleasure may not be a good principle to have otherwise, but on IG, it’s the most valued asset. The feed is made up entirely of images or short video clips that infuse your page with colors, faces, and action. The posts that regularly go up on your feed are the form that your brand presence adopts. The sequence of posts, starting from the very first posts that go up, will define how your audience perceives your brand.
Some brands take their sweet time to build up hype before disclosing their brand name while others immediately disclose their products or the new face of the brand. It entirely depends on which track you like to pick, but whatever you do, it should reflect your brand values best.
The posts are important because they’re there to stay. If your posts follow a pattern or follow a color scheme, you can’t delete any post when you feel like it. It disrupts the flow of your feed and may leave unsightly gaps in the image that your feed portrays; make sure you curate your feed with care and caution and give every post the time it needs to type out the most engaging captions and editing the pictures before posting.
We usually don’t like things that come with a timer, but with IG stories, the sun never sets on the excitement of the audience. If you climb ranks and soon become the favorite brand, your followers will wait for your stories restlessly and refresh their page, hoping for an update. The 24-hour watch time allows you to refresh your content and keep the thrill alive.
Content that stays longer goes stale and loses viewership. But of course, there are some stories that have new recipes, interview clips, DIYs, or a new brand collection that you don’t want to miss after the story expires. For that, you have the Highlights to save the day. You can save your stories as an exclusive highlight that will record the stories for watching later.
Once your viewers give in to the temptation to tap on the red circle, they expect to be wowed, so the pressure is real. However, once your stories start playing, they should proceed quickly and offer something new in the next slide. The count of slides on the top of the screen shows how many slides there are. Unless you’re a super hit musician or Michelin-star chef, your story shouldn’t have more than an adequate number of slides on the story.
And if you’re making lots of stories for a day, make sure to keep the scenes changing. Nobody wants to look at the same face talking for an hour straight. Intercede stories where you’re addressing your audience with stickers, a view of the outside, links to old or new posts, linked YouTube views, polls or questions posted on an inviting backdrop. Stories not only strengthen internal linking but also drive engagement tremendously.
It removes the sense of alienation customers feel toward brands that are little more than a logo. It’s an act of reciprocity and goodwill on your part to try and build a real, intimate relationship with your followers and customers.
The feed posts don’t allow long videos; for that you have IG’s IGTV. They save long-form video content and allow videos to go up to 60 minutes for business accounts with more than 10k followers.
However, it’s important to acknowledge that there’s already a platform that focuses specifically on videos: YouTube. Unless you’re prepared to take arms against it, you can’t defeat YouTube. If you already have a YouTube account, you might wonder why (if at all) you need IGTVs for your IG account?
The idea is not to simply post videos, it’s offering a few minutes of extension on the short video teasers.
Nobody likes to be left on a cliffhanger with a new IG video and that’s where IGTVs come into play. The option to continue watching on an IGTV promises fulfillment and a reward for sticking along. It’s a gift for those who stayed to watched the entire show, and that’s the incentive you can give to IG users who are potential followers.
Livestreaming / Instagram Live
Hitting the “go live” button at the spur of the moment, just like Facebook live, is what Instagram Live is all about. Facebook created a rage by adding Livestreaming functionality through FB Live.
IG Live is similar to FB live but unlike that, IG Live videos used to expire in 24 hours. Corona pandemic changed all that and Instagram now allows saving your Live videos to IGTV, thus, extending the life of live videos. It not only allows your followers to watch yoru live videos at a later point but also Instagram, through its IGTV feature, is creating a platform to become a formidable opponent to YouTube.
In the big scheme of things, you can think about IG Live is something similar to meeting together for a coffee with your friends and conversing with them. i.e. it’s completely raw and unedited version of yourself. You can use this feature to share your thoughts with your audience or go behind the scenes in the spur of the moment so that they can catch live action.
With TikTok hitting 104 Mn downloads with an average user spending 45 minutes watching TikTok videos every day, it had cracked the code of success. And IG was close at its heels when it introduced the new reels feature. It aims to capture the Tiktoking experience IG-style. This soon became a new favorite among younger users, including Gen-Zs and millennials.
Showing up in the discovery section, this new feature promises exponential growth in views and engagement. It’s a powerhouse of creativity and promise because they build authenticity and makes your connection with your audience stronger. This is particularly lucrative for B2C brands catering to people with real lives and acknowledge that they need real content, not boring graphs, pie charts or percentages.
Makarand Utpat is a digital marketing consultant and helps businesses implement effective strategies to gain traction with branding, Google and social media. You can connect with me on social media or reach out to me at www.makarandutpat.com