Having trouble curating and producing photos that are ‘Instagrammable’? Keeping up with the current trends in social media can be difficult. Especially when you’re trying to model generate engagement similar to the likes of an inlfuencer. Here are some tricks of the trade, that Node has found to be the most successful in producing quality content.
Organization is key
It’s important to conceive a clear plan and theme that will represent your brand. You want to plan out your goals with your content in mind. Think about questions like:
- What is your target audience? (Think: the who, what, and where of your content!)
- What are you trying to achieve with your content?
- What do you want your content to really say about you/your brand?
These questions can be difficult to answer, but it’s all about focus. You need to figure out how exactly how you intend to represent your brand visually.
Another important aspect of organizing is making sure your content follows a clear theme. Think: your content is your message, and your theme is the most effective tool to make your message as cohesive as possible for your audience. Your theme consists of color schemes, POV, photo ideas, caption ideas, etc. Basically, everything that you need to aesthetically stay on brand and on topic. I recommend using apps such as Planoly, Feedr, or Unum, to help drive your brand forward!
Using the Right Editing Tools
Editing is a powerful tool to help you produce content that will resonate with audiences. Often times people equate editing to erasing all the imperfections – but that is not always the case!. With editing tools you can create consistent tones and color palettes that will define your brand identity to audiences. Some of our favorite editing apps are VSCO, Snapseed and Adobe Lightroom.
How to Shoot Content
For many, the most time-consuming aspect of creating content is the process of shooting and making use of angles, lightning, and ambiance. Today, we will be talking about two categories; lifestyle and food.
In most cases, enclosed detailed shots are the best for shooting food. Because food is usually still, and can involve a lot of shadows the best photos are captured with natural lighting. You should reduce shadows and make sure your food is on a neutral backdrop. Shadows and clusters can be distracting and messy and can really take away from the content that you present. That’s why it’s usually best to avoid flash for food photography.
Lifestyle shots on the other hand can be more fun and versatile. The trick is to create unique content that is eye catching and different. If you want your instagram photos to be engaging, then you need to be original and stay true to your brand.
The atmosphere needs to really get across in your photo, and your surroundings and location can play a huge role in that! If your brand is targeting city-dwellers, and on the go types – maybe you want to shoot content focused in the city.
If your brand focuses on wellness and being holistic, maybe you want to try shooting in the wilderness or out in nature. That is all to say that, it is important to have lifestyle shots that accurately reflect the brand and audience you’re targeting.
Write Engaging Captions in Your Posts
On social media, most of your content will be judged in the view-time of a fraction of a second, and that goes for what you write as well. When your audiences scroll through their feed, your visual content will peak their interest, but your written work is what will keep them engaged.
You want to make sure your caption assists in maintaining viewership as best as you can. It’s best to keep your audience engaged in a way that makes them feel like the time they spend looking at your content and reading it, is not time wasted. Asking questions, or leaving room for comments, directed towards your followers is a sure-fire way to get responses and gauge interest! Another helpful tip is maintaining relevance.
Keep a flare of your personality – whether that be your humor, or inquisitive nature. Anything that demonstrates that you have taken the time to truly think about your content, will help show your audience that you put in effort into create quality content that you believed they would like most.
Stay Authentic with Your Brand
These are just a few things to keep in mind when exploring ways to create quality content. Making sure you stay on brand and true to yourself is what is of the utmost importance! If you have any tips or tricks yourself that you would love to share with me, please comment below and let me know what has worked best for you!
Instagram has changed vastly over the past years, and it’s become the fastest growing social platform in the world. With Instagram evolving so quickly, I thought I would share a few growth-hacks I’ve learnt through A/B testing and managing my own influencer account @allyshayung.
Some of these tactics have aided me, as well as other influencers in our network at Node.[Note: If you’re an influencer and haven’t yet been verified to join Node, these tips may come in handy.]
Instagram is all about aesthetics, and the most important aspect to drive engagement is the quality of your content. How you present yourself is integral, as attention spans on Instagram typically last for only a few seconds.
High quality content doesn’t mean that your photos must be shot on a DSLR or professionally edited. Newer mobile phones are also great for social media photography! Through my experiences I’ve found that iPhone X photos perform significantly better than DSLR’s when it comes to engagement.
Why do iPhone photos perform better than ones-shot on a DSLR camera? The answer is simple — candid photos are more relatable. We all have a stigma against ‘trying too hard to sell’, which is why it’s also important to appear authentic in your photos!
Even if you’re shooting with a mobile phone, the quality and appearance of your overall feed is key. You can use tools such as Photoshop or VSCO to edit your photos, and create a consistent tone across your content feed. As well, there are a variety of apps that will let you plan and preview your Instagram feed before posting. My favorite is Planoly.
How do I find good hashtags?
Instagram lets you share 30 hashtags in each post. For newer accounts, it’s highly recommended that you use at least 15 in each post. You can create a list of 30-60 hashtags that are relevant to your content and brand. Then swap 10-20 them for each post in order to reach new audiences.
New hashtags can be found by browsing other high-performing Instagram accounts and influencers to see the hashtags they’re using. Anytime you search for a hashtag on Instagram you can view it’s popularity by the total number of posts. There are also a variety of apps that can help you search for hashtags and their popularity. We regularly use Webstagram to search for new hashtags at Node.
Using a mix of popular and niche hashtags ranging from 5000-2mil+ will allow you to drive more engagement. We recommend the niche hashtags as they allow you to rank higher in the public feed when people a searching for specific hashtags.
Make sure they’re relevant to your brand— and that there is rhyme and reason to the hashtags you have chosen. You won’t gain followers or engagement from people that aren’t interested in your content.
Does it make a difference if my hashtags are in the caption or comments?
According to Eva Chen, head of Instagram’s fashion partnerships; placing yours hashtags in the caption or comments section does not effect engagement or visibility. However, Instagram’s algorithm will simply ignore your tags if you wait too long before posting your hashtags.
Keep in mind that your content will be shared to more people once you obtain more likes and comments. Instagram’s sharing algorithm considers both overall engagement and the length of time since the content was posted.
When you receive high engagement from your hashtags, Instagram is more likely to feature your posts on the explore, hashtag and locations feed. In turn, allowing your posts to receive higher reach, and achieve exponential growth.
Engage and interact with others
In order to gain continuous engagement it’s essential to like, comment and follow other accounts in your niche. Always reply to comments on your photos. Even if it’s a simply emoji or ‘thank you’, acknowledge other Instagrammers and build on the interaction.
Also stay on the lookout for other accounts that would be interested in your content, and actively interact with them. Engagement is often reciprocated, and you’ll find that your overall followers, likes and comments will grow if you consistently allocate time to engage with others.
One great way of engaging with more accounts is by following hashtags that are relevant to your interests. This way you can interact with new accounts that may be attracted to your content. Overtime this regular activity, combined with high-quality content will grow your engagement on instagram.
Posting on Instagram stories is an effective way to drive engagement and interest to your page. What’s even more effective is creating interactive content that prompts your followers to engage, while keeping them connected to your account.. You can do this through polls, and Q&As which can be created within any Instagram story.
Another great way to engage with your audience, while attracting new followers is by hosting giveaways! They can be either planned on your own Instagram page, or in collaboration with another influencer or brand.
After you spend some time browsing and interacting with other Instagrammers you should be able to find other accounts that align with your values or style. Reach out to them and offer to collaborate on a giveaway that engages both of your followers, and requires entrants to follow your account in order to be eligible.
This is a great way to generate an increased interest in your page and continue to keep your followers excited for your upcoming posts.
Use your Analytics
It is crucial that you go further than just following the advice of others. You must really gain a grasp of the content that resonates most with your audience.
You should be regularly looking at the numbers to see what time periods work best, which tags generate the most views, and type of content your followers are most receptive to!
Making sure that you are following the insights page to become of aware of strengths, trends, and opportunities to improve your engagement. Your analytics will help you plan and produce more effective content.
I would love to hear your opinions, so comment below with any of your thought or ideas for blog articles you want to read about in the future!