Articles - Michael Roush

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Source: My Photography Advertising + Marketing blog @ michaelroushphotography.wordpress.com(<- link will open in a new window!)

  • Tue, 06 Jun 2017 16:26:33 +0000

    5 Keys to Creating Engaging Instagram Content for your Small Business

    It’s official, everyone on Earth is head over heels in love with Instagram in 2017.

    If you’re running a small to mid-sized business or trying to build a brand that sells to ANYONE in the US under the age of 50 you should probably start showing Instagram some love too!

    Want to be blown away?

    • Instagram now has over 1.15 BILLION daily active users and…
    • Their engagement with brands is OFF THE CHARTS (like 50-100x higher Facebook and Twitter).
    • This means that Instagram is the place to motivate your target audience to TAKE ACTION.

    And since content on Instagram is pretty much entirely visual (Photos + Videos), here are 5 Keys to Creating Photographic Images that will actually get your followers to pause, engage and take notice:

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    1. Know Your Audience

    This kind of goes without saying, but first you have to know who you’re aiming for before you start posting images.

    • Think about the 80/20 rule and identify the 20% core of your BEST customers to focus 80% of your advertising efforts on.
    • Come up with 3 words or characteristics of this audience to describe them.
    • Focus your message on them, this is where you will have the most success (and engagement).

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    2. Consistency is Key

    Your long term goal is to create a loyal and active following around your brand or business, so define your message and stick to it.

    • Think about using the same color schemes, or the same type of visual styles in your images.
    • Look at your competitors Instagram feeds and see what they are doing.
    • There’s no need to copy the competition, but do study their approach and use it as inspiration to build your own style.

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    3. Tell a Story

    This can be tricky, but it’s well worth the small amount of extra effort. A series of images that tie into a central theme can be very powerful marketing tools. Done right, they can even go viral.

    • Even a single image that connects your product or service to a larger theme or story will be much more powerful than a simple snap shot.
    • And remember, your story doesn’t need to be elaborate or deep – it could be as simple as playing off a universal theme like “love at first sight”, “best friends” or “man’s best friend”.
    • Think up a one or two sentence storyline and have fun with it!

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    4. Don’t Fake it!

    Nothing is worse than going to an actual business website and getting bombarded with super obvious stock photography (like the images I used for this blog post – HA!). Seriously though, if you’re selling something stock photography simply won’t do. Creating your own content should be fun, organic, and natural.

    • There’s no need to post boring images you find online when you can create exciting photos yourself.
    • Remember, 65% of top performing brand posts of Instagram feature products.
    • So grab whatever you’re selling and take some pictures of it actually being used.

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    5. Keep it Professional

    In my last point, I emphasized being “real” and not faking your content. However, understand that your photos still need to be high quality and professional looking.

    • Nobody is interested in sub-par content, there is simply too much competition today to settle for junky photos.
    • No matter what you do, your images need to be on point, dynamic, interesting and relevant to your product or service.
    • If you don’t have the time, desire, skill set, or equipment to create compelling (and high quality) images on your own, consider working with a Professional Photographer.

    Conclusion…

    See, it’s as easy as 1-2-3-4-5!

    Here’s a quick summary of what you just learned about Creating Awesome Instagram Content that will ENGAGE and MOTIVATE your followers / clients to action:

    • Remember to know and intimately understand your best customers / clients (do this by defining the unique characteristics of the top 20% of your target audience.)
    • Then, decide on a consistent message or theme you can deliver on again and again — one that ties in naturally to your business.
    • This will differentiate you and set you apart from your competition, pulling you out of the dreaded “sea of sameness”.
    • Remember to try and tell a story, because it’s so much more powerful that randomly posting images from time to time.
    • People’s “B.S. Meters” are finely tuned and calibrated these days, so be authentic and “keep it real”.

    Does this all sound a little too overwhelming?  If so, consider working with a Professional Photographer who will help you design a unique concept, and generate some great images for you to use to Boost Your Brand this year.

    Go get em’ Tiger!

    michael@michaelroush.com

    Owner + Photographer

    www.michaelroush.com

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