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My Ten Most Recent Articles

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:


    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).


    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.


    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!


    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.


    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.


    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!


    Owner + Photographer


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