Instagram has recently grown to become even larger than Twitter with 400 million active users. This clearly indicates what an amazing opportunity the site represents for business all over the world, particularly those with something very physical to sell.
But still you’ll find that a lot of businesses are reluctant to invest much time or money into the site.
Why is that?
Often it comes down to confusion over what type of content they should be creating and what type of content does well on the site.
How to Take Great Photos
Apart from anything else, success on Instagram often comes down to knowing how to take great photos. Instagram is an arty app that’s all about showing the beauty in everyday life. As a business, this means showing the beauty in your product or in your niche.
To do that, you need to start thinking of composition in your photos and of how a photograph can potentially tell a story.
How can a photo tell a story?
An example might be to show an empty wine glass with a lipstick mark around the edge and a fire burning just out of focus in the background.
Perhaps feet lingering in a doorway. This tells the story of a romantic night that has just come to an end and people are free to imagine the details of that night.
Likewise, a photo of a gym kit discarded on the ground next to a protein shaker, suggests a workout. Maybe there are headphones here too and maybe there are muddy trainers, showing that it was a run in the rain. The caption might be something like ‘No Excuses’, from which we can infer that even on rainy days, we should still be working out.
If you’re selling trainers, or a brand of wine, these pictures are far more effective than simply showing the products themselves – as they put your product in context and they ‘show the lifestyle’.
Show the Lifestyle
When you sell a product, you are really always selling a ‘value proposition’. In other words, you are selling the lifestyle or the improvement that your product promises. You don’t sell fat-free yogurt… you sell abs!
Understanding this distinction is very important for marketing because it should be the value proposition that really gets your audience excited – rather than the product itself. Likewise, people like seeing pictures that create some kind of emotional response.
Think of this and start framing your shots in more interesting ways that infer rather than tell, and you will start to gain traction on Instagram.
Facebook – owned Instagram has hit 400 million monthly active users, making it far larger than rival Twitter, as the social networking site looks to boost advertising revenues from the service. The latest numbers will be a big boost for Facebook as it looks to monetize Instagram. It has recently introduced a number of features such as sponsored posts and is planning to introduce targeted ads too.