With over 1 billion users globally, Instagram is now by far the most popular social media platform on the planet. Arguably the cooler younger sister of parent platform Facebook (which has 2.6 billion users worldwide), Instagram is growing bigger by the day, resulting in a constant stream of new Instagram trends and features.
Instagram has become a key channel for marketers to engage potential customers, and is now a cornerstone of any digital marketing strategy. But, with the ever-increasing amount of content being posted on Instagram everyday, it can be extremely difficult to stand out.
So if you want to up your Instagram game and ensure your content makes an impact in 2021, you’ve come to the right place! Including everything from content tips and tricks to the low-down on new features such as Instagram Reels and Instagram Shops, here are 5 easy ways to make your Instagram content shine…
1. Keep it High-Quality
Thanks to the evolution of smartphone technology, these days almost anyone can shoot, edit and upload high-quality visual content to Instagram. But, with so much content now being posted every day, if your assets aren’t up to standard they’ll stick out like a sore thumb. If you want your Instagram to stand out in the right way, it’s important to keep all your posts looking polished and professional.
The first step in creating high-quality content is good editing. Adjusting levels using presets or adding an artistic flare with brushes and add-ons is the easiest and quickest way to take your photos and videos to the next level. But, if you’re lacking in high-quality pics or videos to post in the first place, a great way to source feed-worthy content is through user-generated content (UGC).
UGC is any content — videos, images, reviews — created by your customers or users. One of the most authentic forms of digital word-of-mouth marketing, UGC can serve as a continuous source of assets and inspiration for your Instagram and enable you to become more relatable to your audience. However, if you don’t have piles of UGC at your fingertips just yet, there are plenty of unique and authentic stock photos, videos and graphics out there to choose from! Search for visuals that fit your brand look, feel, and color palette, edit and make them your own, post them on Insta, and voilà!
2. Consistency is Key
Every marketer knows that the key to successful Instagram content is branding, and the key to strong branding is consistency! If you want your brand to get noticed on Instagram, you need to keep your content as consistent as possible.
Posting regularly, maintaining a consistent tone and messaging, as well as keeping up a clear and continual visual style means that your Instagram audience will become increasingly familiar with your content and, eventually, your brand.
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Customers are drawn to brands they recognize, so make sure all your branding aligns across every channel – including your Instagram, your other social platforms, your blog, your newsletter, and your website.
One of the easiest ways to maintain consistent content on Instagram is by using templates. Using Instagram templates for your Stories, IGTV and feed posts will ensure that all your Instagram content is aligned every single time. Instagram templates include a mix of graphics, colors, and placeholders for photos and other visuals so that you can easily add your assets and messaging.
3. Connect With Your Community
While building a strong brand is one thing, building a strong, loyal Instagram following is just as important! So, if you want to continue growing your Instagram audience, it’s absolutely crucial to connect with your community.
With so many brands now trying to stand out on Instagram, consistent customer referrals and word-of-mouth marketing is absolutely key to building a loyal following. Don’t underestimate the power of social media for attracting customers and communicating with your community – a little bit of interaction goes a long way.
Interact with your followers in the comments, engage with them on Stories by using Polls, Questions or Quizzes, and make sure to reply to all DMs in a friendly, yet professional way.
It also pays to make all your info and links easily accessible so your followers don’t have to go digging for your website, FAQs or contact information. A great way to do this is by turning your Instagram link in bio into a one-stop shop for your brand, featuring your website, contact details, products and online store in one easy-to-find location.
4. Create Engaging Video Content
Over the last few years, video has become a staple of our social media feeds. In fact, short snackable video has quickly become Instagram’s most engaging format, with videos now generating 49% more engagement than photos. Long story short – creating engaging video content is crucial if you want to stand out on Instagram.
Now with over 500 million daily users, Instagram Stories are perhaps the easiest way to create engaging video content on Instagram. Fun features such as filters, music, polls, and even swipe-up links are available to add to Stories, allowing you to post anything from polished, pre-filmed promos to raw and authentic behind-the-scenes snippets.
Going Live on Instagram is also a great way to engage your followers. In fact, live video has the highest rate of engagement of all content types, as it enables audiences to interact with their favorite people, brands or businesses in real time.
In addition to Instagram Stories, IGTV and Instagram Live, Reels is Instagram’s latest video feature. Quick, fun, and super easy to use, Reels allows users to produce short, in-feed videos which can be edited with audio and music, similar to videos on TikTok. You can upload premade videos, edit multiple video clips into one, or even create content all within the Instagram app to create short, snappy and engaging videos every time.
5. Try Out New Trends & Features
Instagram is a constant stream of new trends, features and formats, so if you want to stay on top of your Instagram game, you’ve gotta stay trend savvy!
Trying out new Instagram formats and features is a great way to stay relevant, and to show your followers that you’re across all the latest and greatest updates. First off, make sure you’re up to speed with Instagram Live, Reels, and all the latest Instagram Stories updates – such as Create Mode, interactive Stories stickers, trending filters or features such as Polls and Quizzes. Secondly, keep your eyes peeled for any new and exciting Instagram trends – you never know when they might crop up!
One of the biggest and most exciting trends to hit Instagram in 2021 has been social commerce. While this trend has been slowly infiltrating our social platforms over the last few years, the official introduction of Instagram Shops has truly solidified social commerce as one of the hottest trends to watch.
Perfect for brands and businesses wanting to create content that converts on social media, Instagram shops allow your customers to browse products, explore collections and purchase products all within the Instagram app using Instagram checkout. Shoppable posts are definitely the way of the future, so if you’re an online retailer, get ahead of the game with Instagram Shops to streamline your online shopping experience!
And that’s a wrap on our 5 easy ways to level up your Instagram content!
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Author Bio: Kelsie is the Editor of the Envato Blog. Experienced in the fields of design, music and digital marketing, Kelsie is a connoisseur of all things creative. Editor by day and singer/songwriter by night, she is a dedicated writer, musician and pun enthusiast.