March 31, 2017

7 Quick-Fix Photo Ideas for Brand Storytelling on Instagram (+ Examples)

Instagram can be an amazing micro-blogging platform for your business, but it only works if you're posting the right content. Though the entire premise of micro-blogging is to allow for some brand flexibility, there are still photos that you should not be posting. Maybe they stray a bit too far from your brand, maybe they're overdone (yeah, we notice the same "trendy" stock photos popping up everywhere), or maybe they're too old (you went on that trip to Greece eight months ago... so why are you posting pics every other day?).

I post to Instagram daily, sometimes twice a day. Curating content is not easy because I don't like to post stock photos, regrams, or too many latergrams. I've only ever posted one stock photo that I used as a mock-up and one regram. Why? I don't find accounts that post this sort of content to be particularly engaging or original, so I don't want my account to give off that vibe, either.

But... it can be hard to post new, fun stuff when your everyday routine consists of class, work, and errands. Today, I'm sharing my tips and tricks for beating the Instagram content block (the Insta-block?). I mentioned that I don't love latergrams. The best thing about the ideas below, aside from how easy they are to execute? They're evergreen. Maybe I took that selfie last week or ate that cookie three days ago. As far as my audience is concerned, I took the selfie this morning and ate that cookie after lunch.

All seven photo types are really easy to adapt to storytelling, as well, so you're not just posting a random picture. I've shared my storytelling tips along with photos from my own Instagram feed to inspire you to fill yours with great photos and strong brand messaging. Shameless plug: follow me here!

The car seat/steering wheel shot.

Put the pretty things you have with you— cute handbag, cool shades, a fresh bouquet— in your passenger seat and take some awkward photos. Grab your iced coffee, cross your legs, and snap that photo in the parking lot while people in the cars next to you stare (please see my example below).  I don't know why this type of photo is popular, but people seem to like it.

The story: Relate whatever you're snapping to errands you're running for your business or crossing off your list in between business meetings.

The "what I'm eating" shot.

I take a lot of these. Whether it's a brunch spread, the obligatory scone/muffin that accompanies my store-bought coffee, or a piece of aesthetically pleasing toast that I put together at home, a little editing makes it Instagram-friendly.

The story: Maybe you're enjoying a much-needed family meal or a quick catch-up coffee with a friend. Maybe you're refueling from, or taking a break from, working on an exciting project for your biz. Talk about it in the caption and encourage your followers to share a story of their own.

The workspace shot.

Snap a picture of your desk or the coffee shop nook from which you're handling business matters. Voilà.

The story: Share a bit about your ideal workspace or the project you're working on, and encourage your followers to drop you a comment telling you about their favorite places to work and their exciting projects.

The flatlay.

Pretty sure everyone loves a good flatlay. Showcase your everyday essentials or pair the novel you're reading with a succulent and candle. Tip: people are drawn to photos with items in groups of three.

The story: Why did you choose to feature these particular items? Do they relate to something personal that you can share or something business-related?

The at-home shot.

Snap a quick photo of your cozy living room or nicely made bed in all of its pillowed glory. Whenever I share pics of my space, engagement is high; it seems that people really like to see the details of others' homes. If you're a décor junkie like I am, you understand.

The story: As with the workspace photo, share what inspires you about your space and encourage your followers to do the same in the comments.

The neighborhood shot.

I love snapping pictures along my walk downtown, my run through the neighborhood, or my view from the fourth floor of the communication building on campus. A picture of the inside of your favorite coffee shop or local store will work, too.

The story: Great opportunity to talk about community. Show yours some love. What about it inspires you? When and where are you reminded of that and feel that connection?

The selfie. 

I don't think I need to explain further.

The story: Share what you're smiling about! Do a #FridayIntroductions post. Connect with readers by helping them put a face to a name.

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