Three Steps to Help You Make the Most of Instagram

June 2, 2014

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As an industry, marketing is enamored with visual storytelling, which helps explain why Instagram is all the rage. Many brands have tested the water with Instagram, but success on the platform can be elusive. Great visual storytelling is required and great visual storytelling requires great content. The thing is it’s hard to produce truly great content! At the same time, it’s easy to get distracted by focusing on racking up as many “likes” as possible. So, what does success look like on Instagram? It looks like a healthy balance of quantity with quality.

If you’re managing Instagram for clients and to looking to make the most of it, here are three ways to balance quality and quantity.

  1. Share beautiful photos. Again, easier said than done, but if you make curation a priority and treat your Instagram feed as a gallery, engagement will increase and followers with find you. Identify what photo resources you have. Ask others if you can repost their photos with credit given. Find a photographer to work with or make use of your own photography skills.
  1. Work with carefully selected influencers. By partnering with established Instagram photographers, you will be tapping into their audience in a natural and authentic way. The message is no longer coming from X brand, but from a trusted source.
  1. Use paid efforts to promote the best content. Imagine: what would it look like if you took the photos your influencers captured and then amplified them with promoted posts on Instagram or Facebook? When Facebook bought Instagram, it set in motion an inevitable monetization plan. In other words, if you haven’t already seen ads in your Instagram feed, you will soon (like this one from Taco Bell). In fact, Omnicom has an advertising partnership in place with Instagram.
Taco Bell’s first Instagram ad

Taco Bell’s first Instagram ad

FleishmanHillard Chicago is already working with notable Chicago-based Instagram influencers for the Illinois Office of Tourism, including:

These talented photographers are going on trips this summer to different parts of Illinois. One group already explored Route 66. Another will explore Peoria, Alton, and Shawnee National Forest. By sending them out to explore some of the lesser known attractions, they’ll be shining a light on the hidden gems throughout Illinois. They’ll be generating awareness, engagement, and consideration among Millennial and Gen X travelers who may not have considered an Illinois getaway (as opposed to Michigan or Wisconsin) before.

Dining at the Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, IL. Photo by @nathanmichael

Dining at the Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, IL. Photo by @nathanmichael

Near the Route 66 museum in Pontiac, IL. Photo by @grantlegan

Near the Route 66 museum in Pontiac, IL. Photo by @grantlegan

The Capitol in Springfield, IL at night. Photo by @johnstoffer

The Capitol in Springfield, IL at night. Photo by @johnstoffer

Don’t just take our word for it. During SXSW Interactive 2014, we talked with popular Instagram influencers/photographers Garrett Cornelison (@reallykindofamazing) and Patrick Janelle (@aguynamedpatrick). They’re both helping brands create authentic content to tell a story. Check out the video to hear more about the importance of storytelling on Instagram: SXSW 2014: Visual Storytelling for Brands.