Instagram has over 500 million active monthly users, and it’s very business-friendly. Some important stats for any marketer:

  • 75% of users take action after looking at an Instagram advertisement; that can mean a substantial ROI.
  • 50% follow at least one business.
  • 60% learn about products/services on the platform.

Perhaps more than any other social platform, users are open to and even want to interact with businesses. This can be a huge advantage for a company looking to attract new customers and build current relationships.

As with many forms of content, quality is far more likely to determine how well your efforts convert. Instagram is no different. Here are several tips for creating high-quality Instagram content and the perfect feed.

It’s All about ‘Aesthetic’

It’s a lot harder to build an account with low-quality content than it is to build one of high-quality.

Bring Out Your Inner Photographer

Try to create as much original content as possible. Using stock photos won’t cut it. Find photo subjects relevant to your business and make sure photos have a clear focal point. Smartphones tend to take great photos these days, so simply snapping from your cell phone should be enough.

What to photograph? Consider taking photos of your business’s products or highlighting company culture. Take photos around the office, of employees, and of any special events.

Occasionally you can break up your photos with alternatives, like photos with quotes on them or user-generated content. To create a photo with a quote on it, use a website like Recite, which lets you type a quote and then choose a background image. Consider a specific ratio of quote pictures to normal pictures, to better fit your feed.

Other users are another important resource for content. Make sure to always give the original user credit. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it’ll help your relationship with the other user. If it’s a customer, they’ll be excited and flattered that you used their photo. If it’s a peer or similar business, they’ll appreciate the boost in reach, and may in-turn share a photo of yours or promote you at some point.

#FeedGoals

Real Instagram experts know that it’s not only important to post high-quality photos, but rather, to focus on the feed as a whole. When users choose whether or not to follow an account, they’ll often do it based on your feed. It’s the first impression you set as a business, so make sure that the account as a whole looks nice.

Create a consistent appearance. Using the same 1 or 2 filters for all photos makes this task easier. Carefully select a color palette for the page. And the color palette doesn’t need to stay the same forever. You can change it every so often. Just make sure each cluster of photos has a similar feel. At a minimum, this should be a line, or 3 photos. However, I would recommend ensuring at least 9 photos have the same palette before switching it up. Switch themes with caution. Some of the best accounts remain consistent throughout the entire feed.

Vary Your Content

You’re not limited to still photos on Instagram. 5 other major content types:

Videos: Videos used to be limited to 15 seconds, but they’re now up to a minute long. Videos are a popular marketing tool right now and have high levels of engagement. So this will be a good way to mix up your content.

Boomerang: Similar to gifs, Boomerang videos are visually-appealing, short clips.

Gallery: Instagram’s newest and highly-anticipated feature. Ads have had a similar carousel feature for a long time, allowing users to flip through multiple pictures, but only recently has Instagram launched this feature to the average user. Your company can now post multiple photos without clogging up the main feed, perfect for an event or a product line preview.

Story: Similar to Snapchat’s Story feature, but better. Stories are a collection of short videos, available for 24 hours before disappearing.

Related: Instagram Stories are Better for Marketing Than Snapchat

Live: Like Facebook Live and Periscope, this is a fantastic way to interact with users in real-time. Show a less scripted, behind-the-scenes side of your business and allow users to participate throughout with comments and questions.

Eye-Catching Images are Key to Success

The reality is, if your content isn’t good, it’ll be difficult to be a success on Instagram. The ‘Explore’ section and hashtags are often how new users discover your content, and if your content isn’t standing out in the sea of images, growth will be an uphill battle. So lay off the stock images and get creative; you’ll see growth and engagement in no time.

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