Are you using Instagram for your business? Then you probably know quality content is important to build up an audience that is engaged and loyal. So, let's go over some tips on how to create stunning content that really stands out and captures your audience’s attention.
There is nothing wrong with using a stock image every now and then, however, keep in mind that there is only a limited supply, shared by many businesses. This means that your followers may have already come across it. Plus, you can often tell when something is a stock image. Therefore your fail safe option is to include a decent amount of original content.
Of course it can be hard to find the inspiration, so why not look at similar companies and see what they do. Do they post inspiring quotes every now and then? Perhaps you can do the same? Although make sure you don’t type in “inspiring quote” in Pinterest and reuse the exact same image. I’m surprised with how often I see companies do this. Instead, every time you come by an interesting saying, write it down and create your own artwork. If you’re not a star with InDesign, you can use other super easy and free tools like Canva or Spark Post.
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Perhaps you're in the painting industry and came across this awesome profile from Pantone? It’s clear that they have put all lot of thought and effort into creating a strong brand. Their company is all about colours so it only makes sense to put a large emphasis on colour themes. See if you can do something similar. Sharing what you're inspired by will likely also resonate with your audience.
Having a bank of high quality photos of your product helps whenever you find yourself low on content. Put in the effort and add an interesting background, pattern or pop of colour. A simple but eye-catching image can work wonders for your engagement. Also consider adding a face to your product! Did you know that Instagram photos with faces generate 38% more likes than those without? When creating your own content, it is good to keep some artistic rules in mind.
I’m sure you have already heard of the rule of thirds, but do you ever think about it when snapping a photo for your business? Just a quick recap, imagine a 9-part grid overlaying your image, with the the object of focus on one of these grid sections. The reason this rule works is that it draws the viewer’s eye into the composition. When your eye is drawn to the middle, it has nowhere to go from there because the object is equal distance from all sides.
If the person is looking in a certain direction, it's good to leave the empty space in the same direction as where he or she is looking towards. This makes the viewer feel more connected. So, if you are taking a portrait and the subject is looking towards the left, place them on that grid line on the right.
It's also useful to consider that if the subject is small, use an intersection of the grid. If the subject is large or long, try placing it along one entire line. If the subject is moving, leave the empty space in the direction that they are moving in. This gives the subject a sense of moving forward, and allows the viewer to see a little of where they’re headed. If you’re not sure where to place your subject, place it towards the right. Most people read from right to left which is why it’s a natural way of directing the viewers attention.
However, you might feel inspired by the Picasso quote above? Are you allowed to break the rule of thirds? Sure, but make sure you have a good reason. Several examples of where you may break this rule is that centring a photo highlights symmetry and patterns. Plus, placing a person in the centre makes the image more confrontational. When your photo tells a story, sometimes a centred or even extreme side placement conveys the story better than the rule of thirds.
This photo works well with the attention drawn to the middle. It's about patterns and textures and the person on the left still makes it dynamic.
To make an image eye-catching, it usually needs some contrasting elements. This can be created via shapes, colours, fonts, different exposures, light sources etcetera. Play around with these elements and see what works best for your brand.
Don’t be afraid to include white space or interesting borders in your images. This can create an unusual effect which draws in the attention of your audience. Borders can create a feeling of space and room to breathe. This might help when your image is already quite busy.
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