June 2, 2014

Instagram marketing works. It really does. If it’s not working for you, it might have to do with the types of images you’re sharing. Instagram users love good images. We’re not talking a decent image. We’re talking awesome images. Colors. Angles. Lines. Setting. Perspective. Emotions. All of these factors contribute to an ideal Instagram image.

I know, how are you supposed to know what works? Well, I’m going to show you!

There are a variety of factors that can contribute to making an image great. I’ll cover the majority of them in this post and show you examples. But you’re going to have to find ways to incorporate your products and services into these ideas.

Color

The color in your images can make all the difference between someone scrolling past or stopping to admire your image (and like it!). And fortunately, Instagram provides some really good filters to help you maximize the colors.

Here is an example for you. The image on the left is the unfiltered image and the image on the right is the image with the Lo-Fi filter applied in Instagram. Notice the vibrant colors in the filtered image that showcase the brickwork, the sky and the flowers. Doesn’t this look much more appealing than the image on the left?

Consider if you have a product-based business that consists of colorful products. Maybe it’s flowers, or food, or textiles, or jewelry… using enhanced filters on your images to really pull the colors forward is a big opportunity to connect with your target customers.

Setting

There are a number of brands that do “settings” really well. One that I love is Michael Kors. For example, in this image from the Michael Kors Instagram account, they’re “selling” the ring, and consequently, the watch. But notice that it’s not the ring on a table in a studio. Instead, it’s a story. It’s a setting. It creates a feeling in the person looking at the image.

These types of images are very organic to Instagram. Although they’re selling something, the product isn’t being shoved down your throat. Instead, it’s an appealing image.

Rather than photographing your product on a shelf, place it in an environment that connects with your audience. This also works well for service-based businesses that can showcase their  employees or personnel in an environment that demonstrates their skill or area of expertise.

Perspective

The perspective of an image is one of my favorite ways to really showcase your business. Rather than standing at a normal height and snapping a normal image, get creative. Sit down on the ground, lay on your stomach, place the camera on the table, get up above the subject, shoot straight up to the sky or ceiling. There are so many ways to change the perspective of your image.

Here’s an example to consider. The image on the left is of the pier at normal height. The image on the right is from placing the camera right down on the pier planks. Which one looks more interesting?

Depending on your product, getting low, or changing your perspective can provide a completely different representation of your product. Check out how Nike Golf uses this concept on Instagram.

Angles and Lines

While adjusting your photo position can produce different perspectives, it can also change the angle of your image. Instagramers love angles and lines. In all reality, most people do. They add a level of artistic appeal, dimension, and intrigue that our eyes can follow. If you really want to appeal to Instagram users, find ways to incorporate angles and lines into your images.

This example from John Matthews on Instagram shows how appealing the angles of the city buildings can be.

Whether you’re taking images of city scapes around you or images of your products, find different angles to shoot from that enhance the lines and angles in your images.

An example of a company that does this well is Todd’s Hardwood Flooring. Given the natural lines created by their product, it’s easy to take advantage. But it is a great way to really connect with Instagram users.

I hope these tips and examples help you understand how to get more creative in showcasing your business. One of the most exciting parts of photography for me is that any one “thing” can be represented in so many ways just by repositioning the camera.

When you’re taking photos to share to Instagram, try taking images from different angles, different positions, different sides, and different heights. Going through your images after you’re done, you might be surprised at how great your images can look!

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
    1. Thanks Cendrine! The Michael Kors team does a really good job with their posts on Instagram.

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