Last week we ran a piece on getting your Instagram account basics right (if you missed it, click here to read it now). But what next?
‘Next’ is the tricky part where you need to start creating powerful, engaging content that attracts your niche audience and turns them into followers and even brand ambassadors. Luckily, it is also the part where you can have fun and be creative! To help you get started, here are some of our favourite content ideas with real life examples to show you how it can be done.
1. Make your product shine
First and foremost, Instagram is an app for sharing beautiful photos, so that should be your focus. Barmotion (@barmotion_sa) does this to great effect. The company offers branded mobile bars for events, and showcases their client work with a specific photo format: what they are serving held up in the foreground, with the branded bar in the background. It’s a simple but effective way of showing off what the company does, and specifically the range of delicious goodies they can serve as well as how unique the branding is for each client.
The similarity between these posts makes them instantly recognisable as belonging to the same brand, while mixing them up with motivational quotes and mouth-watering images of what else the company can serve prevents their Instagram profile from becoming monotonous – something to keep in mind when you work on your content.
2. Turn the camera around
People are curious about what happens behind-the-scenes, and this is especially true for the events industry. So why not show them?
Pottershand Activations (@pottershandactivations) is an event activation company, and their Instagram feed includes photos of them on client photo shoots or travelling for business. It’s fascinating to see what they are up to, and these photos help you gain an appreciation for the scope of their services and how hard they work. #MarketingMagic
Behind the scenes photos also tend to feel more authentic than the polished finished product ones, and let your followers get to know your team, which in turn can make your brand more personable and relatable.
Husband and wife team, Aidan and Diane Koen, are proud that Ogada Group (@ogada_group) is a family-run exhibition products and services business, and often share photos of themselves and their two children. Like this one of their six year old daughter getting some hands-on work experience:
It also works for their brand because it reflects the company’s family-orientated values and commitment to honesty and transparency.
3. Have a sense of humour
Speaking of the Ogada Group, they also use humour to their Instagram advantage.
Many businesses avoid humour, because of the risk it could appear unprofessional, or worse, offensive. These are valid concerns. But everyone likes to laugh, so if you can do it well it’s an effective way to gain fans.
Pink Soda Marketing (@pinksodamarketing), the company managing Ogada’s marketing, strikes the balance well. They create posts with unexpected images and funny captions, but also include exhibition tips or other useful information so the humour has relevance.
4. Feature your fans
Instagrammers love recognition from the brands they follow, and this in turn can build brand loyalty.
Comic Con Africa (@comicconafrica_official) has a passionate fan-base who put a lot of effort into dressing up for these events. Reed Exhibitions, the organisers behind this event, are smart to share images of these stunning costumes on their Instagram posts, effectively giving some of their super fans a shout-out (while also drawing attention to an exciting feature of the event). In the below example, they were also able to tag the featured person’s Instagram account. This kind of personal recognition is always appreciated, and often deepens the relationship between fans and a brand.
You can also feature your fan’s photos on your own account by ‘regramming’ them. Instagram has a feature that enables you to share their photos to your account, while acknowledging the original account photographer. To find out how to do this, read this.
5. Create an interactive hashtag
Hashtags (words and phrases preceded by the ‘#’ sign, like #eventprofs) are a critical tool to categorise and find content on Instagram. However, don’t only focus on using popular ones that are relevant to your audience and what you do, but consider creating your own one/s. Simply come up with a phrase that is relevant to your brand and unique enough that you don’t have other brands competing to use it too. You can feature your hashtag on your marketing collateral and at your events, and encourage others to use it. And in this way, you can encourage user generated content around your work – and find it easily, too!
The Event Greening Forum (@eventgreeningforum) always includes the hashtag #eventgreening in their posts. It is relevant to what they do, and not many other people use it – except for their followers, which helps them to spread their sustainability message across other Instagram accounts.
Similarly, South African Tourism (@meetsouthafrica) created the hashtag #MeetSouthAfrica. This enables Instagram users around the world to share their beautiful travel photos to a much wider audience than their own personal followers – and is a wonderful peer-to-peer marketing tool.
Lastly, remember to have fun…
These are just a few ideas; there are many more things you can do, such as run competitions, adopt a mascot, share tips or stats, work with an influencer… The critical thing is to get started, have fun with it, and keep an eye on your analytics to see what works well or doesn’t. You’ll only get better from there!