It doesn’t matter whether you are a small business owner or the CEO of a large company having a social media account for your organization is essential for many reasons. But what’s even more important is being able to create quality content that will reflect what your brand stands for. Here’s how to write Instagram branded content.
Why Instagram Branded Content Is Important
Did you know that less than half of the brands are active on Instagram? It’s sad that so few companies realize what a great channel this social media platform is. Instagram content is in-demand and with hundreds of millions of users logging in every day, this content has a lot of potential to go viral and give you extra exposure.
When you are not creating any brand content on Instagram, you are missing out on a lot. Having an Instagram account for your organization can help your brand get a personality, find new customers, build a dedicated follower base, develop strong relationships both with customers and competitors and so much more.
Before we get into the ins and outs of branded Instagram content and how to create content for Instagram in general, it is important to mention some business storytelling techniques you can use while creating content for your company’s social media account as part of your social media storytelling:
- Make It Personal: Your followers must be able to relate to what you are talking about, so making your Instagram content personal should be your number one priority. You don’t want to sound like a business because you have to show that there are people behind a name and logo.
- Show Struggle: Nothing ever goes smoothly to the smallest detail and you will encounter challenges on your way all the time. It is totally normal to show the struggles you go through to your followers once in a while. This will also help them relate to you better.
- Omit Irrelevant Details: If there is something that is not actually necessary for the sake of your story, then there is no point in adding it. Omit any irrelevant details in your posts and try to avoid giving out too much. After all, an element of surprise is always nice to have.
- Tell It Like You Talk: Once again, you don’t want to sound like a robot. Tell your stories as if you were talking to someone. Adopt a casual style and make your brand’s voice friendly and day-to-day without sounding flat. It’s about how you feel and what you feel as well as how you word it.
- Make It Visual: Lastly, make sure you use visuals. This point will be discussed further in the article, but it is still important to note even now. Adding visuals to your written content will make it stand out of the crowd and help you tell your story easier and in a more fun way.
Brand Voice and Tone
The first thing you should do before posting anything on Instagram is to determine what your brand voice and tone are. Are you going to be friendly and helpful? Do you want to be casual or formal? Will you be joking around or do you want to use sarcasm? Ask yourself these questions and give clear answers. Make a list of adjectives that describe the brand tone you chose as they will form your brand personality and influence your Instagram content.
Posting Regularity and Frequency
Now think of how often and when you will be posting. If you want to post daily, make sure you write a plan for a week or two ahead. You should also think of the hours during which you will be posting because your audience will be more active during certain times of the day.
Now think of what kind of content you will be posting. Of course, in order to figure out what to post on Instagram you will need to have great images or videos as Instagram is a visual social media platform first and foremost. The posts you publish will have to correspond to what your brand is about.
If your business is a bakery or a café, you will mostly be publishing beautiful images of food and drinks as well as videos of how you make them. If you have an online apparel shop, you will probably post pictures of your clothing pieces and people wearing them. As long as you know what you want to post, you will be able to move on to the next steps.
News Posts and Updates
News posts and updates deserve a separate section because they are different from usual posts. They are meant to promote a new product or service of yours or tease something you haven’t released yet but are planning to.
If there is a new feature on your website, you can post an update about it too. At the same time, news and updates can be published to Instagram Stories (discussed in the next section) instead of getting a separate post.
Stories and IGTV
Stories and IGTV are not focused on text, but they must still be remembered as they are also a type of Instagram content. Stories can come in the form of images, boomerangs, time-lapses, and videos. Moreover, you can also host live streams with this feature. One great way to make your Stories more discoverable is by adding hashtags and your location to Stories.
IGTV is Instagram’s version of YouTube. You are not obliged to use it, but once you get more acquainted with how Instagram works and once you have a bigger follower base, you can start planning your own IGTV campaign.
Emojis and Hashtags
Using emojis will depend on what kind of tone your brand has, but you will most certainly want to use hashtags no matter what. After all, the latter ones are a great way to get more exposure on almost any social media platform and Instagram in particular.
If you have a friendly voice for your business and joke around sometimes, you can try using emojis in your posts. However, don’t go overboard with them because it may look unappealing. You can use such websites as Get Emoji to find unique and rare emojis.
As for hashtags, there are three main types that you can start using at any stage of your social media campaign:
- Branded Hashtags: Branded hashtags are either the name of your brand or your slogan (e.g. #Nike #JustDoIt). You can use branded hashtags in your posts and encourage your followers to use them in UGC (user-generated content) to get a chance to be featured on your feed.
- General Hashtags: General hashtags are hashtags used by everyone on Instagram (e.g. #MondayMotivation #ThrowbackThursday #Love). You can use these hashtags to get into the mass of more regular posts.
- Industry Hashtags: Industry hashtags are hashtags that belong to your industry (e.g. #BakingCookies #CarPaint #MauveLipstick). You can use these to get into a smaller niche where there is less competition.
Tools to Use
In order to create the best content you possibly can, you can use some very valuable tools and services. They can help you with nearly everything from finding mistakes in your text to sharing it with other members of your team. Here are some great examples you can check out:
- Grammarly: An online tool to check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
- Trust My Paper: An online writing service to write your content for you.
- Hemingway Editor: A web tool that highlights passive voice, adverbs, and complicated sentences in your text asking you to get rid of them.
- Grab My Essay: Another nice writing service that has proven to be reliable.
- Google Docs: An online word processor to share and edit documents in real-time.
Visuals to Add
Of course, the focus of this article is written Instagram content, but it is still important to remember about visuals. Images and videos are what grabs the attention of your followers and make them stop and take a moment to read the caption as well. Here are some useful tools you can try out to create spectacular visual content for your Instagram company account:
- Canva: A program to edit your images. It has hundreds of templates and dozens of cool features you can try.
- Animoto: A video maker for those who don’t want to film their videos and want to animate them instead.
- GIF Maker: An online GIF maker to create GIFs from videos and then save them to your device.
Social Media Dashboards
Most of the major social media dashboards already have added Instagram support for business accounts (automated) and personal accounts (through notifications).
If Instagram is a strategic focus for your brand, you’ll want to consider using one of these Instagram-specific applications that are used by a lot of influencers and heavy Instagram users for their ability to easily plan, organize, and edit your images and pre-plan what your grid will look like way in advance of your publishing to maintain brand cohesiveness:
Competitor and Customer Interactions
Interacting with competitors and customers is often overlooked by many companies even though it is such a fundamental part of any business. You need to understand when saying something is okay and when it is better to keep quiet or using a different phrase.
Think of the voice and tone of your brand on social media. Are you trying to be laid back and chill? Then being friendly or cool about another business poking fun at you is your plan of action. The way you interact (or don’t interact) with other companies online will determine what your brand’s personality is.
At the same time, you mustn’t forget about customer interactions. It doesn’t matter whether it is a positive or a negative review – you have to reply to it. This will show that you are not ignoring your customers or just your followers and want to hear their opinions about your products or services.
All in all, creating Instagram branded content for your organization’s account should not be as scary as it may seem at first glance. Just follow the advice in this article and make sure that you stick to all the tips outlined here.
This is a post written by me on behalf of one of my marketing partners. All opinions are 100% mine.
For more information, tips and guides on what brands need to do on Instagram, check out this great infographic from Easy Promos.