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Creating great images and videos on Instagram

Updated: Dec 5, 2022


Instagram is a visual platform so your images and videos and extremely important to grab a viewers attention, stop them scrolling and pay attention to you! In this post we will take a look at some quick handy tips that will help you stand out from the crowd and grow your brand on Instagram.

There are three different sizes you can upload to Instagram - portrait 1080x1350, landscape 1920x1080 and square 1080x1080. Always think about the size and shape of your photos to get the best out of it and enhance the message.

Once you know the size of the image here are some great little tricks you can use to bring out the best of your photos.

  • Check the lighting quality and opt for natural light where you can.

  • Pay attention to the angle of your photo and try taking it at different angles to review the best shot.

  • Don’t have the photo too crowded try to keep some white space and a clear point of interest. Quality is better than quantity.

  • Use burst mode on your camera so you have several photos you can capture at once and pick the best result.

  • Be consistent with the look and feel of your photos and the amounts of time you are posting.

Once you have the image start to think of the caption that will go with it. Clearly explaining what is happening or how you want the viewer to feel. To increase engagement with the image, add a caption asking the viewer a question so they can respond and engage.

You also need to think about the hashtags to go with the image. Ensure you are changing these on a regular basis and not just always using the same one. Don’t use hashtags for the sake of it, do your research. View hashtags and see what others are using this for. Is that the right place for your content and would you find the right audience here?

Don’t forget you can also use the functionality within Instagram to edit photos as you upload them. Remember when you are using these editing tools or filters keep the consistency across future images you post. Write down the settings and changes you have made so you can remember what each image needs changing to.

Instagram allows you to crop or straighten a photo, add captions, apply effects such as the brightness, contrast and fade. And don’t forget filters which are a set of predefined effects.

The Instagram carousel post allows you to share a mixture of photos and videos in one post. Upload up to 10 images on a carousel that viewers can scroll through. Create a tutorial, demonstrate a product, new product range or showcase a service you provide all in one post.

Video is extremely powerful now and really stands out to viewers as they are scrolling through the platform. This may seem daunting recording yourself on a video but if well planned out can make a big different to the engagement from your viewers. Ensure you plan well before recording and outline a clear goal you want to achieve. This will help ease your nerves, you will have a clear understanding of what to say and the viewer will engage better.

Videos can be up to 60 seconds on Instagram. Here are some common video ideas:

  • Product showcase or demonstration

  • Branding and awareness

  • Education

  • How to

  • Behind the scenes

  • Interviews and blogs

Videos may sound expensive but there are plenty of tips to cut down the cost now. With mobile technology always improving you can just use your mobile device or tablet to record these. I would recommend investing on a tripod to hold the device though, so you don’t get too much unnecessary movement.

With so much content for viewers to scroll through on social media platforms now the first two seconds of your video are the most important. You need to attract their attention and get them to stop scrolling, pay attention and watch your video.

You have 60 seconds on the video but you don’t have to use it all. Also don’t forget not everyone will have sound when on Instagram if they are in a busy place or at work for example. Try to use captions in your video to get around this and let the video explain itself through images. Sound should enhance the video not be an essential part.

You may also want to be more creative or fun with your videos. For this you can use features like boomerang (video that loops), rewind or hyperlapse (speed up time).

Once you’ve created these stand out videos and images you want to be clear with the call to action for your viewers. Instagram is a little bit more difficult than say Facebook as you can’t put a link with the post. Use these posts to gather feedback and ask viewers to add comments on the post. You could also ask the viewer to double tap (like) the video if they agree with your message or can relate to it. Don’t forget your website URL can be added to the bio of your profile so you can also point viewers to your bio if you want them to visit a link.

If you have any questions on this blog post or want help creating engaging social media posts get in touch and I’d be happy to discuss further.


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