How to Tell a Brand Story on Instagram

Marketing and advertising tactics on Instagram range from utilizing the most used hashtags to running actual advertising campaigns to reach a wider audience. But, there’s no denying that simply taking an awesome photo is one of the best ways to boost engagement, and your audience.

We live in an incredibly visual world today where consumers want to be shown what a given product looks like rather than having to read about it (our attention spans are not what they once were). Because of this, Instagram has become one of the most popular platforms for both business and leisure today, with the number of users topping 800 million this past year. Companies would be wise to take advantage of this plethora of potential customers.

Successful advertising campaigns are those that tell stories and engage with the consumer. Remember that your brand story should be about the customer, not the brand or product. Try to evoke an emotional response. Say you are trying to boost sales for a car, for example. Posting high-quality, beautiful pictures of the car from its most flattering angles, as well as one with a driver that looks to be happy are requirements of course, but what’s the deeper story associated with your brand? If you’re a brand like Harley Davidson for example, you don’t just want pictures of your motorcycle, but what a typical day for a rider might look like on his or her day off.

Take a look at what Subway has done as another example. Their #SubYAY campaign was aimed at millennials and Gen-Z audiences by promoting their new stands that would be present at summer music festivals; events that have become wildly popular among these generations in recent years. They posted pictures of younger audience members at these events wearing Subway gear, but kept the focus on sharing their experience as a festival goer.



Their “Green Rooms” popped up at Bonnaroo, Firefly, and Governors Ball just to name a few, where they advertised photos of their target demographic, effectively showing how Subway sandwiches fit into the lives of young adults. The food giants almost immediately boosted their number of Instagram followers and amount of engagement by posting engaging photos in addition to Instagram Stories.

Never forget the basics. Instagram is a photo-sharing social media profile, meaning that the quality and content of your photos is absolutely vital. A clothing store would obviously want to post images of certain articles of clothing for sale, but should also keep in mind how these photos are shot. A good contrast of colors, lighting, and positioning can make an average photo look like a professional’s work.

Broaden your horizons. Though Instagram is a visual platform, some users will respond better to different types of ads than others. Because of that, try and encapsulate a few strategies in one post. Don’t shy away from video content or posting to your Instagram Story for added engagement, know how to take a beautiful picture, and get creative with your captions. Once you master the basics and know your targeted audience, you’ll be one step closer to creating an Insta-empire.

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