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4 Tips For Creating a Gorgeous Gram

Instagram is still growing and, if you master it, your business could grow with it.

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INSTAGRAM IS AN excellent way to promote your business. According to Instagram market research, 90 percent of Instagram users follow a business on the platform. But having an Instagram account isn’t enough to get you noticed.

90 percent of businesses have some sort of Instagram account, which means there’s a lot of noise competing for consumer attention. For your business to stand out, your feed and stories need to cut through the clutter.

But what does that mean? There are a dozen ways to do it right. You could be funny or irreverent. You could focus on style and aesthetics. You could educate your followers. But you can’t do any of those things if no one’s looking at your posts.

Creating posts that look good will help establish you as a reputable and trustworthy brand. Here are a few things to keep in mind when building posts for Instagram:

You Don’t Need an Expensive Camera. Mobile phone technology is incredible. If you have a relatively recent smartphone, you have a decent-to-high-quality camera in your pocket right now. Instead of investing in an expensive DSLR camera, take a look at some YouTube tutorials and find out how to use your phone camera more effectively.

Look at Lighting. Good lighting can often take an “okay” Instagram post and make it look professional. But lighting isn’t necessarily easy to learn. There are dozens of techniques for different settings and styles of photography, but you don’t necessarily need them for a decent Instagram photo. You can keep it simple by just relying on natural light whenever possible.

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The term “natural light” refers to sunlight, either outside or from a window. Even on an overcast day, natural light will still most likely give you a crisper, cleaner, and more evenly-lit image than indoor lighting.

Depending on the time of day and the position of your subject, you can get warmer, cooler, harsher, or softer lighting. Your phone may also have different settings to optimize different lighting conditions. Don’t be afraid to play around with those settings.

Remember the Rule of Thirds. In photography, the photo composition is often just as important as (if not more important than) the photo subject. The Eiffel Tower has been photographed millions of times. Some of those photos are more compelling than others because of the way they’re framed. It’s not the tower that makes a good photo. It’s how the tower was photographed.

Again, there are endless composition rules to follow when taking photos, but perhaps the simplest one is called the rule of thirds.

Imagine lines separating your photo into thirds vertically and horizontally, making a grid. The focal points, or most important parts of the photo, should fall right on the intersecting lines of the grid.

Your phone camera may actually have a grid setting that you can use as a guideline to help you implement the rule of thirds.

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Consider the Grid. There’s another type of grid to think about as well.

Look up an Instagram user right now. Before you tap any of their posts, all of their posts will come up in a grid view.

If a business has a strong brand concept, that grid will not look like a random assortment of photos. It’ll look like a cohesive collection of images. That’s what your Instagram feed should ideally look like: a gallery of visual content with similar colors, filters, lighting, and motifs.

This kind of consistency portrays brand clarity and confidence. If you show your user you know who you are and what you’re about, they’ll be more likely to trust you.

Instagram is worth the effort. Like any social media platform, it may take some time to find your rhythm and make Instagram work for you. Keep at it. The platform is still growing and, if you master it, your business could grow too.

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Kaia Pankhurst is a Senior Content Strategist at Marketing4ECPs (marketing4ecps.com) where she creates and implements content strategies for eyecare practices all over North America. Outside of the office, Kaia is a musician, activist, and professional wrestler. Email her at [email protected]

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