:: Grant Munro, FlashStock Technology ::
With more than 400 million monthly active users, Instagram is the top mobile touchpoint and key platform for discovery. With the recent global launch of Instagram ads, the platform spells nothing but opportunity for brands. The question is not 'does my brand need to be on Instagram,' but 'how could my brand stand out from the pack.'
People go to Facebook to find out about friends and family, but come to Instagram for inspiration. In fact, roughly half of the accounts individuals follow on Instagram have no personal connection. It's good news for brands as people are already receptive to this form of communication, yet the expectation of content quality is very high. In order to excel on Instagram, brands need a comprehensive strategy that includes everything from high quality and inspiring content, precise targeting, and optimized ad spend to well-defined measurement.
All of this is easier said than done. Having helped hundreds of brands with visual storytelling, we've identified eight key factors of branded photography that ensures your brands content will stand out from all the rest.
1. Unique POV
Showing images from interesting and unique angles people don't normally see, as opposed to using usual or uninspired perspectives.
DO EXAMPLE: Chipotle
2. Framing and Balance
Employ compositional techniques such as the Rule of Thirds, or symmetry instead of creating images that are imbalanced, off-center or awkwardly asymmetrical.
DO EXAMPLE: Magnum
Make the subject 'pop' from background by using highly contrasting colors and textures. Blending the subject into a bland or neutral background is often ineffective.
DO EXAMPLE: Smart Canada
4. Focal point
People have very short attention span; you only have a few seconds to direct the eyeballs. Adjust focal point to where you want your audience to focus.
DO EXAMPLE: Samsung USA
Authentic images inspire emotions, when using people in the images, they should appear natural and organic versus forced or posed.
DO EXAMPLE: Red Bull
6. Natural lighting
Soft, even natural lighting is inviting to the eye and thus inspires positive emotion as opposed to harsh, artificial lighting.
DO EXAMPLE: Garnier Canada
7. Brand Integration
Integrate your product or logo into the image naturally and organically; avoid engineered situation where people look forced to interact with your brand.
DO EXAMPLE: Mercedes Benz
8. Consistent Look and Feel
As you develop your visual library on Instagram, craft your brands visual identity with a consistent style. Drastic changes in style make it difficult for consumers to associate with your brand.
DO EXAMPLE: Starbucks
Instagram has clearly taken a key position in the marketer's toolkit, but just showing up on Instagram won't do you any good. Instagram community is savvy, active and vocal; they reward quality content beyond your imagination. A well-crafted Instagram campaign with on-brand images tells compelling stories that build strong brand equity and ultimately achieve business objectives.
Grant Munro is the co-founder and CEO of FlashStock Technology (https://www.flashstock.com/), a provider of on-demand imaging for the world's leading brands, a Facebook Marketing Partner and Instagram Partner specialized in content marketing. He has helped leading companies including AB InBev, Diageo, Est‚Äö√†√∂¬¨¬©e Lauder, and Xerox among many others, change the way they develop and source creative content.