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The Instagram Exam: Does Your Content Pass the Test?

instagram content optimizationWith over a billion global smartphone owners and 55 million users posting to Instagram daily, growing camera access has led to a photo sharing craze that is already becoming a very repetitious cycle.

An idea sparks, the photo is snapped, and a fitting filter is added for the finish.

But is that simply enough?

A successful Instagram post is a visual champion that fully utilizes the features of the platform, all while producing a stunning photo.

So how can you be sure your image is actually ready for the green check mark? 

Following the guidelines below will lead you to the creation of those amazing, and effective, photos: 

Is the Content Unique to the Brand? 

Unless you're this guy, constantly posting selfies (or a #bathroompic) will not reflect well on your brand's image.  

Whenever snapping visual content, you must make sure that it not only creatively reflects the brand, but does so in a uniquely strategic and engaging matter. 

Is the Subject In Focus? 

This should be an obvious one...but instead it's a mistake that I still see happen on a regular basis. There is no reason I shouldn't be able to quickly and clearly identify your brand within the subject of the image. 

That's not to say you can't get creative with your focus throughout the image! But if someone has to play Guess Who? to figure out your brand's subject then you might have a slight identity crisis brewing.  

Are you Using Hashtags? 

The key words here are balance + relevancy.

When developing a post it's vital to integrate hashtags that will successfully target your content to the right audience...just don't go crazy and start spamming hundreds of them.  

Is the Timing Appropriate? 

Like any other social platform, Instagram is a great way to post interesting topics related to various holiday celebrations and industry events.

Make sure these posts are created and posted on time to allow for the highest engagement while avoiding confusing your audience with outdated content.

Does the Filter Effectively Present the Image? 

Another problem I've seen far too often, unsuccessfully making the connection between the proper filter and the image.  

A photo of the beaming sun filtered to become black and white? Not only does that take away the beauty of it...but it just doesn't make any sense. 

Every filter selected for a posting should come across as if it was especially meant for the subject.

New rain boots for the upcoming fall season? Make sure to find the filter that gives the image a slightly grey + rainy appearance. 

The Takeaway

Visual continues to be one of the most vital pieces of any content strategy, and as such should always be produced with the highest importance.

Images are worth 1000 words for a reason...let's make that capture count! 

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