Social media: an entrepreneur’s best friend or worst enemy.
Keeping up with trends? Exhausting. Pointing and dancing for Reels? Totally not your thing. Creating custom content for every single post? Not happening!
We know that part of having a successful online presence means pairing great visuals with a strong content plan. But when you aren’t a pro photographer, graphic designer, or content strategist, trying to make everything work together leaves you feeling a little blah.
What’s a business owner to do?!
The secret to getting a wow-worthy Instagram feed isn’t always an intricate content plan or hiring a graphic designer on retainer. Sometimes it’s a matter of knowing simple tips that can make all the difference.
Want to put that IG feed to work? Check out these six Instagram dos and don’ts to help you create better visual content that helps you reach your audience (and your goals).
DO pair visuals with text
(but DON’T overcrowd it)
Adding text to your graphics is a great way to add variety to your content while bringing some juicy info to the table. But no one wants to read a huge block of text on your posts, not even in the captions.
Our eyes (and minds) have been conditioned to skim read because we are processing information faster than ever. Our attention spans are tiny (less than 3 seconds), so Instagram isn’t exactly the place to write your next novel.
You’ve got to break that information up!
Break down your text into bite-size pieces of information and when using it on graphics, keep only the essentials. Bold the main ideas. Italicize for emphasis. Use emojis!
No matter where you put your text, make sure it’s as visually appealing as it is well-written.
DON’T use a chaotic mix of visual styles
We cannot emphasize this enough — stay on brand! Branding is one of the most important parts of your business, but you’ve got to be consistent with it so it can do its job.
It may seem like a chore at times, especially when you’re feeling extra creative and want to think outside the box, but good branding is about more than just looking pretty. It’s a strategic move that designers, photographers, and copywriters spend hours of research and execution perfecting. There’s a reason why — consistent branding can boost your revenue by 33%!
No matter where you are posting, make sure all of your visual elements are the same. Keep up the consistency with your:
- Brand colors
- Voice + tone
Then, keep it all together in a style guide — the holy grail of your brand’s elements.
It should be so clear and detailed that if someone new jumped on your team today, they would know exactly how to create perfectly branded content immediately.
DO mix up your visuals and try new things
Social media for the business owner is rarely ever just used for entertainment. Your content needs to be a healthy mix of fun (if that’s your brand’s vibe), education, and sales-focused content. When people hop onto your Instagram feed or find you while they scroll, they want to know there is value awaits them. And the more free value you provide, the more likely they are to trust your paid offers down the line.
Mixing up your content doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel every time you post, either. Here are a few ways to keep things simple:
- Thinking about sharing more educational content? Go for IG feed posts and carousels.
- Want to generate buzz for an upcoming launch? Create a Reel that preps your launch runway.
- Promoting your latest offer or looking to boost engagement? Use IG Story graphics.
Do what feels right for your business. And like we said earlier, staying on brand is CRUCIAL, so if Reels with the trendiest audio and dance moves aren’t really in line with your more professional brand voice, don’t do them! There is always a way to fit multifaceted content into your plan, no matter your brand’s style.
DON’T skip out on the analytics
Pay attention to what types of visuals your audience is engaging with the most. Give the people what they want!
If you’ve noticed a dip in your Reels views or reach, your post reach or likes, or even your follower count, go back and analyze your content to figure out what went wrong. Do a deep dive into each post and make as many connections as a true-crime podcast host would.
Once you’ve figured out which pieces of content aren't doing so hot, formulate a content plan that incorporates what people do want to see. Then, keep on analyzing your content every so often to make sure you’re still on track.
DO use high-quality photos, videos, and templates
We’re visual creatures by nature, so first impressions count! When your Instagram feed has low-quality photos, videos, or graphic templates, it can give off the wrong idea.
Quality content = professionalism. There’s just no way around it. Your content represents your brand and quality content shows your audience that you’re professional, know what you’re doing, and can be a source of trusted information for them.
It also shows you care. If your page is filled with low-resolution images, people may start to wonder if you’re also going to deliver low-quality content for them as well.
DON’T shell out thousands of dollars for stock photos or templates
The truth is, good stock photos can be expensive when you pay by the image. But getting quality images for your brand, whether it’s for Instagram or your website, buying in bundles or through a membership site is much more cost-effective. You don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars a year for amazing photos, graphic templates, or videography.
When you become a member of Styled Stock Society, you get access to a giant library filled with stock photos, stock videography, and graphic templates for just one quarterly or yearly price – whatever works best for you and your budget!
And the perks (besides that giant library)?
- Unlimited downloads that are yours to keep forever
- Monthly social media caption guides so your copy can match those stunning visuals
- Stock video clips to spice things up on your IG feed
- Content planning sheets and marketing tool kits to get content that’s as strategic as it is aesthetic
- And added surprise bonuses throughout the year
You can join Styled Stock Society now and get instant access to our entire library of visual marketing resources to craft YOUR wow-worthy feed.