When we talk about implementing Storytelling with Instagram, we mean using the social network to continue building our brand story (or story of our brand). As we have commented on some occasions, it is about that all the elements contribute to the construction of our own story. For example, on our website, we can do it through Visual Storytelling.
Instagram allows us to tell our story in different ways. The easiest option for this is to use Instagram Stories, but there are many more possibilities. Galleries are a good way to tell an event or talk about ourselves in several images. All the photos that we upload to the social networks of our business say something about our brand. With which, we must take good care of what we transmit with each of them.
Learning to tell stories with Instagram
The first thing we must do before starting to take photos and record videos to implement our Storytelling with Instagram is to plan. We must define who we are, who we are addressing, and what image we want to convey of ourselves. Once we have this information ready, we must identify what type of images can best represent us.
To do this, I advise you to create a collection on Instagram and include here the photographs of other users that inspire you, either because of the atmosphere or because of the elements that appear or because of the distribution of the products.
How to create a collection on Instagram: when you find a photo that you like, you can save it to one of your collections. You will see that, under each image within the application, there are four icons. The one on the far right, separated from the other three, is the collections. If you press it once, you will save the image in a generic folder. On the other hand, if you hold down, it will allow you to choose in which folder (or collection) you want to save it. A small window will appear with all your collections and you can add a new one by clicking on the plus symbol (+).
In this way, you will always have at hand all the photos that have inspired you for your brand. You can refer to them for ideas on the placement of your products, the focus of the camera, the color, the filter used, and so on. I do not recommend that you copy these photographs, but I do recommend that you be inspired by them to make your own. If you hire a photographer, you can always show him one of your collections on Instagram so he knows what kind of images you prefer.
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This is how the photographs of the brands are for Instagram
If there is a differential feature of Instagram compared to other social networks, it is its aspirational nature. The photographs that are uploaded to this social network are, by definition, beautiful. Leaving aside the subjectivity of what is beautiful or not, these are very careful images. This means that they have good lighting, high quality (they are not pixelated or blurry), they have a certain production behind them (with poses, product placement…) and they are carefully chosen by each user. Any photo taken with the mobile and without subsequent editing is not uploaded.
Everyone is free to use Instagram as they wish, but when we talk about building a brand story around our brand using Storytelling with Instagram, we must take care of these details.
Types of Photographs
As for the style, it will depend on the image we want to project and the elements of our brand that we want to highlight. If we stick to the protagonists of photography, I would distinguish the following photographic styles:
People: the protagonists can be ourselves or models that we use that represent our target audience. It is advisable for personal brands. We must avoid that all images are selfies . To do this, we will use a photographer to make a series for us or buy a tripod and photograph ourselves.
Objects: the protagonists are the products of our online store, regardless of the sector in which we develop our activity (stationery, decoration, handmade, jewelry …), with one exception: fashion. The garments tend to look better on the body, which does not mean that on occasion we mount a still life.
Places: especially important if you dedicate yourself to tourism, are an architect (and photograph buildings) or it is important to highlight a specific lifestyle for you (urban, rural, etc.).
Texts: more educational brands make compositions in which the text is the protagonist, so they give advice, share famous quotes, or recommend tools.
It is important that at least two of these styles are present in your brand’s Instagram account. However, it is always advisable that one of them predominates.
In addition to the importance of photographs to convey the essence of our brand, there is another way to bring coherence and dynamism to our social network. On many occasions in my mentoring, I meet entrepreneurs who believe they have nothing to contribute because the value of their images is not correct. In this case, there are other ways to convey the essence: these are the ways to get an attractive feed.
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Storytelling with Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories is the function of the social network that allows us to create content with a duration of 24 hours. After this time, the images or videos that we have uploaded to our Stories disappear. The essence of this type of content is its transience. This allows us to be spontaneous.
And what does spontaneity mean when we are talking about being faithful to a strategy? It implies that, although we improvise, we mark a guide on the content that we are going to deal with in our Stories. In this way, when we doubt whether to publish content or not, we will only have to resort to it.
If you want to start using Storytelling with Instagram, my advice is that you publish everything related to your brand. In addition to displaying the products, it shows where they come from. If you are the one who creates the products or designs them, capture the moment of inspiration and publish it in your Stories. On the other hand, if you have the support of a factory, request that they allow you to take photographs of the construction process. If, on the other hand, what you have is a store where you sell products from other brands, you can take photos of the products that have just arrived and that will soon be on sale. With all this, you will be telling their story: where they come from, how they are made, and so on.
Remember, Instagram Stories are ephemeral content. Do not look for perfection, but naturalness. Show yourself how you are (or show your brand as it is) and share what contributes to the construction of your brand story.
Some examples of inspiration
For example, bimani13 (until recently biombo13) is a fashion brand created by Laura Corsini. Your presence is very important within the brand. Therefore, it is she who directly manages the Instagram account and stars in her Stories. Generally, he does it by wearing a brand garment and giving details about it. It is a daily appointment that is usually not missed. It also takes the opportunity to answer the questions of its users. In addition, he occasionally shares a special moment in his private life (such as his little brother’s piano sessions).
At the opposite pole is The Singular Olivia. On her Instagram, Paula (her founder) appears a few times. On the contrary, the protagonists are their products, whose photographs are quite visually coherent with each other. On occasion, he publishes a more personal or team image, but it is not usual. In Stories, he is dedicated to sharing the photos his clients upload of the orders they receive. From this brand, they take great care of each shipment, so it is a value that they do well to highlight.
With these two examples, I want you to see the different approaches that you can give to your brand on Instagram when you work your Storytelling with Instagram. You can customize it and become the protagonist of your stories or you can give voice to your customers or your products. It is your decision and it will depend on what you want to highlight.
Storytelling with Instagram and its galleries
In addition to using Instagram Stories for this ephemeral content, we can use the galleries of this social network to tell stories that last over time. To create a gallery, you just have to upload more than one image.
What kinds of stories can you tell?
Creation processes: step by step of the elaboration of a product from its initial phase until it is finished.
Stories with approach, middle, and end: you can star in it or count on your clients for it. The idea would be (1) to raise a need or problem; (2) how your product solves it; and (3) how your customer is doing after using your product.
Curiosities or anecdotes: we can tell curiosities about us or our brand in three or more images.
If you want your followers to see all the images in your galleries, you can link one image to the next. For example, through an arrow that begins in the first and continues in the second. You can also create a panoramic image that you then cut into squares and upload multiple photos to Instagram. Thus, when moving to the right, users will see how the photograph continues.
How to make your audience fall in love on Instagram
The main objective of using Storytelling with Instagram should be to make your audience fall in love. Don’t think about conversions (like sales or subscriptions), just try to connect with your audience. To do this, you must:
- Know the tastes of your target or target audience
- Take quality photos
- Try different styles and approaches until you find the one that works best
- Combine Stories with galleries, videos, and images
- Maintain consistency (visual and content)
I have said it on more than one occasion. For me, the best social network of the moment to put the art of storytelling into practice is Instagram. If you want to implement Storytelling with Instagram, I recommend that you be patient because the results will come, but it requires extensive and important prior work (although very satisfactory).