In our previous installment of 'A Creative's Guide to Instagram' we reviewed the best practices for setting up an Instagram profile that leaves a strong first impression. With these basics covered, we can shift our focus to the content that will make up your feed. It's understandable that creatives might approach Instagram the same way they approach their craft. That is to say, in a way that suits their needs for total creative expression. While personal, creative expression is important, it's useful to keep in mind some key factors to get the most out of the platform.

It's always a good idea to reflect on your content rather than posting to your feed blindly. One simple way to do this is by asking yourself questions that put you in your audience's shoes. Below are some examples:

  1. Is there a clear purpose for posting this content?
  2. Does this content add value to people’s lives? 
  3. Can my audience draw inspiration from my work and/or the stories behind it? 
  4. Does this content demonstrate credibility?
  5. In their shoes, would I revisit my profile?

Additionally, there are some fundamental principles to remember when defining the type of content that will resonate with your audience. They include:

Understand your Audience: This could be your existing audience, or the audience you wish to attract. Place yourself in their shoes to better understand their needs, desires, and interests. 

Tell a Story: Images resonate with audiences more when they are weaved together by an overarching story. In this case, captions can be very useful in adding further context to the story itself, and/or the story of how the images came to be.

Personal & Professional: While a business account will primarily focus on your work as a creative, it is wise to include glimpses of your life outside of work. This could be pictures of your personal life, or a personal creative project you're working on. This brings some personality to your feed that many art buyers and creative directors find refreshing. In fact, 70% of people occupying these positions say they enjoy seeing personal content on a creative's feed. It also allows your audience to connect with the person behind the screen.

Authenticity + Consistency: People gravitate towards authenticity. Being authentic is sometimes easier said than done, but it pays off in attracting an audience that likes your work and the person behind it. This quality, coupled with consistency, can turn your Instagram feed into the perfect compliment to your portfolio.

Intentional, never Random: It goes without saying that a thoughtful effort is more impactful than an arbitrary one. While it's a good idea to leave room for spontaneity, making thoughtful decisions about your content is more likely to yield better audience engagement. This is also true of captions and hashtags. Captions should be easy to read and relate well to its corresponding images. Hashtags should be more specific than generic and easily searchable.

Below are some suggestions for the types of content we find most successful in piquing audience interest, leading to further engagement. Our suggestions include:

Images from your Portfolio: Posting images from your portfolio is a no brainer. It’s the best and most direct way to introduce your audience to your work. Showing your finished work demonstrates your unique creative vision, talent and ability, and past experience. 

Your Creative Process: You can use a series of images to document the process of one specific campaign or project. Start from the beginning and show the evolution of your work. Use the corresponding caption to expand on the experience; this can be lessons learned and/or highlights. 

Behind the scenes: You can use your feed or Instagram Highlights to share behind the scenes footage of your work. This can range from castings to photoshoots and everything in between.  

Pivotal career moments: Share stories of your career milestones. You can use these achievements to reflect on your journey as a creative. Some reflections worth sharing could be: the process of finding your create style; lessons learned from mentors; past failures; and future projects. 

Thank you for reading our 2nd installment of 'A Creative's Guide to Instagram.' We hope you found our suggestions helpful in determining the best content to post to get the most out of Instagram. Join us next week for our 3rd installment where we break down the different methods of Instagram posting, and how to capitalize on them based on your content.