In this installment of our series, ‘A Creative’s Guide to Instagram,’ we highlight the various posting methods Instagram offers. We break down their purposes, and how they can work together to create a standout profile all creatives need.  

Instagram Stories are among the platform’s most well known features. In fact, approximately 200 million people view Instagram Stories daily. They disappear 24 hours after upload, and can be viewed by all Instagram users depended on your account privacy settings.  

Instagram Stories can accommodate both images and videos; it also allows for unlimited personalization. You can overlay your content with music, text, outbound links, and tags. Whenever sharing content about your work, we recommend tagging collaborators and clients so they can repost to their audience. 

Instagram has a feature that allows you to keep Stories beyond 24 hours - these are called Highlights. A Highlight is a collection of saved stories that remains on your profile, pinned above your feed. We recommend creating multiple Highlights and organizing them efficiently. The feature offers decent flexibility as you can delete specific stories, or the whole collection if necessary. We find that Highlights organized by campaigns, or specific facets of your work/career, work best for creative profiles.

Popular Highlight categories range from: awards and recognition; on-set footage; industry events; and favourite campaigns. 

Following the rise of short-form video content, Instagram introduced Reels. Reels are videos ranging from a few seconds to 90 seconds in length. They can be edited to include special effects and audio. Reels can appear in your feed, but are primarily featured in their own tab in the navigation bar. 

This format is good for posting video-based work from your portfolio. Popular examples include sizzle reels or commercial spots. We recommend you edit your videos to the proper Instagram Reel dimensions and personalize them to strengthen your visual identity. You can also use relevant keywords and hashtags to increase discoverability.

The only feature on the platform that allows you to interact with your audience in real time is Instagram Live. Live content is a favourite among Instagram users for its authentic and unscripted feel. Once you go live, you can actively interact with your joined audience, responding to viewer comments as they are posted.

Many use Instagram Live to capture a snapshot of their daily life, or have conversations with other Instagram users. Live conversations are an easy way for both parties to leverage the other’s reach. As a creative, you can go live with collaborators, mentors, or peers. This is a great space to offer your audience insight into “the real you.” 

Consistency is essential for creatives when marketing their work across social media platforms. As such, it can be helpful to use social media management services. Below are some popular options:  

SocialPilot: this service has a wide array of offerings that range from social media scheduling, AI content generation, & performance analytics. It can accommodate the most widely used platforms and more, all from a single dashboard. This is a paid monthly service with a 14-day free trial. 

ContentStudio: this service reduces the risk of human error with a content calendar in which users can view and edit posts easily. Additionally, its social media scheduling and content automation helps users to post consistently and capitalize on collected data to improve engagement. This is a paid service with a free trial.

Join us next week for the final installment of 'A Creative's Guide to Instagram.' We will review the series as a whole, and leave you with the most important things to keep in mind to transform your Instagram presence!