Being successful on Instagram is all about storytelling. It’s all about being able to paint a bigger picture than the one you actually include – and it’s about implying a lifestyle and an ethos.
This is something that many Instagram celebrities do very well. What immediately springs to mind are the women who post photos wearing outfits provided by sponsors. They earn millions of dollars but how did they get to this point?
Simple: by posting photos that make them look highly attractive, while also showing off a glamorous and desirable lifestyle. They’ll post pictures stepping out of luxurious cars, or running down the beach in a beautiful frock. Perhaps working out with immaculate makeup!
These images might not be true to life but they sell an idea and a way of life. And their followers buy the dresses because they believe that by doing so, they can accomplish that way of life too.
To a lesser extent, this is what you’re trying to do with any photos you take on Instagram to promote a brand.
How to do It
So how do you do it? A good place to start is with a better camera. A good camera will make everything look better and especially if you use features like macros in order to bring the extreme foreground into focus while blurring out the back.
Learning to take good photos will also help. There are many aspects to this but the basics are to think about lighting (actually position yourself to get the best Rembrandt lighting on your subject) and consider composition. Think about how you can create a sense of movement, of depth and of scale and think about how you can frame the shot and the subject matter in a way that’s interesting and dynamic.
You also need to think about what the lifestyle you’re trying to promote is and everything that comes with that. You can start by thinking about your target audience and what it is that they want. What are their hobbies? How do they dress? What inspires them? Who are their heroes? You can then integrate this seamlessly into your photos.
One way to do this is by making a photo just a single piece of evidence, left by a much bigger event. What’s more powerful – a photo of a big party? Or a photo of empty lipstick-stained-glasses the next day?