The Minimalist’s Chirag Gander demystifies Instagram brand creatives with tips on how to use them for effective communication.
Over the last few years, the use of social media among brands has boomed to a point where it has become impossible to ignore. As a result of a large number of people and businesses active across platforms, it is no doubt an overwhelming task for a brand to cut through the noise. Here’s how you can make sure your brand creatives stand out on Instagram.
A common misconception among brands is that they need to go ‘viral’ to be heard. On the contrary, minimal, off-beat and the not so likely artworks, and has the power to automatically make the thumb stop. In this age of a 4-second attention span, we need more than just attention, we need a distraction.
Take the path less followed
Although this might seem easier said than done, a no-brainer way to make sure your brand stands out is to avoid jumping on the bandwagon and doing what others are doing. Your brand is unique, and its own voice. Be yourself, or rather your brandself on Instagram.
When AU Small Finance Bank wanted to announce their Valentine’s Day offer, they cleverly used rings, an infinite symbol of love, to denote the figure 8, representing their interest rate. This minimal, route, could help go a long way in helping the brand stand out among your competition, and as a result, attract the right followers to their page.
Use your mouthpiece to KISS
Your social media posts are your brand’s mouthpiece. Use your mouthpiece the right way to KISS (Keep It Simple Silly) with minimal, clean posts. Nobody likes a loudmouth, and a key way to attract attention is by keeping it simple. Crisp copy, sharp visuals, and a well-crafted strategy will enable you to reflect the feel of your brand through the KISS method, and thus attract and retain followers.
When ET Money was about to launch a new campaign, the brand posted a simple creative with just the words “Buckle Up!!!” The simple, smart, and strategic approach worked well for the brand and was a great way to get their message across.
Stick to a theme
A great way to boost your presence on Instagram is by adopting a theme for your brand creatives. Stick to a particular approach, or colour palette, which could comprise brand colours, or use the same filters to create a stylised look and feel.
Motion posts will always catch the attention
Motion posts, not limited to videos will always be a hit on social media. Eye-catching visuals and gripping effects are ideal for capturing a user’s attention within the seconds, and can also be a great talking point. Furthermore, by incorporating your product or service in a creative manner, it can help garner attention from users.
An example of this is Google, who has always got their strategies on point. By taking iconic scenes from popular movies, and showcasing how Maps can help fans find them, they were able to attract maximum attention, and create a buzz around their offerings with brand creatives on Instagram.
Adopt topical, but stay true to yourself
Topical posts are a great way to capture a user’s attention, besides reaching out to a wider audience. However what brands must remember is to stay true to their essence, without force-fitting their product. Less is always more, especially in the case of topical.
For example, when posting about a tragedy, it is always better to keep it simple, rather than force your brand or service to adapt to the situation of hand.
Coca Cola for example cleverly used the fizz of the drink to represent the crescent moon when putting out an Eid greeting which garnered a lot of attention from users. By following this, you will earn goodwill for your brand, in addition to building a new audience.
Focus on engagement, not followers
Merely uploading images or videos to Instagram is not enough to establish your brand’s identity. The majority of users today appreciate brands that engage with them, be it through witty conversations, interactive posts, or contests.
Navneet India, a popular brand among students has earned brownie points by users for continuous engagement with users, through posts which encourage conversation, and activity, which have subsequently increased their online presence in a large way.
Use compelling visuals
A picture is worth a 1000 words on Instagram, and the right visuals can grab eyeballs, especially among users with a very limited attention span. Along with choosing the right pictures, which are not pixelated, brands also need to remember platform specifications. On Instagram, a largely vertical platform, a horizontal video tends to seem smaller. It is advisable to stick to a ratio of 1:1 to allow your audience to properly view pictures and videos.
By using raw images without editing them too much, like Willis Towers Watson did when they uploaded a video of their beach clean-up initiative. This resonates with audiences and helps paint your brand as real.
Do not spam
One of the biggest mistakes brands can make is posting too much. Your audience will lose interest if they are spammed multiple times a day. Create monthly plans, with posts after regular intervals to give your audience well-timed content, as well as breathing space to consume your content.
Take advantage of the platform’s tools
A good way to ensure your brand stands out is by employing the various tools offered to share content. Features like Instagram stories, polls, and quizzes can be successfully used to understand what kind of content works for audiences and gauge engagement rates. Further, post a mix of images and videos, along with plain text posts across tools to gain maximum RoI on your efforts.
Create content properties for your brand
A sure-fire way to help your brand engage with its audiences and keep them coming back is by creating a recurring event or a property. A Q&A or live stream, or even a weekly themed video will allow you to connect with your audiences while getting creative and even allows your brand to show off its personality.
This article has been authored by Chirag Gander, Co-Founder, The Minimalist.