Part I - Instagram for Business: Telling Your Story

If you want to capture your customers’ attention, tell them with Instagram for Business. It’s a way of telling your story using photos and videos. With this app, you can create a picture of what your business does for customers. Start with these tips to craft an impression that people will remember.

The strength behind Instagram lies in the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Images can help you display emotion and focus on key attributes of your brand in a visual way. And the app gives you a number of options to display these images.

Instagram for Business

Take a look at some of these Instagram options. The key is to make sure they complement your brand, not confuse it. That way, new and existing customers will recognize it’s your business that’s speaking.

  • Color schemes – This option allows you to highlight a specific color in your image. You can tint the photo using a rainbow of eight different colors. Choose the color that reinforces your brand. For example, most people look for green when searching for a Starbucks sign. Using a consistent color scheme on Instagram photos makes them more recognizable—even if your logo is not on it.
  • Fade schemes – This option lets you adjust the fade of your image. Choose from sharp, clean lines to a softer focus. Again the idea is to be consistent with your brand. For example, a wedding photographer might use a softer fade to support the emotion she’s able to capture in her photos. Each time they see that same treatment on Instagram, they recognize it as hers.
  • Hashtags – While Instagram primarily uses images; it’s not without some text options, like the use of a hashtag. These give you the opportunity to connect your pictures to what other people are posting. Start with your SEO keywords to see if they’re active on Instagram. Some businesses create unique hashtags so their customers can post pictures using their product. It’s another way to ensure a consistent brand message.
  • Instagram Stories – This relatively new option lets you post a number of images over a 24-hour period that your fans view as a slideshow. At the end of the 24 hours, the “story” is no longer active. This gives you the opportunity to tell a longer story. For example, a home remodeler could post photos of a new countertop installation. He can show the steps in the installation and the before and after shots. A bakery shop could feature a behind-the-scenes look at preparing the pastry special for the day. Each of these gives the business owner a chance to highlight what makes their brand special.Each of these options help you create your own Instagram storytelling style. When used as an extension of your brand, it can be an effective way to differentiate your small business from others in your market.Check out part two of this two-part series, Instagram for Business: Selling Your Story [link to blog] for tips to effectively run sponsored content.
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