The ABC’s of Instagram Content
To make your life a little easier and your content more varied.
To make your life a little easier and your content more varied.
It’s no secret that creating content for Instagram takes a tonne of work, time and commitment – especially if you’re really serious about building a business or brand on the ‘gram. With consistency being the backbone of success on Instagram, and the main method of improving engagement and growing your following (alongside authenticity and quality, of course) it can feel overwhelming to keep up.
The amount of work that goes into creating your own original content is often unseen by your viewer. It’s a lot. We see you.
So, that’s why we are here to tell you that Original Content is not the only content you can post on Instagram – below, we are sharing all of the forms of content you can share to take a little bit of a load off, whilst still maintaining the quality of your profile and building your audience.
Up first is the aforementioned ‘Original Content’. This includes any image or video that you capture and produce yourself.
Naturally, this is the best content to share, for its potential to show authenticity and build a rapport with your audience, but is the most arduous to create.
The process for generating Original Content, particularly when it’s to be shared on your grid, goes a little something like the following:
Generating ideas – What image would look best on my grid and fit with my aesthetic? What content would my followers like to see?
Planning and organising a shoot – Collecting the gear you’ll need (Gimbal? Tripod? Remote?). Making calls to venues, models or other content creators. Planning a day for the shoot (damn, it’s going to rain – pick another day). Book it all in.
Travelling to (and from) the shoot.
Capturing the image/video – the bit that every viewer on Insta’ thinks is the only step 🤦♀️.
Editing the images – using programs (mostly paid for) to perfect the lighting, colour and impact of your image or video.
Writing the caption – including lots of thought and maintaining an authentic voice.
Publish on the ‘gram.
The good news is that Original Content is the best kind, and people really lap it up (particularly if you’re good!). This is also the content you get paid for – so it’s worth investing the time, money and effort into acing your Original Content.
Whilst this seems like a lot of work (and it is!) the content that you produce on your own shoot can be reshared on your account. It is likely that on a single shoot, you will compose dozens of wonderful shots that you can edit and publish to Instagram later down the track.
If you aren’t quite the photographer – maybe your skills are in design, writing or even, say, baking – another great form of content you can share is Commissioned Content.
This is when you hire a photographer or videographer to produce content for your own page. They might come in and do a photoshoot of you in your office, or maybe they’ll produce a video of you exploring the Southern Highlands for your travel Insta’ – either way, this is a great method of having professional content on your page, without having to master photography and buy all the fancy gear.
Even if you are a photographer or videographer, when having photoshoots done to introduce *you* to your audience, it’s best to commission the work!
A lot of you may not know this, but our girl, master of photography, Lauren Bath, hires videographers to capture her photography tours in Africa – and this ensures that she is 100% present in her task at hand, whilst also allowing the moments to be professionally captured. It’s a win/win.
This content is another kind that can be saved up and shared over time – just because a photographer came and took 12 great photos of you doesn’t mean you need to spam share them to your Insta’ (people will hate it, and you’re better off saving them for later anyways).
User Generated Content is the content you can share to your page, that has been created by other content creators on Instagram. This is a great way to a) share peoples work to generate more exposure for them and b) share quality content to your page that has already been established. User Generated Content is also a great way of sharing the content made by your own clients – if you’re selling a product or service and aren’t using # campaigns to generate User Generated Content, then you’re missing out.
On The Travel Bootcamp Instagram page we share User Generated Content frequently, as it allows us to share the pages of creatives we admire and travel content from all around the world.
There are a few rules when it comes to sharing User Generated Content, however, as you are sharing the Original Content and work of other creatives.
✅ User Generated Content must ALWAYS be credited. On The Travel Bootcamp Insta’ we make a point to mention the original owner of the content in the top of the post, at the base of the post and to tag them in the actual image.
✅ Try to make the copy as relevant to the image as possible – reference the image and link it to the point you’re trying to make in the caption.
See some examples from our page, below 👇
So, now we’ve got the etiquette covered, you’re wondering how to reshare User Generated Content?
There are two main ways to repost these images, and they’re both via external links.
The first way is through third party apps, like Repost for Instagram, that can be purchased for both Iphone and Android. These apps leave a watermark on the image to show immediate credit to the original owner of the image.
The second way is via services like Ingrammer that require you to copy and paste the URL of the image into their website. They then produce a downloadable file that you can then post to Instagram with the proper credits to the original producer of the image.
Stock Content is a great way to share quality images without going to the lengths of producing your own – but we advise you use them modestly.
Websites like Unsplash allow you to download images, for free, that have been uploaded by photographers and creatives who have renounced their rights to the images shared – the individual who downloads from this site is, however, encouraged to give image credits to the original creator to say thanks (and to promote their work). These images are free from copyright infringement and are therefore great to use on your own page, as long as you don’t claim the image as your own.
The drawbacks of Stock images are that they have the potential to feel inauthentic, so we wouldn’t suggest using them frequently. Additionally, Stock image suppliers will rarely have the exact image you had in mind, so it’s better to stick to Stock when you are looking for something general in nature.
If you fill your grid with Stock Content, you are bound to see a decrease in engagement – there’s something about Stock images that people cannot connect with, so use this one sparingly.
Oh we love a good Design tile over here at team Bootcamp! These tiles, on our page, are used as Quote Cards to motivate, inspire and encourage our followers to chase their dreams.
We create these tiles using a design platform called Canva to create a cohesive and on-brand design.
We suggest, if you do elect to go for a Design tile in your social media regime, that you add them to your aesthetic in a calculated way. For example, we add tiles as every fourth image, to create a diagonal look across our grid. You could also do one every second post to create a checkerboard formation, or every third post to create a line, running vertically through your grid, with quotes or illustrations.
You can check out these grid styles here.
If you choose to add Design tiles to your grid make sure they:
✨Fit your aesthetic.
✨Are in brand colours and the content is on-brand.
✨That the content on the tile educates, entertains or informs your followers.
The five kinds of content that you can share on Instagram, to make your life a little easier and your content a-heck-of-a-lot more varied and engaging.
We encourage you to always consider your aesthetic, messaging and brand when you are looking to update your content methods – if you are a full-time photographer, your grid should consist of, predominantly, your own images. If you’re a writer, you should always have engaging captions, and link these to your User Generated Content posts or Design tile posts.
Let us know how you go!