How to Create an Instagram Post to tell a story

instagram content creation - trpolical theme for fashion e-commerce site

In my career as a designer, I have seen many trends in product marketing, none more so popular than the Instagram post. One month Instagram is the ducks nuts, and other, Snapchat is the only way to go. Story telling is the key to being successful on Instagram.

Part of my process when working in content creation is to watch for trends in social media channels as well as the way people post. Right now, Instagram is everything, but Facebook still reigns supreme.

25 facts about instagram
25 facts about instagram via blog.hubspot.com

Creation via Curation

I’ve been asked a couple of times why for @dianepenelope I regularly re-post other user content (with full credits) and comment. I believe that Instagram can be used in a variety of ways. Firstly for myself, I am not a model, can’t do yoga not do I have time to stage my life on Instagram. I also that that interesting. I do post images of my fur baby Nellie, and my family and if I am sailing or out and about. But my other posts, the curated (meaning a collection of other people’s images in a theme) are a collection of images that I put together to tell a story. Most of the images are in a 3 x 3 grid, set to a theme, with the message containing the credit and useful hashtags.

Instagram for Hello Molly 3 x 3 grid Shimmer Theme
Instagram for Hello Molly 3 x 3 grid Shimmer Theme

Instagram Post Campaign Planning

Recently I was asked to do 9 x 9 Instagram posts for a fast fashion clothing called Hello Molly, so I collated all the useable square images from their website, blog, mentions on social media and their own popular social media influencers. Being a creator and a creator is the key in my opinion. The creation is unique, original content, which if it truly reflects the brand is wonderful. It is, however, a costly exercise for a very short-lived piece of media. You will need a photographer, glam squad, studio or location, stylist, model and so on.

This is great if you are using this campaign for 6 months but for 1-week post makes this unsustainable. Doing candid selfies and shots are also good, but they can look amateur hour. If budget is one of your concerns, then you may want to pepper curated content (ie sharing other people’s posts) that are in aesthetic, moral or visual sympathy to your brand ethos.

Below are some examples of 3 x 3 grid Instagram posts (which is how I try to post as it is how the app itself displays content). I have maintained the young and sexy vibe of the brand Hello Molly, an online fashion retailer, using their own content, or content of their many influencers (i.e. the girls who wear the products and take selfies – some are paid some are not). In between the @hellomolly and #hellomolly user names and hashtags there are also many images that fit into the brand image, and to ensure the brand stay’s relevant it is vital that the Instagram feed is entertaining, inspiring and relevant fashion wise.

Sayings and motivational posts can be a great way to add “air” or visual space between posts as well as inspiring followers, but don’t be cheesy or do it much.

Instagram Black and White 3 x 3 grid theme
Instagram Black and White 3 x 3 grid theme

I prefer to use images that reflect the look and feel of the businesses I help produce content for, such as celebrities dancing or friends holding hands. Selling the wonderful dream of happiness, beauty, and youth (in the case of Hello Molly). It’s not about what or where the content is from it is how, as a collective feed how the company is percieved.

Instagram Post Sample for Hello Molly 3 x 3 Festival Theme
Instagram Sample for Hello Molly 3 x 3 Festival Theme

The festival theme was to get the girls excited about Coachella or more local festivals like Splendour in Byron Bay

Instagram Post For Hellol Molly 3 x 3 grid golden theme
Instagram For Hellol Molly 3 x 3 grid golden theme

Gold is hugely fashionable right now, so selecting this as a theme for a week or so shows visitiors that the e-tailer is all over the trend.

Instagram for Hello Molly 3 x 3 grid Warm Pink Theme
Instagram for Hello Molly 3 x 3 grid Warm Pink Theme
Instagram Post theme  3 x 3 grid "Tropical"
Instagram Post theme 3 x 3 grid “Tropical”
Instagram Post Rose gold x 3 x 3 theme.
Instagram Post Rose gold x 3 x 3 theme.
Instagram Post Red 3 x 3 theme
Instagram Post Red 3 x 3 theme
Instagram Post sample for Hello Molly - Overview 3 x 3 grid
Instagram Post sample for Hello Molly – Overview 3 x 3 grid

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