Before it was ever called content marketing, weaving a compelling narrative was a passion of mine. Everyone loves a good story, and they will tune in to see how it unfolds. Being a photo driven medium, the story we tell on Instagram is a visual one. But a good story that keeps people coming back requires more than random photos. Our creativity, products and brand are best expressed through thoughtful curating of that visual story. Here are three of the most effective ways to do this.
Crafting the Story
Find the hook!
Just like any story, a visual story needs a point of view. Two great ways for creative companies to “organize” or outline their story is through color and narrative.
To do this, consider the thumbnail portion of your feed. Take a look and ask what story it’s telling for your brand.
This is where the power of three comes in … treating each row of as its own narrative within the larger picture.
The Instagram feed of art director and stylist Megan Gonzalez of MaeMae (@maemae_co) is truly an exquisite feast for the eyes. Through her designer’s eyes, we see color, form and style in exciting new ways. As you can see here, she’s crafted a color story as well as a portfolio and pre-qualifier for anyone looking for a stylist and designer of her caliber.
Designers and creatives can also use this medium to explore an event from beginning to end using the power of three. I’ve used Images by Lighting’s (@images_lighting), a top international lighting firm, (full disclosure, also a client), Instagram feed here as my example. Working in units of three, the first story is that of the Game of Thrones premiere in Los Angeles. A variety of lighting techniques was used at that event, and it shows in this narrative, beginning with the overall shots and working towards the details. Below those six images, are three from a totally different style of event — a runway show which required a different set of techniques. Again, Instagram acts as both a portfolio and a pre-qualifier for anyone looking for a lighting company with a variety of skills. But it also gives an unprecedented look behind the scenes of events someone may never be able to see otherwise.
Yes, Instagram is photo driven, but there is a way to tell the story with words when those words are put within a cohesive, branded design. I love the Instagram feed of The Honest Company (@honest), a source of healthy and safe products. They artfully mix product, sayings and warm-fuzzy images that are visually all about being safe, healthy and happy. And the feed’s adherence to the branded color palette makes it instantly recognizable and the message is simple to understand, honestly!
Stay tuned for the next post on weaving one story through all social media channels!