Some Key Tips on How To Make Your Products Stand Out On Instagram, from the YourProductShot (www.yourproductshot.co.uk) professionals in product photography. PHOTOS THAT SELL AND HOW TO USE THEM.
How Do I Make My Products Stand Out On Instagram? You Ask.
ANSWER: "work work work work work work".... well yes it will require some work, but all good things do. But seriously, there is NO 'ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL' ANSWER. Your business and your products are beautifully unique and your Instagram will need to be synonymous with your products brand and business concept.
For those of you who don't already know, Instagram is a social media platform all about posting images which are a mini-blog entirely in themselves. Every image tells a story and can be 'hash-tagged' (search term categorisations) to enable users to find your commercial images as relevant to them, and therefore your business/product. It's all about the imagery. People use Instagram to find everything, clothes, events, everyday items, friends, celebs... ANYTHING!
As for some tips on making your products stand out on Instagram:
1. Get In-Context
Just like blogging, your content needs to be engaging and interesting. It needs to offer the viewer something valuable to take away with them - whether that be inspiration, information, something uplifting, etc.
For example, if your product can be used in unique ways or can improve somebody's life - demonstrate that! You want inspire somebody to lead a more positive/efficient lifestyle! One of our clients at YourProductShot recently asked us to demonstrate the multi-brush functionality of their makeup brush cleaner.
We created an eye-catching beauty product image using a variety of pretty colours and textures, as well as a range of props to demonstrate the product's versatility. Using a white background and a professional lighting set-up made the image really pop. The props acted as an interesting border for the image with the main product in the centre so that the eye is drawn inwards. The product being in use added a dynamic quality and sense of motion about the image for an additional aspect. Essentially it's about making your imagery interesting and aesthetically pleasing to draw customers in who will then read the image's post, tags and links to uncover those extra layers of the product and its capabilities.
2. High-Standard Imagery
It goes without saying that if you're going to use a photo-focused platform to better communicate your products, then you should only use high-quality Instagram Photography. This includes, but is not limited to imager that is:
- Professionally produced/staged
- Easy to understand/read (in its own context)
One of our YourProductShot clients was launching a new product and brand and needed a set of product photography to use across many advertising and sales platforms. They needed to be high-impact and reflect the natural, young and fun brand the client wished to portray to attract their target demographic (young adult females). The product was a skin-enhancing serum with fantastic natural products proven to benefit the skin in various ways. The beauty product image above is one of the large collection of images we produced for the client - we've chosen this one as a social media hit.
The image is high resolution and produced in a professional studio by professional product photographers to ensure all technical elements of the photograph are sound. The colours and the way the are used are young and vibrant to reflect the 'voice' of the brand, and remain relevant to the target demographic (young, fun, female). The petals in the image are taken from the flower of one of the product's key ingredients to promote its contents (relevance) in a subliminal way while adding texture and depth to the image. The product is of course centre-stage and stands out from the colours around it while complementing them. The positioning of all of the elements was intricately staged by professional photographers to ensure the photo was dynamic yet easy to understand. The result is a pretty, eye-catching image which has had proven engagement.
3. The 'LOOK' of your Feed
While your photos will attract individual engagement, the idea is that they will individually and collectively draw in a 'following' of fans who have essentially subscribed to your 'feed' (your Instagram portfolio of images as a kind of photo blog). Your Instagram Feed (collection of all on the images you've posted) should have a 'voice'/'message' in itself which is synonymous to your brand and products.
For instance, your products may be very cool, sleek and minimalistic - think of Apple for example with the monotone, sleek basic shapes, and angular imagery to create dimension.
You might want to appear natural, fun and young like our YourProductShot client mentioned in 'TIP 2' above, with their vibrant colours and natural ingredients depicted throughout.
Likewise, it might be vibrancy and abstract you're after (always very eye-catching) to promote the fresh and cool placement of your products in the modern home, or perhaps something moody and soulful using dark, interesting imagery with lots of layers and aspects which get deeper in the photo to reflect something non-conforming and cool.
There are lots of messages you may wish to portray or that are naturally infused by your product itself. It's then capturing this consistently that is the key.
There's an infamous sating: "If a picture speaks a thousand words, then your Instagram should be the novel" (or a collection of novels under the same collection!)
These are just a few examples of creative lifestyle photography we've produced for one of our very regular YourProductShot clients. They have a huge range of homeware products under various categories including small kitchen appliances. The idea here was to promote the products as family-friendly household essentials for a happy home. It's all about ease and versatility.
Each picture tells a story, the collection of lifestyle product photographs for each product is a novel, and the variety of products the business sells become a collection of highly engaging novels within a collection which is the brand.
It goes without saying that happy families and household settings were used in the Lifestyle shots. The Creative photography shows functionality and diversity throughout. in fact, each product is shown with various ingredients and uses including their ease of use and storage, range of uses and users, etc.
It is important to employ consistent use of photography, filters (be sure to delve into the no-filter trend!), genre, themes and colours/tones. It's all part of your brand's story - figure out your business and products' personality and ensure this is of focus at all times throughout all of your communications.
4. It's All About Timing
A key factor for a successful (engagement producing) Instagram Feed is to establish a strong schedule for your posts (the best days and times to post to secure such engagement - i.e. when your target market uses Instagram the most).
This is all about (so sorry to have to say this dreaded word): RESEARCH!
Many business hours are spent researching - researching demand, technology, marketing and advertising opportunities, buyer behaviour, suppliers for your product materials, etc...
You need to teach yourself to LOVE RESEARCH if you're going to be selling things, fact! If you can't learn to love this, then make sure you employ somebody who does to do this on your behalf. In the modern market where customers is spoilt for choice in everything and accessing it all, research is your best friend when it comes to being successful against competition. Because at the end of the day, even if you have something truly incredible and new to bring to the world, it won't be long until somebody starts to compete and if they're better at researching how to beat you, then you'll, sadly, be beaten!
Now, back to scheduling for Instagram (!)
There is much advice out there to recommend the best times to post on various social media platforms based on data they've RESEARCHED into who uses social media, when, how, why, etc... There's even likely to be advice for your specific business segment/product type/market. But whose opinion do you TRUST?
There really is no right answer here without doing your own research for your specific business and products. It can be as easy as trial-and-error in using your first few months of posts to identify trends to determine when your posts get the most engagement.
We are no experts on this, but what we do know for sure is that with good research into your specific target market's social media behaviour, a consistent posting schedule (once you've established the best days/times to post), and fantastic product imagery, you're sure to gain fantastic engagement, followers and CONVERSIONS (sales)!
From there, there's plenty of platforms to help alleviate the pressures of being consistent with your posting (because CONSISTENCY WITH POSTING IS KEY) - social media scheduling apps such as HootSuite, Buffer, etc. which enable you to schedule posts in advance. This means you can spend one day a week/month scheduling all the posts for that period so you can get on with other business tasks interrupted around this, and be confident that your social media and (and relevant off-page SEO prowess) is taken care of.
This blog post is also a LinkedIn Article! Check it out: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/toptips-how-make-your-products-stand-out-instagram-joe-ely