4 Totems of Quality Visual Storytelling on Instagram—With Examples!

Topics: Social, Digital


Reading Time: 4 minutes

We all have our morning routines. Mine happens to involve scrolling through my favorite social media accounts while laying around  in my pajamas with a hot cup of coffee. Enjoying some quiet time with caffeine and a deluge of daily inspiration makes for my perfect morning. Plenty of people check Facebook, Twitter or Feedly first thing—but while there’s no shortage of feeds to scroll through each morning, I prefer to start my day with a more visual medium.

Namely? Instagram.

I, like many people, find Instagram’s visual experience especially pleasant—but after a few days of using the app you start to realize that some businesses and bloggers post the same content over and over again. It gets dull. As a consequence, rather than really appreciating the platform, you keep scrolling and don’t take the time to look and engage with your favorite fashionistas or brands you love. Fortunately, there are plenty of brands that really get Instagram right—and my passion for this visual platform has taught me a couple of keys to making sure the content on your page is both versatile and engaging for your followers.

Check out just four of my insights below.

1. Share engaging stories.

Beautiful visuals are important, but whether you’re a brand or a private user, you should be thinking about what your target audience is most interested in. When establishing a persona for your page, produce images that encompass the ideals and messaging your brand represents. LuLuLemon is a great example of a company that pulls this off. It does so by sharing compassionate, aspirational stories not only about workout wear, but also about the people their followers want to become in wearing their product. A mix of inspirational quotes, moving photography and workout videos come together to build a formula for meaningful engagement time after time.  

2. Capture action shots.

Hootsuite lets their followers behind the curtains every once in a while, creating an intimate experience that helps users to feel as though they are apart of the Hootsuite community. Like Hootsuite’s audience, your followers want to be more than an outsider to your brand—they want to feel as though they’re a treasured part of a community that you share. Hootsuite’s up-close and personal content gives their brand a more humanized feeling and a face for followers to connect with, which translates into real engagement.

Related: Get “The Inside Scoop on Instagram’s New Changes”

3. Cultivate your design sense.

It’s no secret that most people simply love beautiful things. Natalie over at LittleCoconutty takes advantage of this by showcasing her recipes in a unique, clean and captivating way. Her detailed postswhich use quotes, whitespace and textallow followers to fully understand what she is posting about without having to read the whole caption. This easily replicated recipe for success helps Natalie keep her followers engaged and eager to see how she’ll showcase new meals without running the risk of losing them to a wall of captioned text.

4. Tap into your audience’s content.

A pumpkin partyyyy (@girldressedinnoir) 🎃

A photo posted by traderjoeslist (@traderjoeslist) on

What would our brands be without our audience and customers? Not much, which is why it’s important to make it known them of just how much we value them. One great way to do this is to share user-generated content (UGC, among friends). Sharing your audience’s contributions makes followers feel like the stars of your page and, of course, it helps you to generate new and unique content on the regular. Trader Joe’s List, a fan-generated account, provides us with a great example of using UGC to benefit brands. By sharing their fan’s photographic work and recipes, they provide their audience with meal inspiration that promotes Trader Joe’s products. If that wasn’t awesome enough, by soliciting fan creations openly, this awesome Instagram account creates an engagement funnel that keeps people coming back for more.

Tying it all together.

Instagram is awesome, and brands that strive to push the envelope and keep users engaged make it even better. In a landscape where so many accounts post the same type of content day after day, creative thinkers have an opportunity to really stand out, and that’s what makes Instagram’s visual medium continuously exciting for users and brands alike.

That said, these four tips are hardly exhaustive. We are always looking for exciting and new ways to use Instagram and other social media—so please feel free to share any of your tips by contacting us. We’d be happy to share your ideas with the world.

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