How to Draw People in With Your Instagram Content
I’ll never forget this surprising truth about communication that a high-level business leader once shared with me – he said, “People don’t really listen to you. They listen to the conversation that’s happening in their head while you’re talking.”
This feels especially true in today’s world. People encounter millions of bits of information every day – how do you communicate in a way that stops them from mindlessly scrolling and causes them to actually pay attention?
On Instagram, this requires two things:
1. Communicating with Emotion
“People may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” The fact that everyone attributes those words to Maya Angelou just shows what a great quote it is. Either way, the wisdom is undeniable – you want to communicate in a way that makes people feel something, whether it’s through slogans, photos or even the colors you use (in light of the Olympics, here’s a powerful example LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Pause for a moment and think: What emotions do you want your audience to feel when they interact with your business?
Once you find what emotions best communicate your story, choose a few to be your main focus, then keep them in mind with all of the content you create.
2. Communicating with Visuals
Also known as your aesthetic, this is how those feelings are communicated visually. If one of the emotions that you want to communicate through your brand is joy, think of all the visual ways you can communicate that – it could be through:
-your color scheme
-the lighting of your photos and videos
-your editing style
-the layout of your profile
As people scroll, they usually decide within the first few seconds of seeing something whether they’re interested or not. I strongly recommend the Preview App as a way to plan out your content and know what your images will look before posting, to ensure a cohesive look and feel that will help draw people into your story.
*Bonus: Communicating with the Algorithm
In order for your content to be seen by as many people as possible, you’ve got to be friends with The Algorithm. Rather than feeling intimidated or getting discouraged that your post might not be seen, hopefully we can use this to our advantage and share strategically. The key word to know is: ENGAGEMENT.
Instagram determines how many people are going to see a post within the first 30-60 minutes of you posting. So if you have high engagement on your post right away, Instagram sees that and says, “Wow, people are enjoying this post. Let’s show it to more people.”
Engagement is all the ways that people interact with you or your posts.
Likes and comments are some of the most obvious ones, but is also includes:
-the length of time people look at your posts
-the number of times people save your post
-how many times the video is viewed
-the length of time that video was viewed
-re-sharing of your posts
-a D.M. in your post to someone
-the number of people that go to your profile after seeing your post
-tagging friends in your post
Keep in mind: The quality of engagement is just as important as the amount of engagement on your posts. To filter out the bots and fake accounts, Instagram places a higher value on comments with four or more words, as it reflects a more authentic engagement.
As someone who values relationships, I’ve actually come to see the algorithm as a positive – it rewards the real connections that we’re building over everything else.
I hope that’s the reality of our companies, whether online or in person.