Instagram Tips

3 Ways To Tweak Your Instagram Content To Attract Brands

I know you guys love learning strategies and tips to improve your Instagram game, so I’m super excited to have Katherine of Slightly Savvy on the blog today sharing 3 small tweaks you can make to your Instagram content to attract brands to your blog!

Katherine works full time in PR, so it’s her job to know what to look for and what NOT to look for in bloggers when searching for brand collaborations. If you want more juicy PR perspective stuff, make sure to tune into our LIVE workshop going down tomorrow at 7 pm Eastern! Katherine and I are teaming up to share our top strategies to stand out and get your blog noticed.

Click here to save your seat!

Turning it over to Katherine now to share her top tips to take your Instagram up a notch to catch the attention of brands and PR’s!

3 Ways to Tweak Instagram Content to Attract Brands

 

 

At our workshop on Thursday night, I’m going to be talking about creating beautiful content that stands out to brands. And today, as a fun little preview, I’m going to break down what makes stand out Instagram content.

Instagram is one of the biggest pain points for bloggers, and for brands, Instagram truly is one of the first places we look when exploring a blogger for a collaboration.

So, here are some tweaks for your Instagram content to create something truly stand out.

1. Strive for consistency in your individual photos + overall feed

One of the first things I look for is consistency in terms of the overall vibe and then the pictures themselves.

As a brand, consistency lets me know exactly the type of photos I’m going to get, and I’m able to tell all parties involved exactly what we’re going to get for our money.

There are a few ways you can stay consistent in terms of your photos, and it doesn’t have to involve super fancy or expensive equipment. A lot of bloggers shoot most pictures on their iPhone and then edit on their phone.

  • Use VSCO cam (it’s a free app) and figure out a preset editing flow for every photo. I like taking inspiration from other places sometimes, so I have a whole Pinterest board full of Instagram aesthetics.

  • Stick with 2 to 3 angles – Shooting from the same angle gives your Instagram a nice overall cohesiveness. This is a step a lot of bloggers overlook…they try to shoot all different kinds of angles all the time. And it really makes the overall feel of their Instagram feel a little cluttered or disorganized.

  • Shoot for original content – When bloggers struggle to create their own photos for Instagram content, their first instinct is to repost other photos to make their feed stay on brand. This is fine for a photo every once in awhile, but original content is really key to brands.

When bloggers are just reposting other photos, it can be hard to tell what a photo shot by them is going to look like. Is it going to be high-quality? Is it going to be well-edited? How good is the blogger at product placement?

Creating your own consistent, high-quality Instagram content lets a brand know you’re capable of doing the same thing for them.

You can also read some more Instagram strategies here.

2. Choose real engagement over comment pods

As more and more bloggers freak out about their engagement, even big-time bloggers turn to comment pods to give their account a boost.

And it’s pretty blatantly obvious when bloggers use comment pods to boost their engagement. Especially when the comments read like “Nice!” and “Cute shirt!”

Always choose real engagement over forcing other bloggers to comment or like your photos, and here are a few actionable tips for making that a reality:

  • Make a list of 15 to 20 bloggers whose Instagram content you really like and connect with. Every day or every other day go to their Instagram and leave a long, thoughtful comment. But if you maybe don’t have anything to say on the photo, then just don’t say anything.
  • Invest time into your own followers – a lot of Instagram advice for bloggers is to focus on connecting with other bloggers to boost your engagement. But are other bloggers really your target audience?
    • If you’re a beauty blogger, then a majority of the audience you want to reach is normal, everyday girls without a blog themselves.

When a girl follows you who is a normal college girl who’s looking to your blog for beauty advice, makeup tips, etc., click on her profile and go like a few of her photos. If you really feel a connection to her, leave a genuine comment or two. Even follow her back.

As a regular user of Instagram too, I know how cool I feel when a big blogger follows me back or engages or leave a comment on a few of my photos. It really makes her stand out to me as a blogger.

Building the engagement, community, and loyalty is instrumental in having your Instagram content stand out to brands. It’s really quick and really easy to see when users are engaged on a blogger’s Instagram and when it’s not real.

  • Respond to your followers – Sadly, I see so many bloggers who just skip this point altogether. A quick scroll through their Instagram shows me months and months of unanswered questions and comments…

As a brand, how comfortable do I feel giving a blogger money to post something when I can see that she doesn’t even answer questions or respond to her followers at all?

A blogger who doesn’t respond or engages back with her followers is a blogger who will seem like a waste of money from a brand’s perspective.

Block off 20 minutes at the beginning of your day and 20 minutes at the end of the day to respond to Instagram comments.

 

3 ways to tweak Instagram content to attract brands

3. Break the stereotypical blogger mold in your captions

Searching through hundreds of Instagram accounts, one thing I see every.single.day. is the stereotypical “blogger” caption.

I know you guys see this allll the time, too.

“Happy Monday! Wishing it was Friday but I love waking up in these super cute PJs! They’re sooo soft and comfy! What do you guys do to make Mondays better?” [insert emojis]

I know a caption like this hits allll the points Pinterest tells you you need to boost engagement on your Instagram and create an intriguing caption.

But as a brand looking at a blogger…

  1. I don’t read these because there’s nothing interesting about them
  2. It doesn’t help a blogger stand out when you have the same formula for a caption as every other blogger
  3. It doesn’t make me want to invest marketing money in a blogger who has no compelling voice on Instagram

I know captions can be tough to think of, but take time to refocus on your own voice. What would you REALLY say about a photo? How do you talk to your friends?

Channel that authenticity in your captions, and don’t be afraid to get uncomfortable with posting outside of the stereotypical blogger caption.

To wrap it up?

Break the stereotypical blogger mold and do something different on Instagram. To catch a brand or PR pro’s attention, you really have to work with strategies that make you stand out from the pack.

So, at our workshop on Thursday, I’m going to talk more broadly about creating stand out, beautiful content across your blog and your posts.

Get Your Blog Noticed and Stand Out Online Workshop

Click here to sign up for the workshop!!

I hope you guys can tune in it because I think it will be really really fun and you’re going to learn a lot. And a huge thank you to Sheila for letting me talk to you guys today!

Who’s Katherine?

 Katherine is the creator of the blog and brand, Slightly Savvy. After graduating from Florida State University, Katherine started working in PR, doing media interviews with the press, handling crisis…basically living out her Olivia Pope dreams.

When Katherine started writing about advice for bloggers from a PR perspective, Slightly Savvy quickly became a blogger’s dream community for insider tips. On Slightly Savvy, you can always find the real deal on how to work with brands as a blogger and ultimately, build your brand into your dream career.

If you want to talk Game of Thrones, debate Starbucks vs. Dunkin, or talk 1 on 1 blogging advice, DM her on Instagram or email her at katherine@slightlysavvy.com. 

Related Posts

7 Authentic Strategies To Grow Your Instagram Community
My Favorite Hashtags To Grow Your Instagram and Get Noticed
How To Boost Your Instagram Engagement With Top Posts
5 Best Photo Editing Apps For Instagram

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  • Love these tips from Katherine! I’ve spent the past week planning out some Instagram topics and definitely am keeping these in mind. One of my biggest struggles is CAPTIONS.

    Sheila, I really love reading your longer captions on Instagram. They give me a deeper look into you! I am trying to emulate that in my new Insta plan. 🙂

    • I love Sheila’s long captions, too! Hers are one of the few I actually read all the way through. I think it’s because she does a great job of making them long but making each one of them really unique and different.

      I never feel like I’m reading the same caption over and over again because she shares personal stories + details every time. Thanks for reading this Krista!

      • aw thanks girl! You motivated/inspired me to keep up with my personal stories 🙂

    • I’ve been loving your captions Krista, keep them up!! And thank you! I try to think of my Insta as a microblog since I’m heavily focused on blogging on my actual blog 🙂

  • This is brilliant advice. I’m working on making my captions different because hopping on Instagram on a Friday you literally get asked a hundred times about your weekend plans and it is so annoying!
    Also I like the idea of comment pods if they were people you already loved and it was a way of never missing each other’s posts…but they never really go like that. They always feel forced 🙁

    • YES so accurate! Same thing with Monday…like “What are your goals for this week?” lol

      It can get super repetitive, especially when you follow tons of bloggers.

      Thanks for reading this Megan and thanks for coming to our workshop!! xx

    • haha yeah I try to tell a story about my day or what’s been floating around in my head and somehow tie it with the photograph. Or I just say my caption is totally off topic! Whatever I can do to have an *original* caption haha.

  • I keep an inspo board on Pinterest too for all my photography/Instagram ideas…super helpful!

    I tried out comment pods once and hated it. The comments from the other people weren’t genuine AT ALL, and I didn’t truly want to follow the other people in the pod because I didn’t have anything in common with them. Participating in comment pods made Instagram feel like work and I started to dread getting on the app every day. Never again, haha.

    Looking forward to your guys’ workshop tomorrow! 🙂

    • Ditto – comment pods seem like SO much work. Bloggers already have so much to do, so why waste time commenting “Nice!” on some completely random person’s post.

      Thanks for reading this Bria xx

    • YES 100% agree on pods making IG feel like work. IG is still my fav and I try to hop on it with the same feelings I had before I started using it strategically. It can still be very hard to keep up with still!

  • Sepideh

    I’m still disappointed I missed the workshop !! But these are useful tips – I never thought about the angle of the picture.
    I don’t understand the logic of not answering your comments though.. it seems so basic!
    I need to be more pro-active about looking for my target audience and engaging with them…
    http://www.elleisforlove.com

    • I know right?? It seems like DUH to answer comments, but you would be surprised at how many “big” bloggers simply don’t.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read this!!

    • It’s all about the angles!!! Haha and I’ve been bad at responding to my blog comments lately whoops.

  • Diana Maria

    These are all such great tips that ring so true! I was invited to an instagram pod and am not the biggest fan, just because it doesn’t feel as authentic as real connections! So I’m with you on that, as well as having a cohesive theme and angle. Thanks for these tips dear, have a wonderful weekend! xx

    Sending light & love your way,

    My Lovelier Days

    • Yeah I can definitely see that! I’ve never been in an Instagram comment pod, but I know the few times I participated in a general comment thread in a FB group, I immediately regretted it.

      Partly because I was leaving comments on parenting blogs when I literally have NO children or interest in parenting. It was def just a time sucker and not helping me bring value to my readers at all.

      Thanks for your thoughts on this Diana!

    • Pods aren’t worth it and are pretty soul-sucking! Use your time authentically and build relationships with people 🙂

  • The biggest thing that helped my instagram account was gettin mosiaco. It’s an app that lets you preview what your layout will look like so that you can move photos around to make sure that they look “right” next to each other before you publish them xx

    rhymeandribbons.com

    • I keep hearing about this app! I use UnNum, but it connects to Instagram which I know Instagram doesn’t like haha. Does Mosiaco connect to your account?

      • It has access to your account so it can see the old photos that you’ve posted but you can’t post or schedule photos from Mosiaco. You have to head over to instagram itself to do that. Hope that helps! x

  • Omg that caption tip is really helpful! For awhile I started doing stereotypical blogger captions because I thought it was the best thing to do, but I got bored of it and it didn’t feel right. I try to be more creative with my captions now, and even if it doesn’t generate much engagement, at least I’m being myself!

  • Love this post! It has so many good tips that I’ve been trying to implement but wasn’t sure where to start. Thanks girl 🙂

  • This is probably one of my favorite posts from you! I’m seeing that engaging with my audience is really helping with my Instagram page. These are all great tips!
    xo Samantha

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