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.
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!
In our workshop I talk about creating beautiful content that stands out to brands. In this post, 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. 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…
- I don’t read these because there’s nothing interesting about them
- It doesn’t help a blogger stand out when you have the same formula for a caption as every other blogger
- 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.
During our workshop I talk more broadly about creating stand out, beautiful content across your blog and your posts.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.