You can approach an Instagram feed in one of two ways:
- A place to share singular images, updating followers on big (seemingly isolated) events.
- A means of telling a story – giving key and thematic points, but allowing an audience to fill in the time between pictures with their imagination.
If you’re looking to do the latter, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s face it. We’re in a visual age. You need to tell a story in 8.25 seconds or less (read about it here). What better way to do that than with a storyboard-esque model. With an Instagram feed, we can get the big picture, and then zoom into each image, absorbing the little details for as long (or as short) as we like.
Setting up your feed as a story allows us to absorb your brand’s personality, narrative, and journey at the pace that we see fit. It helps us feel close to your brand, and thus, elicits loyalty.
Here are a couple examples of brands that do this extremely well:
Herschel is amazing at threading this subtle narrative throughout their Instagram feed. Each picture tells a story of a trip, or a day, or a moment, that is visually and thematically tied to the last picture’s trip, day, or moment. Nothing is sales-y at all – while their products are always featured, they’re never the focus. Instead, the brand’s aura is the most striking component. The photos and feed are tools to help us get to know the brand and feel included in Herschel’s ever-evolving developments.
Raffles Hotel also manages this narrative delicately. Images from their hotel rooms next to pictures of beautifully presented meals allow us to imagine our walk from the suite to the restaurant. The POV shots put us (maybe we’re sitting at our computer at work) in the shoes of a hotel guest. The Instagram feed compels us to construct our own narrative, and sparks the thought: “Man… I need a vacation. Maybe I should book with Raffles Hotel”.
However, there’s still a place for a more traditional form of advertising. Instagram ads don’t end up on your feed, so they’re the best place for hard-hitting sales messaging. Here are some excellent examples from Air France and Best Buy – they are specific, attention grabbing, and isolated. The Best Buy ad calls out students immediately, and sets itself up in the context of back-to-school – driving engagement and conversation in the current sales context. The Air France ad calls out Vancouverites, and then gets straight to the point – you could win a trip for two to Paris (this ad definitely worked on us). Both work effectively as Instagram ads, but wouldn’t be key components of a brand’s narrative.
So to conclude… Our advice is to leave the sales-oriented posts for advertisements and let your Instagram feed tell the story of your brand. Whether that be travel, product, or culture oriented. Whatever it is, make sure it’s good, compelling, and authentic. With the 8.25 second attention span in mind, we’re gonna cut this blog off. Happy Wednesday, everyone!