May 25, 2017

How to Keep Your Instagram Images Looking Fresh (Even With Frequent Posting)

Constantly coming up with fresh ideas for your Instagram account is no easy feat. But if you’re serious about using your Instagram account as a billboard for your brand, you have to approach it with a particular type of strategy.

The content you post has to fit in with the aesthetic look and feel of your feed, but also needs to be relevant to your audience. Content should be timely, and also encourage customers to engage with you. Perhaps most importantly, content should feel fresh to followers, encouraging them to continue interacting with your brand.

Posting the same types of content over and over can cause fatigue for customers and turn them off. Known in advertising as ad fatigue, seeing too much of your content or the same thing over and over, can make audiences bored. As a result, engagement and clickthrough rates drop.

Let’s make sure that your followers never have the chance to experience ad fatigue with this process for keeping Instagram images looking fresh.

How Often Should I Post on Instagram?

Although there is a best time to post on Instagram to optimize for the most likes and other engagement factors, there is no best number of times to post in a day without your audience getting bored. Some see engagement drop after 6 posts, while others at 2. It depends on your brand and your audience, so find the perfect number of times to post by experimenting and interpreting the data from your results.

Create a Style Guide

A style guide is an extension of your company branding that will help any social media content creators make content more purposefully. In the past, we’ve shared some of the best tips to make your Instagram stand out, but the following represents foundational guidance for what to include on a style guide:

  • Determine a set mood or theme, and define this with as many descriptive words/examples as possible
  • Define which filters can be used on Instagram and warn content creators not to stray from them
  • Consistently post different types of content, alternating between things like selfies, quotes, food shots. Of course, whatever you post should be relevant to your brand and followers.

Create Content Assets Ahead of Posting

An important piece of the puzzle when trying to keep Instagram images looking fresh is to be prepared well ahead of posting, not letting things wait until the last minute. As such, you’ll want to spend some time planning content ahead of time.

If this involves a photographer, you’ll want to create a shot list and book the session with enough time for photo edits before you need the final product. If you’re coordinating with a graphic designer who’s creating images, they’ll also need some notice to do actual good work. And even if you’re sourcing stock images that don’t need any manipulation, it can be helpful to batch content creation for Instagram so that you can see how all the images will work together within your feed.

If there’s a photo from the past that you want to reuse, Vibbi has a feature that allows you to download your whole Instagram feed. This can also be useful for content planning in general – having access to your assets outside of the Instagram platform can make it easier to organize them, analyze them, and get inspired by them.

While you’re in planning mode, preview how your feed will come together as you add in new content with the Preview app.

Define Your Themes

While you’re creating your style guide, you’ll want to define different content themes to help diversify what you post about, and what images you’ll need to create. B2B and B2C companies will both approach this process in different, nuanced ways. In general, however, these ideas for different kinds of content you can post will give you a good basis to build off of:

  • Quotes
  • Videos
  • Testimonials
  • Sale (use the Instagram shopping feature as soon as it’s available to the public!)
  • User generated content
  • Contests or giveaways
  • New product launch teasers

In many of these cases (especially quotes/testimonials), you can use an image creation program like Photoshop or Canva to create an image template that can be easily edited for weekly changes. By creating templates, you’ll be able to keep images looking fresh without a lot of effort, while still maintaining feed consistency.

Using a tool like Canva specifically can be especially useful for those not particularly talented in graphic design. You don’t need to have any experience to get the most out of this tool, thanks to plenty of premade layouts and other free/paid graphical elements you can add to your posts.

Host Instagram Takeovers

What could be more fresh than having an outside party create content for your brand?

An Instagram takeover involves handing over the keys (well, the username and password) of your Instagram account to another person/company. The person taking over is usually an influencer, which tends to involve another post on their account directing people to yours. Hosting an Instagram takeover then results in fresh images on your Instagram feed, and the added benefit of tapping into an Influencer’s audience. Clearly, the best results when using this tactic involve recruiting an influencer with a complementary audience.

Take Advantage of Analytics Data

While you might think a photo is great, your followers might not feel the same. Upgrade to a business account to get deeper insights on your posts. Similar to Facebook, Instagram tells you how posts are performing and what followers are responding to. Once you have access to this data, you should use it to make decisions as to which efforts are working, or even why people do not seem to be liking your Instagram photos.

Ultimately, keeping images looking fresh is just one necessary piece in a complete and successful Instagram strategy. Behind the images, it’s necessary to understand your audience, and what they respond to. So while you’re experimenting with new types of content, measure results with Instagram analytics data, and adjust as necessary.

How do you keep your Instagram images fresh?