How to Create Great-Looking Visual Social Marketing Content for Instagram - dummies

How to Create Great-Looking Visual Social Marketing Content for Instagram

By Krista Neher

One of the most important ways to build an audience on Instagram is to post appealing visual social marketing content that your audience is interested in. People won’t follow your account if you post boring images. For some businesses, finding appropriate photos is easy.

For example, restaurants and retailers have no shortage of customer-oriented photos that they can take directly from their stores. Other businesses may find it more challenging to find items or scenes to take pictures of that are related to their businesses. Regardless of your type of business, taking appealing photos is a can’t-miss strategy.

Follow these tips for posting interesting pictures on Instagram:

  • Start by searching. Search Instagram for photos related to your business. Note the types of photos that are popular. Searching is a useful source of Inspiration.

  • Writing can make an appealing picture. Many businesses struggle with Instagram when they have no visual products to take pictures of.

    For an easy way to add text to a photo, write a comment and take a picture of it. At Boot Camp Digital, employees have a white board on which they write social media tips each week. Someone then takes a picture of the white board to generate Instagram content from a more visual topic.

  • Keep your eyes open. Form the mindset of creating images for Instagram, and you’ll be amazed at the number of photo opportunities you can create. You could take photos of slides that you like during presentations, or take pictures of interesting items around the office.

    You may also snap a photo of a headline from an article and share a few quick thoughts. You can take pictures of the neighborhood where your business is located, to build goodwill. Start thinking about opportunities for great-looking photos in everything you do. Conferences and live events are especially powerful locations for photo opportunities.

  • Evaluate your current image library. You can have photos in your current image library that you want to share on Instagram. Koyal Wholesale (, an online wedding supply company, often shares photos of products that weren’t originally taken with Instagram. Company employees aren’t often able to shoot their own photos of products, so they use product pictures from their computers to populate the Instagram account.

  • Instagram contests. An Instagram contest is becoming a popular way for businesses to engage their customers. An Instagram contest typically encourages users to take a photo and use a specific hashtag to enter the contest. Even large businesses have run contests.

    For example, in the contest that General Electric ran on Instagram, users shot photos and used the hashtag #GEInspiredMe to represent how GE had inspired them. More than 4,000 photos were submitted to the contest, and the winner received a tour of a jet engine plant (to photograph with Instagram).

    Regardless of the size of your business, an Instagram contest can be a helpful way to get your customers to take and share photos.

  • Use photos from other users. Some Instagram accounts are composed of images taken by other Instagram users. For example, the Pure Michigan Instagram account is composed of photos, taken by other users that are tagged #PureMichigan. The original photographer is credited in the image comments.

    Have your legal team review this strategy to be sure that you have the rights to use other users’ images in your Instagram account. You don’t want to violate copyright laws or create other legal issues.


A business can benefit more from Instagram when it engages its audience. Rather than simply post photos, use Instagram as a tool to interact with customers and encourage their feedback.

One company that engages its audience well is Koyal Wholesale. Koyal uses its Instagram account to encourage feedback (especially about new products) from its customers. As a wholesaler, it’s always scouting for new products and trying to decide which products to add to its catalog.

As you can see, Koyal poses questions about new products, such as “Love it or leave it?” and “Hot or not?” In one instance, Koyal shared a new product idea on Instagram, and the Instagram community provided feedback about what it liked and didn’t like. Koyal shared the feedback with the supplier, who then changed the product accordingly.