Instagram Micro-Blogging: 12 Tips For Visual Story-Telling
If you want to ramp up your engagement rates, you need to get Instagram blogging right. Having a knack for storytelling gives you that authenticity, making people interested with who you are, and the value you provide. But there’s an art and a skill to this; blogging on Instagram involves strategy as well as other tricks of the trade that you need to know to get the results you want.
What Is Microblogging?
Microblogging combines instant messaging and content production, and it’s a critical part in building connections. It involves creating short-form blog posts of rich content that convey important news, helpful tips, and other relevant information that people find interesting as long as they’re unique and original.
Microblogs are short messages crafted for a particular online audience to increase engagement through real-time sharing and content marketing. It’s unique since it’s platform is a visual form of microblogging, allowing you to share stories and images that make up an online narrative.
Benefits of Microblogging on Instagram
Blogging on Instagram puts the odds in your favor when it comes to boosting followers and engagement. To begin using Instagram as a micro-blogging platform, you need to set up or switch to a creator account.
Here’s how to do it:
- Go to your account and tap the 3 lines in the top right corner.
- Select ‘Settings’.
- From the Settings menu, select the Account option and then tap the Creator Account option.
You now have an Instagram Creator Account! The setup process then leads you through a couple of option screens.
- Select a category that best describes what you do. You can even turn your contact options on or off.
- Review your contact information. At least one form of contact information is required. You’ll have the option to display or hide this on your profile.
- Choose your profile display options. You can decide whether to hide or display your category and contact details on your profile.
Once you complete this stage, you’re pretty much done! You’ll now start seeing your insights and direct message features on your account.
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Insights Of The Instagram Creator Account
What’s great with having an Instagram Creator Account is getting access to growth tools and significant audience insights on each of the posts and stories you created. You’ll learn more about your followers demographic data and how your content performs with your audience. This data also provides you details about audience growth and decline through daily follow/unfollow data.
Detailed analytics is important when blogging on Instagram because as a visual storyteller, insights become your basis for making decisions in creating content that resonates with your readers.
Instagram Is A Great Tool For Sharing Your Blogs
As full-time bloggers, Instagram is an awesome tool to grow your blog! As long as you do this with some artistic sense and style, you can definitely drive traffic to your blog with the use of videos, Instagram Stories, and your posts.
Once you have 10,000 followers, you get access to the Swipe Up Feature. The Swipe Up features lets you add a link to your landing page, a blog post, a sign up page, or products onto your Story. Viewers can just tap on the arrow that shows up at the bottom of their screen or swipe up on the Story to access the link.
The link in your bio on Instagram can also be a powerful tool. Since you only get one link, you should be using a link in bio tool, to give your followers access to multiple pages that you want to promote.
Your followers get multiple options when they click on your bio, whether it be a link to your personal website, a giveaway, your portfolio, or your services. All your blogs are in one URL, like a one-stop-shop for all things that matter.
Add CTA Buttons On Your Profile
Since blogging on Instagram allows you to build connections, you should have call-to-action (CTA) buttons on your profile so your readers can easily access you. This is definitely helpful if you’re looking into collaborating with other bloggers and brands.
You can customize the look of your profile through the profile display options, and add CTA buttons by editing your profile and selecting ‘Profile Display’.
For Creator Accounts, there are three CTA buttons available to use: Follow, Message, and Contact. Just be sure that you typed in an email address and contact number in your Contact Options.
12 Instagram Blogging Tips For Visual Storytelling To Ramp Up Engagement
Instagram blogging is the best way to spark up interest and inspiration through its visual storytelling features. Audiences are naturally drawn to profiles that tell the most interesting stories, stories that are personable, and at the same time tied up to your brand’s values and purpose.
At the end of the day, you signed up for Instagram to build up your brand presence that reflects what you’re passionate about, so why not make that story so compelling that people cannot help but click follow? Here are 12 tips to help you with your visual storytelling, plus tips from 10 successful Instagram microbloggers.
1. Figure Out Your Brand Voice
Without a doubt, we know that good Instagram captions drive more sales and engagement. But how do you create engaging written content in just 2,200 characters for your photos? This is where your brand voice matters most.
Start off with figuring out what your brand voice is. Are you funny? Sarcastic? Casual? Formal? Whatever choice you feel is right for you, remember that authenticity and consistency are key.
As a brand, Nike capitalizes on “inspiration” and “motivation.” These values are consistently felt in their posts and captions.
Authenticity is what makes readers feel emotionally connected to you. And when people are emotionally connected, they turn into loyal followers and customers. Among the tried and true Instagram blogging tips, a consistent brand voice will make audiences feel that they know you.
“The blogging world, especially on Instagram, is so visually driven that finding a way to break through the noise can be difficult. Sticking to your authentic self and mission instead of trying to tap into trends is key. My mission is to help busy women over 40 look and feel like the very best version of themselves.
Whether that’s with outfit ideas, my weight loss journey, or menopause advice. A cohesive, visually appealing, outfit inspiration-filled feed is important but, more and more, we see that showing real-life events, outfits, and photos is what really tells the story of who an influencer is. And that’s why people follow you…because they like YOU.” — Erin Busbee, @busbeestyle
2. Choice Your Photos Wisely
Your stories and captions are only as good as your photos. Remember on Instagram, great photos are gold. Before we even get into any writing, it’s crucial to have engaging content on your page. While your captions may be your main purpose, it’s your photos that are going to grab the reader’s attention.
First things first. Make sure you’re only posting high quality photos and keeping a consistent theme on your page whether these be single or multiple photos. Your photos should match the context of the blog and just from looking at your photos, your followers should be able to tell your niche of writing.
“I would say that when you’re telling a visual story the pictures have to coincide with what’s happening. Storytelling is super underrated and to be able to efficiently communicate a story to an audience, while giving them beautiful images to look at, provides them with a lot of value. It’s always nice to make sure there’s a takeaway too.” — Lauryn Evarts, @theskinnyconfidential
3. Be Descriptive. Use Imagery.
Whether your caption is about a significant experience you’ve had, an interesting conversation, a thought that’s been bugging you, or some advice on how to make the day a bit more bearable, you’ll need to be descriptive in your writing. You should be able to describe something in a way that a picture is formed in the reader’s mind.
Another tip is to use power words when writing your captions. The more people are able to feel like they are part of your story, the more it will resonate with them. Make the reader feel like they’re there with you, in that exact experience, through your words. If you want to transform your reader into your posts, adding strong imagery is a great way to do it.
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“Often our most powerful stories come from mundane everyday moments. It’s likely that your life is rich with content – like the coffee date that made you realize your life’s passion or the cross-country move that made you face a huge fear. When I create a blog or Instagram caption I think ‘what life lesson do I wish I’d learned earlier?’ Because if I dealt with it, there’s definitely someone else dealing with it too!
Visually, imagine: what would that moment in time look like if you were living it? So much of visual storytelling is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes while mining your own experiences for personal growth.”– Dronile Hiraldo, @dronilehiraldo
4. Try Creative Fonts
Although it can be incredibly daunting to write captions, incorporating creative fonts into your Instagram strategy is one of those nifty Instagram blogging tips. It instantly levels-up your account’s creativity, making your content stand out. Plus, if you can emphasize and draw attention to important words and statements within your blog, it’ll be easier for your readers to understand the main takeaways. A great way to do this is to use an Instagram font tool or generator.
Once you find the font you particularly like and works for your brand, simply copy the text from the font tool, open the Instagram app, and paste wherever you need the text placed. To add custom fonts to your Instagram caption, simply paste the custom font text into the caption editor before you publish.
When using creative fonts in Instagram blogging, it’s important to have a clear reason why you chose that font style, whether you use these font types for IG stories or in your captions. When choosing different fonts, keep your brand persona in mind. Make sure the font type fits the blog as well and doesn’t seem out of place. It should flow seamlessly and add a visual aspect to your content.
“Create your own unique, authentic visual style, and stick to it. This helps you carve out a niche in the market and makes you identifiable for brands as to whether or not your visual aesthetic will work for them for brand partnerships. Whether this is a bold, crisp, start style with a lot of white backdrops, or a soft, whimsical, pastels style, or something else entirely, it will make your visual work unique and identifiable in market.
There’s an abundance of presets and tools available now to help you achieve a consistent edit on your photos on social media, so it doesn’t need to be a time consuming task to create beautiful visual content.” — Taryn Williams, @theright.fit
The most basic font has a connotation, so go back to what is appropriate with your aesthetic. Whether you’re going for minimalist fonts that indicate modern simplicity, or italicized script fonts that hint romantic or feminine. Just be sure that these fonts are legible, and that you’re consistent with the fonts you’re using. But be guided that there can be too much of a good thing, so use fonts sparingly to avoid looking spammy. When it comes to Instagram blogging, sometimes less is more.
“When displaying text on an Instagram photo make sure you have a strong image displayed alongside the text that really grabs the viewer’s attention, making them want to read more.
Little changes in text design can make a huge difference. Be creative and use multiple colors, sizes, and fonts of the text you include in your images to catch the readers eye.” — Austin Heaton, @heatonminded
Emojis amplify your stories and conversations, and can be a great way to give that human element to your captions. And since they are universally understood, anyone and everyone can easily interpret emojis.
As a guiding principle, you don’t really have to use emojis in a literal interpretation of the text. You can use colorful emojis to evoke the emotion you’re going for in your posts. For great results, try adding an emoji at the beginning of your sentences or at the end so you can draw attention to the important points of information in your text.
Whichever way you’re using emojis, try to make it fun! Spice up your captions with playful emojis to engage your readers and dress up your text. Adding at least one emoji relating to your story’s topic goes a long way.
6. Give Context
Not all posts are self-explanatory. Once you have your photo, a powerful way of storytelling is to provide the context behind the photo. An image is just an image until there is context and background.
For instance, let’s say you posted a picture of the city skyline at night. Your followers won’t necessarily know where this place is or what you’re thinking of when you took the photo. Giving some context through your caption, makes it easier for your followers to relate or understand what was going through your mind.
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“A great way to have an Instagram post connect with readers is to tell a personal story and ask the readers a question. Something that helps the readers feel seen and feel solidarity or share their experiences or advice is super meaningful for engagement.” — Julie Smeltzer, @fabworkingmomjulie
7. Pair It With A Video
A really effective Instagram blogging tip is to take advantage of video. Use the Q & A feature through Instagram Stories, then follow it up with an IGTV video answering questions about the blog. This will help you engage with your readers and give them further context into your work, which will in turn do wonders for your page views and engagement rates.
You can show off your personality, your thoughts, and your lifestyle. It’s also one of the best ways to get your content out there and build your brand. With blogging on Instagram, the more realistic you are, the more interesting you will be.
“Use the one-take rule. One take on all videos, especially stories on Instagram. When you re-watch and criticize, and re-take again and again, this creates friction and doesn’t inspire or motivate you to create again. We find the one-take rule makes creating content way more fun and a much smoother process. PLUS it shows the real, authentic you, rather than a polished ‘perfect’ version, which we all know isn’t real anyway!” — The Merrymaker Sisters, @themerrymakersisters
8. Share A Bit Of History
People are fascinated by the past, share a bit about the history of your photo, or about yourself! This is a great tip for travel bloggers. Don’t just post a cool photo of you at a historical landmark, share some of the history! This will also show that you aren’t just traveling for the photos, but are educating yourself and your followers as well.
You can even include a brief history of your company, a product, or the work you do.
Take this post from LEGO, for example. They shared a brief history of their Winter Village series of products, celebrating 10 years of going beyond just being a toy to being a holiday tradition.
Sharing personal stories is a powerful tool of storytelling that enables audiences to appreciate your journey and be part of it. They may even want to follow along and support the work you do even more. Sharing milestones of your work also becomes a way to celebrate your achievements with your readers.
“When micro-blogging, one of the best ways to captivate your audience and build the KLT (“know, like, trust”) Factor, is by telling stories that: entertain, educate, or inspire. It should be short, powerful, and to the point. This is one of the best ways I’ve seen micro-bloggers build genuine connections with their audiences – quickly.” — Rachel Hill, @racheltravels
9. Introduce People
Every person has a story. A strong form of microblogging is to seek out people and share their story on your account. This makes the world feel smaller and allows other peoples voices to be heard instead of just your own. This lets your readers know that you’re also about the community you’re in, and sending off a message that you care about what’s happening about other people’s lives and situations. People of New York on Instagram shows exactly how this is true.
By doing this, the sense of community is formed naturally, so your account becomes a source of strength, positivity. and encouragement.
10. Product Details
Whatever your niche, chances are people are following you because they believe you’re doing something right. They want your insight, whether it’s for traveling, clothing, parenting, etc.
If you’re a fashion blogger, share where you purchased each item either in your caption or by making it a shoppable post. This will avoid any frustration of your followers wanting to purchase your clothing but not knowing how. Same for traveling, or food bloggers. Share details on restaurants, sites, and hotels for your followers or where you purchased ingredients.
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“Whenever I’m considering how to market a product best, I commonly consider something unique to me that I can include in the storytelling. With so many people out there pushing the same products, it’s amazing what a little personality can do for your image.
Talk about a memory you have that you are reminded of, or an experience you loved once upon a time. These are things that are unique to your perspective, and by sharing these, your message will be sure to be unique.” — Natalie Migliarini, @beautifulbooze
Okay, so you’ve crafted a great story in your posts and captions, you’ve hooked your readers into getting involved, but the problem is, they don’t know how. This is where the call to action comes in. CTAs not only convince people to act, but also tells them how to do it and when to do it. It’s a digital method to get the response you want from your viewers at the end of your story pitch.
“Try to get you readers personally involved through your captions and blog text. Give a personal example and let your text remind them of a similar experience they had in the past and encourage them to share it. Like this you will receive more engagement, which again boosts your posting!” — Carina Berry, @carina_berry
There are creative ways to add CTAs to your Instagram stories and captions. You can post teasers before introducing your blog. If you’re doing this from a post, you can even direct people to your Instagram stories to see the actual teaser. Aside from teasers, you can encourage your followers to tag their friends, and help increase engagement. When your existing followers tag other users, this significantly increases your chances of getting more followers.
Use active language in CTAs. Keeping it short and sweet is the way to go. Phrases like “click on”, “buy now”, “subscribe to,” or “register now” clearly helps persuade your audience to take action. You can also create a sense of urgency to this by adding CTAs like “for a limited time only,” or “available to the first 500 customers.” Including this makes readers feel that they’re missing out, and FOMO, as we know, is a powerful thing.
12. Incorporate Hashtags
Build a community around your microblog by incorporating strong hashtags relating to your niche. This will help attract other influencers and bloggers from your niche, and readers who will be interested in your content.
“Offer Readers a Branded Value-Journey to Follow. It takes, on average, seven touchpoints with a brand to convert a reader into a customer. As such, each visual microblog you post on Instagram should help your readers begin a journey with your brand. A series of posts makes this possible. Start your micro-blog with a long-form post your readers will love on your website, then offer them a way to follow your series on Instagram via a complementary (not repetitive) visual journey.
Keeping readers following your journey is quite easy on Instagram. Simply create a campaign hashtag for each blog series (or campaign) and include it in your microblog caption on Instagram. Readers can start with any posted visual, then click the hashtag to continue following the story (or journey with your brand). As you create your journey, remember to infuse your company’s promise-of-value into each visual asset to keep them coming back for more.” — Alana Rudder, @thebalancecom
Branded Instagram hashtags help spread the word about the work you do and find content created about you by your followers. It also makes it easy for your target audience to find you, resulting in audience growth.
When choosing a branded hashtag to use, keep things simple so your readers can easily remember. Once your followers get a hang of using the hashtag, you can collect user-generated content. UGC helps drive engagement, brand credibility, and more followers on Instagram.
Now, Go Be A Micro-Blogging Rockstar!
Instagram is a platform where you can capture and share moments through photos, videos, and story telling. You can do so much by creating and inspiring not just people, but communities. Whether your story is one that inspires, educates, persuades, entertains, or simply lets others feel you’re actually really interested in making days bearable through your perspectives, Instagram blogging gives you that leverage you need to make things happen both for you and your readers.
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