There are millions of pictures and videos being shared on Instagram every day. So, with this being said, how can you stand out and attract users to engage in your post?
The answer? Perfect content!
But in laymen’s terms, what is perfect content? As a business, you need to portray your company as something organized, well-made, and well-thought-of. This can reflect on the pictures and videos you upload, so you have to make sure that your content has good composition, great colors, and tones, and is well-lit. Your choice of filter and effects play a huge part too!
Below are the best tips to help you create the perfect pictures and videos on Instagram.
Table of Contents
Tips for Creating the Perfect Picture
1. Get Good Lighting
Making sure that you’re getting good light is one of the key ingredients of creating the perfect photo for your Instagram business. No matter what kind of picture you are trying to capture, there’s no amount of filter that can rescue a poor-lit picture.
As much as possible, use natural light as your source. So, if you are planning to take pictures outdoors, early morning or late afternoon photoshoots would be the ideal time. These times of the day are when you can get some of the beautiful outputs under natural lights.
2. Use Strong Colors and Shapes
Nothing can beat a photo with defined colors and shapes as these characteristics can truly make your photos stand out. It’s best to choose and focus on an element that will appear large within your frame. By doing this, you will be able to draw your audiences’ attention to your content.
Expressing emotion through your photos is also one of the best practices. If you’re new to photography, capturing emotions through pictures may take time. But as you do it more often and you keep practicing, it will start coming naturally. Again, you don’t have to be an expert to capture the perfect pictures. Just like any other skill, it’s something that can be practiced and good at over time.
3. Learn How to Use Editing Apps
There was a time when Instagram users solely depended on the preset Instagram filters to use on their posts. Admittedly, it was cool at that time, but today, with the number of free editing apps that can help you create professional-looking edited pictures, there’s no excuse to still use them.
Using these free editing apps, you can easily enhance the look and overall quality of your pictures. Gone are the days you need to learn how to be an expert on Adobe Photoshop to enhance your photos. Some of the user-friendly alternatives can be downloaded right straight to your smartphones. Some of these are VSCO, Snapseed, PicsArt, and RNI Films, but of course, don’t be afraid to shop around for the best tools that meet your needs and requirements.
Another good thing about these apps is that they connect you with some of the professionals where you can get inspiration from. For example, VCSO is not only a photo editing app but also a photo-sharing community that aims to encourage people to show their creativity with the use of the apps.
4. Put Grids to Good Use
Many people look over the benefits offered by simple grids on their phones or cameras, but with the right usage, these grids can give you amazing output. For perfect Instagram shots, properly align all the elements of the pictures using these grids. Turning on the grid features can help you enhance the overall impacts of the picture.
It’s important to observe carefully the overlapping elements on the screen in order to find the subjects’ midpoint. As soon as you successfully get the center of the pictures, take the picture. Using the grid features can definitely make a huge difference no matter what kind of photography you are trying to achieve.
5. Use Your Eyes Before Your Lens
One of the biggest misconceptions in photography is that as long as you have high-end cameras, taking great pictures would be a piece of cake – this can’t be any more wrong. The truth is, no matter how expensive your gears are, if you don’t have good eyes for photography, your photos wouldn’t be as great. Similarly, you don’t have to own expensive cameras just to take high-quality photos.
To be able to get professional-looking pictures, it’s important to train your eyes accordingly. Instead of taking thousands of pictures to get one perfect shot, take your time and learn how to get the best angles and compositions without the use of a lens. Before pressing the shutter, take pictures with your eyes first. By taking your time to observe what you may capture, you will have better ideas of how you can take the perfect pictures.
6. Use the “Less is More ” Ideology
For beginners, one of the biggest mistakes they do when editing pictures for their business is over-editing them. And then most of the time, they just end up being so unappealing. To enhance your pictures, a little editing is enough. Keep in mind that you are editing photos to make your products look as it was taken by a professional photographer, you’re not taking it to make it as if it was a part of a fiction movie. On top of it, if you are selling products, you don’t want to make your products look different from what it looks like in real life or your customer will get disappointed.
What you want is to apply just some basic editing, which includes adjustments with the brightness, contrast, shadows, highlights, and temperature. What you have to be careful of is adjusting the saturation as it can drastically change the output of the photo.
Again, keep it simple and don’t go over the top. Although these are just basic editing, going over the top with these adjustments can decrease the overall quality of the pictures. You don’t want to lose its natural look. Always compare the edited output to the original pictures so you can easily tell whether or not you went overboard, or you just did it right.
7. Consider Effects or Filters
The beauty of smartphone photo editing tools is that they come with preset filters that you can use with all pictures in order for them to have the same theme or aesthetics. Furthermore, it allows you to create very attractive photos without needing to be an expert.
You can draw the attention of your audience by adding creative filters and effects. Don’t be afraid to try them all until you get the output you desire. But then again, try not to use filters to their full intensity. You can always adjust the settings of these filters in order to find the optimum level of outcome. And again, less is more.
8. It’s Always the Quality over Quantity
One high-quality picture is worth more than 10 bad ones. If you think being active on Instagram by uploading consistently is more important than paying more attention to the quality of the picture you are uploading, then you have to know that you are doing things completely wrong! Keep in mind that it’s better to spend hours taking a couple of good pictures than spending a few minutes taking hundreds of bad pictures.
Tips for Creating the Perfect Videos
When it comes to editing videos, its sure sounds more intimidating for many compared to editing simple pictures. It’s pretty understandable – after all, unlike a simple picture, a video consists of multiple frames that may have different lighting, contracts, and shadows.
But what people didn’t know is that it can be as simple as editing photos. You just have to make sure that you edit your videos matching your branding by adding texts, adjusting its brightness, and cropping it accordingly.
Today, adding videos for their business accounts is no longer only for big brands, any startup business can easily produce high-quality videos that can help them generate more engagement. You also don’t need to spend a lot of money to hire a professional to do things for you. You can do it on your phone using free apps.
Everything including Stories, GIFs, and Boomerangs are considered as video content on Instagram. This means that regardless of what type of multi-frame content you’re posting, you want to make sure that you’ve got the right set of tools in creating high-quality video content for your Instagram.
Producing captivating videos for Instagram is one of the most efficient Instagram marketing tactics there are. This offers you a great amount of flexibility when it comes to using video content in improving your strategy for Instagram marketing.
Tips for Creating the Perfect Picture
1. Setting Clear Goals
Telling a story in just 30 seconds can be a challenge for many. That’s why taking your time in planning and conceptualizing a compelling video is extremely important. Before getting started, it’s important to ask yourself what your main goals are for sharing the videos. Do you want to gain new followers? To make sales or maybe you want people to check out your website?
It’s important to be specific. The feel and the tone of the video you are trying to create will depend on the reason as to why you are creating it in the first place.
2. Tell a Story
Creating a video that tells a story is the more effective way to gain attention and engagement on Instagram as a business. You don’t have to make a storyboard for this, but by planning out the video well, you can assure that you will be able to use every second optimally. Doing this will help you manage your time properly and organize the storyline better.
You have to remember that Instagram videos start playing automatically when the user scrolls down their feeds, so it’s important to start your video with an attention-grabbing scene. Starting your video this way is going to help it stand out, and more importantly, it’s going to capture the interest of the viewer and convince them to watch the whole video to finish the story. But of course, the middle and the end parts of the video have to be strong as well.
At the end of the video, you may want to include call-to-action wherein you can ask the viewer to engage in the content or take action to learn more about your brand.
Lastly, you have to remember that videos on Instagram play in silent unless the user chooses to tap the video to enable the sound. So, you may also want to consider adding on-screen options.
3. Proper Lighting for Your Video
Just like when you are editing pictures, you don’t need to invest in expensive lighting equipment in order to have fantastically well-lit video output. Choosing the settings is always the key but using some basic technique can also help dramatically. Here are some tips to remember:
- Use natural light sources. As much as possible, shoot during the daytime when the sun is out and shining. And it’s better if it’s outdoors. However, if you’re shooting indoors, try to shoot it near the windows.
- Avoid shooting under overhead lights. Doing this can cause some very poor visual effects. Seek other sources of light and help your subject is moving around until you get to find a good light source.
- Use your creativity! If ever your lighting setup isn’t doing you any favor, this is when you have to wring your creative juice. If you want to soften the light, you can use a white poster board or even a simple paper to be your reflector. Similarly, if you’re aiming to block some unwanted light source, you can use black plastic to cover it.
4. Shooting the video
Choosing what camera to use for shooting your video is the first thing you need to do. It’s best to use the camera directly from your smartphone or DSLR. This is because the app’s camera has some limitations when it comes to shooting capabilities.
After choosing the camera to use, the following step is shooting the video! Here are some pointers to help you as you start shooting your Instagram videos for your business.
Always shoot the video in portrait for Story or landscape mode for Feed. Thankfully, it didn’t take long before Instagram realized that cropping videos and photos into a square is not the best idea they came up with for the platform. This means you can decide as to what orientation you want to upload in.
For uploading normal content, it’s best to upload it in a landscape, while stories are best taken in portrait. This is because playing Stories will give you a full-screen view while a typical video on the feed doesn’t do that. Setting the orientations these ways will give the users full views of the video while playing.
Keep the focus on the subject. Make sure that the device you are using is consistently focusing on the subject. When using your smartphone to shoot the video, you can simply tap the screen on the area where you want it to focus. On the other hand, if you are using a DSLR, you might have to adjust the lens to get it focused on the subject.
Keep the shot steady. Unless you are trying to shoot an indie or a horror film, you’ll want to keep the shot steady. You can use a tripod if you are shooting a video in the same frame. On the other hand, if you are shooting a video where you have to move, then you can use a stabilizer like a gyro device.
Be picky. Depending on where you are planning to upload your video, it can be as short as 10 seconds up to 60 seconds or more if you’re planning to upload it on IGTV, but then again, there’s a limit to how long you can play the video, you must be selective about what you will include in the video. When editing the video, ask yourself if the scenes you will include are worth being in the video.
5. Choosing the Content to Upload
There are some categories that will help you to decide on what type of content to upload. These categories include a type of products, brand image, and the story you want to portray in your video.
From there, you can start brainstorming. List down all the ideas you have relevant to the subject and format that you think will help you create a compelling video for your business. Lastly, you have to make sure that the content you make fits the theme and tone for your brand. Again, you must remember that consistency is a very important thing.
Below are different types of video content you can upload on your Instagram. Check the list carefully and find out which types of content you think is the one that will match your marketing goals.
6. Show Your Product details
Show your followers the products you are selling and why they should buy them. Uploading videos that show your products and their features a couple of times a week is ideal. Doing this will be a great complement to uploading lifestyle photos and videos. Uploading this type of videos will provide your followers with an insight into what your brand embodies.
7. Determine what video to create for product-in-action
If you want to break up the monotonous series of staged images on your feed, uploading product-in-action videos would be a great solution. Your followers will not want to see a series of showroom stock photos on your feed.
When you are trying to determine what video to create for product-in-action, you must consider your audience and what gives them inspiration. What kind of customers to do they have and what do they really want? Put yourself in their shoes and look at your brand from a different point of view.
Learn more about the best time to post on Instagram.