The Real #BTS on Instagram Photos
Instagram has become a powerful social media tool for people to document their lives through filtered photos and videos. But just how authentic are the portrayals of the photos people post? If you strip away the cropping, lighting, filters, and strategic placements, the differences between envious Instagram photos are minimal.
The truth is, everyone’s lives look better online than in real life. Accomplishments are showcased more than failures. A selection of well-plated brunch items at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant can be filtered and cropped to look like it is from a gourmet eatery. People are utilizing Instagram to create a business, fan base, or community.
This principle also translates to digital brand marketing. In our work for our digital marketing clients, generating visually striking, candid style imagery for Instagram is critical to tapping into the aesthetic expected by the audience and to create compelling advertising content. Lifestyle posts centered around popular social media holidays, flat lays, and playful Boomerang video loops can all help to humanize a brand and connect with the Instagram audience vernacular. Not to mention, they can create a high number of impressions and interactions for our clients as compared to other social media ad portals.
By generating quality content, Instagram has become an advantage for smaller companies in a competitive consumer market by leveling the playing field with high impact on low budgets. Powerful visual content and partnerships with Instagram influencers in lieu of high advertising budgets or billboards have allowed smaller companies to gain the same popularity as mega brands and sales. With the rise of celebrity endorsements and consumers looking to popular bloggers and online personalities for upcoming brands and trends, Instagram is now perceived less as authentic content and more as entertainment.
Picture this: a new denim brand with a small ad budget wants to reach millions of people who would be interested in their brand. They research and seek lifestyle influencers with more than a certain amount of followers that fit their brand, email them, and pay for a fee per post. Joe from New York with 250K followers, who is one of the influencers that the brand paid, produces and posts a photo wearing their denim jacket. The brand just now reached 250K people with potential sales and brand awareness.
Most recently, there has been a backlash to the highly enhanced imagery users are generating on Instagram with consumers wanting more raw and authentic content. Instagram stories, the new feature similar to its social competitor, Snapchat, is a new way for brands and brand influencers to engage with their audience and provide more spontaneous, authentic posts than the usual cropped and filtered photos. The feature gives viewers the chance to look at behind the scenes content and also Instagrammers’ way of providing more “imperfect” posts not suited for their regular feed.