You can’t get past Instagram; that much is clear. But what does it depend on, and what makes a good account? We have collected.Trying out, analyzing, and optimizing is the strategy of choice for improving the performance on Instagram. But the learnings of the experienced Instagrammers can be used as a starting point for format, length, and publication interval.
Storytelling is like a synonym for social media. The individual post tells a story, but so does the entire account. The report determines not only the content but also the aesthetics. And it is emotional. It provokes, triggers compassion, makes you laugh. Mirco Gulch, who produces Insta-Stories for companies with his agency Piggyback, has learned that storytelling works differently on Instagram than on other channels. “Instead of a single arc of suspense, storytelling on Instagram looks more like a temperature curve. There are always small highlights. “
You could have guessed it, but now you have it in black and white: Videos trigger significantly more engagement than pictures or carousels. The Cologne-based company Quintly published a report in September 2019, in which it averages thousands of large and small accounts. Videos start almost 50 percent more engagement than simple pictures. Carousels with multiple images get 25 percent more shares, likes, and comments.
The edgewise format of the images and videos knows one top star above all: the image flight. This does not mean simultaneous logging out of Instagram and Pinterest, but elements in the picture create depth. Everything that looks “backward” is exciting; everything that is broader is difficult. So look for railroad tracks, rows of glasses on tables, or rows of posts on a railing. Photographer Jörg Not concentrates on buildings: “The depiction of rows of houses became more important in making optimal use of the vertical format and creating depth.”
And then the room layout in the picture or video results automatically: “One is the rule of thirds. The content takes place in the lower two-thirds of the vertical screen, while the logo resides at the top,” explains Leni Stahlhuth, herself a micro-influencer with 21,000 followers and above all an exuberant photographer.
With Or Without Text?
According to the Quintly study, 67 percent of all posts have a description of over 150 characters in length. This is interesting because the concise reports under 50 symbols trigger more engagement, according to Quintly statistics.
Stay Away From Standard Filters
The effect is always the same when a new tool appears. Everyone rushes to the new, excellent functions, and it quickly becomes visually very dull. Since the Insta filters hardly offer setting options for discreet use but are intended for a “quick effect,” they should be ignored. It is better to use image processing tools and their filters. The Berlin photographer Jörg Nicht is happy that Instagram has its own unique visual aesthetic, but it has nothing to do with finished effects. “Retro filters no longer lure you out from behind the stove.”
Emojis And Stickers Are Annoying
Maybe you do, but your users don’t. Although the Quintly report describes emojis as the heart of communication on social media, half of all posts contain no illustrative miniature images. And that seems to be an apparent mistake: Posts without emojis have the lowest engagement rate for any account size.
Mirco Gulch warns, however, that the stickers will distract from the call-to-action. “Less is more. Better a cool interaction with a good CTA than lots of blinking icons on the hopefully beautiful video.”
The key to a working influencer campaign is making the right choices. First, you determine your target group, then look for influencers who play this target group, and finally, you look at the accounts to see whether the communication style is more or less appropriate. The trick is, of course, to leave some air between the brand and the influencer so that the creator can also contribute exciting new things and not just follow a briefing. But German marketers find it challenging to do that. Two-thirds of those surveyed in a study complain about the lack of complete control in influencer marketing.
Another point of criticism is, of course, the now considerable cost of influencer posts. Anna Thalhammer, managing director of the Klein Aber agency and even Youtuberin, reveals one approach, at least here, in control: “Always go to influencers with your offer. Otherwise it will be expensive”.
Lots Of hashtags, Lots Of Commitment
If you believe the Quintly statistics, almost a third of all posts do not use hashtags. A little more than a third use one to three hashtags. Small accounts, in particular, tend to add a lot of hashtags to their posts. And that fits here too: you get an above-average number of reactions.
The Quintly editors advise: Use hashtags that are as specific as possible. And if there are a lot of them, they prefer to hide them behind a sticker, especially with the stories, because hashtag clouds look kind of clumsy.
The Right Time
Instagrammers also seem to want to enjoy a weekend off more often. In any case, the number of posts on the weekend is gradually decreasing. Quite different from the engagement rate. It is by far the highest on Sunday, which is also logical when there are fewer posts.
Business people are people too. And as soon as there are emotional and, above all, visual topics in the B2B environment, Instagram also functions as a channel for them. And of course, applicants take a look around to find out whether the new potential employer is fantastic. Laura-Jane Freutel has had excellent experiences here for Hapag Lloyd: “In our traditional industry, we can stand out with our Instagram presence.” Hapag Lloyd tells many stories about containers and international shipping, and the trainees have their channel.
Mirco Gulch and Leni Stahlhuth recommend the apps Filmic Pro for recording and Inshot for cutting if you want to go deeper.
Ralf Werner, a trained sound engineer and now in the service of Yellowtech, recommends using a second microphone, independent of the smartphone microphone. Experienced Instagrammers also film with two cameras simultaneously to have a backup on the one hand and be able to use a second perspective for the cut or a making-of video on the other.
Quintly recommends Unfold on the blog: The app has many story templates, background images, and stickers.
Be Careful Not To Hurt!
You could go on and on with tips for Instagram and stories. However, one should exercise some caution when using all of the information and tricks out there. In the blog of the Cologne-based company Quintly, for example, the following note can be found if you want to insert a third-party YouTube video into your own Insta story:
- Start the screen recording function on your smartphone.
- Edit the video with an app of your choice, such as Inshot, and save it in the format you want.
- Upload it to your stories. Finished!
No, not! Since YouTube does not offer this form of integration to its competitor Facebook, this approach almost certainly violates the terms and conditions. In addition, at least one clear source is required that every user can see. And as soon as there is even the slightest suspicion that the account on which the video appears is making money, there is a clear violation of copyright law.