How to Tell a Brand Story on Instagram

Originally published on

Marketing and advertising tactics on Instagram range from utilizing the most used hashtags to running actual advertising campaigns to reach a wider audience. But, there’s no denying that simply taking an awesome photo is one of the best ways to boost engagement, and your audience.

We live in an incredibly visual world today where consumers want to be shown what a given product looks like rather than having to read about it (our attention spans are not what they once were). Because of this, Instagram has become one of the most popular platforms for both business and leisure today, with the number of users topping 800 million this past year. Companies would be wise to take advantage of this plethora of potential customers.

Successful advertising campaigns are those that tell stories and engage with the consumer. Remember that your brand story should be about the customer, not the brand or product. Try to evoke an emotional response. Say you are trying to boost sales for a car, for example. Posting high-quality, beautiful pictures of the car from its most flattering angles, as well as one with a driver that looks to be happy are requirements of course, but what’s the deeper story associated with your brand? If you’re a brand like Harley Davidson for example, you don’t just want pictures of your motorcycle, but what a typical day for a rider might look like on his or her day off.

Take a look at what Subway has done as another example. Their #SubYAY campaign was aimed at millennials and Gen-Z audiences by promoting their new stands that would be present at summer music festivals; events that have become wildly popular among these generations in recent years. They posted pictures of younger audience members at these events wearing Subway gear, but kept the focus on sharing their experience as a festival goer.

Screen Shot 2019-06-05 at 3.04.51 PM

Their “Green Rooms” popped up at Bonnaroo, Firefly, and Governors Ball just to name a few, where they advertised photos of their target demographic, effectively showing how Subway sandwiches fit into the lives of young adults. The food giants almost immediately boosted their number of Instagram followers and amount of engagement by posting engaging photos in addition to Instagram Stories.

Never forget the basics. Instagram is a photo-sharing social media profile, meaning that the quality and content of your photos is absolutely vital. A clothing store would obviously want to post images of certain articles of clothing for sale, but should also keep in mind how these photos are shot. A good contrast of colors, lighting, and positioning can make an average photo look like a professional’s work.

Broaden your horizons. Though Instagram is a visual platform, some users will respond better to different types of ads than others. Because of that, try and encapsulate a few strategies in one post. Don’t shy away from video content or posting to your Instagram Story for added engagement, know how to take a beautiful picture, and get creative with your captions. Once you master the basics and know your targeted audience, you’ll be one step closer to creating an Insta-empire.


Expanding Your Social Media Reach (Part 2)

As a business, utilizing social media is not only crucial, but imperative in today’s world. In my previous blog, I discussed a few ways you can enhance the strength and engagement among your Facebook and Twitter profiles. For those of you whose businesses may flourish more on YouTube or LinkedIn, this blog is for you.


Social media users today want quick, easy-to-access information, and what better way to oblige them than with a video? Video marketing is a great way to showcase what you do, as long it fits your brand identity. As of 2015, 93% of those in marketing used video for sales or communication. Predictions say that in 2017, 74% of all internet traffic will be video.

It’s important to note that, compared to Facebook’s 50 million business pages, YouTube is almost an untapped market for those looking to advertise their goods or services. With a less fierce competition compared to other social media sites, growing the strength of your business’s YouTube account can help greatly in giving you a leg up.

The most obvious tactic for improving your YouTube account is to upload videos regularly. Having your target audience come to expect a new video daily or weekly will earn you their trust as consumers. However, be sure to keep these videos around 2-3 minutes. Many users tend to be turned off by those of 4 minutes or more. Creating an introduction video is another great way to add professionalism to your channel.

Organize your videos by playlist. A well laid out YouTube channel is not only visually appealing, but provides the simplicity of having to do little navigating for customers looking for specific videos.

Be sure to post any videos or links to these videos to any preexisting social media profiles. If you have a large following on Facebook or Twitter, sharing your YouTube videos on these platforms could greatly increase your followers. Add a ‘subscribe’ button to blogs or posts for even more convenience.


A social media profile that was once thought of as simply a networking tool, LinkedIn is now a networking requirement in order to expand your name or business. Adding connections not only grows your audience, but gives you more and more opportunities to meet potential clients or business partners.

An amazingly simple way to increase your number of connections is by utilizing the address book tool. Importing contacts from your email can instantly send invitations to hundreds of people you know. However, be sure not to send a mass invite. In order to make meaningful connections, choose those who you truly wish to connect with on LinkedIn, and send a personal message rather than a generic “Hi! Connect with me on LinkedIn!”

Add the URL to your LinkedIn profile to other social media profiles. Much like adding YouTube videos to Facebook as mentioned above, this increased visibility can only help. Add a link to your email signature as well to show other professionals that your profile is worthy of being viewed.

With that said, it’s extremely important to have a well written, thorough profile page. List all job history that is relevant and meaningful, your education history along with degree earned and courses taken, and any volunteer work completed or awards received. A detailed LinkedIn page shows others that you take the site seriously, and wish to expand your professional reach.
Join groups dealing with your business or interests, and connect with other members. Again, making meaningful connections is much more likely to generate more engagement than adding strangers.