Instagram has been around for over 10 years, and a lot has changed since it started to make it one of the top 3 social media platforms in the world. With over 1 billion monthly active users on the platform, they must be doing something right.
One of the changes that rocked Instagram was the change in its algorithm; when Instagram first started and for years after, content was displayed to users in chronological order via news feed. Instagram revamped this algorithm and changed it to show users content that they may enjoy most, or from accounts that they had engaged with previously.
This redefined Instagram and changed the way that creators tailor their content. Now, engagement is more important than ever if you want a high-performing Instagram profile.
There are many different content formats on Instagram these days, including photo and video posts, carousel posts, reels, IGTV, Instagram stories, shoppable posts, and Instagram ads. How do you create a strategy that gets users engaged and involved in your content?
If you’re looking for more engagement on Instagram, you should consider Instagram blogging. Wait… what?
Yes, we said that right— Instagram blogging! Instagram is a visual platform but can be used in many ways to capture the attention of your users, tell stories, and build a strong relationship and brand authenticity. Microblogging on Instagram is a perfect way to do that.
In order to be an effective microblogger on Instagram, there are a variety of tips and tricks that you should follow. In this post, we’re going to help you take your content to the next level and get more Instagram engagement by explaining what microblogging is, the benefits it brings, as well as 12 best practices to make your Instagram content more competitive. Let’s go!
What is Microblogging?
Microblogging can be considered a vital element of building connections on Instagram because it combines content production with instant messaging and captioning. You’ll use your Instagram content formats to create short form blog posts involving news, tips, and other relevant and valuable information that people will find useful. Your content should be as unique and original as possible.
Microblogs are aimed at online audiences that don’t want to read through longform blogs or primarily use platforms where longform blogging isn’t possible, like Instagram. You can use your real-time sharing and content marketing to boost engagement and get people paying attention.
Good content always involves both visual and written content, making Instagram the perfect place to apply your microblogging efforts.
Benefits of Microblogging on Instagram
If you want to get more Instagram followers and engagement, blogging on Instagram is one of the best ways to do so. You’ll need a professional Instagram account if you want your Instagram blogging efforts to be as effective as possible, and if you don’t already have one, we’ll give you some brief instructions.
Here’s how to change your Instagram account to a professional account:
- Visit your Instagram profile and tap the three lines (menu icon) in the top right corner.
- Tap Settings
- Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the menu options to find Switch to Professional account
- Follow the remaining prompts to select your primary account purpose and whether or not you’re best defined as a business or content creator.
Throughout this process, you’ll also be asked to confirm your contact information; you can also display or hide this on your profile. After this is completed, you’re all set. Now, you will have access to the extremely valuable (and necessary) Instagram insights and direct messaging features only offered to professional accounts.
Insights for Professional Instagram Accounts
Previously, Instagram made a big distinction between business and creator accounts, but now they are both streamlined and share many of the same features. One of those features is the access to Instagram insights, where you’ll gain analytics about your Instagram content and audience.
You will get these insights for individual posts as well as for your overall account performance. You can find out information about:
- content reach
- Audience demographics including location, active times, and gender
- Followers gained or lost
These are just some of the indispensable data that you can discover through Instagram insights. This is important for your Instagram blogging because you’ll need to know what type of content performs the best with your followers and viewers so your content creation strategy is ever-evolving in line with what your audience wants.
Instagram is a Great Tool for Sharing Your Blogs
If you’re already a blogger on the web, Instagram is an even better place for you— you can use the platform to extend your blogging efforts and grow your blog, funneling traffic from Instagram. Applying a little creativity to your Instagram content and defining your voice on the platform will definitely get people interested in checking out your site.
The more present you are on Instagram, the more interested people will be; you also want to make sure that you make good use of video content, as video content performs better and also makes a better connection with your followers and viewers on Instagram.
Once your profile reaches 10k followers, you’ll be allowed access to the Instagram stories Swipe-Up feature. This feature is really important because you can add a link to your Instagram stories, allowing users to visit the URL from directly within the Instagram story interface. This is a complete game changer and has proven very useful for many brands and businesses.
The only other place you can add a clickable link on your Instagram profile is in your Instagram bio. If you post links in your post captions, users can see them, but they won’t be able to do anything else with it.
In order to maximize your Instagram bio link, you should be using a link-in-bio tool such as Linktr.ee or linkin.bio. These tools help you to create a directory of your relevant external URLs so that your followers can visit your sites. Otherwise, you’re limited to only one link in your Instagram bio.
Add CTA Buttons to Your Profile
Another key thing you need to do before you even start microblogging on Instagram is set up your call-to-action (CTA) buttons on your main profile page. These buttons will help you strengthen your connection to your followers and give them an easy way to get in touch.
This is especially useful if you are looking to connect and collaborate with other brands, businesses, or creators.
You’ll be able to select which CTA buttons are available on your profile through the Profile DIsplay. You can access this menu by visiting your Instagram profile and then hitting Edit Profile underneath your Instagram bio.
You’ll be able to choose from a variety of different buttons; only select the ones that apply to you and also confirm that your contact information is correct in your Contact Options.
12 Instagram Blogging Tips for Visual Storytelling That Boosts Engagement
Now that we’ve gone over the basic setup elements for your Instagram profile before blogging, we’re ready to get into the 12 best practices to help enhance your IG content and blogging efforts.
You can use Instagram’s visual nature to share impactful stories with your followers that motivate them to engage and take action. Audiences are always more interested in and engaged with profiles that tell powerful stories that are personal, moving, sad, exciting, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
People are this way by nature, and the more you can evoke emotions in your followers, the more drawn to your content they’ll be. Don’t forget to keep your brand’s values, identity, and purpose in mind when choosing what type of stories to tell.
Instagram is all about building your brand’s presence and reflecting who you are and what you’re passionate about, so you want to share that with your followers! Don’t let them get away— give them something compelling that’s worth sticking around for.
Here are the 12 tips to assist you in visual storytelling on Instagram and microblogging.
1. Find Your Brand’s Voice
Each Instagram profile is unique, and you have to establish your uniqueness in a way that is clear to your followers and provides value to your audience. One way you can do that is through your Instagram captions, and it’s vital that you do.
Instagram captions drive action, which leads to sales and engagement. How can you create a captivating written blurb in only 2,200 characters? If you focus on two things— your brand voice and your content topic— you’ll be able to do it without issue.
The first thing you should do is identify what your brand voice is; are you humorous? Silly? Sarcastic? Formal? Professional? Casual? There’s no wrong answer, as it should be whatever is right for you and what feels natural as well as connects well with your content. Audiences on Instagram want to see authentic and consistent content, so be sure to establish your voice early on.
For instance, Nike is a brand that focuses on inspiring its followers while also showcasing diverse talent, skill, and motivation. All of Nike’s content and captioning align with that voice and their audience can clearly see it.
This authenticity and consistency is what helps your followers or viewers feel connected to you; the stronger emotional connection you can create, the more likely you’ll be to turn those viewers into followers, and those followers into customers.
A consistent brand voice will help to build a strong relationship with your Instagram community and give them a sense of personal connection with you and your brand. Always stay authentic and focus on showing your audience who you are. Ask yourself this question— why do people follow me?
That can help you to understand your account’s purpose and what your community finds valuable about the content and captioning that you provide.
2. Choose Your Photos with Intention
Your captions are important, but remember: you can’t have captions without content. You have to choose images and videos that are interesting and eye-catching if you want people to even consider reading your captions.
You can still focus on your captions as the meat and potatoes of your post, but if you don’t have a strong visual that gets your followers attention, your captions aren’t even going to be seen, making your hard work all for naught.
The first thing you should do is ensure that the actual quality of your photo or video is acceptable. Nobody is going to be intrigued by grainy, blurry, or out-of-focus images (unless it’s intentional and well executed). The quality has to be there and your images should be optimized for Instagram photo sizes and aspect ratios.
Then, consider whether or not your images flow together as part of an effective theme. You should be intentional with the visuals of your Instagram account and if you’re having a hard time finding a look that works, consider using the same Instagram filter on all of your posts, or even check out the top 50 Instagram theme ideas.
Using a visual schedule planner such as Later can help you see how your posts will flow together visually and ensure that they’re portraying a consistent aesthetic and brand image to your followers before you post your content.
3. Be Descriptive in Your Captions
No matter what your caption is about, be as descriptive as you possibly can. Really paint a mental picture for your followers. Whether you’re talking about a personal life experience, an interesting conversation, a pet peeve, important social issue, or advice on how your followers should do something, capture their attention with descriptive language.
Think about it: how does this caption sound to you?:
I had a really nice time today at the beach! It’s so nice to go to the beach once in a while. The sand felt really nice between my toes and the breeze was nice, too. Nice!
This may be an exaggerated example, but you get the point— diversify your language and get your followers to see your words in their mind. Here’s a better version of the above caption:
Today was an incredible day at the beach, and I’ve needed one of those days for so long! It’s necessary every once in a while to get back to the ocean and feel that soft sand between your toes, look out at the sweeping ocean while the breeze is flowing through your hair, and get grounded again for what’s to come.
This is only a small piece of a caption and you’d want to continue the story and make it relevant to what your main point is, but you get it— paint that picture!
Another important strategy for using effective language in blogging is to use power words. Power words are defined as words that draw out emotions from your readers, so you can see why they would be useful in storytelling, as connection is key.
The more the reader feels like part of the story, the more likely they are to identify with it and engage with it. Use your words to help your audience feel exactly what you’re feeling and have that experience as they read.
Don’t underestimate the power of telling a story related to what seems like a simple, everyday moment— we live our lives moment to moment, so these stories, when told in the right way, can really reach the hearts of our followers and readers.
4. Try Creative Fonts
Because Instagram is a visual platform, you can even add some flavor to your fonts (although Instagram itself doesn’t give you the option). If you want to use some creative fonts in your bio and captions to get your followers’ attention, there are some ways to do it.
You can use an Instagram font tool or generator to discover many different types of looks for your Instagram text. Usually the tool will generate a lot of options so you can see which one you like best.
Once you decide on a font that you want to use and fits with your brand, copy the text from the font tool, open your Instagram app, and then paste the text into the desired location. You can paste the text into your bio, captions, and pretty much any other place that there is text input.
Using creative fonts on Instagram can be great, but a word of caution— don’t just fill up your captions and bio with a bunch of overwhelming and random fonts. When you use creative fonts, have a clear reason why you decided to use that particular font.
The font you choose should fit your brand image, doesn’t take away from the story, is readable, and adds value. If not, you can avoid using it. You don’t even have to post the whole caption in this font— you can use it as an accent feature as well.
There are plenty of font types— minimalistic, romantic, simple, modern, strong, script, and more. Be consistent and use them sparingly so you don’t seem spammy or out of touch.
5. Use Emojis
Emojis are beloved around the globe and they help give our words even more life and make direct connections through small images. Some would argue that emojis have destroyed the written word, but on Instagram, they help much more than they hurt when used in the right way.
You have a wide range of ways you can use emojis; you can use then to represent certain words, you can use them after certain words to illustrate them (i.e. boat ⛵️), or you can add ones that you like to add color and energy to your captions.
It’s common that people use emojis either at the beginning or the end of sentences or paragraphs to call attention to important points, details, or emotions in the caption.
Whatever you decide to do with emojis, enjoy it! Have fun and add your own unique flavor and interpretation to your emoji use. Your writing will appear more vivacious and engage your readers even more.
One thing to keep in mind though is that you don’t want your followers to be bombarded by emojis to the point that they can’t even read anymore of your story because it’s too much. Use them as a valuable addition and don’t go overboard with them. Try out a few different things and take a look at other Instagram profiles to get some ideas on how to use emojis on Instagram.
6. Take Advantage of Video
Instagram was created with the intention of sharing single photos with friends and family, but as technology was enhanced, so was the platform, and now video is arguably the most important type of content on Instagram.
Don’t get us wrong— photos still play a vital role on the platform and should absolutely be a part of your content. But videos encourage more engagement from your followers, give a closer and more intimate look at you and your brand,and captivate even more attention.
Because Instagram offers so many different video formats, you can combine your static photo posts with expansion and engagement strategies on Instagram stories, IGTV, reels, IG live, and in-feed videos.
Giving your followers more insight into your content, your thoughts, behind-the-scenes peeks, and more will allow them to get to know you, build a connection, and see that you’re authentic and on the front lines with your followers. This is incredibly important nowadays since there are so many brands, businesses, and influencers already doing it.
Use the Instagram engagement stickers to engage your followers in questions, and then video your responses to those questions in an IGTV or in a series of IG stories after you collect enough questions. Use Instagram live to communicate in real-time with your followers about your content or any other relevant topics that you identify.
Create an IGTV series that shows your users how to do something every week, interviews an export, etc. Ultimately your content strategy will be up to you, but with an ever-evolving platform such as Instagram, simple photo posts won’t be enough to captivate your audience no matter how great your storytelling is. Stay active on Instagram stories at the very least.
7. Introduce People
Each person is full of their own unique stories, and that’s why content that features people is more successful than images and videos with no people— humans want to connect and identify with each other. We are ultimately social creatures and that’s why we seek out stories that we identify with.
While you should always share your own stories, try to feature other people’s stories as well. Perhaps you came across an interesting person in your path, or you looked for someone that had an interesting story to tell.
Regardless of which, when you feature others, it shows that you’re personable and helps to boost your authenticity even more. It gives your profile a real sense of community and makes it clear that you care about other people’s stories, lives, and situations.
The best example of this is the Instagram account @humansofNY. With 11.2 million followers, their account is a testament to the power of storytelling and human connection. Their account is dedicated to telling diverse human stories and experiences, so of course you don’t have to adapt this to your own profile, but using it as inspiration to show some of your own featured stories can be valuable.
8. Give Additional Context
Visual images only show users so much. They draw conclusions and interpret the image in their own way, so one way to integrate your Instagram images with your captioning and storytelling is to offer your audience additional context. What’s going on behind the photo? Images are simply visuals without context, and if you don’t provide the context, your viewers will provide it for you.
Let’s go back to the idea of a beach post. Imagine you posted a photo of the sunset on a beach. Your followers will have no idea about this photo— they won’t know where it is, why it’s important, or how it’s any more relevant than all of the other millions of beach sunset photos on Instagram.
When you describe the significance, unique moments, thought process, and other elements behind a photo, Your followers can then relate to you specifically and gain insight that they may not have come up with on your own. If you don’t provide this through effective storytelling, they’re on their own to make whatever connection they come up with, which means they may not even make one at all.
9. Share Some History
Another thing that people like in addition to human stories is the story of how things came to be, also known as history! We’re all fascinated about the past and what may or may not have been. Give some background on the history of a photo, yourself, or anything else related to your brand.
This is especially useful for those in the travel niche. Dońt simply post a photo of yourself at different locations around the world. Boring! Share background information, history, little-known facts, and more. This adds depth to your content and shows you’re not just all about vanity and appearances.
LEGO did a great job of this during the holidays a few years ago. They showed the history of their Winter Village series of products, which celebrated a whole 10 years of this tradition and established their brand and passion even more.
10. Include Call-to-Actions
Let’s imagine that now you’re a pro at creating top-quality, engaging, and resonant stories through your posts and captions, and your readers are hooked. They want to get involved in some way, but have no clear direction on how to do so.
Here is where you expand your strategy and implement calls to action (CTAs).CTAs are perfect for prompting people to do something and also lets them know exactly how and when. Your ultimate goal is to get people to take some action after checking out your content and microblogging.
There are plenty of creative and interesting ways to add CTAs to your Instagram stories, posts, or any other content formats you’re using. If you’re looking for a CTA to include in your Instagram post, you can even direct people to your Instagram story to get the inside scoop, engage, or view the swipe-up feature.
Aside from this, you can also include CTAs that direct followers to engage directly with the post itself, asking them to like, comment, tag friends, or share the post. Some examples include:
- double tap if you agree!
- Tag a friend you want to (do something) with!
- Tag a friend who would love (something)!
- Let me know which one is your favorite in the comments!
These are just some simple examples, but you can tailor them to fit your content exactly. The great thing about asking your followers to tag people is that you not only get more engagement from the comment, but you also increase the chances of getting more followers.
When you implement CTAs, always use active language and keep it direct. Phrases such as register, click, buy, subscribe, comment, tag, etc. create a sense of urgency and prompt your followers and viewers to take action right at that moment.
If you want to increase the sense of urgency, add phrases that create a time limit, such as for a limited time only or available to the first # customers. People get serious FOMO (fear of missing out) and will be likely to take advantage of whatever CTA you’re prompting.
11. Use Targeted Hashtags
Hashtags related to your content and general niche are also an important part of your Instagram content strategy, especially if one of your main goals is to get more Instagram followers. You can get your content under the eyes of more people via hashtag feeds and gain visibility for your profile.
If you’re not sure which hashtags are relevant, check out a hashtag tool such as Task Ant, which can give you insight into different hashtag performance metrics and also help you to generate hashtags that pertain to your niche and content type.
Another strategy is to create a branded hashtag. Branded hashtags will create a unique feed where a lot of your content can be found; users can also tag this hashtag on their post and their content will also show up there. You can then use the content that they post as user-generated content, which also helps you to tell stories, feature your community, and boost engagement and interest in your profile.
Include your branded hashtag in all of your content posts and also include it in your Instagram bio. Let people know that if they use it in their posts, they could be featured on your profile, which will generate even more interest in your account.
When you feature other users, they’re likely to share that feature with their followers, getting your content even more reach (especially true for Instagram stories).
12. Product Details
Our final tip is related to product details and features on Instagram. No matter what your niche or specialty, it’s likely that people follow you because you offer some sort of authority on that topic. They value your insight and opinion on the topic and want to know more, whether it’s about fashion, fitness, travel, business, or just about anything else.
For example, if you’re a fashion blogger, create posts that feature a variety of clothing and share where you got it or who designed it. That way, if people want to purchase the product, they know where to look.
If you’re a clothing brand, you can create similar style posts but make it shoppable so that your users can easily access the products and buy them from directly within the Instagram app. Take it one step further and work with accounts that are already promoting you, featuring their content, making it shoppable, and also telling a story! Doesn’t get better than that.
Share details on restaurants, attractions, hotels, courses, makeup— anything! It all depends on your content and on your brand. If you’re creating something, let people know exactly what you used and even share a how-to so they can make it too.
Don’t forget this key piece of advice— Instagram is a highly saturated platform, and if you’re trying to sell something, chances are that someone else is trying to sell it, too. Set yourself apart through personality, innovation, and storytelling so that people can get a deeper insight into you and your brand and choose you over the competition.
Final Thoughts: MicroBlogging on Instagram
Instagram is a diverse platform with any niche imaginable, and it’s also a visual-driven space to share photos, videos, and impactful stories with a community of users. Don’t just think about posting your content as a chore. Aim to create something meaningful and inspire your followers and even your community through storytelling.
No matter if your story aims to inspire, educate, entertain, evoke emotion, or persuade, Instagram microblogging and storytelling is a way to add more value to your content and help others to make a personal connection with your brand, building loyalty and a strong relationship that will ultimately boost your authority in your particular niche.
Never underestimate the power of authenticity and human connection! Instagram is, after all, a social network.