Instagram blog part 1: how to become a content king

Managing social media accounts requires a well thought out strategy and a good knowledge of your marketing goals. One of the most important social media channels is Instagram, a medium perfectly fit for artists and record labels. Learning all there is to know about Instagram is not as easy as it seems; constantly changing rules by Facebook / Instagram and continuous developments on the technical side make this a challenge, to say the least.

That is why we have made this weekly recurring blog: to help artists and labels improve their Instagram marketing activities.

In the first edition of this blog, we will tackle 4 topics, all related to content marketing for the music industry. Let’s kick off with a content theme.

Make your profile visually appealing by using a content theme

Why should you use a content theme?

Using a content theme on Instagram creates visual consistency. After a while, your audience will start associating your content with your name and your content becomes more recognisable. In addition, your design-minded followers will be encouraged to come back to your profile and Instagram bio for more.

How to create a content theme

Pick your colours

What colours do you want people to associate with you? Try to include these colours in your posts as much as possible.

Pick your filters

One way to develop a recognizable theme on Instagram is to use a specific filter for all your content. Play around with some filters to find out which one suits the best with your values and the story you’re telling.

Determine what type of content you’re going to post

Are you going to post photos and videos with people, close-ups of faces, gigs, studio sessions, the artwork of your releases? Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to one type, but it will help you to have a general idea of the type of content you want to post.

Videos often receive more reactions

According to a study from Socialinsider videos tend to receive more reactions compared to photo and carousel posts. Especially the large profiles (more than 100.000 followers) had a median of 74 reactions to videos. That is 19 more reactions than to carousel posts and 37 more reactions than to photo posts.

Tips for generating videos

Add subtitles

Not everyone watches videos on Instagram with sound. So make sure your video contains subtitles. That way, your audience can get what’s being said in your video. In addition, people are more likely to watch the entire video; the more people watch your entire video, the higher your video will rank in the overall ranking of the Instagram algorithm.

Specs

Instagram feed videos must have a minimum of 3 seconds and a maximum of 60 seconds. MP4 is the best format and the best specifications are:

  • AAC audio
  • 3500 kbps bitrate
  • H.264 codec
  • Frame rate of 30 fps
  • Max. 920px tall
  • Max. 1080px wide

The most popular videos on Instagram have an average of 26 seconds. Make sure that the first 3 seconds are the most catchy because research shows that viewers who watch the first 3 seconds of a video often watch the rest of the video as well.

Carousels often receive more likes

What is a carousel?

A carousel post is a post with which you can upload up to 10 photos or videos at once. You can recognize them by the icon of white stacked squares at the top right of the photo or video and by the dots at the bottom of the photo. A valuable addition to your content strategy.

Why should you use a carousel?

People spend more time watching your post

Carousel posts are a good way to shake up your feed and keep Instagram users on your post longer. The longer someone stays, the more likely it is to be pushed for others. In other words, the more time someone spends watching your post, the more the Instagram algorithm will see you’re sharing something interesting and show your post to other users.

Receive more likes compared photos and videos

The same study as mentioned earlier by Socialinsider showed that carousel posts, depending on the size of the profile, had a much higher engagement rate compared to photos and videos. This is because this type of post gets the best median number of likes per post.

This can be seen in all profile sizes, although this is less visible with smaller Instagram profiles (they generally get fewer likes), with large profiles with more than 100,000 followers this is clearly visible: 5,670 median likes for carousels, 5,022 median likes for videos and only 4,172 median likes for photos.

Ideas for carousel posts

Split panorama photos

Do you have a panoramic photo, but do you want your audience to see the details as well? Then cut your photo into several pieces and post them in a carousel.

Split longer videos

Video posts have a maximum length of 1 minute. Do you have a longer video (max. 10 min) that you would like to share? Cut it into 1-minute pieces and post it in a carousel.

Tell a story

Take a look behind the scenes by telling a story in several photos or videos.

Share photos of a gig

Sharing multiple photos of the same event separately on Instagram can result in overactivity or look messy. Instead, share them in a carousel. This way you can share everything, and give your audience a good overview of the event at the same time.

Use User-Generated Content to strengthen the relationship with your audience

What is User-Generated Content?

User-Generated Content, also known as user-created content, is any form of content that has been posted by users/fans on online platforms. Some examples are fan photos, videos of gigs, fans wearing merchandise, reviews, etc. This type of content comes in abundance in the music business.

Why use User-Generated Content?

  • UGC promotes authenticity. Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to see user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by brands.
  • It creates trust. Whether it is a product, a service, or an experience, customers always want to know what they are going to get before ordering it.
  • Drives purchasing decisions. It all leads to the impact on purchasing decisions. Nearly 80% of the people say that UGC has a high impact on customers purchasing decision.
  • 86% of the millennials state that UGC is a good indicator of the quality of a brand or trend.

Ideas for User Generated Content

  • Let your fans share photos with you on social media and let them use your hashtag and/or tag you. Choose the best photo and share it in your own feed.
  • Encourage your fans to create their own acoustic versions of one of your songs and let them share it on their social media channels using your hashtag. Repost the most impressive videos to share it with your fans in return.
  • Ask your fans to share photos wearing your merchandise.

Next week we will explain how to make the most out of your caption. Stay tuned!