As visual content becomes increasingly more significant online, Instagram has become an incredibly powerful Marketing Platform for Small Businesses, helping to increase engagement, build trust and strengthen branding.
With over 150 million users, it’s the most popular photo-sharing platform, enabling Businesses to share photos, short videos and ads with followers. The platform’s huge reach makes it a great form of free advertising for any Small Business Owner.
When a consumer ‘Likes’ one of your photos on Instagram, they are not simply demonstrating engagement, but are essentially inviting your brand into their life and acknowledging your creativity. Overall, this helps to create a more emotional connection between you and your followers, strengthening your relationship and building trust.
But just how do you take the perfect Instagram photos to generate these oh-so-important Likes?
Well, the good news is, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to generate Likes on Instagram. And while there’s no secret ‘formula’ to achieving the perfect photo, we’re going to share with you 8 image qualities which could just see you receiving more Likes for your Business.
1. Increase the Brightness
This is perhaps one of the most important qualities to consider when taking a photo that you want to generate Likes. Natural light is typically more appealing to the human eye, as the image can be easily identifiable. The brain can assess and distinguish the image much more quickly, and the added light also serves to give a more professional finish to the image.
Statistics suggests that images with higher levels of light generate 24% more Likes on Instagram than those images which are darker. The darker the image, the more difficult it is for the viewer to analyse the details within the image.
When taking your own photos for your Business’s Instagram, use as much natural light as possible. While the brightness can be adjusted within the ‘Edit’ section, initial natural light will yield the best results.
2. More Background Space
Before you go zooming up close to one of your products, stop and think again. According to information collated by Curulate, Instagram images with a higher proportion of background space attract 29% more Likes on the platform than images that are closely cropped.
While close-up shots may seem like the best way to emphasise the detail of your products, they can in fact make your image looked squashed, cramped and poorly curated.
As a rule of thumb, aim for at least 3 feet of background space around the main subject of your image. You don’t necessarily have to do this for every shot, as this could grow monotonous, but aim to achieve this for the majority of your photos.
3. Have One Dominant Colour
While creativity should be encouraged, it’s important to maintain some level of restraint when it comes to the colours within your Instagram photos. This is because images with a single dominant hue, as opposed to a range of colours, perform 17% better when it comes to audience appreciation.
This is probably due to the fact that when your followers are viewing an image just mere inches from their faces, the absence of chaos can help to focus on the picture itself. Without multiple colours, there’s less distraction and greater clarity, allowing the brain to better comprehend the image’s qualities.
4. Go for Blue
This is another important factor when it comes to generating the most Likes on your Instagram photos. Images that contain blue as the dominant colour were shown to generate 24% more likes than images with predominantly red or yellow tones.
It might sound strange, but colour preferences are deeply connected to our emotional responses and unconsciously influence many of our day-to-day choices, including which photos we Like on Instagram. While there is no clear reason why blue is the colour of choice, we believe it is blue’s calming and relaxing nature that makes it much more appealing than red or yellow, both of which are often associated with warnings or hazard signs.
5. Lower Saturation Levels
One of the great perks about Instagram is the ability to edit photos with the touch of your finger! This means that with just one swipe you can instantly increase your image’s saturation levels, increasing the vibrancy of your photo.
But before you do, take heed. Studies suggest that images with lower levels of saturation actually receive a greater number of likes than those with a higher level of saturation. So, as the saying goes, sometimes less really is more.
6. Add More Texture
This is one of the most influential ways in which to gain more Likes on one of your photos. Images with high levels of texture receive a staggering 79% more Likes than those with a smoother appearance.
The reasons this occurs could be due to the fact that more highly textured images are more eye-catching material for your audience. The greater number of shadows and ridges demands attention, causing the user to stop and take a harder look at the photo. And the longer you can maintain your follower’s interest, the more chance there is of them Liking your photo.
Hashtagging your images is likely to see you receiving a much larger number of Likes on your photos than if you were to post without them. Using hashtags essentially makes your photo more ‘findable’ on Instagram, as they are used as a method of search. This means that when people are searching for particular image subjects, you’ll have a higher chance of being found.
Using Hashtags will also increase your chances of being ‘regrammed’, which is when someone else re-publishes your photo on their own Instagram feed. This could be another Business that you’ve connected with, or perhaps a customer who has used and appreciated one of your products or services and is giving you a shout-out. This will not only increase your chances of getting more photo Likes, but could also grow your followers.
8. Be Yourself
Almost nothing is less appealing to an audience on Social Media than appearing fake or ingenuine. As a Small Business Owner, Social Media is one of the best opportunities to grow your personality and humanise your brand.
As a fun and casual platform, Instagram in particular is a great way to help develop your character and engage with consumers in a way which might not otherwise be possible. It is for this reason that it is vital for you to present an honest and truthful portrayal of your Business via your photos. Doing this creates a greater sense of trust between you and your followers and significantly improves your Business’s likability.
Appear fake or disingenuous and your audience will immediately see straight through you and won’t give your content a second glance.
9. Newsfeed Consistency
While not technically an image quality, the overall consistency of your Instagram feed does play a part in your overall popularity on Instagram.
Before you establish your Business’s Instagram account, decide what kind of look and style will best suit your Business. Do you want to use the same particular filter on the majority of your photos? Or perhaps you want all your images to be in black and white?
Congruency within your Instagram feed will create a visually compelling ‘look and feel’ for your Business, helping you to significantly strengthen your branding. But whatever effects and style you choose to stick with, make sure it’s relevant and makes sense for your individual Business and products.
After taking note of these effective image qualities, you should be Instagramming like a pro. Just remember, while striving to create beautiful and visually appealing photos, you should also ensure your images reflect your individual Business and brand, and appeal to your specific target market.