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3 Easy Ways to Be Innovative on Instagram

Hélène Heath
April 14, 2016
Lasted Updated On

If Instagram announced back in September that they had reached 400 million monthly active users, then it would be a fair assessment to say that this number is much higher today, months later.

So many people, brands, publishers and pets (yep) on IG abound... It kind of makes you realize that to stand out, you need to have a plan. But distinction is tough in a sea of 400 million+.

Fret not, we've identified 3 ways to take your Instagram account from meh to hell yeah!

Take heed.

Think about it: the algorithm is coming and, as if didn't matter before, quality is about to be the definitive factor that draws the line between those who will sink and those who will swim.

And quality implies differentiation, especially in this day and age.

With so much crap out there (pardon my French), the thing that really sets accounts apart from the mass is amazing content, and there are quite a few ways to go about that. It usually begins with a concise Instagram strategy (if you need help with that, here's the recipe to the secret sauce), which then gets put out into the world for all followers to consume, by way of incredible high-caliber photography.

Galleries can be considered successful when they're consistent at delivering their point of view. But what if I told you that there is more to it than just great photos? Building an Instagram account that will trigger double-taps and loads of comments from engaged followers ought to involve experimenting with various formats of material - which should derive from that initial strategy.

The mere fact of being on Instagram does not make you innovative, it's what you do with your account that does.

A lot of accounts have been using Boomerang for a dash of fun and a slice of nice.

Which leads us to the following query: what exactly does it take to be the cream that rises to the top? So many things, but since content is king queen, we're going to start there. We've got 3 ways that will undoubtedly take your Insta endeavors to the next level and help your account soar to new heights*.

1. Cinemagraphs

Hold the confusion and lend an ear here: ever seen those posts that announce themselves as videos, but then once you click to play, nothing happens... only to soon realize that a single element of the image is in motion? That, folks, is a cinemagraph, and we are seeing more and more of them, especially from brands who want to add some dynamic components to their gallery.

They're a great way to animate photos from lookbooks or make otherwise flat images jump out. The cinematic quality of these posts lend themselves incredibly well to directional experimentation, as they're a way to really narrow in on storytelling by taking a flat image up a notch.

For example, Airbnb used the cinemagraph technology to commemorate Martin Luther King Day back in January, which really helped to enhance the emotional significance of their images.

W magazine animates their J.Lo cover shot to make it more dynamic for Instagram. Ba-bam!


2. Piecemeals

Nope, I don't mean meals in pieces (chuckles). What I'm referring to here is something you've likely all seen before but weren't exactly sure what it was called: it's the official term for one large image being fragmented into separate posts.

Coming across this method of publishing for the first time can lead to confusion, as all you see trickling down your feed are random-looking photos all posted one after the other from the same account. But the result is quite alluring and makes for truly special galleries when you view those profiles.

This type of route demands a very particular strategy and isn't for everyone, but those who do it well find remarkable success. It's a nice change from the run-of-the-mill stuff we see while scrolling through our feeds and most definitely makes those brands stand out.

3. Color Schemes

This is a really cool concept that isn't seen very often, but if executed properly, makes for an incredibly compelling content flow. This method is sort of self-explanatory: within a given period of time, a certain number of images belonging to a specific palette are posted, and so on. What's really cool about this approach is that the transitions are done seamlessly without a jarring effect if you view the account's gallery as a whole. Mansur Gavriel does it pretty stellarly.

The one downside? It demands a lot of planning, as the Instagram editor needs to curate or produce enough content to explore particular hues and then determine the most cohesive order to transition smoothly into the next one. Basically, it doesn't leave much room for spontaneity. But it's cool AF.

It really pays off to think outside the box. Things are not always so black and white and I'm pretty confident stating that the best things typically occur in the grey zone. Whatever way you've found that separates your Instagram account from the others, keep at it and never forget that complacency is a death sentence

And remember that, as Glossier stated so wisely, having fun is the point.

If you're still wrapping your head around the joys of influencer marketing and only now starting to get down with the lingo, just remain calm - this should be easy, painless, and most of all, educative. Or just make sure that you hire someone for whom social media comes naturally to manage your brand's account. That would be the smartest thing to do.

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