Social media is one of the best things that’s ever happened to new businesses – it’s effective, free, and it’s changed the game.
In particular Instagram has rapidly become a major player for businesses with a visual element, whether that’s fashion or design or beyond. So it’s definitely worth thinking about how your product comes across online from the very beginning, not as an afterthought. We spoke to two entrepreneurs about how they ensure their product looks amazing on Instagram from the very beginning.
Makeda Matheson – Founder of Makeda Matheson London
Makeda Matheson creates luxury cashmere items, from knickers to sweaters - the pieces are timeless and look amazing on Instagram. Here are her tips for thinking about social when it comes to your product.
It’s important to think about how your brand looks on social from the start because it's how you build your brand identity. Through social you create a narrative around products - how they fit, where and how to wear them, the lifestyle and situations they are made for; in a way it helps you to sell the dream.
I think about Instagram posts when I'm planning shoots. When I add new items to the collection I first think about the wearer experience and how it will fit into someone’s wardrobe, what needs it answers. Once the item is real and its time to shoot them, that's when I think about how the photography I am creating will work on Instagram.
At all MM shoots we capture the collection on Instax film for social-only use as it’s a little bit more abstract and softens the looks. Our followers respond really well to these Instax shots. We plan ahead when it comes to our Instagram feed – it’s important for it to be well-curated, as I'm communicating a story through my posts, so its all considered and planned at least 24hrs in advance.
The key things that make your product stand out on Instagram are strong photography; not just taken from your look book but created with the intention of being used on Instagram. A diversity of images that display the product being worn and used in different situations; photostories with customers, shots from behind the scenes, my own travel journal featuring cashmere, cashmere, cashmere.
Elsie Rutterford – co-founder of Clean Beauty Co.
Clean Beauty Co. started out as a blog packed with natural beauty recipes and ideas, which led to bigger and better things – now founders Elsie and Dominika have a book out featuring their chemical-free creations, and are releasing their own beauty products. Here are Elsie’s tips for thinking about social.
Social is the one of the biggest platforms that people will use to talk about your products - with that mass reach it’s important that they look great no matter who is snapping them or where. Plus products that translate well across social will incentive people to talk about them more, driving brand awareness and invaluable user generated content that you can use in your own marketing.
At the heart of our products are great ingredients - so that always comes first for us and unfortunately, not all ingredients are particularly nice to look at, so it’s really the packaging design when we start to think about how this will translate across the channels we’ll be promoting it on. We think about our label, jars/bottles and cartons to ensure they all stand out. We focus on things like stand-out colours and ensuring all wording is highly visible (particularly the product name!).
Materials are also important - for example we picked high gloss labels and jars for both Babe Balm and Prime Time, which catch the light when photographed and make the products look mega shiny and luxurious. Most people who share on social will be taking pictures of your products from their phone so be sure to test every angle of your product in every lighting possible on your phone to see how it looks.
When it comes to planning we have a rough schedule as we like our Instagram to flow in terms of colours/tones from post to post, but we don’t like to be bound by this. You never know what’s going to happen on a typical day in our office, so we’ll happily throw the scheduled post out for something more spontaneous and relevant.
The key things that will make sure your product stands out on Instagram are originality, strong colour, interesting textures, a good name - and a little humour never goes amiss.
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