Is your Instagram a snooze fest? Do your followers scroll past your content without even a single tap, let alone two? Well, allow me to let you in on a little secret. Your “smiling businessman” and “young woman drinking coffee”stock photos aren’t cutting it anymore. The strategy is outdated and in desperate need of an upgrade. Lucky for you, I have five trends redefining visual storytelling. I’ll break down the trends into actions items to take your business’ Instagram account to the next level.
- Fluid Self
The problem with the usual Google search image is the lack of diversity of race, gender, and other identifiers. Go ahead search for “people drinking coffee” I’ll use the following as an example.
The image isn’t the worst as it does feature people of different ethnic backgrounds but Fluid Self takes it to the next level by celebrating diversity rather than using it as an accessory. Now, look at this Instagram post from Adorned by Chi. Can you see the difference?
The difference is it is different. The fluid self trend is all about shining positive light on what makes us unique. Placing emphasis on the fluid self trend in visuals is a good way of positioning your business as a progressive, socially-conscious brand. If you are a clothing retailer and you carry sizes for the very small to the very large then your social post should feature models of all sizes wearing your clothing. If you believe in LGBTQIA rights than feature people in that community in your posts.
Multilocalism is a must have if your business or brand is related to anything multicultural. Whether you have an Asian cuisine restaurant or sell fair trade clothing your customers should be transported abroad not only when they use your product but through your Instagram as well.
Travel Noire, a travel company whose mission is to encourage people of color to travel whether it be locally, domestically or internationally. Their feed is filled with vibrant images of faraway lands. The travelers are immersed in the cultured, draped in traditional clothing and interact with locals. There Instagram is a perfect example of the use of Multilocalism.
Multilocalism also celebrates heritage. Due to the accessibility of global travel and immigration, countries that may have been ethnically uniform now have diverse citizens who mesh the cultures from their old country with the cultures of their new home.
Let’s say you have a pizza shop and your pies are made from a family recipe going all the way back to Sicily . Your restaurant has a traditional Italian atmosphere so why not bring that same feel to your Instagram. Photos of dough being tossed or a short video of a pizza being assembled with a Italian accordion playing in the background.
3. Touch and Tactility
This trend is all about triggering our four senses with our sense of sight. Think of it this way…have you ever seen an image of food that made you hungry or saw a photo of a blanket and thought, that looks cozy. This is the touch and tactility trend at work.
Take this image from Shameless Maya. The post itself is about creating Instagram feeds but what really caught my eye was the fuzzy rug. The goal of the post may not be to sell rugs but the texture snagged my attention and sometimes that’s all you need.
- Silence and Solitude
Silence and solitude connect well with mental health and self-care. Taking time to care for oneself may it be through healthy eating, meditation or experiencing the outdoors. Self-care is becoming more and more important and with that comes the need for visuals that show it’s okay to put yourself first.
This trend can work for just about any business. If you’re hospitality focused show a guest at peace on the beach. If you’re a yogi why post a pic of the class in savasana if you’re in retail how about a model at home in some cozy lounge pants. This trend is about taking time to do what makes you feel good.
- Creative Reality
This trend is all about having fun escaping to a more exciting place. Images that match the creative reality trend represent worlds we wish existed in our reality.
Take Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream Based in Pittsburgh, PA. They may just be an ice cream Shop but their Instagram selling a fun vibrant experience. The colors are bright, the treats sweet and covered in sprinkles (jimmies if you’re from the ‘burgh).
For a memorable Instagram feed, I recommend you pick one of these trends to focus your Instagram strategy around. This will help solidify your voice on the platform and provide continuity for your followers. That’s all for now.
Featured Brands: Amber’s Closet, Adorned By Chi, Travel Noire, Shameless Maya, Hey Fran Hey, Millies Homemade Ice Cream