Instagram is extremely popular among internet marketers for a large number of reasons. This is a marketing platform with a great ROI, as well as a huge reach (1 billion+ active users). It’s also extremely trendy and popular right now, and showing no signs of slowing down or losing momentum.
But there are several things that might be holding you back from fully exploiting the potential of Instagram. One of those things, is the fact that Instagram – at least on the face of it – appears to require you to have some skill when it comes to photography.
If you want your Instagram images to be effective, then you have to know how to take a good photo right? If you don’t know how to take great photos, then you’re not going to be able to run a successful Instagram account. All sound about right?
If you don’t have a high quality camera phone, if your business doesn’t have a particularly visual aspect to it, OR if you have zero confidence in your own ability to take artistic looking photos… then you might find yourself avoiding this particular social platform.
But here’s the good news: you can actually be highly successful on Instagram without taking a single photograph. Here’s how…
How to Succeed On Instagram Without Taking a Single Photograph
One way to accomplish this is by using stock photography. Stock photography is photography taken from the web: websites that share photos for creatives to use, either for a fee or in some cases for free!
Most of these sites let you simply search for a term and then download the images you want to use. It’s a great way to find a large resource of images that you can share.
One of my favorite stock photo membership sites is She Bold Stock. There are so many photos (and videos) that I can simply download and use as-is from the membership. The way the photos are styled lend very nicely to Instagram – there is oftentimes space to add a text quote on the image, but there are enough elements in the photos to simply use them as-is on Instagram. They will make your feed look super polished, WITH personality.
Another favorite stock photo site is picjumbo. This particular site has thousands of free high-quality photos and a premium membership, with shots of just about anything you would need. The photographer takes shots indoors and outdoors; his outdoors shots are some of the best you will find across any stock photo sites. The wanderlust is real.
I highly recommend investing in a stock photo membership! It will save you so much time and make your blog, marketing materials, and projects look polished and professionally done. The quality of images really does matter.
Another option is to use photography and then edit it. This can likely work in tandem with the stock option. For example, you might search for royalty-free photos of people standing on mountains, or making other accomplishments, and then simply add artistic filters and quotes about success and the like. It’s a simple and easy method that has worked for countless people!
5 Types of Instagram Posts That Are Not Photos
Aside from using stock photography, editing and/or curating others’ photos, there are actually a number of ways to get great images for Instagram without being an amazing photographer. But more than that, you can also make a successful Instagram account using different mediums entirely. Here are some examples.
Instagram lends itself well to text. That could mean inspiring quotes, it could mean short stories, or it could mean funny memes. These could be added on top of stock imagery, or they could literally just be text on white backgrounds. People respond to these kinds of text-based posts all the time! Your job is to figure out the kind of posts that resonate with your audience.
For example, if you’re a life coach you could share motivational quotes on your feed. If you’re a business coach, you could share tip-based posts that offer actionable items for your audience. There are tons of apps that you can easily use to create a text-based quote in 2 minutes or less, such as PicMonkey or Wordswag.
2. Cartoons and Doodles
Many different cartoonists are thriving on Instagram, so if you dabble in digital art, then why not give it a go? If you aren’t a digital artist, no problem! Go follow a few, and repost their cartoons. I have found some really great cartoonists on Instagram, and I love reposting their art. It gives some variety to my feed!
Video actually enjoys greater engagement than photos on Instagram! So there you go: this really isn’t a purely image-based platform. You can make short videos with a smartphone, or with any other camera. You can even use screen capture for things like tutorials. Pre-record your video and simply upload it to Instagram. And nobody said YOU have to appear in the video!
An app such as Ripl is simple to use and can give your videos a boost with customizable fonts and colors. If you need a video editor, take a look at the FilmoraGo app, which includes transitions, built in filters, music and more, allowing you to publish high-quality, videos that look professionally edited!
A boomerang is a very short video that lasts just a couple of seconds and that bounces back and forth repeatedly. They’re very trendy, and the Boomerang for Instagram app that makes it easy for you to make them. Now, you might be thinking, other than selfies, what could I use a boomerang for?
How about taking pics of your work? Or perhaps a boomerang of your product? A boomerang of your office space works too! If you’re intimidated by the selfie culture (or simply don’t like taking selfies), it’s up to you to figure out what kind of visuals you can take that represent your brand, products and services. And use those visuals on Instagram!
5. Stories and Live
While these aren’t really examples of the regular type of post, you can actually run a successful Instagram account that is primarily a place for stories and live feeds. This might mean bringing people along on your adventures, or perhaps showing behind the scenes of your business. If it’s interesting and engaging enough, then your channel will grow by word of mouth.
Go ahead and hit that live button and record a video story. Stories stay up for 24 hours, then poof, they’re gone! No worrying about photos or editing when you publish a live video story! You could even take a whirl with IGTV.
Do not shy away from Instagram simply because you don’t want to post selfies. The possibilities are endless when it comes to using Instagram to communicate with your audience. You are not locked in to taking selfies all day. Get creative, and mix up the types of content you post on Instagram to increase your visibility, generate leads, and boost your sales.