5 Tips for Creating Engaging Instagram Photos

Social Media

Do you want to drive more engagement on Instagram? Would you like to learn how to take better photos?

The most important component of an Instagram post is the photo. People mainly use the network to look at photos. Therefore, if you want to find success with Instagram, you need to know how to create great photos. You will notice an increase in photo views, likes, comments, followers and even sales when you regularly publish beautiful photos.

When it comes to taking photos or designing images, most people freak out as it seems like a sophisticated task. But don’t worry. Though designing images can be complicated there are several tools and shortcuts that can simplify the process. Anybody can execute it effectively.

Therefore, in this post I am going to show how anyone can quickly create engaging Instagram photo.

#1 – Conduct research:

The first step to designing beautiful Instagram photos is to learn about the type of photos your audience likes and wants to see more often. They are only going to engage with it if they like it.

Therefore, conduct a lot of research on Instagram to see the type of posts people want to see.

To research posts on Instagram, start off by studying your own posts. Use a good analytics tool like Cyfe and check which of your past posts got the most likes and comments.

You can add your account and set it to find the top posts that received the most likes or comments. The posts will appear in a list as you can see below. If you click on each one of them it will take you to the post on Instagram.

While studying the top performing photos, pay attention to everything from the colors you used, to the lightness, the elements in the photo, theme, etc.

You can also create an Instagram post with a question added as overlay text to the photo asking people about what type of photos they want to see more often. And then ask them to leave their answers as comments. If there isn’t enough space in the photo you can add a longer question to the caption and use a short one in the photo.

After you finish analyzing your own account, analyze your competitors’ accounts to see which of their posts performed best too.

Next begin analyzing hashtags. To analyze your competitors and hashtags you can use Cyfe again. You can find the option to switch to analyzing competitors and hashtags under monitor.

This will show you a list of the top performing posts. You can click on each one and study them carefully.

To study hashtags you can also use this list of the 100 best Instagram hashtags for Likes. Search each one of them and observe the posts. You can later research hashtags more relevant to your niche.

After you conduct all the above research, you will have a strong idea of what works on Instagram.

#2 – Begin taking better photos:

Once you know the type of photos your audience likes, creating them will become a simple task. If you couldn’t execute the previous step properly as your Instagram account is new and you haven’t posted much, you can make use of reports that have already analyzed the content out there to tell you what works best.

An example is this study from Curalate.

They analyzed over 8 million Instagram photos to find that light images, images with blue as the dominant color, images with single dominant color, images with low saturation and high amounts of texture get the most likes.

#3 – Optimizing photos:

After you take the photo you can either publish it directly or optimize it to ensure it drives maximum engagement. The simplest edit anyone can make directly within Instagram itself is adding a filter.

If you want to get maximum likes you should use the Mayfair filter as a study by Trackmaven found that photos with this filter get the most interactions per thousand followers.

Posts with no filter get the second highest engagement and those with Inkwell filter get the third engagement.

You can also make more advanced edits like adjusting the brightness, cropping it, adjusting sharpness, etc. For executing these tasks, you can use a free tool like Canva.

Once you make the above changes your photo will be ready for publishing.

#4 – Using it as a background:

Another way to make your photos even more engaging is by using them as a background photo for your Instagram posts. You might have already seen this action on accounts like Sumo where they regularly publish Instagram quote images.


Here as you can see, they have a photo in the background and a quote and branding placed on it in the form of overlay text.

You can use your own photos here or you can use stock photos like Sumo does. You can also use pre-designed background images instead of photos.

Alternatively you can hire a graphic designer to create unique Instagram optimized background templates. You can get them to use colors and patterns that represent your brand. Using similar looking templates for all your posts will improve consistency.

To find quotes you can use a site like Good Reads. They have thousands of quotes from several authors on various topics and they are well categorized. Topics include inspiration quotes, love quotes, humor quotes, science quotes, etc.

So, browse through them and look for quotes your audience will like. If you are unsure what type of quotes your audience will like, just use inspirational or motivational quotes as almost everyone likes them.

When you find a quote you want to use, just copy and paste it on to the online editor you uploaded your photo on to, add the name of the author and your own branding. You can also write your own quotes.

Just make sure you stay consistent with the font style, size and color.

You can use the above technique to not only create quote images, but also other images that promote sales, thank you messages, etc.

#5 – Regularly analyze photos:

As you keep posting more and more Instagram photos, you will gain more followers and their interests will evolve. The photos that drive engagement now, might not drive the same levels of engagement 2-3 months later. This is why you should use a good Instagram analytics tool to audit your account quarterly.

This will show you what type of photos your current followers enjoy engaging with most and you can modify your strategy to drive better results.

Now begin creating engaging Instagram photos:

These are all the steps you should take to create engaging Instagram photos.

Start by conducting a thorough research of your Instagram account to see which photos drive the highest engagement. After that analyze your competitors’ accounts. You can also analyze relevant hashtags.

Once you have all this data, taking the right photos should become a simple job. But don’t forget to optimize the photo with filters, overlay text and other adjustments before you publish. You can experiment with different enhancements to see which ones get you the best results.

How do you create engaging Instagram photos? Which techniques have worked best for you? Did I forget to share anything important? Please leave your comments below.

Author Bio:

Mitt Ray is the Founder of Social Marketing Writing.

Image Credits

Featured Image – Taken from Pexels.com

In-post Images – Provided by the author