Grow more by creating less!
Today I’m talking at a concept, that many myself included, sometimes struggles at. Create less to engage more. (Whaaat??) don’t worry I’m sane! ;)
We often think that to grow our Instagram accounts the more photo contents we create, the better. More recipes, more variety, more creativity. More, more, more! I start to feel stressed already just writing it! :D
The problem is that we tend to think our audience has already seen everything. So, we believe that to be interesting to our Instagram followers; we need to be always creating something new and complicated. The risk is instead, to overwhelm our current and our potential followers with too much content instead!
In fact, “more-is-more” is proven to be not always true. In a 1998 study, Hsee, a professor at the Graduate School of Business found the less-is-better effect. When selling a product, top-notch quality items in smaller amount were evaluated way more, than the same selection with the addition of lower quality items. Yes, you hear that! The equivalent amount of high-quality articles in both cases. However, the same product sold with the addition of low-quality items was less preferred.
What does that say? That less IS more. Less but smashing contents feel more valuable than more content but with less overall value.
Also, have you ever noticed in the supermarket, when there are free tasting stands, they only make limited testing focused on a small selection? Could be the three dessert wines, or free-range Christmas cookies. Big brands never make full-range testing. Not because they’re kind of stingy, but because with a more extensive selection the customer is more likely to be too overwhelmed to purchase. Amazing, right? Too much choice equals no choice!
Same with our accounts. Too many options end into: too much to chose to stay!
Both cases above show that confusing options, or products that are watered down with cheap additions, are less likely to be bought. Isn’t it interesting? I hope I’m not the only marketing nerd here! Well, if I am the ONLY nerd in the room, bare with me for this time!
I believe Instagram is so fast forwarded often we don’t register what we see unless we see it often. For example, you can tell ( hope so!) I make vegan cakes right? Moreover, you know I can make and shoot them in a certain way (like rustic, decadent…), so you do come back for that specific content if you are interested.
However, let's say instead, that every week my range of Instagram shots goes from vegan fast food to paleo, a touch of healthy eating here and there. Then maybe a cake again, but one time is rustic and the other time is raw and looks plastic-like perfect. Well, in this case, there is a high chance that you won’t come back. Only because you don’t know what the heck I actually do on my feed and therefore what to come back for! SAme for you, your audience needs to know what they can look for when they come to your Instagram. So if they like what they see they can come for more. Also, you can create a relationship that lasts. Which is what Instagram is all about!
For example, you won’t try and buy the Financial Times to read gossip, would you? Definitely not. Because, although on the Financial Times the articles are always different, the core of the newspaper is clear and still the same. Also by the title, you know what you’ll find there even if you never bought it before. I believe it’s similar to our Instagram Feeds. We will always have new ideas to share, but the core of their aesthetic should be repeated to become recognizable, so people know what we are all about, even by seeing one single image of ours.
So, how do I do it? To start I realised I needed to stop guessing every time what shall I do with a story telling or a single shot, because it was too time consuming and too stressing.
I realised create “fewer content and nail them” also meant to automate the way I was creating my content. Less variety but meaningful. I wanted to show what I love to do the most, and what tells my story the best on repeat and adapt it to the various recipes I encouter.
Repeating similar, well-chosen ideas ( like the gesture of holding a slice below), creates a steady cohesive Instagram Feed without stopping you from growing your skills or creativity.
Repetition makes your audience fall in love with the idea that you show over and over again.
Repetition makes you feel strongly about a technique as you experiment it.
Repetition creates patterns that make your feed recognizable to your Instagram audience. You become more confident and so you can think about the essential details that make a picture from sweet to amazing. Fewer contents but cracking!
Once more look at the example below.
To start, I’ve decided that I wanted my Instagram audience to see better how my cakes look inside. Vegan cakes can be dry and crumbly, but mine is always super moist and soft. They deserved the stage!
I also knew I wanted the shots to be dynamic, realistic and I loved them to have the human element. Also, I wanted to be able to re-create the styling even in a small setting (like I had to do during the Vinitaly show).
So, I decided to create a single styling idea that works in the conditions I most often encounter. Once I nailed it BAM! Done! I’m going to use this styling over and over again until I make it my asset.
In short, I decided I wanted to do and I looked into what my recurrent problems are and worked to find an adaptable solution.
If you apply this concept of the-less-is-more, less contents but craking, I promise you there will be less stress, you will be more excited and confident to create, and therefore more engagement!