November 9, 2015

SPOTLIGHT | Later x Why Instagram Makes Me Hungry

Mallee Rock Winery & Wild Rice | PAL Studio Theatre, Coal Harbour

Crafting a visual media strategy for your personal or professional brand can take a lot of hard work, time, and energy. Through my own self-titled blog, Tumblr journal YVArcade and of course, two Instagram accounts (@rickchung and @yvarcade) I’ve developed locally-focused lifestyle content centred around food, drink and dining culture in Vancouver.

Focusing on what’s on the menu for dinner or the trendiest new spot to dine in Vancouver got stale pretty fast. I employ many tricks and methods to keep my photography and work fresh and visually interesting for my followers that have helped me grow my influence in food and culture topics in Vancouver.

The Lazy Gourmet | Summer Menu

How to Develop a Visual Content Strategy

Target Content at Your Local Community
I recommend targeting content through your local communities, whatever they might be or who they may include. In my case, I focused on Vancouver’s thriving culinary and lifestyle scene while incorporating different neighbourhoods and Vancouver’s pool of diverse cultures as a way to tap into the affluent audience’s I wanted to attract.

Post Content During Events
One method that I used early on to attract and build this community from the ground up was focusing on local events or anything I deemed culturally appealing happening at the moment. I would document bits of the event live, via Twitter or Instagram (when possible), and used photography to put any scene into context through images, later, on my blog(s).

Use Geotags and Local Branded Hashtags
People love following real-time events online, especially events that occur close to them. Posting content live is a great engagement tool. By using geotags and hashtags, you’ll create an audience of individuals following those tags who will comment, like, and even follow your account. I recommended always tagging your Instagram posts with branded hashtags, geotags, and local tags.

PiDGiN Restaurant | Gastown, Vancouver

Schedule Content for Peak Times of Day
If you like to take your time, refine, and edit, you can schedule your posts ahead of time using Later’s scheduling feature. This allows you to post content at optimal times when your audience is online. I’ve found that posting anything food-related before and/or after lunch or dinner, and again later at night when people crave snacks, to be highly effective.

Tell a Story with Visuals
Whatever subject you photograph, document, and post, really shapes how you create a story out of in a single image (with some help from your post caption). A meal or single dish can tell all sorts of stories and people are more attracted to them when elements of your photograph speak to something intriguing.

Make Friends, On and Offline
Lastly, meeting people on and offline for me is key to any sort of content strategy. Meeting other like-minded individuals and professionals is paramount to translate any successful visual strategy, especially when it transforms a relatable subject like food, into a well-formed community based around content.

(As seen on the Later blog.)

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