Instagram is an image-based platform that’s not only beautiful and fun, but also brings a sense of community. Its users are used to professional, high-quality images and videos, so if you want to grow your church community with Instagram, creating eye-catching visuals is essential.
Though coming up with Instagram concepts and creating visuals that are relevant, interesting, and aesthetically-pleasing might seem like a real challenge, the platform is one of the best ways to get your ministry noticed online.
Here are our tips on how to master the art of branding your ministry on Instagram to attract the right followers!
Know Your Audience
Before you start creating your church Instagram content, determine who your audience is. After all, great-looking content will do zero good if your community isn’t engaging with it. Researching your audience will help to create an engaged community. This is essential, as followers are your biggest supporters and ambassadors.
Test Your Audience Preferences
To find out what your audience wants to see, try testing different types of content and see which types they engage most with. This can include image quotes, videos, testimonials, or stories from church members.
Have a look at your Instagram account insights and identify when your audience is most engaged. For instance, you may notice that your community is most active on Wednesdays and their favorite content are image quotes with Bible verses. In this case, you could feature an image quote every Wednesday and introduce a personalized hashtags such as #WednesdayBibleVerse and #specialday.
There are many social media analytics tools – such as Iconosquare and Union Metrics – that you can connect to your Instagram account to receive more official and detailed statistics. These tools often give you information and/or graphs about when your community is active, what they like, and which they comment on the most.
Choose Popular Types of Content
Though there are tons of different types of content being shared on Instagram, some posts remain all-time favorites. Almost everyone enjoys picture quotes, whether they’re inspirational or humorous. Real photos are another type of content that should be implemented in your church content strategy. These should include photos of your church and its members in order to create a personal connection and boost awareness.
Really though, no matter who your audience is, they’re interested in not only high-quality visuals, but also seeing your ministry in action. Provide your community with behind-the-scenes photos and videos, whether from a sermon or a local event.
While you should keep track of popular and trending types of content, don’t forget to find something unique that sets you apart from your competition. Consistency and knowledgeability can make your church to enormously successful.
Build Your Church’s Visual Identity
Instagram is all about getting followers to engage with content. Building an appealing visual theme is essential for creating awareness and recognition. Start by looking at the individual pieces: Do your images have a clear, attention-grabbing focal point? Images that are too busy often confuse the eye and could hinder your Instagram efforts.
Though each individual piece is important, don’t forget the overall look of your church Instagram profile when creating content. Your page layout should combine all individual pieces into a common theme that reflects the personality of your church.
Our Top 4 Free Image Resources
1. Unsplash – Here, you’ll find more than 550,000 free high-resolution photos shared by photographers around the globe. You can find stunning landscapes, sky photos, and many more perfect matches for beautiful Biblical verses. With Unsplash, you don’t have to worry about copyright restrictions.
2. Pexels – These are the best royalty-free stock photos for commercial and personal use. Pexels is a great resource if you’re looking for specific images.
3. Pixabay – This site is one of the best places to find free stock photos, videos, illustrations, and vectors. You’ll find great graphics and illustrations for when you’re feeling a bit creative and want to give your content a customized touch.
4. Pikwizard – Pikwizard is the latest addition to the stock photography family. It holds over 100,000 high-quality images, with 20,000 completely exclusive to the site. You can take any image from Pikwizard and edit it on graphic design tool, Design Wizard.
Our Top 3 Easy to Use & Free Graphic Design Tools
1. Canva – This tool is used by non-designers as well as professionals. The platform is clean and intuitive, with a wide range of templates to choose from. Canva can be used for both web and print media graphics.
2. Klex – A beginner-friendly tool, Klex allows you to create professional graphics with ease. You can design social media posts, posters, blog graphics, invitations, and more.
3. Pixlr – With Pixlr, you’ll have desktop and mobile version. This tool provides you with over 2 million different effects, overlays, and filters.
Instagram Stories offer a fun and quick way to highlight your day or week in less than 60 seconds. Unlike regular Instagram posts, these stories don’t necessarily require perfect angles and lighting.
A good story is all about showing your community interesting moments. These can include church news, events, announcements, and more. Whenever possible, try to link to your blog or website, and be sure to use the hashtag and mention features.
IGTV is Instagram’s new video app, where users can create a channel and upload long-form videos to be shared with personalized titles, descriptions, and thumbnails. IGTV is specifically built and optimized for mobile devices, meaning that the videos will be vertical and full-screen.
As IGTV is still fairly young, it’s not yet overcrowded. This provides plenty of great opportunities to receive better exposure for your church content. Use your church IGTV channel to share educational videos, sermons, personal stories, and even vlogs from congregants. You’ll reach new audiences and grow your ministry without needing fancy and expensive equipment.