A full comprehensive guide on how to promote giclée prints of your art and photos on Instagram. How to get started, what you need to decide on and how to post on instagram. We also discuss how best to market on instagram and build your audience. Then we take a look at some of the do’s and don’ts, when it comes to engagement.
Later we also take a look at using paid advertising to promote giclée prints on Instagram.
What do you hope to achieve using Instagram ?
It makes sense to stop and think what your aim is with using Instagram, it’s not enough just to say make sales. You will need to build your audience by making them aware of your brand. So firstly you build your audience, the right type of audience who are interested in you and what you create. Then you engage with your audience by consistently posting interesting content. Of course you make it easy for them to purchase your giclée prints too.
Be Aware of Instagram’s Aims
Just a quick reminder that instagram has been designed first and foremost as a social platform. Therefore it is designed in a way to create social interaction. So posts with more engagement will be viewed by more people.
1. Create an Instagram account. You will have more options if you create a business account, with access to API and any 3rd party analytics you may use for scheduling posts. You can also set up a shop and tag your products in your posts. This type of account gives you more versatility and you are able to use the creator studio for scheduling and creating posts. Bear in mind though, you will have less music options for your reels., than if you had a personal account. Though you can of course create your videos with your own chosen music and then upload these as posts, stories and reels.
2. Brand Awareness. Before you do anything be aware of your brand and niche. Do you have a specific colour or theme running through your collection of images. This needs to be reflected within your instagram profile. So create a username that reflects your business. Usually for artists and photographers this is their name followed by art, artist or photographer, photography. Basically whatever you use on other social media platforms and your website. A cohesive name that is the same on all platforms makes it easier for your potential buyers to find you. Then make sure your profile image is either a photo of you or your logo. You can also create cover images for your story highlights that reflects your brand logo or colours. Create a bio that clearly states what you do, you can use hashtags and emojis too. Overall your profile page and posts should reflect the look and feel of your creative business.
Last but not least
3. Bio Link. You can only add one external link in your bio. Therefore make sure the link you use in your bio is to your website. This way potential buyers can buy your prints, learn more about you and what else you offer. You can change the link if you want to specifically promote giclée prints or when you want to promote an event. You can also create a page on your website that has links to all your important pages i.e about you, giclée prints, your latest blog, exhibition etc… Effectively creating a landing page with multi-links to specific pages. You can also use 3rd party apps such as Linktree and Taplink.
Saving Money, Time and Hassle with giclée printing
It can be a lot of hassle sorting giclée print orders and can involve two lots of packaging and shipping charges. That’s why our customers choose our drop shipping service. At the Artists Print Room we can professionally print, package and ship your order direct to your customer. This can keep your costs lower and you have the added reassurance that your print will be packaged using archival materials, to keep your print protected.
Get in touch and see how we can help you
Ways of Posting on Instagram
There are several ways you can post an image(s) or a video to promote giclée prints :-
General post – of one image (Upload an image with aspect ratio 1.91:1 and 4:5, other aspect ratios may need cropping) or video (Upload a video with aspect ratio between 1.91:1 and 9:16, with minimum frame rate 30FPS and minimum resolution 720 pixels)
Carousel post – post up to ten images or videos at once, so viewers can swipe to see them all in the post.
Multiple Photos in one photo post – by using the Layout app you can select several images at once to post together as one image, such as a collection of animal portraits. This means viewers can see a select group of your prints together in one post. See other users’ posts to see how effective this tool can be.
Story post – you can post photos and videos that will disappear from your profile, feed and messages after 24 hours, unless you choose to add them to your story highlights. This can be great to share behind the scenes or countdown to a new print collection. Videos uploaded to stories are limited to 15 seconds, if your video is longer then instagram will cut it into 15-second pieces that are played one after the other. Canva have instagram story templates, that should give you some ideas for creating engagement with your followers.
Reel post – you can upload videos up to 90 seconds long. You could discuss current collection or a new launch coming, or maybe a special early bird discount available.
Go Live – You can be live for up to 4 hours, though some users have had issues and only managed to get up to an hour. Though trying to keep viewers entertained for 4 hours can be too much. You can have live sessions with up to three additional guests. This means you can host webinars or guest chats with fellow creatives, relatable to your field of creativity. To promote your giclée prints you could talk about your latest collection. Plan ahead how you would use this facility and maybe you could schedule a weekly live chat.
Instagram allows you to add text, filters, music, tag shop products, tag other users, add location to your posts at the point of upload. There are many options and it takes time to work out which ones benefit your content.
Pinned Comments – Lets you pin selected comments so they stay at the top of your post’s comment section. You can only pin up to 3 comments on each post. This shares positive feedback and shows possible conversation starters.
Remix – Remix allows users to record videos alongside other videos or Reels, in a split-screen view, creating a new version. This can work well with collaborations. It’s a similar feature to TikTok duets.
Tagging – You can tag up to 20 user accounts in your post. This is one way to draw attention to your post and hopefully one of the tag users will want to repost to their followers. So your post will reach a wider audience. Be selective how you use this facility, as you could end up annoying users if you tag them all the time or if they are not relevant to what you do. You can also tag a thank you post to the galleries, societies and buyers who you have interacted with or were part of an event. Think of the ways you can use it to create positivity for you and your brand.
Gift Cards – You can add gift card stickers to your stories and profiles.
Collabs – This allows you to co-create content with other users. So a collab post will appear on both users profiles with the same likes and comments. For this to work successfully the post needs to suit both user’s profile brand. It can be great when making an important announcement or in the joint creation of something.
Hashtags – according to whoever you talk to hashtags do or don’t work anymore. Look out for the the ones that people are most likely to follow but not the most popular hashtags, you’ll be lost amongst the popular ones. The hashtags to avoid have more than 1 million posts. Consider niche hashtags that people may be curious to follow, ones that are more promoting things around life, such as #creativehappylife #doitfortheprocess. You can use up to 30 hashtags.
Also check out what hashtags your competitors use and check their following too. You need to look for competitors that have a similar amount of followers as you or slightly more followers than you. Don’t compare yourself to competitors that have a much bigger following than you, you can take post ideas from them, but always be true to your own voice and creative path. The creatives with a large following will have extra tools and opportunities, so it’s not wise to follow everything they do.
More Instagram Features
Story Captions – Available only in English, this automatically generates captions, that are editable. This allows you to still connect with viewers that may have muted sound.
Story Highlights – A story lasts for 24 hours on your profile. After that you can choose to save a story as a highlight, which appears on your profile below your bio. You could set up your highlights with titles and cover images, check out other creative users to see how effective this can be. They will create highlight titles such as:-
work in progress
behind the scenes
how I create
Create highlight titles that are relevant to what you do and how you run your creative business. Share posts by your happy customers and add to your stories. Then create a highlight called ‘Reviews’ and add this type of post there.
AR Filters and Stickers – These are filters for adding to your stories. There are various effects available you can apply to your story and also you can add polls, ask questions, add links to your shop products or add a specific link to a page on your website. You can add stickers, emoji’s and gifs to your story post too. You can also apply hashtags and mention someone as well. Don’t get carried away and use every gimmick possible, only use what really suits and applies to the image or video you want to post.
Shopping features – You can tag your products in your posts, sending a buyer direct to the product to buy.
What type of Giclée Prints should you offer ?
If you are looking to add more value to your giclée prints, then you could consider what border you should have, should it be deckled edged, should you sign your print or should you offer an open edition or limited edition print and include a certificate of authenticity ?
There are so many choices and it can feel overwhelming, but don’t feel you have to choose everything the same for every type of giclée print you want to sell. Feel free to Get in touch or place your print order online and see what options are available.
Optimising for Instagram algorithm
Instagram does keep changing its parameters and sometimes what worked for a while may not always work for you. You must be prepared to adapt and try new things as you progress. Don’t worry too much about making each post perfect, it’s more important to consistently post. This way you are growing your audience and your audience is building confidence in purchasing from you.
If you find you’re not getting much engagement then change the time of day or day that you post before doing anything else. Take a look at the analytics and insights of your posts and check to see what time of day or particular day you receive the most engagement.
Remember to mix up the hashtags you use, don’t use the same group of hashtags for each post. Instagram doesn’t like you to use the same hashtags all the time.
Also remember the algorithm will always favour the latest tool on instagram, which is currently reels. Generally video in posts, stories or reels seem to get more views than general posts. Though only posting videos can become annoying to your current followers and you may lose followers if you don’t mix up your content.
By scheduling your posts you are able to plan ahead. It also means you won’t miss a week of posting while you’re on holiday or rushing to meet a deadline.
There are many scheduling tools you can use such as buffer, sprout social, lately and loomly. Research the different ones and see which will work best for how you want to work. You may not need every service they offer, so take the time to see which is best for what you need, rather than spend more money than you need to. Scheduling means you can plan you posts ahead of time, helping you manage your time better and plan out what you want to say.
Creating Engagement on Instagram
Engagement is Key
Engage with your audience by asking a simple question in your post, maybe something on the subject of the print image you’re posting. Keep it relatable to the image you post. Don’t forget to reply to their answer.
Make sure you use good images in focus and well lit. Also make sure your video content is interesting and relevant to what you do. You should show an actual print in a video, preferably with you standing by it. That way your audience can see an actual print and what they actually get for their money.
Another way to engage your audience is to show a painting progress or you on location photographing. Any type of behind the scenes or work in progress can really engage your audience. People really like to see how others work. They enjoy watching your creative journey and you can encourage them to be a part of it by supporting you with purchases of your giclée prints. Never forget to remind your viewers they can buy from you.
Share your thoughts and reasons for why you created the image. Basically you tell the story of the journey to the creation of the print. Consider the posts you see online that compel you to comment or make a purchase, this is the same feeling you need to create for your audience.
Tagging and Connecting
Also consider who you can tag, there are profiles that only promote creatives work. Do some research on who other creatives tag, this could bring in a new set of followers. Also mention the suppliers you use to create your images, whether it’s the print paper or the equipment you used i.e the brand of brushes you used for the original art or the lens/ filters you used for the photo image you created. Also consider adding local galleries or interior designers who could be interested in your prints. Don’t use them on every post, be selective how you use them. They may just check you out and it could give you opportunities. Just remember to be considerate and not annoying.
There is no definitive answer of what does or doesn’t work on instagram. There are artists and photographers with very large followers who hardly sell any prints of their work, but they may get commission corporate work instead. Then there are artists and photographers with a smaller number of followers, who regularly buy their prints and attend their art events and workshops. So realistically it comes down to having quality followers who are readily engaged in what you have to offer.
Be wary of instagram accounts that contact you, stating they’ll promote you for a set fee. They generally add no value to your profile and it costs you money that could be better spent on your creative business. Remember that generally creatives should not be paying for exposure. Some creatives pay influencers to promote their products, but do your homework and check out the influencer and whether they are a good match for your products.
It can be good to think outside the box and come up with interesting ways you can work with other creatives. To promote giclée prints you could offer one as a prize in collaboration with another artist, photographer or creative (i.e jewellery maker, sculptor etc…). This means each creative in the collaboration puts one item into the prize draw and all of you promote it. This can bring in new followers and buyers to all of you and a prize of several items is more likely to attract a bigger audience.
You could choose to work with interior designers or house renovators, whereby you offer them a collection of your prints for a post of your prints in situ. Consider users with a reasonably large following. Make sure you follow them and comment on their posts and maybe build a rapport before asking to do a collaboration. Make sure they are a good fit for your type of work. Overall this means you reach a larger audience and you get the added bonus of images or videos of your prints (preferably framed by the designer/ renovator) in an interior setting.
The Do’s and Don’ts
1. Do post good quality photos of your giclée prints. No one will be interested in darkly lit or out of focus photos.
2. Do use your logo or a photo of you for your profile picture.
3. You don’t have to post every day, but do post consistently.
4. Add text to your post, but don’t only mention that the item is for sale. Say something about the subject in the print and then after you can mention that the viewers can buy one. Remember the viewer will only see the first couple of lines of text in their feed, but if all you say is buy, it can put a lot of people off. Much better to say something that makes them want to open the post to read more.
5. Don’t use the same group of hashtags for every post to promote giclée prints, mix it up. Do use hashtags that are relevant to what you post.
6. Don’t ask too many questions in a post, you can overwhelm your viewers, so they don’t know what to comment on. Do ask a question that is relevant to the post.
Just a Few More Do’s and Don’ts
7. Do post photos of you, with your giclée prints, when you’re out sketching and photographing, behind the scenes creating your art or photos. Your viewers like to know who they are interacting with and are more likely to buy from you.
8. Don’t message people to follow you or check out your prints on your shop or website. This can make people either unfollow you or block you. They will see you as adding no value to them and just see it as being pestered.
9. Follow people because you want to and not because you want them to follow you back. Don’t get caught up in likes for likes behaviour, you’ll just be wasting your time. They are never going to be a buyer.
10. Follow people relevant to what you do i.e artists, photographers, galleries, institutions or publications. Like and comment on their posts you find interesting. They may eventually decide to check out your profile page or follow you or maybe they will contact you with an opportunity or collaboration.
11. Do reply to comments and DM’s within the first hour of your post being uploaded. In today’s World everyone thinks they can communicate at any time, but don’t reply outside your designated hours of work, unless you feel it is necessary. If you reply at all hours of the day and night, you never switch off from your business and also people can become used to contacting you whenever they want. Set boundaries that work for you, but are fair for your customer.
Advertising using instagram
You can either create a specific post for advertising on instagram or boost a post. Never do this on a whim or impulse. Stop and think about it before spending any money. You need to decide your budget, before spending any money.
Firstly decide what it is you hope to achieve from the advert i.e more followers, more engagement or create brand awareness or more sales. This will help you decide what type of image, video and text that needs to be created for your goal.
Only run an advert to promote giclée prints for a short period of time i.e 7 days. Then assess if it’s achieving your goals and then you can decide whether to continue the ad for another 7 days or try a different type of post. Always check out the insights to see how well your advert is doing.
Adverts can be good when you want to promote a new print or collection, if you have a sale on or even if you want to share information about an event, exhibition you’ll be selling at or even a workshop you’re running.
One Hit Wonder
Remember there is rarely a one hit wonder, it takes time to build an audience of potential buyers. People generally have to see something several times and become familiar with it, before they will consider buying anything. So you may need to run several adverts one at a time over a period of time. So work out your budget for advertising before you spend more than you intended. Paying for advertising isn’t for everyone, so don’t feel you have to do this to promote your creative business, but maybe it can work occasionally for certain promotions.
Promote giclée prints on instagram Final Say
Once you have used instagram a few times, you’ll get the feel for how it works. You’ll also start to see how you can use the different features to your advantage.
Just remember that it is not enough to build a following, that you also need to turn them into buyers. Always check out your insights to see what percentage of your followers actually see your posts. Firstly you need as many users as possible to see your posts. Then you need these viewers to become buyers. You turn them into buyers by sharing who you are, what you create, let them see you in action and share behind the scenes. Don’t overthink, just remember people are interested in seeing what others do.
In a Nutshell
Don’t lose sight that everything you do on instagram is about promoting your brand and informing your audience:-
who you are,
what you do
how you do it
why you do it
that it is for sale
how they can buy it
where they can buy it
how much it is
This information shouldn’t be all, in one post, but be consistent with the information you provide through your posts.
One final note:
Don’t let instagram consume you. Remember it’s designed to keep everyone on there, to see all the adverts they make revenue on. Use instagram to your advantage, find a balance that works for you. Do check your insights and analytics to see what is and isn’t working for you and change it as you need to.
Don’t forget to Get in touch if you need our fine art printing services, we’re here to help.
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