Does Unpolished Instagram Content Drive Growth?

How to create content for Instagram

With the release of Meta’s 6 culture codes, creators and brands alike are being urged to engage with their audiences through a shared humanity.

The culture codes tap into the unpolished type of content that we know well from the organic social media marketing strategies we use for our clients. In our experience, this raw and authentic approach to content creation is what drives growth.

So today, we’re taking a fresh look at these 6 culture codes as applied to Instagram—one of the best meta platforms for education brands to reach their student audiences.

Learn how to create engaging content for Instagram Reels, Stories and Live.

Authentic Instagram content ideas

1. Showcase real people telling real stories

Social media wouldn’t be social without people, so put real people at the front and centre of your digital content.

Instagram content ideas involving people can be as simple as getting your customers or employees involved, and playing the roles of themselves.

By giving them a space to tell their own stories, your audience will engage with your brand’s authenticity.

Avoid sticking to scripts, because as soon as your audience hears it, they’ll disengage with you. The more unscripted, spontaneous and ad lib you can make it, the more credibility you will gain as audiences appreciate the real deal.

2. Use the language of the platform

Each platform has its own language that has been created especially for that platform or has become part of it.

This “language” can include words and phrases, but it can also be behaviours and cultural references.

The hashtag is the most obvious one for Instagram, but there are also dances and transitions like the kind you find on TikTok, another highly effective marketing tool.

3. Harness the power of creators

One way to never run out of Instagram content ideas is to tap into the creativity of content creators.

As experts in engaging audiences, content creators are the perfect brand ambassadors to promote your brand. Note we said creators, not influencers.

Not only do they take care of the creative side for you, they also lend you credibility because audiences tend to trust creators more than brands themselves.

You can also use different creators to engage different segments of your audience. For example, we use different student ambassadors to create content for our education clients, including local students, international students and more.

4. Take users behind the scenes

Another way that unpolished content can win over your audience’s interest and trust is through behind-the-scenes content.

While traditional advertising concealed how videos and photos were made, social media differentiates itself by baring all.

Like the other unpolished instagram content ideas in this list, behind-the-scenes content gets audiences’ attention because it’s interesting and feels exclusive and intimate. It also engenders trust by showing the “real” side of the people who make up your brand.

5. Use lo-fi editing techniques

A recent study from YPulse has confirmed what digital marketers have known for some time—that videos with low production value have a higher impact than their polished counterparts.

This is because shaky cameras and imperfect angles look handmade, unpretentious and relatable. It makes the creators we follow feel more like a close friend than a stranger we watch from the other side of the world.

Ironically, luxury brands go to great lengths to produce lo-fi videos, studying the tools and techniques of micro influencers.

6. Get them laughing

Just like the icebreakers we use in real life, humour can bring down that invisible wall between your brand and your audience.

By incorporating jokes, playfulness and mistakes, you can humanise your brand and connect with your audience as a peer, becoming more relatable and accessible.

How can I start creating UGC content for Instagram?

To summarise, it comes down to a shift in your approach. Try to show a more complete picture to your audience, and let the people who make up your brand, from loyal customers to employees, come together to create an authentic tone and message that can’t be replicated with polished content. The results will speak for themselves!

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