If you don’t follow @MuradOsmann on Instagram, do yourself the favor. You won’t be disappointed. Murad Osmann is a 28 year-old music video producer from Moscow with a creative —and market-centric— mind. He has generated more than 829,000 followers on Instagram, a handful of imitators, and a cult of fans who eagerly await his every move.
The photo series that brought Murad to fame almost overnight is called #followmeto. In it, he and his girlfriend, journalist Natalia Zakharova, travel the world and take not so “tourist-y” photos. They’re awe-inspiring. The series started by accident —on vacation in Barcelona, Natalia got angry that Murad spent his time photographing instead of taking in the beauty of the city. She grabbed his hand mid-shot and pulled him forward. The final result looked like this:
A couple hundred “likes” later, and comments begging for more, Murad realized this accident could be the start of something viral. And he was right. What he didn’t realize was that the structure he continued to follow that has brought his followers count rising has become a structure all brands should follow when using Instagram for marketing. Instagram itself believes so, too. In its new book “The Instagram Handbook For Brands,” Murad’s #followmeto series is one of the eleven “companies” profiled that have continued to successfully post viral content on the network.
So what makes Murad Osmann’s #followmeto series structure perfect for brands to follow when executing their social media marketing strategies? Here are a few details:
Every one of the photos in the #followmeto series has two major components (…three, if you count love). The foundation of every image is Natalia pulling Murad’s hand and the backdrop of wherever they are. They repeat in every image. It is essential for brands to have an underlying theme in each piece of Instagram marketing to engage excited followers. It’s not bad to have a personal Instagram feed that posts random photos constantly, but in order to make a brand pop in peoples’ minds, to reach a specific goal, a unifying theme is key.
Consistency is also essential. If you have a theme, stick to it. If Murad had only posted one or two photos, followers would have lost interest. The account would have ceased to offer the thing they followed it for. The trick is to avoid boring images but to maintain consistency.
For the #followmeto series, Murad uses the beautiful locales across the world as props and makes them look enticing enough to stun viewers. The effect is a desire to book a flight and follow Natalia, too. These different settings behind Natalia’s different outfits balance consistency with variety. Brands should use props as well. If the brand is marketing a specific product, it is important to include the product in the photo, but let the scenery generate its own interest.
This is crucial. Nothing is worse than a grainy, dark, low-quality photo. It’s simple: if the photo looks bad, so does the brand. We tend to link feelings, so if a brand constantly posts ugly photos on Instagram, the brand will be ugly to us. Murad has admitted to using photoshop to play with colors and edit his photos for visual perfection.
Finally, set yourself apart from the rest. Find something that makes your brand unique and get those creative juices flowing to channel that into an idea for unique Instagram marketing. What makes Murad’s photos in Barcelona, Paris and New York different from the other millions of tourism photos of those cities? His personal vision. Be creative and find what makes your brand special. Hey, a whole new perspective for your brand could come to you by accident, just like it did to Murad Osmann. You never know…
All photos are taken from Murad Osmann’s Instagram page, @muradosmann