So you know that Instagram is an important channel for building your health and wellness brand. But…where can you source images if you don’t have the resources to commission a photoshoot or pay a designer to create visual posts? Many businesses struggle to generate enough photos and videos to keep their Instagram channels fresh. No matter your budget, your health and wellness brand can make this process easier! Here are five Instagram marketing tips to help you source images and maintain a steady stream of engaging and likable posts.

1. Run a User-Generated Photo Contest

People buy products and services that their friends, family, and social network endorse. Source original Instagram content AND up your credibility with followers by running a user-generated photo contest. First, brainstorm a campaign idea. Dentists could do a “show us your smile” for 20% off your next whitening treatment. Likewise, dietary supplement companies can ask followers to post photos of their favorite healthy recipes—in exchange for free product. Get creative. Make a hashtag. Promote your images on your Instagram page! And tag the followers you choose to spotlight. Also consider cross-promoting on Facebook, Twitter, and other social channels for a maximum return on these user-generated images.

2. Hire A Social Media Photographer

Many of our clients sell health and wellness products. Instead of using stock photos of bottles, we recommend hiring a professional to take high-quality product photos of their entire inventory. We always suggest photographers who have fantastic creative direction skills too. That way, they snap well-lit photos of product, but also capture photos of people in the store, employees, and other great backdrop images for Instagram posts. If your photographer takes 500+ photos, you’ll have a few months worth of images to use for social—so it’s worth the investment! On a personal note, we hire a photographer to take photos quarterly so we never run out of fresh images for Instagram.

3. Source Images from Employees!

Your employees most likely use Instagram personally. Leverage this knowledge and skill by asking every employee to take five to 10 photos per week. Create a shared folder or email address where they can send these images so you have authentic photos to use on your Instagram page. Give your employees rough guidelines—i.e. no photos of customers’ faces without their written consent, appropriate body language, etc. That way you will never run out of unique photos your followers will love. Our client, @daveshealthutah, has been very successful with this tactic—as you can see by the fun image of their employee, Marshall, above!

4. Use Stock Images (Sparingly)

We air on the side of never using stock unless absolutely necessary—and usually as a backdrop for a designed post like we did for the Instagram post above. That’s because stock photos are pretty obvious. They often look too sterile and “posed”. Stock photography doesn’t capture your brand personality. Plus, other people can purchase the same stock photos and use them too, so they aren’t unique to your Instagram page. If you do opt to source images through stock websites, pay for an account. The free stock images out there are overused and often limited. At the very least, check your competitors’ accounts and make sure they aren’t using the same stock sources!

5. Hire A Social Media Marketing Agency

Social media agency for health and wellness brands

Posting daily to Instagram is ideal. This cadence ensures your dental practice, supplement company, chiropractic office, and other health and wellness brand grows and maintains its following. If you know you don’t have the time or employees to manage Instagram in-house, hire an agency! While we’re partial to ourselves, there are many professionals out there who can help you build a successful Instagram account—that drives both sales and traffic to your website and improves brand awareness and customer loyalty.

Wondering what else you should be doing for your business Instagram account? Learn more about why and how you should always use hashtags, and more tips and tricks for engaging Instagram posts. If you have any questions, get in touch! We’re always happy to help.

Editor’s Note: This post was previously published in 2019 and has recently been revamped by our team to offer the latest and greatest images, stats, and educational info. Enjoy!