The Later x Unsplash StoryMeet the brands successfully integrating stock photography into their social strategy with Later
Sharing scroll-stopping visual content is key for brands looking to build their online presence, but gathering it isn’t always easy.
Which is where Later’s Unsplash integration comes in.
With over 2 million free to use images, Unsplash helps Later customers find awesome content for social media and create a killer on-brand feed in minutes. And the best bit? It’s 100% free for all Later users.
And stock photography isn't limited to boring shots of corporate high-fives any more. There's a whole universe of high-quality, creative content from professional photographers to discover!
Which is why businesses are embracing stock imagery for Instagram more and more. In fact, since launching in the Later web app, Unsplash has become our most popular feature for collecting user-generated content.
Here’s how 3 brands are using Later and Unsplash to support their social media strategy, supplement their other content, and make waves online.
Simply Straws is an environmentally-led business dedicated to raising awareness of single-use plastic. Through their content and products – glass and stainless steel straws – they pursue their mission of elevating climate change issues.
As a small business based in California, social media is a key channel for Simply Straws to establish their online brand and promote their mission.
With only one person looking after all the company’s social media, from content planning to reporting, Later helps them to stay organized and efficient.“In my role I do a lot of multitasking. Later helps me to be a lot more organized and efficient.”
Plus, the visual, user-friendly interface makes it easy for other colleagues to hop in and see the content before it goes live.“It's a very collaborative platform – I could easily pull in my marketing manager and she could take a look because it’s a user-friendly experience”
As well as sharing their own product photos, Simply Straws makes user generated content an important part of their strategy. Not only does it add variety to their feed, but it helps create a visual experience that’s more about promoting their eco mission than their products.
Simply Straws uses user-generated content collected from hashtags and mentions, as well as free to use imagery from Unsplash. Working with time and budget constraints means stock content gives them access to high-quality images in just a few clicks, without the need to pay for professional photography.“I’m a huge fan of using stock photos mainly because we are a small team – we don't have the budget for a professional photographer."
And supplementing their own images with stock photos brings variety to their feed, helping Simply Straws create a stronger visual experience for their audience.“I think it's important to balance out your content so it's not just product photos. It’s nice to have a good mix of visually pleasing content.”
ESSE Water is a family business based in Chicago, Illinois creating healthy water drinks infused with essential oils from a range of fruits. As a new business, social media has been important for spreading the word of both their products and their health and wellbeing ethos.
At first, their goal on social media was to grow their following. Now however, the team at ESSE Water is focused on building a space for community and two-way conversations.
To strengthen the sense of community on their channels, they share user-generated content that promotes their products and supports their well-being mission. They use Later to plan, preview, and rearrange their Instagram feed – helping them balance this mix of content.“Being able to not only plan out when your posts are going to go out, but even the Stories and having that consistency aspect is huge to us.”
They also rely on Later’s detailed analytics to see what content performs best and when, so they can keep delivering posts that resonate with their community – something that’s especially important as their business grows.“Later’s Analytics helps us target our audience, and seeing the chart laid out helps us to drive up engagement.”
ESSE Water uses a range of content sources to keep their feed varied and engaging. As well as their own content, they collaborate with influencers and repost images their customers share to promote their product.
But when it comes to mission-led posts, where the focus is often on the words of the caption, stock photos are the perfect fit. The team uses colorful stock images of fruit to reflect the natural ingredients of their drinks – 100% free content that takes minutes to find in the Later dashboard.“Having Unsplash content that is related to what we're promoting has been so helpful. We can use a picture from Unsplash and still get our point across that we’re using real fruit or talking about essential oils.”
StudentUniverse offers discounted travel for students and under-30s – with a goal of helping young adults see the world for less.
As a small but international team, they run multiple social media accounts covering different regional markets. They use Later to keep their content organized, making it easy for different team members to jump in and review the schedule.
2020 has brought big changes to the travel industry. And with travel restrictions continually evolving, planning a social media content calendar is no mean feat. To combat this, the StudentUniverse team uses the Calendar Notes in Later to make it simple to coordinate across time zones and communicate any changes.“We share Calendar Notes across boards about when to feature certain promotions on certain channels, or what we're planning for later in the month.”
Using stock photography as part of their content strategy also helps them to adapt as plans change. With Later’s Unsplash integration, they’re able to search, select, and schedule content in one seamless workflow – helping them keep their audience informed on the latest travel news and deals as they happen.
Unsplash is home to stunning travel photography which helps StudentUniverse build a cohesive brand that stands out on social media.“Unsplash content helps increase the visual quality and cohesion of our feeds. We can use similar images for campaigns across channels to create that brand clarity and cohesion.”
Creating a visual experience on social media is a must for brands – and stock photography makes building a captivating Instagram feed achievable, especially for those with limited time and budget to spend on content creation.
With Later’s Unsplash integration and Visual Planner tool, curating a stunning Instagram feed from scratch has never been easier.