Ever wondered what draws you to certain brands?
For example, you're exploring Instagram and you come across a great image. So you go through to that user's account. Thirty minutes later, you realize you've looked through every single photo, nearly all the way back to their first post.
What is that powerful force that held your attention for so long?
Well, that's image curation.
So now that what we know what it is, let's talk about how you can start curating to have that same effect on others--and build up your brand's following.
One of the main facets of curation is the simple fact that you can't post anything and everything you want to. You have to be selective and choose images and themes that align with the persona you want people to associate with your brand.
Let's take the clothing store Madewell as an example.
A look at their recent Instagram content shows a theme: A mixture of lookbook and product images, all with a consistent overall feel. Do you see any random cat pictures or blurry selfies? Nope. Each image has been carefully selected to build a general feeling of casual comfort with a touch of class.
Image curation also means that all of your content is identifiable as uniquely yours, due to a certain level of uniformity that creates a style and sound users can pick out of the crowd.
Curating means your images have one consistent filter applied and your design style stays the same across all platforms. The food blog Love and Lemons uses uniformity and produces blog images that, without seeing any context, you could point to and say, 'Oh, that must be from Love and Lemons.'
The other thing to note here is that curators find the best piece of content--and then use it. They'd never just snap one photo and go with it. They work hard to produce their best possible work.
Build a Lifestyle
The best image curators are ones whose photos work together to create an overall lifestyle feeling around their personal brand. It's a way of targeting their ideal followers, too. By presenting images that speak to a target demographic, they can further connect with those who are most likely to benefit from what they have to offer.
That objective varies from brand to brand. For some bloggers, they're building up an audience for advertisers and affiliate marketing. For others, they're selling a product. Designer Benny Gold reinforces his lifestyle brand by curating images on Twitter.
Even when he's promoting a sale, the fonts and imagery line up with his company's overall look and feel.
A Touch of Mystery
Image curators present their worlds through rose-colored glasses. Every image is ideal, and therefore, people begin to place those curators on invisible pedestals.
Are their lives and brands all champagne and vacations in reality? Probably not. But through the power of curation, they add a touch of mystery to their brand--and that keeps an audience coming back for more, hoping they'll get an insider peek into their daily lives.
Musician William Fitzsimmons primarily uses image curation on Facebook to promote upcoming shows and events, but from time to time, you get a glimpse into his life at home.
Image Curation: Your Secret Power
Is it hard to surrender your ability to showcase the 'real' you and put a strict focus on curation? Yes, of course. And it's not for everyone. But for entrepreneurs who are looking to build their brand and establish a strong online presence, it's a must-have feature.
Who are some of your favorite image curation experts?