Social media is a very noisy place, and it can be tough for a brand to stand out, let alone communicate something specific about their value to casual browsers. The Drop Recipes marketing team knew what loyal users valued most about the platforms recipes, and bet that if we could convince more potential users of that value at first glance, we would stand a much better chance of converting them into new users.
Posting beautiful food photography to Instagram isn't exactly an original concept, but what if those photographs contained additional information about the methods and strategies used to prepare them? The marketing team knew from research that once a user could identify a recipe as having been made using one of a number of popular time-saving cooking strategies, they'd be far more interested in giving that recipe a try themselves and this was precisely the value we wanted to communicate within the Drop Recipes Instagram feed.
After experimenting with various approaches that wouldn't distract from the imagery, like text-based recipe 'tags' contained in a footer on the image, or a discreet sidebar lsiting the strategies out vertically, we settled on the idea of overlaying icons representing each of the cooking strategies used for each recipe, along the bottom left of the Instagram post.
I drew up these icons, and we tested them on a few posts internally, but quickly discovered that even amongst the Drop Recipes staff, there was some confusion over which kitchen appliance was which. Though we had been pleased with how minimal the icons had looked overlaid on the imagery, we all agreed that labels would be needed to make sure these strategies could be understood while being scrolled through a busy feed.
With our approach defined, I set about building two easy-to-use Photoshop templates for the marketing team. These allowed them to quickly swap out recipe photography, insert the required strategy icons and labels, and export final imagery for both Instagram posts and Instagram stories themselves, without having to rely on a designer being free to help them on a regular basis.