With 800 million monthly active users and 40 billion photos shared, Instagrammers regularly show their love for the platform. Among the major social networks, only Facebook and YouTube have more people logging in each month.
Building your digital presence on social media and having a clear Instagram Marketing strategy is important in order to grow your business.
What should you take care of? Here are the 6+1 cornerstones of your strategy!
#1 Your Brand’s Personality
Your brand has a personality. Based on the target audience you want to approach and engage with, you may be funny and talk like the girl next door, strict, fully professional or mysterious. Each brand has its own ‘voice’. If people are used to talk to them in English, using emoji and be super friendly, they will be suspicious if they see an Instagram post looking like a professional announcement. What you need to remember is to use language and tone that you are familiar with. If you fake it, it will probably won’t feel original.
“How will I select the appropriate tone?” you may think at this point.
Well, creating brand guidelines and shaping your brand personality should be part of your marketing strategy. If you have missed this step, just stop your posts for a bit and re-think your strategy.
Take into account the following factors:
- Who are you? Try to give answers to the following questions: If your brand was a person, how would he/she look, talk and express himself/herself? Having in mind all the above, you will be able to create a persona for your brand and know its personality.
- Who is your target audience? Understanding your audience will let you build a more suitable social media strategy. Questions that you need to think of are the following: What characteristics do your target followers have? What language do they speak? When are they online? What content will be engaging for them? What do they post?
- What resources do you have? Many social media managers overlook this factor. If you only have a few hours per month for your new account, you may not be able to be creative with posts and Insta stories and, at the same time, find influencers, participate in engagement pods etc. On the contrary, you may need to focus only on 2 Instagram posts per week and seek for valuable influencer partnerships. Or, you may have a lot of time but not so much budget to spend on influencers and promoted posts.
#2 Brainstorm on your Content
Decide the content that you would like to share, how often and what are the appropriate posting hours. You could add different types of content to your monthly social media plan. You could create a mix of:
- Posts for creating awareness of your brand and showcase its benefits
- Giveaway or contests
- Posts using influencers or user-generated content in order to have social proof and endorsement
- Insta-stories with fun content on the daily life of your brand or exclusive offers
Tip: Check out your competition as well. You may take a lot of cool ideas and see what is working or not for them. This is really valuable for new accounts.
#3 Choosing the best Images
Always go for bright images and use the right dimensions: 1080px by 1080px for Instagram posts and 1080px by 1920px for Instagram stories.
One of the most time consuming and exhausting things as a social media manager is trying to find the right image for your content, that will have two main characteristics: be 100% impressive and free to use. There are several image resources websites that will help you. My top 3 favorites are Pexels, Unsplash and Freepik.
#4 Selecting your Hashtags
Instagram’s hashtags make it easy for users to find related content. The hashtags game is not always that easy and obvious for social media manages. You can use up to 30 hashtags on your post and these can be the most famous # in your industry. Some keyword hashtags that you should not forget are your brand’s name or brand’s official hashtag. Using related hashtags is a great way to find other hashtags people are using to discuss a topic. For example, if you’re planning on tagging your post with #dress, you may want to tag related hashtags like #outfit, #ootd, or #mydress to broaden your post reach.
#5 Influencer Marketing as a trend
Influencer Marketing has surely become a trend for Instagram. Who is considered to be an influencer? Anyone that has the power to influence others within their social sphere. Typically, these individuals will hold a great deal of authority within certain communities and on certain topics.
Practically, an influencer acts like a giant megaphone spreading a brand’s message to potential customers. Depending on the number of followers and their reach, influencers can be divided into two categories: Micro- influencers and Macro influencers. If you are just starting experimenting with this trend, give it a try with a few micro-influencers in the beginning.
Steps to finding an influencer matching your brand
- Look for Instagram accounts via the search bar and find those that appear to the top results for searches of hashtags of your interest. They should be having high engagement on their posts, meaning likes, and comments per post based on the numbers of followers.
- Contact them with a private message, or check if they already have a contact email at the bio.
- Congratulate them for their super content and give a compliment on what you loved the most.
- Ask for contact details in order to discuss a possible partnership.
- See the available partnerships that the influencer has to offer (Instagram post, story, promoted post/story, YouTube vlog, Facebook post, Snapchat story).
- Ask for information on account analytics and, if applicable, previous partnerships – success stories/ engagement rate.
If everything looks good, try it out and make the first agreement.
#6 Reposting User-Generated Content
Reposting content posted originally by fans of your product or service is a great way to gain social proof. People are more keen to buy or make an action if they see that someone else has already trusted a company and he/she is happy with the results. Nevertheless, even if you find an amazing photo on Instagram taken from your store or featuring your product, you may not just re-post it without the fan’s consent. For this reason, it is suggested to send them a PM and asking his permission to repost his awesome content. Once you have a green light, go for it!
As reported by The Next Web, the re-insta button will be slowly introduced and will let you share content from other users, much like a re-tweet or share, making it easier to share user-generated content and other great content while still benefiting the original poster. This will significantly expand your reach as followers are sharing your content and introducing it to their own content
#7 Focus on Analytics
Numbers, numbers, numbers—these make or break your social media strategy. Stay on top of your key social media metrics like engagement, reach per post or story and the total number of followers. Depending on these reports, week per week you may need to reconsider parts of your strategy like the posting time, the hashtags used or even your content.
Don’t ever forget to continue learning and getting educated about the latest trends in Instagram marketing. New features are released and new ways of promoting your content are coming out. Keep experimenting and reshaping your social media strategy.
You got this!