With the ever-changing social media world and the new year approaching it is the time to think about your marketing strategy for 2019. Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms out there and if you’re planning to master this app for your business next year this post is definitely for you.
I’ll introduce today five steps that I think can help you to develop a killer strategy for your Instagram – from setting objectives through creating content and engagement to keeping up with the latest trends and selling features.
It’s my first blog post for Social Brighton as I’ve recently joined the team (it’s actually almost four months already!). I love using Instagram, not only have I found my best friends through this app but also many business opportunities, collaborations, and even my current job.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it for you 🙂
1. Decide why you are on Instagram and set objectives
Before you even start, determine why you’ve chosen this platform for your business and choose 1-2 goals, your objectives, that will help you not only with targeting the right audience but also creating good and relevant content. It is really important as it impacts everything you do on Instagram.
Many businesses that we work with have different goals:
The creative opportunities and visual aspects of Instagram are other favourites of mine – make the most of them. These can be particularly powerful for highly visual businesses and a great way to creatively engage your customers and employees. I also believe that Instagram is really good at helping you reach your potential clients and build relationships with them if you strategically use Stories to show the personality and faces behind your brand.
2. Try a variety of content and measure the impact
You probably have a good idea of what you want to share on Instagram for your business. It’s good to choose what kind of content both you like and the one that works the best for your company.
You can choose from ideas such as:
- behind the scenes,
- user-generated content (reposting, influencers),
- product demos/showcase, educational content (e.g., graphics, social media tips),
- meet the team and related content showing the human side of your company,
- something fun or even your customers’ stories (customer or team member takeovers are a fantastic way to do it too!)
TIP: Which content works best? Video, video, video! It is the future, not just on Instagram.
Videos receive up to 21% more interactions than other content – single photos or carousel. What is then not that surprising, the higher the number of followers the higher the number of videos they post.
– The 2018 Instagram Study by quintly
I really enjoy watching video content as a customer but also have fun creating this kind of content for Social Brighton or our clients. I think that video is getting more and more powerful and I even set up myself a challenge to film more on my Instagram feed and Stories too.
At Social Brighton, I mainly share short tips videos or video tutorials but also, whenever possible I try to make creative and funny videos that I can post on Instagram Stories – no matter how short they are, they may be the reason you get more engagement and better relationships with your audience.
Another thing about the video is one of the latest apps IGTV – a vertical video platform where the content is linked to your Instagram. It’s rising in popularity, and all of the videos you create are saved on your account so people can have a constant view. It’s basically like YouTube but on Instagram. It’s a handy tool to give your audience a bit of insight into your brand.
A perfect example is an Elle US Instagram TV content:
3. Choose what time works best for you to post and schedule
Explore the data, look at the historic posts and you will see the time your posts work the best. I’ve found that most of the social media scheduling software we’ve worked with give contrary views. Even if you see that most of your followers are engaging around a specific time (usually mornings and evenings after work 5-6) it does not mean that your posts will work best during that period. This is due to the higher competition in those periods of time that make it more difficult to reach the top of the scrolling feed on your follower’s accounts.
There is more engagement on Instagram on weekends (22.3%), so it might be good to schedule some posts for Saturday or Sundays.
Try to engage for at least 15-30 min. during that time too. It is more difficult for bigger companies, primarily when you or your employees work only Mon-Fri and just want to forget about work after-hours. Hence scheduling it’s a great way to go. When you do so make sure it’s the time you can spare a few minutes to reply to the comments, follow similar hashtags and engage.
4. Engage with your audience – be social!
Due to the dreaded “algorithm”, creating beautiful and eye-catching content is not enough to boost your engagement. You have to set up daily routines that will help you get more engagement. Like, comment and interact with your audience or potential followers, don’t just do social, be social!
As I mentioned above, it is crucial to engage for at least 10-30 min before and after the time you publish the post. I like not only to schedule the posts but also to save the time around that time to comment, share and create Instagram Stories about it.
There are also few tips that might help you:
- Be careful with the length of the captions, although you can post up to 300 characters, the best performing ones are 1-50 – if you are looking for more interactions keep it shorter
- Use just relevant hashtags, it’s best to use about 11+ as it usually gets the highest interactions; Do not use random hashtags that will just attract the wrong followers or even an army of fake accounts that are just hunting for likes.
- Therefore track and analyse your followers.
- Find potential customers (be interested their content first) and build relationships with them
- Keep up to date with all the trends such as the rise of video content
5. Make the most of the selling features
A lot of selling features were released on Instagram and sometimes it makes it hard to keep up with everything. First, we had the link in BIO, then swipe up features on Instagram Stories (unfortunately still just for bigger accounts) and now tagging products! If you sell a product or service online you need to be using these tools on Instagram.
Instagram Stories are not only a great way to engage with followers (showing behind the scenes or talking in person to your audience), but they also have a great feature of tagging products so you can sell them through the stories. Followers can easily create the list by saving the tagged products in your stories – if possible then make it accessible for them.
Followers can also shop the recommended products via the new “shopping” tab on the Explore page and if it goes well with the Instagram shopping, we might even expect a separate shopping app.
Instagram is an amazing app and year by year it’s developing the features that are ideal for many small businesses that can help you to target the right audience. It’s an actual ‘workspace’ for many people & influencers hence I think it’s going to grow even more in the next years.
The biggest takeaways are to know your goals and engage whenever possible, because, at the end of the day, it’s the place to be social, not just to sell.
Want to know more?
I hope this post gave you an idea of how to develop a strong strategy for your Instagram in 2019 and if you want to learn more you can join our Instagram Masterclass in January 2019 (spaces are selling fast!).