If you feel that you do not "get" Instagram marketing, you are not alone. On the surface, it may seem like little more than a place for snapshots and selections.
Reality, however? Instagram is an absolute gold mine for companies of all shapes and sizes. From social selling to building communities and beyond, there's a reason why Instagram is booming right now between businesses and consumers alike.
That said, Instagram's "simplicity" can be misleading. Many brands struggle to grow or adopt Instagram as part of their social strategy and we fully understand why.
Listen: you can not afford to "improvise" with the gram. You need a clear and practical Instagram strategy if you want to increase your presence and attract customers.
And that's why we created this position. Below we have broken down an Instagram marketing strategy guide to help you start working on the platform and understand best practices for growth.
Definition of your goals and marketing purpose Instagram on the platform
This may seem obvious, you need to be able to answer exactly why you want to be on Instagram in the first place.
Are you interested in generating leads? Building a community? Brand awareness?
Setting goals on social media is not stuffed. These objectives will determine everything from your content strategy to how much time you spend on the platform.
Nor is there a "right" or a single goal that you have to commit to. That said, Instagram's return on investment is reduced to its goals.
For example, Crate and Barrel is a shining example of a retail brand whose Instagram marketing strategy focuses on social selling. All their food focuses on showing their products and encouraging their followers to check them as well.
Meanwhile, beauty brands often focus on highlighting products while building a community by constantly coming and going with their followers. For example, Glossier usually includes his followers in his feeds, as well as internal jokes that only his clients will appreciate.
Local brick and mortar businesses often focus on keeping customers aware of their latest promotions and, at the same time, establishing relationships. Note how Dixie Dharma takes the time to respond to their customers' comments as well as show off their delicious breakfasts.
And some brands simply use Instagram as a means to showcase their equipment and go behind the scenes of their business. B2B brands like Zapier do not seem to have much to gain with Instagram, but they manage to use their platform to show the human side of the brand.
The beauty of Instagram is the great amount of creative freedom available to you. Either way, your Instagram marketing strategy starts with your goals.
We recommend that you spend some time investigating Instagram yourself to help inspire your business strategy.
Follow some of your favorite brands. Follow also some competitors. Experiencing the platform as a user is the best way to understand how companies and consumers interact with each other.
Optimization of your Instagram profile for commitment
Here's some good news: Regarding the configuration of your profile, Instagram is relatively simple.
However, there are some small details to take into account when creating your profile.
Before worrying about creating Instagram content, make sure you have checked the following boxes. This is valid for new profiles and brands that seek to fine-tune their Instagram marketing.
Convert to a business profile
To begin, make sure you have changed your account to an Instagram business profile. If you do, you can highlight additional information such as the sector, location, phone number, and email address as part of your Instagram biography.
In addition, there are many Instagram applications that include filters and style options to enhance your photos.
Photos focused on people
It may sound cliché, but social media is, well, social.
This means focusing your content strategy on people. Specifically, highlighting the humans who support your business.
For example, user generated content and customer photos are basic elements of Instagram. Sharing these snapshots allows you to show your satisfied customers and put their products in a real environment.
Do not forget to show your team a little love too. Going behind the scenes and celebrating your colleagues is a simple but effective way to humanize your brand.
Video content is one of the most popular and shared around social media, including Instagram.
If you are not a professional videographer, do not be scared. Many brands share small-sized promotions instead of large productions.
And yes, you can create videos that are sold with little more than a smartphone.
Keep in mind that video content on Instagram does not have to be similar to a traditional ad. Vineyard style looping videos and timelapse videos are incredibly popular and can be assembled in seconds thanks to third-party applications. For example, the following video was created with LifeLapse.
Memes and image macros
Perfect for humor or inspiration, not everything on Instagram needs to come from your camera's reel.
In fact, memes and image macros are a way to break the monotony of your feed and engage your followers on a personal level.
Jokes? Tips? Inspirational quotes? If you are tied to ideas, such messages can do the trick. Oh, and you can whip them in a heartbeat thanks to tools like Canva.
Brands are integrating stories into their Instagram marketing strategies like never before.
Why? To begin with, Stories allow you to "skip the line" in your followers' feeds by placing your account at the beginning of the queue of your Stories. In addition, time-sensitive content takes advantage of its clients' sense of FOMO (fear of getting lost).
Ideal for offers, company updates or just playful content, stories are something that you should strive to create on a daily basis. Check out our Instagram Stories guide to better understand how to create a story that sells.
Marketing tools Instagram
Regardless of the type of content you choose to create, it is essential to track the performance of your content over time. This allows you to see which positions are resulting in a significant commitment.
That's where tools like Sprout change the game versus native Instagram analysis. Sprout monitors engagement trends and content performance to help you better refine your content strategy over time.