Instagram is a social platform powerhouse that has captured the attention of many marketers. With such a large and engaged audience, it’s no wonder why so many businesses are eager to get in on the action! But how do you create an Instagram marketing strategy?
There are several things to consider when building your approach:
- Who will be managing your account?
- What kind of content should your company post (images or videos)?
- What type of content should you avoid?
- What hashtags to use.
The first thing you should decide when creating an Instagram marketing strategy is who will be managing your account. There are a few different roles to play in social media management:
Full-time social media manager: This person will be in charge of one or two accounts, and the only engagement they would do is through social media. This could be a full-time employee or a contractor for between $30 and $75 per hour.
Part-time social media manager: This person would juggle more than one account and focus more on outreach (discussing collaborations and partnerships) and engagement. This could be an assistant who manages your social media while completing other tasks or a contractor who manages your social media, but you also operate alongside them. This role could range from $20-$50 per hour for part-time or $30-$75 per hour for full-time.
Social media intern: Social media interns are typically college students studying social media management, marketing, communications, graphic design, etc. They have been trained to use the platforms well but usually, only have the freedom to post their employer’s content. Interns typically earn between $10-$15 per hour. If you hire an intern, you will need to make sure you make all the necessary documentation with the intern’s university to ensure they get credit for unpaid internships, or you could risk legal issues.
Social media agencies: Social media agencies typically handle dozens of clients’ social media accounts. They will share best practices, create campaigns and content calendars, brainstorm ideas, respond to comments on your account, etc. These agencies can be an excellent way for a small business or a large company with many social media accounts to save time and stay organized. Agencies typically charge a monthly fee of $1,000+ for small accounts and $2,500+ for larger ones.
The next thing you should consider is what type of content to post (and how often). This will depend on your target demographic and the purpose of your account. For example: If you’re marketing food, it’s a good idea to post more photos of your food, but if you’re marketing shoes, it’s a better idea to post some videos showing how the shoes look on someone’s feet so people can get a sense of their size.
The third thing is what type of hashtags to use. Many marketers say that you should use less than 30 hashtags and use a mix of all hashtag types: general hashtags, location-specific tags, and branded hashtags.
The last thing is to decide when you should post, so your account gets the most attention possible. Many tools on the market can give you this information, but you can also go into your Instagram account and look at your insights. This will provide you with the best times to post based on your audience and when they are on the platform.
When creating a content strategy for Instagram, you should also consider all the things you can do on the platform. Let’s break each down now:
An Instagram story is a continuous sequence of photos and videos that you can post in the stories section of the Instagram app (this shows up at the top of the feed). You can string together as many posts as you like, but once 24 hours pass, your story disappears from the feed.
If you choose to use Stories, there are a few best practices to keep in mind when posting:
- Only include 10 seconds of video or less.
- Include a mix of photos and videos. If you use video, be sure to include captions. 92% of consumers watch videos with the sound off, and 50% rely on captions (Verizon & Publicis)
An Instagram reel is a video containing multiple clips and images. Reels can be hosted on the platform or uploaded to social media sites like Youtube or Vimeo to create an interactive motion graphics video where viewers can control what they see and when they see it. An Instagram reel allows content creators to reach a much wider audience as their reels become embedded in sites that lead visitors back to their profile page and those who post shares from them across the internet.
There are many ways you can use an Instagram reel to your advantage, whether you’re promoting a new product, increasing visual engagement with followers, or using it as a behind-in-scenes look at parts of your company’s daily life. Engaging with your audience is crucial when using an Instagram reel, so be sure to create content that will get people talking on social media. You can accomplish this by adding creative hashtags or creating specific polls to encourage people to react.
Tips for using Reels:
– Create unique content that is naturally shareable
– Keep your audience in mind when creating the video
– keep reels can be between 15 seconds and 60 seconds long, but the shorter, the better.
Another type of feature you should consider posting on Instagram is live video via Instagram Lives. This feature lets you broadcast live for up to an hour, and you can even save the video to your phone after it ends so you can share it on other social media sites.
Instagram lives offer a powerful interactive experience that can help brands connect with their audience in real-time. Not only does this give consumers (and their friends) the opportunity to watch the broadcast as it happens, but they’re also able to send direct messages back and forth with the broadcasters.
Instagram lives are an essential part of any social media campaign because it lets people feel like they are a part of something while also being entertained. The best way to get your audience involved is by creating engaging content relevant to your industry or niche.
Tips for using Instagram Live:
- Display a live countdown when broadcasting to let viewers know when it’s going to start
- Provide exclusive content that isn’t available anywhere else in the form of a giveaway or contest so you can attract more people.
- You can also include a unique hashtag in your bio to make it easy for users to find your broadcast.
A newer feature that all businesses should be looking into is Instagram Automation. Instagram automation was released in the summer of 2021 and allows business pages to set up automated chat responses in the direct messaging platform of Instagram. Tools like ManyChat make it super easy to create this automation, and they are incredibly powerful for communicating customers and followers plus converting with conversation.
Steps for creating an Instagram Strategy:
Step one: Analyze your current audience.
- Take a look at your follower list. How many are actual customers
- What kind of content do they engage with the most? Photos or videos?
Step two: Keyword research
- Do some keyword research to see what kinds of tags and hashtags you should be using and how you should be posting your content.
Step three: Your social media calendar
- Create a social media calendar that gives you an outline of what posts to create and when they will go out. Be sure to include reposts, reblogs, hashtags, videos, polls, giveaways, etc.
Step four: Other features to take advantage of:
- Set up a giveaway or contest with the help of tools like ManyChat and Gleam.
- Create an Instagram story to provide more behind-the-scenes information about your brand and give people a sneak peek into what goes on inside your company.
Step five: Stay consistent!
- Post at the same times every day and include relevant hashtags to get your post in front of the right audience.
- Make sure that you’re using a relevant bio to let people know what you’re posting about.
Step six: Measure your progress.
- Keep track of all of your metrics on Instagram Insights to see how well your strategy works.
Step seven: Keep evolving!
- Take advantage of all of Instagram’s features and never stop testing new ideas to achieve even better results.
Here is a list of my favorite tools for helping with the strategy, planning, scheduling, and reporting for Instagram:
Agorapulse is a software suite that does social media management and team collaboration. Agorapulse has the functions to manage the entire content process with over 50 powerful features. Easily create campaigns, set up automation for social posts, share videos, albums, or other media on all channels – without ever switching apps! Prepare for events by creating social media tasks assigned to specific users or even groups of people.
AgoraPulse also has some of the best digital marketing reporting tools on the planet. Power Reports are seriously my favorite!
My good friend Yvi Heimann aka Ask Yvi, is the queen of ClickUp. In early 2021 she convinced me to try and taught me how to use ClickUp to create a content calendar and become more organized. It has been a HUGE help in planning my content calendar and staying on task, and it is excellent for a party of one or a whole team to work together. Check out Yvi’s video on how to use ClickUp to create a content calendar.
Canva is an online graphic design company that offers a free desktop version of its program, with premium services requiring the purchase of subscriptions. The design tool has been downloaded over 100 million times to date, and it can be used to create stunning artwork for prints, digital screens, or social media posts. I use it all the time to create graphics, stories, and reels for my Instagram feed. Try Canva free or upgrade for even more amazing features.
Descript is a video editing tool that makes editing and repurposing content to the next level. With Decscript, you can record, transcribe, edit, mix, collaborate, and master your audio and video. I use it to make my YouTube videos and break them down into micro-content for Instagram stories, reels, and the regular grid feed. Descript is a MUST HAVE tool for all content creators.
When it comes to Instagram marketing, you need a strategy tailored to your brand and message. The steps above can help you develop a way to market and grow on Instagram that is perfect for your business. Remember to stay consistent and keep evolving and testing new strategies as time goes on! If you do these things, you’ll be sure to see great results from the power of Instagram.