7 Tips to Build an Effective Instagram Content Strategy
In the U.S. alone, 120 million people use Instagram. That’s out of a total population of 369 million. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that most children under the age of 10 don’t use this platform, and you have a sizable percentage of the population hanging out there.
In fact, here are a few enlightening stats about Instagram use:
- Worldwide, there are approximately a billion users
- Close to 30% of Instagram users have the app on their smartphones
- 75% of the age group 18-24 use Instagram
- 57% of the age group 25-30 use it
Obviously, these figures should drive any content strategy that marketers develop, if they intend to use Instagram as a platform (and of course they should, if they want to reach the largest consumer groups – Millennials and Gen Z’ers).
Here are 7 tips to rock your Instagram content strategy:
1. Collect the Data on Your Target Audience
Data science used to be the stuff in which Ph.D. consultants dabbled, and it was an expensive proposition. Today there are data science services offered to businesses of any size at much more affordable rates. This tool allows oceans of data to be gathered, analyzed, collated, and delivered, based upon the user’s questions. Here are the types of questions data science can answer:
- What are the most important values and principles of the target demographic(s)?
- What are the buying behaviors of the target demographic(s)?
- How often does the target demographic access Instagram daily, weekly, and/or monthly?
- What times of day does the demographic access Instagram most often?
- What times of the year does the target demographic engage in the most purchases of the product or service being offered?
This will drive many decisions you make about content – the visuals you create, the words you use, which products or services you offer at what times of the year, and when you post your content for maximum traffic.
2. Be Mobile Dominant
In 2016, mobile devices overtook desktops for Internet browsing. And one of the reasons Instagram is so popular is that it provides quick information in a visual format. In fact, research from Microsoft states that today’s internet users have a bit less of an attention span as a fish – eight seconds. If you can capture your user within that eight seconds, they may stick around and read any small amount of text you may have.
Once you have decided on your content and are ready to post it, test it on all mobile devices upfront. If it’s not perfectly displayed, you have already lost much of your target audience. And if you can turn your visual content into videos, you can get to talk about your product or service while your video promotes it.
3. Get an Instagram Business Account
If you have not already, you need to move your regular account to a business one. This is easily done by clicking the hamburger menu at the top of your current account, and going to “settings.” Then, just click “business.” That’s it. Next, create a great bio for your company. You have to be succinct, with only 150 characters, but be certain to get a link to your company website. Include an amazing photo that captures your brand. Even the right emoji can help.
4. Use Instagram Stories
This is a unique feature for business accounts and a way to develop relationships with your target audience. And, considering that over 500 million do watch Instagram Stories every day. Here are some important pointers:
- Be casual. Having a professional and often “too formal” story can appear to be “fake.”
- Your story must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. If you struggle with crafting storylines, contact TutorDoctor for advice and even editing if you need it.
- Your stories can include such things as your team, happy customers, your community and charitable efforts, your concern for the environment, etc. – all things that will appeal. And, if you should reach 10,000 followers, you are allowed to include a link in your story.
- Check out Instagram Stories of your competitors and related niches to get an idea of how this is done well.
5. Craft a Content Calendar
If you do not post regularly, followers will lose interest and stop coming. There are holidays, seasons, and even months (e.g., breast cancer awareness, if you sell female clothing and accessories) that relate to your niche. Capitalize on them and get them on your calendar. You can even use humorous “days,” such as “National Unicorn Day,” “National Do a Grouch a Favor Day,” etc. Even make up your own to fit your niche.
Think about themes or a series. A master at this was the founder of Foundr Magazine, Nathan Chan. He launched his digital magazine using only Instagram and posted several times a day – always an amazing photo with a captivating quotation embedded in that photo. While he did many other things on Instagram to promote his magazine, he grew his following to 300K in ten months.
6. Engage and Grow Your Audience
- Never fail to respond to any comment to your posts or any mentions of you that shows up anywhere else on Instagram
- Promote your account on your other social media platforms, on your website, and your blog
- Offer incentives for followers to share your post
- Hold contests to win one of your products. ModCloth, a women’s clothing retailer, does this often. They hold a contest to name an item of clothing -the winner gets that item.
- Use the right hashtags for Instagram searchers. And think about crafting a branded hashtag too.
- Use Instagram ads to reach your targeted audience. When you purchase ads, you can denote the audience. And better? You can add CTA buttons on those ads to take viewers straight to your website for conversions.
- Write amazing captions that will resonate
- Use newer Instagram search features. Instagram searches no longer rely just on hashtags. Keywords have come into play too. Pick a couple of highly popular keywords in your niche and use them in your content.
7. Always Analyze the Response and Success of Your Content
Instagram offers analytics that will provide you with a lot of information on the performance of your content. You will be able to review the gender, age groups, and other demographics of your viewers; you will learn which times of days and days of weeks you are getting the most “play;” you will be able to see which of your posts are the most popular and shared. From all of this information, you can refine and improve your content.
These seven tips are certainly not comprehensive, but they will get you started. As you become more expert in creating Instagram content, you will see many more possibilities for using it to grow both your audience and your profits.