Content is king on all social media sites, but on Instagram, there are extra layers to making sure your content really pops. The highly visual and laid-back nature of this platform creates both unique challenges and opportunities as you craft your content strategy for Instagram.
We’ve covered the ways that you can use Instagram to build your brand. Once you’ve mastered those tips, it’s time to set your eyes to the horizon and create a broader content strategy to ensure your continued success on this platform.
Your audience is crucial
The best way you’ll succeed with content is audience engagement. Instagram is a uniquely personal and social site. Engagement with your audience through comments, likes, and replies will help you foster a community of fans who are engaged with your brand. One often overlooked way to mesh your audience with your content strategy is user generated content (UGC). UGC is content that is submitted by fans and it’s a fantastic way to generate content and also make your audience feel seen and valued. You can encourage UGC by promoting hashtags that invite users to submit their own photos and content. The Clif Bars Instagram account uses the hashtag #fuelyouradventure and users frequently will take beautiful shots of scenic areas or themselves having adventures. Clif Bar’s account will feature those photos in their feed. A few things to keep in mind before using UGC is to make sure the photo matches your company’s aesthetic and do a quick check on the user who submitted the content to ensure that they are someone you want associated with your brand. You don’t want to be associated with an account that promotes inappropriate things or clashes with your overall brand and messaging.
Use stories to your benefit
Instagram stories are often overlooked by brands - and that’s because their nature makes them difficult to track success. Instagram stories are only available for 24 hours, but they’re a fantastic way to switch up the kind of content your account provides and engage with customers. Some brands use their stories to cross-promote other brands, employees, or voices. You could have someone who is adjacent to your brand provide guest segments and host your stories. Maybe have a well-known figure in your field host stories reviewing your products or demonstrating creative ways to use your stories. You can also use these stories to let your audience know about special promotions or calls to action. Using stories can be a great way to boost engagement with your audience - especially if you use your stories in a consistent way and your users know to look forward to them. Instagram stories are also much more informal that what’s on your feed. This is the perfect opportunity to post behind-the-scenes photos and photos that might not be 100% your company’s aesthetic but serves a different purpose such as giving product demonstrations, showing real-life customers using your products, employees’ personal stories, or special deals. There’s a lot you can do with Instagram stories and are a good way to fill in the gaps in your content calendar.
Find your voice
One of the most important keys to your content strategy success is finding out where you fit in your niche. Your niche is whatever market your company fits in. There are all kinds of different niches on Instagram - food accounts, wellness, text-based, travel, and many more. Once you find your niche, you get to develop your voice and show your audience what makes you unique within your broader community. This is where your planning comes in. Take time to plan out what it is you want to accomplish with your Instagram content. Set goals accordingly. Is your account conversational? Will it rely heavily on user generated content? Is it primarily focused on information-based content?
Answering these questions will help you guide your content strategy. It’s best to start simple and make any expansions or adjustments as you grow. Aesthetic is also an important part of your content strategy. Decide on things like tone, color scheme, composition, and types of photos ahead of time to ensure that your content is cohesive and contributes to your overall brand theme. You want your profile to look coordinated. Make sure everything supports your company message and goals.
As with every good business plan and strategy, make sure you’re frequently running diagnostics and ensuring that your content strategy is working. Find out which posts get the most engagement and as you move forward, create more posts like that. Know that social media is dynamic and evolving. When you implement your Instagram strategy, focus on the things we mentioned above and tailor it to your company’s specific brand. Be authentic in your content, engage with your community, and show the world who you are through a winning content strategy.