Did you know that 3.96 billion people are currently using social media worldwide? Do you have an eCommerce business dedicated to social selling? Then, Instagram, the visual powerhouse, is a no-brainer. The cross-sell and upsell opportunities, audience presence, and shareability capabilities are a few smartphone screen taps away.
In truth, Instagram can elevate any business. However, guidance and a comprehensive understanding of the platform’s functionality is required to position your industry correctly; I mean, a photo of one of the Kardashians on your Instagram account isn’t going to enhance your HR business’ credibility. Goals must be defined, and a short, medium and long-term strategy need to be developed and implemented correctly.
What should be included in an Instagram marketing strategy?
Right off the bat, capitalise on Instagram Stories. It allows you to post content that disappears after 24 hours. This type of content is also known as ephemeral content and is one of the most popular formats in 2021. Why? It induces audiences’ feelings of #FOMO, so it’s a perfect method for increasing daily engagement.
A hashtag strategy
Instagram hashtags organise and categorise photos and videos. The main reason for using hashtags is to target audiences’ intent to want to discover your content. If you’re new to Instagram, here’s a more in-depth explanation.
No doubt you’ve seen posts with a string of hashtags followed by what you may think are random words – they’re not. They serve as links to content that matches the hashtag. They should also be tracked; think of them as the social media equivalent of website keywords for which you want to rank on Google.
By tracking hashtags that are significant to your brand, you can have peace of mind that your content is being included in audiences’ conversations. Complement your hashtag by mentioning top users in your content; anything you can do to personalise messages is an integral part of your social media and overall marketing strategy. Speak to a social media guru about creating a hashtag strategy. They have the tools and knowledge to implement hashtag tracking. Look at the top five Instagram hashtags of all time:
They may not be industry or brand-centric, but they are driving traffic and engagement. Craft your content to include some of the top-performing hashtags.
Business-specific hashtags you should be using
While the above mentioned hashtags are beneficial to include in your posts, three types of business-specific hashtags should be incorporated into your strategies. Each hashtag aims to achieve a specific goal, so make sure these have been defined before you start posting.
These hashtags should be explicitly used to grow your community. Essentially, you want to connect with like-minded people who you know will engage with your content. Here are a few examples of community hashtags.
- Product and/or service, e.g. #financialadvice, #coffeeshop, #sportsapparel
- Industry, e.g. #marketingagency, #copywriter, #seoservices
- Special events
- Acronyms, e.g. #qotd (quote of the day), #HBD (happy birthday), #JK (just kidding).
A branded hashtag is unique to your business and industry. It can be used to promote a product and/or service, establish your brand identity, e.g. #fiofinancialadvice2021, #fiotaxandaccounting, #fiofreeconsultation
These are campaign-centric hashtags to promote awareness, brand roll-outs, giveaways and events. The aim is for them to earn a lot of engagement over a short timeframe, e.g. #12daysofgiveaways, #limitednewflavourcoffee, #valentinesdayspecials
There are a plethora of other hashtags such as #daily, #trending, #motivation. Test a few out and analyse the results to determine if they’re generating engagement, leads and conversions.
Instagram’s important measurable metrics
Below are the primary metrics that you need to be tracking. Gather the information, analyse and interpret the data. Based on the results, leverage your strengths and fix any areas of underperformance.
- Engagements per follower
- Growth of followers
- Instagram stories
- Hashtag engagement
All content that you generate must cater specifically to fulfil these metrics. When creating a content strategy for Instagram, keep the following points in mind.
Stick to the subject
The bedrock of Instagram is for businesses to post interesting content that is relevant, valuable and concise. Describe the theme and/or subject clearly and complement it with well-researched, conversation-starting hashtags.
Use appropriate photos and videos
Instagram is the go-to visual social media platform. Ensure your marketing posts contain high-resolution photos and/or videos. It will enhance your reach and engagement metrics.
Create attention-drawing captions
Use captions to tell your brand’s story. The audience wants to know about your business’s inner workings; this the perfect place to add personalisation and storytelling elements.
Craft your brand’s style and voice
Your brand’s voice and style give potential consumers a taste of what they can expect from you. The type of language, sentence structure and overall tone will make you memorable, setting you apart from competitors.
“If you do not utilise Instagram to market your business, you’re in the minority, as 91% of all of the world’s biggest brands utilise this platform for business purposes. These include Nike, Adidas, Michael Kors and Gucci,” according to Business 2 Community.
Instagram is one of the foremost photo and video sharing social networking services on the planet. Today, consumers expect businesses to have a presence on the platform – this is where they’ll search for you. It’s possible they won’t even take the user journey further if you don’t have an Instagram business account.