Why should you consider strengthening your Instagram marketing strategy? Well, in the past few years, Instagram has grown into more than just another social media network.
Since launching in 2010, Instagram’s user base has grown to more than one billion users and the number keeps growing. On top of that, 62% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories.
As such, Instagram is one of the best places to engage with existing and potential customers.
But where do you start? At the core, Instagram seems simple enough; however, this simplicity can be deceiving — especially when you take into consideration Instagram Stories, IGTV, going live … In other words, you can’t afford to wing your Instagram marketing strategy.
That’s why we’ve put together this post.
How to plan an Instagram marketing strategy
We’re going to look at how to find your audience, define your business goals as they relate to Instagram, optimize your profile, interact with followers, and how to monitor your progress.
You can click the links below to jump ahead to specific topics:
- Find your audience on Instagram.
- Define your Instagram goals and purpose.
- Optimize your Instagram profile.
- Stay consistent.
- Get Instagram marketing tips.
- Monitor your progress.
By the end, you’ll have the foundation to plan a solid Instagram marketing strategy that will help you attract more business.
Find your audience on Instagram
The first step towards crafting your Instagram marketing strategy is finding your audience on Instagram.
Although the platform has more than 1 billion users, you should keep in mind that the general demographics skew younger, with 30% of global users between the ages of 18 and 24 and 35% between the ages of 25 and 34.
Instagram is also more popular with the female audience.
As such, before creating an in-depth Instagram marketing strategy, you need to be familiar with your ideal customer avatar and know their age, gender and interests as well as their location.
Once you know that your target audience is on Instagram, it’s time to do some more research. More specifically, you’ll want to focus on:
- What brands are they following on Instagram
- Their go-to hashtags
- Who they follow on Instagram
- The type of content they’re liking and commenting on
- Where they come from or visit often
This will help you determine if Instagram is the best choice for your marketing effort as well as give you the first indication of the type of content you’ll need to create. This information will also be useful later on when and if you decide to invest in Instagram ads.
Define your Instagram marketing goals and purpose
Once you’ve narrowed down your ideal audience, it’s time to define your business goals and purpose as they relate to Instagram.
Goals might include:
- Raising brand awareness
- Growing an engaged community
- Finding brand ambassadors
- Increasing your conversion rate or sales
- … and more.
Whatever your goals are, you’ll need to decide on key performance indicators and metrics that will help you stay on track and ensure you’re actually hitting your goals.
For example, Bath & Body Works seems to focus their feed on showcasing their products and encouraging their followers to make a purchase.
Optimize your Instagram profile
The next step in creating an Instagram marketing strategy is to optimize your Instagram profile.
This means you’ll have to set up an Instagram business profile, create an interesting bio, and use a brand-appropriate logo.
Let’s go over these steps below.
Make sure you have a business profile
A business profile will give you access to features that aren’t available on personal or creator accounts.
When you convert your Instagram account to a business one, you’ll be able to see Instagram Insights for your posts, stories, and other statistics, use Instagram ads and Instagram shopping features. You’ll also be able to display your contact information and a call-to-action button on your profile.
To determine whether you have a business account or to convert your account to a business one, log into your Instagram app and tap your profile picture. Then, open the Settings menu and go to the Account section.
At the bottom, you’ll see the option to Switch to a Professional account if you don’t already have it.
You can then select between Creator or Business. Select Business, connect your Facebook page (or create a new one if you don’t have it) and add your business details. Then, tap Done.
Create a winning bio
The next step is to create a winning bio for your Instagram profile.
Use your bio to explain who you are and why people should follow you. You can also include an emoji to add a touch of personality to your brand. Be sure to also include a call-to-action such as using your branded hashtag, visiting your website or checking out your shop.
You only get one link so use it wisely as this is the only place where you can add a clickable URL.
The good news is that you can change the link as often as you want so you can update it whenever you have a promotion running.
Use a brand-appropriate logo
The last piece of the puzzle is to use a brand-appropriate logo in place of your profile picture.
This is a great way to start building brand recognition so you need to keep your logo consistent with the rest of your branding.
It’s a good idea to use your brand icon or submark as Instagram profile pictures are cropped into a small circle.
Take a look at how Target uses their icon to instantly make their profile recognizable.
Related: How to create a logo in 12 steps
Now that your profile has been optimized, you know your ideal audience, and you’ve defined the goals for your Instagram marketing strategy, it’s time to think about the content and your presence on the platform.
A solid Instagram marketing strategy encompasses two aspects of consistency — incorporating a brand’s genuine voice and style in every single image posted, and coordinating those posts with an effective editorial calendar.
Find your brand style and stick to it
Carefully consider whether your company’s Instagram posts are visually cohesive.
For instance, choose one or two Instagram filters and stick with them. This becomes a “signature style” that your followers will recognize. Sound simple? Maybe, but simple, strategic steps can make a significant impact on the success of your Instagram marketing strategy.
Is your brand quirky and irreverent? Then try to post pictures that reinforce your unconventional image.
Is the tone of your company more academic? Then try to post photos or videos that are highly informative or instructional.
Rather than making the mistake of treating Instagram like an online catalog, Warby Parker and Burberry post photos that subtly show off their products.
Burberry also uses Instagram to share behind-the-scenes photos from the company’s London headquarters.
By consistently posting photos that showcase their corporate identity, both Burberry and Warby Parker avoid flooding followers’ feeds with static images of products.
Use an editorial calendar
It’s not enough to post photos that look consistent with your brand. You also have to post photos in a coherent timeframe.
After all, consumers’ expectations for relevant, timely messages are higher than ever. In fact, if you don’t plan out your Instagram posts using a calendar, you risk posting at times when your customers aren’t even paying attention!
Your followers expect to see posts at regular intervals, which gives them a sense of your company’s trustworthiness.
Hayes Davis, CEO of Union Metrics, sums up the importance of regular scheduling succinctly: “It does seem that on Instagram, users are actively pruning the people they follow. A continued cadence of posts seems to be a good idea in terms of follower growth.”
Maintain a post cadence that resonates
Brian DiFeo, co-founder of Instagram marketing agency The Mobile Media Lab (which represents a bevy of Instagram influencers) and a pioneer of the platform, shared this key insight about Instagram:
“The most successful influencers are the ones that balance what the audience wants to see and what you want to show as a singular voice.”
There are two takeaway phrases here: “what the audience wants” and “singular voice.”
First, you’ve got to understand what your audience cares about, what inspires them and what keeps them coming back to your feed for more.
Second, you’ve got to speak in a singular voice that stands out in a sea of other messages.
Audiences crave authenticity — real words and images from real people. In a noisy marketplace flooded with mixed messages, focus on crafting images and accompanying messages that are accessible to average folks if you want to attract and keep followers.
Get Instagram marketing tips for interacting with your followers
It’s important to remember that Instagram is a social network. Posting photos and then logging off is like walking away in the middle of a lively conversation.
The real power of Instagram is its ability to kickstart conversations that turn into actual relationships. Images are merely the building blocks for those relationships.
Social media is for interaction
Just like a fun chat with a friend, Instagram is a two-way street.
It’s not enough to post photos regularly; you’ve also got to show your followers some love. This includes continually connecting with customers by liking or commenting on their photos.
The team at @artifactuprising sets aside time daily to like their followers’ photos and like photos that have been tagged #artifactuprising and #tellon.
Connect with customers
Have you considered creating a survey or email newsletter to ask your customers if they’re using Instagram? If not, try it!
When you receive results, look for your customers’ Instagram profiles and follow them.
Following a customer will let them know you’re interested in them and inspire them to follow you, too!
Another great way to converse with prospective customers is to search for and participate in hashtags that are associated with your specific industry. You can even create your own custom hashtag to encourage your followers to join in an ongoing conversation.
Anthropologie has their own hashtag, #myanthropologie, which allows them to not only see their customers posting online but also allows them to repost their content. This way, they can take advantage of user-generated content and foster a sense of community and brand loyalty.
Monitor your progress
Like any social media channel, Instagram can be a fun and beneficial way to engage with customers, or it can become a tedious chore.
If you decide to use Instagram as part of your marketing strategy, you should also monitor and measure your activity to evaluate its effectiveness.
Use metrics to monitor effectiveness
An easy way to monitor the effectiveness of your strategy is to dedicate some time to checking out the Insights tab in your Instagram profile. Here, you can see your follower growth, engagement rate, and learn more about your audience.
Another way to monitor the effectiveness is to track folks who hop from your Instagram profile to your landing page.
Here’s a sample: www.yourbiz.com/ig. This means you can track visitors to your site from Instagram via Google Analytics (go look under Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages).
Create a winning Instagram marketing strategy for your business
Creating a winning Instagram marketing strategy for your business might seem like a daunting task, but once you know what’s involved in the process, it becomes much easier.
The first step is making sure you know what you hope to achieve from your marketing efforts on Instagram and knowing your target audience.
Then, you need to optimize your profile and establish consistency in your brand style as well as in your posting schedule.
The last piece of the puzzle is interacting with your followers and using metrics to monitor the effectiveness of your Instagram strategy.
Need help managing your social media presence? GoDaddy Social has you covered. Our experts not only manage your presence on your social networks, but can also help turn an online interaction into a lifelong customer.
This article includes content originally published on the GoDaddy blog by Rachel LaCour Niesen.