Instagram 101: What You Need To Know When Marketing on Instagram
The rapid rise of Instagram continues, detracting from the stagnant growth rates of Snapchat and Facebook.
1. DETERMINE WHO YOUR AUDIENCE IS
Let’s start with the basics. First of all, the first two questions you need to ask yourself are:
- Who are you trying to reach with your Instagram profile?
- Are you sure your audience is using the app?
It is good to know, for example, that 68% of Instagram users are female and that the majority of users do not reach the age of 30.
Conducting research on your demographic is essential before you start posting content. Define the age, gender, provenance, interests (even diets) of your ideal audience so you can properly cater to the content!
Once you have this target in mind, take a step forward to define other attitudes:
- What types of hashtags do they use?
- What kind of places do they frequent?
- What other brands are they interested in?
- Who do they follow on Instagram?
I’ll be honest, it often takes a long time to do research like this. But I am the best way to focus on your audience and build a winning growth strategy. In fact, it allows you to understand who you interact with, who you are in front of, and what you like.
2. DEFINE YOUR GOALS
What are your goals? What do you want to do with your Instagram profile?
When creating an Instagram marketing strategy, it’s essential to always have in mind what goals you want to achieve. I recommend that you make a proper list of the goals you intend to achieve.
- Collaborate with companies
- Selling your products
- Affiliate selling products of others
- Earning in other ways.
For each goal, I suggest you set KPIs (performance indicators) and metrics for tracking. What are? Simply the data that you need to understand if your strategy is in line with the goals you have set for yourself or if you are just wasting time.
3. ANALYZE THE CONTENTS OF THE COMPETITION
Market research is important for defining your audience and equally beneficial for analyzing your competitors!
Analyze a dozen large profiles that are part of your niche (e.g. travel, fashion, fitness, etc.) and see how they use the Instagram profile. Remember that their catchment area coincides with yours, so here are some considerations:
- What is their level of engagement?
- Do they respond to comments?
- What kind of questions do followers ask them?
- What hashtags do they use?
- What kind of content do they mostly use?
- What is their call to action?
- At this point think about what you could do better than they do.
Analyzing the competition will be essential for you to understand which content works best and which ones to avoid.
4. CREATE A CONTENT STRATEGY
The potentially most decisive part of your marketing strategy is deciding what to post to enhance your profile and achieve your goals.
First, you need to understand – which of the following content formats is best suited to your users:
- User-Generated Content
Then how to best disclose them. The most used techniques are:
- Contest / Giveaway
- Influencer Marketing
- Post in a carousel format
- Collaborations / Takeover
All while making sure your Instagram feed has the quality and aesthetically pleasing photos and videos!
Based on your research on your competition and your audience, you’ve probably already got an idea of the type of content that will work best for your Instagram profile.
Let’s take a few examples: if for example, you sell a product that is easy to photograph (eg jewelry), your content will be focused on the product.
While if you want to become an influencer and sell yourself as a brand, your content will focus on you, your travels, what you do and what you think.
Take a look at these two brands and see how they differentiate content based on what they do and their audience.
Understanding what to post and choosing the right content and format makes you raise your engagement a lot and allows you to often appear on your followers’ wall, allowing you to increase the number of likes and views.
5. CREATE A CONTENT CALENDAR
Arrived this far you should have understood what to publish and how. The next step in creating your Instagram marketing strategy will be deciding when to post it.
To avoid finding yourself posting at the last minute in a hurry I suggest you make an editorial calendar that will allow you to be organized and plan your feed.
Being consistent and systematic is more important than how often you post on Instagram.
Instagram’s algorithm favors an account that posts twice a day every day, more than one posting 6 times on Mondays and then nothing else for the whole week.
The best tactic for choosing how regularly to post is to observe when your followers are most active throughout the week. Here is my guide on how to do it.
6. SCHEDULE THE CONTENTS IN ADVANCE
If you have even a small budget to invest, I recommend that you use some tools to program your posts on Instagram. If you search on Google you will find many with different prices and features.
It allows me to upload multiple photos and videos at the same time and create the post. The tool will take care of posting for me.
I don’t know if you know Instagram is waging war on bots. Many of these programs though have nothing. ache to see with bots to increase followers are recognized by Instagram as “harmful” apps to the profile and therefore can lead you to temporary bans. When choosing a tool, find out first if it has given or is giving problems.
7. PLAN AND SCHEDULE THE CAPTIONS
Another important factor influencing your Instagram marketing strategy is captions! This is where you actually talk to your audience and get the chance to talk about yourself or your brand.
Remember to always use language that is in line with your audience. For example, if it is done by kids, use a language that is easy to understand, do not use big words or complex cutters.
The hashtags are just as important for the marketing strategy of Instagram and must be placed directly in your caption or in the first comment.
During the process of analyzing your target audience and competitors, you will have an idea of the most used hashtags in your industry, but it is always worth doing further research.
Since captions are very important, you don’t have to rush them.
8. DEFINE YOUR PROFILE GUIDELINES
Your profile guidelines are essential for creating an Instagram marketing strategy. In this phase, you define the behavior and activities of your profile!
I recommend that you build a document in Word or Excel where you write down:
- What kind of content your profile publishes
- How often to post
- Which hashtags are always used
- Which hashtags are never used
- The language used in captions, comments, and private messages
- Use of emojis
- How to respond to photos you’re tagged in and mentions in stories
- Forbidden words/topics
There is no right or wrong way in regards to behavior and tone to use on Instagram, the important thing is that there is systematicity!
Engaging with your audience is very important, so make sure that if people spend time commenting on your content or sending you private messages, they get quick and attentive responses.
9. MONITOR PROGRESS
This is the last step. Use Instagram Insights to get a basic idea of what’s effective or not with your audience. You will understand if your Instagram growth strategy is doing well or not. If it’s not going the way you thought, try to understand why and fix the shot.
Remember that both to make money and to be someone you don’t need to have who knows how many followers. Just have good ones that interact with your profile. One of the best metrics to see if your strategy is performing well is engagement.
With these few tips, hopefully, your Instagram game will level up.
Can’t wait to hear from you. So leave a comment on your thoughts.