Instagram marketing strategy

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Why Instagram?

It's 2020, and Instagram retains its place among the most-popular social networks on the internet. Instagram continues to witness more businesses joining the platform, more diversification of consumers, and more push for in-product sales and ads. It's almost a no-brainer why Instagram makes business sense.

But to really ace the 'gram brands need a deeper understanding into what makes for a powerful Instagram marketing strategy. Only then, can the simple formula of delivering the right content to the right audience at the right time, reach fruition.

Given the trends and changes that have swept through the social media ecosystem in the last few years, even a well-rounded social media strategy needs to be tweaked and molded to fit Instagram's unique needs. So that brings us to the big question.

So that brings us to the big question...

How do you build a social media strategy
for Instagram?

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Section 01

Optimizing your profile

Advantages of using a business profile

Before getting knee-deep into developing your Instagram marketing strategy, the first step is optimizing your profile. That begins with switching to an Instagram business profile, if you haven't already. Personal profiles are insufficient for business needs, and Instagram Creator profiles focus on day-to-day follower data over deeper analytics.

The focus of an Instagram Business profile, however, is on branding and positioning. With this, not only can you run ad campaigns, promote your content, and show-off your product catalog, it also lets you in on what’s really working for you through its brand analytics. Instagram’s business profiles also support third-party social media tools that help manage your brand’s Instagram presence more efficiently.

Optimizing your bio & layout

What's the first impression people get from your Instagram profile?

Bio - An Instagram bio sums up what your business does in seconds. You can optimize your bio to generate more search hits and increase visibility using hashtags and keywords. A solid Instagram bio is one that helps people identify what your business can do for them at a glance. Something as simple as contact information, a promo code, or even just a human tone can help, depending on what your followers want to hear.

Layout - When it comes to a layout to speakyour visual style, some sure-fire strategies include maintaining a unique and consistent brand palette, incorporating symmetry in your grid, and keeping the tone & quality of edits. With the abundance of smartphone camera features, editing tools, and design templates out there, it's easy for even those of us who aren't pro designers to achieve this.

Section 02

Monitoring social media pulse

Monetizing trends & hashtags

It's easy to follow hashtags and look up current trends—those are the bare basics of the Instagram marketing strategy playbook. However, knowing exactly what you're looking for when you're researching these indicators is important. Here are some of the key signals to look out for when monitoring new trends, keywords, and hashtags.

  • Frequency & duration of the trends
  • Demographic patterns & factors
  • Sentiment analysis of keywords (positive/negative/neutral)
  • Overall hashtag usage and recent activity

Strategies for social monitoring

With over a billion people actively using Instagram, only a fraction of them are relevant to your brand—your prospects, customers, influencers in the space and followers of competitors. But what are the chances of you being able to identify, reach, and engage them in the huge sea of social media? Here's how you can employ social monitoring practices to help boost your Instagram marketing strategy

  • Track the volume and nature of comments received
  • Follow relevant hashtags and hashtagged keywords
  • Follow influencers and experts to learn industry buzz
  • Routinely monitor the activity of your competitors

Understanding the algorithm

"Why is the Instagram algorithm so complicated?" is a question plaguing many brands..With the surge of popularity Instagram has seen, it became impossible for people to keep up with the sheer quantity of content flowing through the platform. The result was the birth of the Instagram algorithm—a way to organize content more effectively so that users view content based on their viewing and liking history. Getting the algorithm to recognize your content involves tapping into three broad paradigms

  • Interests of your relevant audience
  • Timeliness of the content
  • Relationships and follower-base
Section 03

Setting up content routines

Building a content calendar

A social media calendar helps you stay on top of things so that important dates like holidays, product launches, and promotional events are not missed. A calendar keeps your social media schedule organized, which buys you time to revisit, discuss, and polish your Instagram ideas until they sparkle. This ensures that your posts are of a consistently high quality—which will aid in generating more engagement. So, what makes an effective content calendar for Instagram then?

  • Frequency of publishing original content
  • A well-stocked Instagram content repository
  • A plan for holidays and calendar events
  • Leaving space for trends and campaigns

Using third-party tools

While you can manage your Instagram presence directly, there are plenty of advantages to using a third-party social media tool like Zoho Social to execute your Instagram marketing strategy. Here are just a few for you to consider

  • Managing multiple Instagram accounts from a desktop application
  • Editing and publishing posts from your computer
  • Scheduling posts well ahead of time
  • Cross-posting to multiple other social channels
  • Managing Instagram engagement
  • Creating customized reports for your channel

Re-posting Instagram content

Re-posting is a great way to recycle interesting and useful content that you run into on someone else's profile by featuring it on your own grid. Re-posting on Instagram is a content-circulation feature unique to third-party apps if you're using a Business profile. How does this seemingly mundane exercise help your brand and Instagram marketing strategy? Well, it does that by letting you.

  • Engage with posts that feature your customers, products, or services
  • Curate relevant content for your audience and increase your viewership
  • Make space in your content calendar to create more original content
Section 04

Creating relevant content

Tips for creating great posts

The grid is the most visible part of your profile, and a quick scroll down your feed helps your potential audience get a first impression. Your Instagram marketing strategy loses a great deal of momentum if your grid isn't updated and lacks a consistent theme. Visually-oriented, Instagram begs for creativity on the feed, so maintaining a consistent feed is half the battle won in your efforts to crack the Explore tab! The rest can be boiled down to some of these key points.

  • Experimenting with creative/narrative/gamified captions
  • Leveraging Instagram filters and editing tools
  • Checking image/video aspects and quality
  • Tagging relevant brands and people
  • Usage of core/topical hashtags

Tips for branding using Stories

Stories put your brand out there and encourage your audience to check out content from your brand, which is great for engagement. Every time someone replies to your Story, or starts a conversation based on something you posted, that counts towards a 'relationship' signal, so future content you post will then be more likely to show up on their feed. Here are our choices for the best Story stickers that can help amplify your content:

  • Hashtags
  • Questions
  • Polls /Emoji slider
  • Countdown timer
  • Quizzes

Tips for an effective IGTV strategy

IGTV or Instagram TV is an excellent content platform within the Instagram interface. While delivering longer-form vertical video content, it also helps break the short-attention spell endemic to the rest of Instagram. You can post longer video content and rein in your followers' attention. For those using a verified account, the 10-minute recording cap is increased to 60 minutes, making this feature even more ideal for a more pared-back style of content that's interactive and doesn't rely on editing tools and stickers. That said, here are some quick tips on making the IGTV format work for you.

  • Keep content educational
  • Collaborate with brands/experts
  • Use hashtags, pop-up texts, and subtitles
  • Vertical video all the way

Tips for Instagram Live

Instagram Live videos are great. Not only can you engage in real time with your audience through video, you can also track viewers, activity, and of course, publish snippets to your Stories post-broadcast. Here are a few Insta-Live strategies that can help you foster real-time engagement with your audience:

  • Q&A sessions, interviews, and AMAs
  • New feature/product/service launch
  • Live broadcast of an event
  • Webinar and experts panel
  • Collaboration-stream with followers
Section 05

Engaging with audience

How to increase followers

Did we put this under the wrong heading? Well, not really. Because the most frequently searched question, "How to get engagement on Instagram", isn't one that can be answered in isolation. Just like how a high follower-count without any engagement is meaningless, a high engagement-rate without a corresponding hike in follower count is also counter-intuitive.

Generating more followers is the end-result of mobilizing more people towards your profile, content, and ads. Here, the goal isn't just to drive temporary engagement and get a windfall of likes and reactions, but to retain that audience as a follower and repeat engager. The only way to do that sustainably is by ensuring you have an Instagram marketing strategy in place. While every tip we've counted so far goes into strategy, but this is an outcome of having a strategy in place.

Tips for measuring engagement

So how can you measure engagement on Instagram? Besides obvious metrics such as reactions, likes, and comments, there are some other non-obvious engagement metrics that add to the total value of engagements you're able to drive for your brand or organization, on Instagram.

  • CTA clicks from profile
  • CTA clicks from profile
  • Responses to Sticker content
  • Re-posting content from grid
  • Sharing Posts/Stories/IGTV via DM
  • Post/Story/IGTV analytics

Instagram Ads

One way to conquer engagement and reach is via ad content. Over 60% of Instagram users discover new products through in-app advertisements—that’s almost twice the population of the United States (for scale) discovering new brands and potentially purchasing products. Being powered by Facebook Ads Manager, Instagram lets you try different ad formats like posts, carousel, and stories. Here are targeting options to consider when you're driving ads for visibility and engagement:

  • Location: regions, cities, or countries
  • Interests: ads clicked, accounts followed, posts liked
  • Personal information: age, gender, language, etc
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Do more on Instagram starting today

Creating an Instagram marketing strategy doesn't have to be hard. Collaborate with your team, build great Instagram content and publish directly from your desktop.

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