If you are a business trying to meet your clients where they are you might have a business account in Instagram. Well done, if you are one of them, congratulations! You have done the first move, and it’s a clever one, believe me.
I’m sure you are aware that opening your account is just the beginning. To meet your clients you are going to need a little bit more: an Instagram Strategy. Do you have one?
I’m frequently asked about this topic: what does an Instagram Strategy look like? What I am going to share here with you is basically my go to method to create one.
From my experience some brands are quick to jump into the latest business trend, and social media has been a recurring one the last few years. But you can see their efforts are taking them nowhere, their content is not engaging and soon they lose interest or hope.
Fortunately, if you are reading this, it is because you know there is a better way to achieve your business goals and it takes the form of an Instagram Strategy. Beautiful!
An Instagram strategy is a written document with the key elements you need to look at to find your new clients, show them what they want and need to see in order to convert them into your followers and clients.
Let me please be concise and to the point because this is a broad topic and I want to highlight whatever is essential so you can take action as soon as you finish reading. The second part of this article will be posted next week. Don’t miss it out and join our mailing list.
1. Clear written goals aligned with key business objectives
I love to say that what it’s not measured, it can’t be achieved. This is the beginning, the base and the reason of your presence on Instagram.
You know your business goals. Think, which ones can be reached, supported, fomented, prompted with your Instagram presence?
This might seem pretty obvious but not many companies that have this written down. It’s common practice between the successful ones and now you are going to be part of them.
- Business goals, write down all of them
- Select three that can be reached with your Instagram activity
2. Style guide based on brand’s personality, message and voice
Again many companies are not aware of the lack of cohesion in their feed. Can you spot the differences?
Instagram is a visual platform. This part of the strategy is about working on your feed to make it a beautiful collection to look at. One that represent your:
- Brand’s personality
- Brand’s voice
- Brand’s message
This is where you should look at to create a style guide that represents your brand while making it recognizable for your followers and clients.
3. A niche to reach, through hashtags and influencers
Instagram has nearly 400 M monthly users so you can be sure your clients are there. That said I’m not going to lie to you. This is a bit tricky, and requires a bit of thinking and testing. Let me explain you with an example.
Me: Tell me, who do you want to reach on Instagram? Who’s your niche audience?
My client: Everyone, the truth is that our service is great for people between 20 and 60, no matter if they are male or female, where they live, whatever their interest…
Me: You may have heard the saying, “if everyone is your customer, then no one is your customer“. Let me ask, who is going to get more out of your service? Who’s more ready to buy it now? Who’s seeking for a solution like yours in this moment? Who’s your number one fan?
The key here is about being exact, accurate and well defined. The more you can narrow down your definition the better.
To reach your audience there are two great strategies you should apply together:
A) A hashtag Strategy
With this you have to put yourself in your client’s shoes and think what can they be searching for on Instagram to find content like yours. What are their pain points?
Don’t jump into the most popular hashtags trap, using love or any of the ones listed below won’t get you closer to your goals
- #love 953,720,209 posts
- #instagood 440,487,073 posts
- #me 387,987,544 posts
- #tbt 361,894,699 posts
- #follow 353,665,256 posts
- #cute 350,254,445 posts
- #followme 343,287,482 posts
- #photooftheday 333,218,050 posts
- #happy 317,240,427 posts
- #tagsforlikes 313,616,564 posts
- #beautiful 303,975,040 posts
- #selfie 293,726,544 posts
- #girl 273,592,521 posts
- #like4like 246,761,497 posts
- #picoftheday 241,771,299 posts
- #smile 233,696,763 posts
- #fashion 232,342,403 posts
- #friends 228,458,723 posts
- #summer 226,124,660 posts
- #fun 225,717,767 posts
Be strategic about who should see your media and look for hashtags relevant to them. If you want to know the best tools to do your hashtag research download my free #HashtagToolBox
B) An Influencers Strategy
Many brands think that courting influencers is expensive. Courting some influencers it is really expensive but there are many bloggers and Instagramers with not so large followers base that would be delighted to be your brand ambassador. Paying attention to your fan base is the way to identify them and court them properly.
4. Content strategy working towards your goals
Ok, this is a key point of the Instagram strategy. Also the weak point of brands posting only quotes.
Start by asking yourself: what is the type of content my potential clients want and need to see? What are the questions they are asking themselves about your products/services? Bring back your business goals and the ones you selected as suitable for Instagram. Brainstorm ways to showcase your products or services as moments, as the unique moments your brand makes possible in the life of your clients.
With all that info you have enough topics to create your content strategy.
5. Posting calendar
This is an easy one, and just because it is easy not many do it.
Start by marking on the calendar the following events
- General event’s relevant for your brand
- Business events, like sales, promotions, brand anniversary, industry events
Is it anything specific you need to do in advance to any of these dates? Do you need to promote, create a contest, contact influencers or partners?
6. KPIs (key performance indicators) to track performance
They will tell you basically if your strategy is working or not.
Key performance indicators are directly related to your business and social media goals. In the pay-per-click era it seems to be a common assumption that without a place to click there is no ROI.
Some well-defined KPIs will show you exactly the opposite. I already explained them a little bit in Instagram ROI. The Science and The Art.
Let me show you some examples of Business Goals and their KPIs
- Brand awareness=track the traffic from IG to your web or shop
- Promotions=how many people use the code you publish on IG only
- Lead generation=how many people enter their email from the landing page you publish on IG
- Market research=how many people answer your questions, what do they say
7. Community growth and engagement techniques
Getting the community engagement right means understanding Instagram. Because on Instagram everything is about your community, about the people who are going to enjoy the most of your solutions, who are going to become your raving fans. Community engagement should be a cornerstone of any good Instagram Strategy.
The engagement contains the following parts:
- Guidelines for your social media managers, like which and how to answer the comments
- Giveaways, contests and other ways to engage with your community
- Partnerships with other brands
As you can see putting together an Instagram Strategy takes some time and thinking but it’s worth every second you put into its planning. It will show you what to do and when. It will get you focused. It will get you on track of your business goals. What else can you ask for?
Let me know your ideas and if your are following any of these techniques.