The potential Instagram has to help make your business a success is huge…if you use it right. And today I’ll be helping you understand how to create an Instagram marketing strategy that will help you do just this.
What is an Instagram marketing strategy?
An Instagram marketing strategy guides you through how you should be using the platform. It covers what you should be posting, who you should be targeting, conducts crucial market research, helps you build a community on the platform, and promotes your business.
Instagram has so much potential for businesses to get clients from and raise brand awareness. With over 2 billion active users on the app, there’s plenty of opportunity for you to grow your business on Instagram.
Sadly, it’s not as simple as just posting a photo, sharing it and hoping it’ll get traction. Long gone are those days! As a business, you want to be more strategic with the way you’re using the platform and how long you spend on it – as we all know how easy it is to get stuck down the scrolling drain.
In this blog, I’ll be sharing with you a step by step process on how to create an Instagram marketing strategy for your business. But, of course, if this sounds a little tedious for you or you’d rather have someone help you, get in touch here and let’s see if we’re a right fit to work together!
Why do you need an Instagram marketing strategy?
Without an Instagram marketing strategy, you’ll have no guidance on what to post, you don’t know who your target audience is, you don’t know how you should be talking to people (informal or formal?) or who your direct competitors are.
Whenever you feel lost on Instagram, you’ll want to revert back to your strategy so you can regain that focus.
Simply put, you need create an Instagram marketing strategy to get clarity and feel confident in knowing how you should be using the platform to benefit your business.
Why use Instagram for business?
This will depend on where your audience are hanging out, what your business sells etc. but the likelihood that you will be able to market your business successfully on Instagram is high…but being creative with photo and video matters!
For example, if you’re better at writing and telling a story through written content, perhaps LinkedIn or Twitter is more beneficial to you.
Instagram is a social media channel used by millions of people so your business has access to a massive audience. Because it’s a highly visual platform, it’s a great way to be creative, get more personal, and be authentic. You can showcase your product or service in many engaging ways that will appeal to your target audience. But until you test, you’ll never know what your audience engages with the most.
Now let’s get into the juicy bit!
How to create an Instagram marketing strategy?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of creating a strategy for your business on Instagram, here’s a brief overview as to what you should be including inside it!
Tip: Create this in a document somewhere and make sure anyone in your team who has access to your social media can view this. It’s super important you’re all on the same page!
The six steps to follow
- Social media goals
Firstly, before even thinking about the marketing strategy, you want to define and set your goals for Instagram marketing. What do you want to achieve from promoting your business on Instagram? Maybe you want to use it as a tool to raise brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, increase engagement, or generate leads and get clients. Set these out very clearly.
- Market research
Now, you want to conduct your market research, a.k.a competitor analysis. You want to identify who your direct competition is and monitor them regularly. See what’s working for them, how are they engaging with their audience, what are they doing differently to stand out amongst others? Add as much detail as possible.
- Identify your ideal client
This is where you want to build out your audience personas. Create profiles, name the person, include their demographics, what their interests are, where they hang out, what brands they love etc. And then you want to go even deeper and create an empathy map for them. Describe what they’re currently feeling; what’s their heaven, what’s their hell, what are they doing, feeling and saying. Make sure you relate this back to your offers!!
- Create your tone of voice
Think about how you want to communicate with your audience. Do you want a common theme in your copy? For example, Stephanie from By The Way Creative relates a lot of her stuff back to coffee and it works just perfectly.
Are you going to be quite formal in your content, or more informal and chatty? Do you want to be swearing, or keep it PG only? If there are certain keywords you want to be known for, make a list of them.
- Develop your content strategy
Based on your goals and target audience, you’ll now need to develop a content strategy. Inside this, you’ll want to include the types of content that you think will be most effective and engaging with your audience. I highly recommend breaking your content strategy down into sections, for example; Connection, Education, Inspiration and Promotion.
You’ll also want to think about your content pillars. These are essentially categories or themes created under your business that’ll help you organise and create your content. Look at your offers, what you do and create 4-6 pillars that you want to create content around. For example, mine are Instagram, marketing, mindset, and visibility.
- Influencer strategy
Collaborating with influencers is a great way to reach wider audiences, but it has to be done right. This will only apply for a handful of businesses so you may not include this in your strategy.
Before diving straight into contacting influencers, you want to do your research. Who has a strong work ethic, who has an audience that fits in with your demographic, what is their tone of voice, who’s values align to yours…? All of this research needs to be done so that you’re not putting money down the drain. This needs to benefit you as well as the influencers.
There are a couple ways to work with influencers; paid collaborations, host giveaways, gifted service, Instagram takeover, brand ambassador. Work out which way will benefit you the most, contact influencers that you think are the best fit for the business, and go from there.
- Tracking progress
Finally, you want to make sure you’re monitoring your performance on Instagram. This is how you’ll find out whether you’re making progress towards or achieving your goals, you’ll be able to see what’s working and what’s not, and make adjustments to your strategy as needed.
Remember that social media is all about testing. Make sure you’re constantly testing new methods to showcasing your business as your audience will react to different things in different ways. Have fun experimenting!
Now to put it into action
You’ve created your Instagram marketing strategy by this point, but there’s probably still a few things you need to fine tune before you fully get going.
- Optimise your profile
Your profile is like a shop window. You have approximately 3-5 seconds to grab someone’s attention, so I highly recommend you spend some time on this. Is it obvious what you do, who you’re targeting, and what is it you’re currently promoting? I’ve written a detailed guide on optimising your profile HERE.
- What features will you use?
You want to understand what type of content your audience engages with so make sure you utilise different Instagram features; is it photos, videos, lives?
I’d also have a separate guide on how you’ll show up on stories. It doesn’t have to be too detailed but it helps to maintain consistency across the whole platform. What fonts and colours will you use, how will you promote your services, will you incorporate gifs?
- Create 4-6 highlights around you and your business
Ideally you want to have some highlights on your profile that cover the following;
About – get personal with your audience and share a little about you and why you created your business
Services/Work with me – Share all the ways in how people can work with you. Go in detail as to who each service is for and what benefits they’ll get from that service.
Testimonials/Results – What are your clients saying about working with you? Make sure you’re frequently asking for feedback or results so you can shout out about this on your Instagram!
Freebies – If you have any freebies, add them to a highlight. People can’t resist a free download packed with lots of information…plus, it gets them onto your email list – win win!
FAQs – Are there any questions that come up frequently from your clients/audience? Put them all in a highlight so it’s easy for them to get answers.
- Engaging with your audience
Make sure you don’t miss this out (as I know lots of people find it a tedious job). You want to make sure you’re responding to all comments, reply to stories, send DMs when appropriate (NOT to pitch a cold sale). This is essentially how you’ll be building a community.
- Be consistent
This is something I will say time and time again, but you have to maintain consistency to see growth on Instagram. People want to see and hear from you, especially if they’ve decided to follow you. They’re here for a reason so don’t go quiet for weeks and then show up once and repeat.
I hear you, being consistent can be tricky. But you’re hearing it wrong…consistency doesn’t mean constantly. You’ll quickly burnout if you’re on Instagram 24/7. Instead, I want you to create a schedule for Instagram that works for you. The way you run your business on Instagram will look different to everyone else. Stay in your lane and focus on your own growth.
One Last little note
Your Instagram strategy will look different to everyone else’s. Never copy anyone else’s because it’s not authentic and people will quickly pick up on it.
The strategy should be reviewed frequently (I’d recommend once a year) and adjusted accordingly. Your business will grow and change over time so keep this in mind.