Here are some of our top tips for Instagram success to help you create and maintain a healthy business presence on Instagram. Instagram now has over 600 million active monthly users, 400 million active daily users, 150 million active users of their stories and is still a less competitive marketplace for businesses than other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Now is a great time to get your business onto Instagram, or if you’re already there, active and utilising the platform to its full potential.
Cut to the core of your audience.
You probably already have a reasonable idea of your business’ core audience, having engaged in planning, tracking and analysis of your customers. But have you decided which segment of this audience you will be targeting on Instagram?
There are a number of reasons why many businesses who drive revenue through Instagram only target a segment of their overall audience on the platform. Some of these reasons include: 1. Only a portion of their overall market is actively using Instagram.
- Only a portion of their overall market is actively using Instagram. For example their overall target audience might be women between 18 – 55 but they have identified that women between 18 – 25 are most active on Instagram. Therefore choosing to specifically tailor their content to better engage with this smaller subset of their target market.
- . They have found that one segment of their overall audience is hard to target through traditional advertising mediums but are active Instagram users.
- They have decided to use Instagram as part of a smaller marketing campaign. For instance a predominately male dominated organisation may want to attract young females to consider their career paths and therefore create Instagram material tailored to this niche audience who sit outside their traditional target market.
Tell your brand story, in a creative way.
Instagram is a social media platform based entirely on visual media and is populated by users who are looking to be inspired and motivated. As users curate their own experience, brands need to be more creative in order to ‘make the cut’. Due to these facts you might need to manipulate your traditional brand guidelines for Instagram success.
Rather than posting different forms of existing advertisements, many successful businesses are finding new ways to build their brand identity and make themselves an engaging and aspirational brand.
Think about these three questions in relation to your brand:
1. What are the activities associated with your brand and how can these appear aspirational? For instance if you are selling cooking appliances it might be that they are being used to make delicious food, in a beautiful kitchen, by a celebrity chef or Instagram model.
2.Is there a personality that can be associated with your brand that would also engage your target audience? For example, if you’re a beauty brand targeting women who associate with alternative fashion rather than high-end luxury brands, what traits are your users attracted to and how can you build this into your own posts or even speak to your audience as a personification of your brand.
3. How can you incorporate user generated content (UGC)? Are your fans and users already posting about you and using @tags and #tags? Is there other content on Instagram that relates directly to your brand that you could re-post? For instance, if you’re a surfboard company, are there people posting about surf boards they have bought from you directly? Alternatively, are there amazing surf photos and videos you could use to sell the aspiration of surfing? If you repost correctly, you can decrease the amount of content you have to create yourself, whilst also gaining new followers and brand ambassadors. People love to see their posts reposted by businesses, so make sure you always tag and attribute images you repost.
Pick a style, and stick to it.
While you won’t be married to it for the life of your account, it is important to consider what your Instagram style is, especially as it will most likely vary from your traditional brand guidelines. You should consider these following questions:
- What color pallet will you try to adhere to?
- What filters will best compliment the type of photos you will be showcasing?
- How will you incorporate your product or logo into images without making it look like an ad?
If you have the time and resources, or you are going to have multiple users posting on your account, you might want to consider creating separate brand guidelines for your Instagram account.
Your style is really a compliment to your brand story. To make sure the two are consistent you should draft a formula for how you determine what type of images and videos go onto your account and when and how often they appear.
This is one example of a brand Instagram formula which is repeated constantly with small variations:
– Aspirational image relating to the product but without the product featured (brand lead or UGC)
– Setup image featuring the product
– UGC or set-up photo of the product being used
– Aspirational image relating to the product but without the product featured
– Quote fitting with the identified Instagram brand personality
Think about what types of posts will be important to your feed and try to do something similar so that your audience don’t become bored.
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