Instagram Guide – Creating Content
When it comes to social media marketing, Instagram has been one of the platforms which skyrocketed the social media realm over the past few years. Gaining knowledge on how to make use of this platform to benefit your business through social media marketing will definitely be beneficial to your business.
There are three major areas in particular that you need to focus on to achieve your set goals: content planning, content creation and measurement.
Your content plan must refer back to your customer avatar completed in Instagram Guide – Start Right.
You consider what is important to your customer and how can you engage them the most.
This may sound hard so we have broken into 2 steps.
1. Your Instagram Topics
Step 1 is to create topics to share about while keeping your customer in mind. Here are some
- Education – educate on your product, how your business is giving the best value
- Behind the scenes – your brand may very sophisticated and high end. Behind the scenes will be luxe images of staff at events or with customers. Your brand may be relaxed and your customer enjoys humour, as such your behind the scene might be more about jokes or bloopers. Can include getting to know each of your sales team. May include a mascot like your dog or something more unique. The goal of behind the scene is to give your feed personality, allowing your customer to relate and connect with you.
- Product – the easiest topic but still keep in mind what your customer wants to see. What is their aspirational product? Are fashion trends important to them? Or what celebrities use/wear?
- Offers – This topic might not be appropriate weekly but at least monthly you would be advised to post with a specific call to action. (A call to action is a particular action you want your customer to do)
- Customers – User generated content, ask your customers if they would post while in store or to share their wedding images with you. This could include proposal images or unboxing videos.
- Aspiration / Inspiration – celebrating other people in your industry maybe overseas or celebrities using your product or wearing a style that you offer
- Topical – what is happening from a calendar perspective, both internationally and locally. This will often link into offers.
The purpose of firstly creating topics is that it focusses your content creation. You can create content once a week in advance and then schedule it for certain days. It ensures hours aren’t wasted worrying about what to post. You can spend a couple of hours a month in advance.
Step 2 – Plan the week and month
We have 7 topics above but you could start with 3 or 4 and post 3 times a week to begin.
Set out your calendar as shown below.
Now we are ready to look at content creation keeping in mind the topics, customer and your
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The creating of content should following the themes asset out above and be in line with your brand, customer and your marketing goals. Sticking to it will not only build your brand identity but will also make your followers look forward to the next post.
To help illustrate this process this guide will take the sample plan above and build out content with actual post examples. Brand consistency is one of the main tips in making an Instagram feed looking beautiful. Even with the most beautiful of products such jewelry can look messy if you aren’t careful to be mindful of your brand consistency.
Monday – Topic 1. – Education
Examples of post:
DID YOU KNOW?
Sharing your expertise on a product line your company is offering. You can provide the history on why your product is popular, when and where is was first used, and the like. . The beauty of these kinds of posts is that you can do a two image post and on slider that directly relates to the product you’re talking about.
Tuesday – Topic 2. – Aspiration
Examples of post:
Who is wearing what?
Posting about celebrities or known people who are using your product is a good aspiration post. The key to this type of post is to ensure you consult your customer avatar to see who they admire. If they are old-school elegance then Grace Kelly inspired posts might be appropriate. If your audience is young millennials then younger actors will be better. Don’t forget to tag the celebrity accounts and use hashtags.
What else is your customer looking for?
This is where you can also link in with other brands / retailers in your local area. Sharing beautiful products or ideas that you customer will find useful is an ideal post for this topic. The added benefit is you tag the other businesses involved, it means your post exposure is increased.
Thursday – Topic 3. – Behind the scene
Have fun with this. Really show off who you are as a brand while keeping at the forefront who your customer is.
An example could be your morning tea for the staff or a birthday, or shooting your latest video/ image. It can be a video of your sales team re-merchandising after a great sales experience.. You can even speed up the video for a fun twist.
Friday – Topic 4. – Product
Product might seem an easy post topic. However here are a couple of pointers:
a. include your offers and use Linkt.ree to take them directly to the offer
b. as always keep your customer front of mind
c. as a brand manager we would ask you “what do you want to be known for?”
then share those products more often.
d. Keep the posts clean and elegant
Now you can add more topics such as Saturday quotes. However it can be overwhelming to come up with the posts and keep up with the regularity so starting with 3 or 4 is a good ideas. Managing the content creation and the posting can be shared amongst your team too. However ensure you are careful with how your brand is portrayed on your page.
To illustrate how to pull these all together see a make-over of a feed below using the same topics as our example above.
Other general content tips
1. People Focused
Instagram is a platform where people share their experiences with other people. The photos posted in your Instagram account shouldn’t just be about selling your products—your content should always involve people, as this shows that your product is being enjoyed by real- life individuals.
This can include customers, staff, suppliers, celebrities, local businesses
2. Brand consistency / colour & tone
The most successful Instagram pages are those that are consistently portraying the brand. By brand we mean values, colours of the logo and brand, consistency with their marketing collateral including website. The tone of the feed is also very similar. By this we mean they stick to a colour palate of 2 or 3 colours.
If your brand is navy and grey and the audience is average income earning living in seaside suburbs, you might share images that include lots of shades of blue and softer sandy colours. However you would not create content with reds and oranges. You might be less likely to create content with vibrant bright red and green.
With each post create a story or share a personal comment that you know will engage your follower and target audience. The most engaged posts are statistically those that have a few sentences relating to the topic, weaving in your brand story, customer or brand personality. Remember to always use hashtags too.
4. Followers, Locations, and Brands Tagging
One of the best practices of successful brands using Instagram is also to regram the posts of their followers and tag these followers in the process. This encourages your followers to post more about your product, and they also market your products with their own followers by doing so.
If you have a brick-and-mortar store or if you are regularly having events, using location- specific posts will allow you to discover new fans and prospective followers.
Apart from followers and locations, you should also tag other brands and accounts and hopefully give you a shout-out, too. These relevant tags are indirect ways of encouraging promotion.
5. Cross promote using other Social Media Platforms
Aside from using your content in your Instagram platform, it will also be beneficial to use these contents to your other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. It doesn’t just give you more ROI out of your Instagram presence, but you are also maximizing the reach of your content.
6. Products and Promotions
With wedding season or new product launch plan the posts that lead up to it to build interest. Mark events with promotions to help achieve your goals and drive visitors to your online store to redeem discount coupons. Always include a sign up with the calls to action on your site so you can capitalize on using their email address to email market at a later stage.
7. Giveaways and Contests
Studies show that brands that run contests grow their followers count faster than those who don’t. We know that giveaway- related posts receive huge amount of engagements, and this is one effective way to increase your followers and fans and achieve those goals.
8. Paid Ads
Let’s not disregard the potential of running paid ads on Instagram. There have been many success stories of brands that use Instagram ads by using Instagram Stories and videos to grab the attention of users. You should start doing research first about Instagram ads and familiarize yourself with the process before using this paid ad, though. Remember to know your goals and the metrics that you’ll be looking at to ensure that you’ll be able to steer your marketing strategy to the right direction. Paid ads targeting a local demographic and for product specials are a good place to start.
9. Consider working with influencers
Influencer marketing involves a paid association with another Instagram account with a substantial and engaged follower count. The influencers’ followers allow you to tap into a new group of users that you’re trying to engage. It functions like an ad because the relationship is paid for. However, if you find the right influencer for your business, it can certainly be a fruitful way to increase your sales as well as grow your number of followers.
If we backtrack a bit to Instagram Guide- Start Right where you set your SMART goal, we needed to be able to measure activity to show how successful the return on investment has been both in expenditure or time and energy.
Instagram can offer you insights within the app.
One of the most valuable tools you get is the free analytics tools. In Instagram Insights, you will be able to see key information about your follower’s demographics and the time they are most active on the platform. Similarly, you can view your top performing posts and stories, which will give you a better idea of the type of content that your followers find most interesting.
Using link services like https://www.bitly.com can help you track particular campaigns or links to offers or product promotions.
As you are brick and mortar businesses your goal is ideally to get more foot traffic, as such having a coupon that has to be redeemed in store is a great measure of the success of any promo.
Your website must have analytics tracking codes as this will also show the statistics of people coming from your Instagram account into your site and to which pages. If they land on a page that is an offer but they bounce (meaning they click off immediately) it is vital you consider what message your website is giving. You don’t want to re-vamp your Instagram account only to send potential customers to your website which is not communicating the same brand message or level of sophistication your customer is expecting.