Want to get into Instagram and utilise it for your business but don’t know how? Read this comprehensive guide to crafting an Instagram Strategy to better build your brand and increase your online sales.
Every business owner knows that strategy is essential yet almost all find it scary and time-consuming. Well, I’m glad that you’re here because I’ll show you that you can develop your Instagram Strategy in just one day!
Strategic plans all tend to have pretty much the same structure.
They usually consist of three principal parts:
– Some research & analyses (Point A)
– Objectives (Point B)
– A detailed plan on how to achieve them (A Roadmap)
Of course, an Instagram Strategy Plan will differ a lot from a new product launch, but the whole idea stays the same – choosing the best road to get from point A to point B.
Today I’ll share with you a step-by-step process on how to create an Instagram Strategy for your business.
Just to make sure that you’re feeling right about your decision, here are some key reasons for why creating an Instagram Strategy:
– Getting results faster – it’s always the case when you have a plan and don’t run around like a headless chicken 🙂
– Understanding the bigger picture – even if you don’t have a digital marketing strategy, you will inevitably think on a bigger scale when creating your Instagram strategy plan.
– Creating better content – understanding what content works best and scheduling it in advance improves content quality
– Peace of mind – I always say that you’ll have a peace of mind when you have a plan, whether it’s a digital marketing strategy or business strategy or Instagram Strategy.
Now I guess you’re reassured so let’s get started!
Here are the critical steps you want to take into consideration when creating an Instagram Marketing Strategy for your business.
Step 1. Look around
Ask yourself why to do you think an Instagram Strategy is essential to your business and what place does it take in your bigger plan. Instagram might not be the critical source of client acquisition for your business, but it works well on building trust by showing your company’s areas of interest, people who stand behind the company and gives you an opportunity to share their stories.
If your company website is Headquarters where all the fundamental information and links can be found, then your Instagram page is a continuation of your website that helps build trust with your potential clients.
In the last several years Instagram was snowballing not only by the number of users on the platform but also by the time people spend on Instagram.
If people spend time on Instagram, companies want to be present there.
The visual part is the critical driver of Instagram performance, but more and more captions play a significant role in catching attention and growing engagement.
This way you can tell a story not only through the image but also with the copy.
The best way to start your Instagram strategy is to understand your current point on the roadmap.
Look at your account if you already have one, take a fresh look at it:
- How many followers you have?
- How fast your account was growing in the last year?
- Does your description tell the central message to your page visitors?
What do the last 9 posts tell about your page?
Find best performing posts by engagement and have a look at your Google Analytics to see how many people visit your website on Instagram. I don’t ask to make any conclusions here, collect some data to start.
It also helps to write down a few sentences about your company and the products you sell or service you provide. Just a short overview to help you focus your attention.
Step 2. Focus on creativity, not competition
I try to avoid the word “competitor” where possible, and I think that Instagram is the perfect place to avoid it. It’s difficult to call other people/companies as competitors on Instagram because there is no limit to how many profiles your target client can follow, and no one loses if your client follows both you and your “competitor”. So, I prefer to use the word benchmark.
Chose profiles that you think are communicating to the same audience as your company. Look at other successful profiles for inspiration and try to find what works best for them. Why are they successful? What type of content do they create? Just look at the last nine images/ videos. Usually, they contain all information you need unless you want to examine someone’s profile really in detail.
Pay attention to the type of content you find:
b) A subject of interest (often when a company cannot show their product):
c) User-generated content (build a community around your brand by posting user-generated content)
d) People behind the company and their stories
e) A mix of content
When you collect information, pay attention to the following:
– What subjects are discussed;
– What colour theme is used
– Who creates content – a company or users
– How often content is published
I don’t ask you to copy paste from others; I want you to have a broader understanding of what’s going on around you 🙂
Step 3. Choose your tribe
Now that you can see well your current situation and surroundings let’s decide whom you want to attract and engage with.
Ask yourself, what kind of followers do you want to attract?
- What are their interests? What do they like?
- What language do they speak and where do they live?
- Why and how they use Instagram? When are they connected and what profiles they like to follow?
- What do you want to offer them?
OK don’t get overwhelmed, answer those questions that you know.
I don’t want to ask you a million questions when you don’t know the answers. These questions are just some options to help your thinking process.
Step 4. Define your point B on the roadmap.
Identify key objectives for your Instagram profile that you can measure.
The most straightforward example of an objective is when you target the number of followers or number of website visits from Instagram. Your goal can also be related to sales if you use a unique link or coupon code only for your Instagram profile.
After you identified your SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely) objective, go ahead and write down supportive goals, such as:
- Develop a consistent visual theme
- Post on a daily basis
- Show Instagram page on the website and mention it on other social media platforms
- Comment on other people pictures when possible and reply to comments on your posts when appropriate.
Step 5. Let’s have some fun!
Now that you’re fully prepared for the most creative part of your strategy start thinking about everything you need to do to achieve your objectives.
Identifying what areas of interest/ themes you want to share with your followers.
- a) People behind your company
- b) Inspiring quotes
- c) Coffee Chat
- d) Topic related to your business
- e) Your product or service, and so on.
Now, what are the colours or filters that you will use? Your visual signature that will be a continuation of your brand?
Go ahead and think in more detail of what captions you want to write – what is the amount of words, what is your brand voice. Only by writing several examples of captions you can understand better the direction you want to follow.
Find examples of pictures for each theme and create a preview of your new page showing nine last pictures.
This way you will see if you like it and will be able always to look back and check if you’re following your visual strategy or not.
Other details you want to take into consideration for your strategy:
– videos (video is hot on Instagram so use it!) both for stories and general feed
– selling via Instagram (in-app sales or through media tagging engine)
– collaborating with other accounts
– promoting your Instagram account through other social media accounts, website, and emails.
Step 6. Make it a reality
Now let’s get real and plan the execution. Everyone can have plenty of ideas, but the most challenging part is their implementation.
Action Plan: give yourself and your team some time to develop an Instagram content plan and make necessary changes to the company account. Assign people responsible for the work and let them decide how much time they will take for each action. If you work on your own, then do the same by yourself.
Budget: you may want to invest some budget in creating excellent short videos or getting a photoshoot or even buying photos from stocks or hiring an agency to grow engagement. Think in detail how much money you’ll need to invest to achieve your Instagram Marketing goals.
Measurement: divide your targets month by month to be able to measure your progress and make changes to the strategy when necessary. Assign a person responsible for providing the reports promptly or automate your reporting using the software.
Congratulations! Your Instagram Marketing Strategy is ready!
You can develop it in one day, so I hope you don’t feel like it’s too much work.
About the author: Elena Pulino is a digital marketing strategist and owner of ViArt Digital established in the French Riviera.
A marketing professional with 12 years’ experience, Elena is passionate about creating growth roadmaps for entrepreneurs and business owners by skyrocketing their results from their online marketing efforts.
When not doing that, you will find Elena walking the Promenade des Anglais in Nice with her husband or exploring the French Riviera.
Read more about her growth strategies on her resources blog at www.viartdigital.com.