How to Create a Marketing Strategy with Instagram

[fa icon="calendar"] Jan 4, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Katrice Svanda

Katrice Svanda

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With explosive growth in activity since its 2010 inception, Instagram would seem to be an obvious choice to marketers worldwide. However, any experienced marketer understands that every campaign type requires a unique strategy, and Instagram is no different.  Let’s look at some of the key aspects of creating a marketing strategy which will (hopefully) be successful on Instagram.

Why Instagram?

Instagram began as a simple photo-sharing iOS app, and has grown into a giant community. Users can share their own stories with photo and video, and discover businesses and organizations which they believe in and share passions with. With over 1 million daily users, it truly is “the place to be” online.

How to Get Started-Focus on You

  • Create your image. Customers like consistency, and you want something that will help you stand out among the 1 million advertisers active on Instagram right now. This is a very important first step, and use a logo or image that you want to keep. Consider the competition; you want to distinguish yourself from what they are doing (but want to see what works well). Armed with information, focus on what you Further, keep in mind that your profile is the only place you can post your website link, so that makes it even more important that it is a good one!
  • Choose just a few main goals: increase brand awareness, show off products, share company news and insights, or even just build up your community. Then focus on increasing your engagement with each post.

How to Get Started-Focus on Them

  • Understand the demographics; which of your customers are on Instagram? This way you can tailor the content to meet their persona(s). 

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Plan Your Content

  • Content Pillars. Your content must meld with the audience. Remember that this is first and foremost a social site, and the focus on the relationship between visitors and commerce is on branding. Some common pillars are: educational, product demos, customer and company stories, and behind-the-scenes content. One or two is plenty; more than that and you will lose some followers to irrelevancy.
  • Take (or obtain) great photos. Since this truly is a visual platform, you need to keep that in the forefront. People visit to see attractive photos and engaging captions. Don’t neglect creative touches like fonts and color schemes. Hire a photographer, or even approach a local college visual arts department for hiring some art/photography students. Use filters to optimize your content, as they can provide more likes and followers. 
  • Use hashtags liberally. You will reach more users with a variety of hashtags. When they follow hashtags, they will be redirected to Top Posts and Most Recent. Although you may not often be in the Top Posts, you can be in Most Recent. Your great image will shine in this arena! You can find popular hashtags by signing up for an Iconosquare (or similar software) account and linking your Instagram account. With this, you can search for worthy choices which will work for you. 
  • Just like when you created your image, putting some thought into the style, theme, colors, filters, and captions of your content are very important aspects of designing your content.

Getting It Out There

  • Find the perfect time to schedule posts. As is true for any other social platform, there usually is an ideal time to post, but it can vary depending on your audience. Studies are all over the place in terms of ideal times and days, so try a few options and test them for results. Instagram’s algorithms will help you determine what works best.
  • Be consistent. Some studies have found that most brands post daily. Strangely enough, there was no negative effect on posting multiple times a day on engagement. Due to the visual and fleeting style of Instagram posts, users don’t feel bombarded with several photos or videos by businesses.

Results Matter

  • You want to know what works and what doesn’t. Instagram has their own engagement rate calculator:  number of likes + comments and dividing that number by the number of followers your account had at the time of posting.
  • There are several analytics you can measure: comments and hashtag use, most popular, and most likes. As with any other marketing strategy, test for results and make revisions to (or ditch) those that didn’t perform as you would like.

This basic guide will help you to get started on a successful Instagram marketing strategy. As is true of all social media marketing platforms, the more information you gain, the more you can improve your plan.

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About Digital Impact Agency

Digital Impact Agency is a creative firm specializing in interactive media and inbound marketing strategies for manufacturing and technology companies, professional service firms (architectural, engineering, construction, legal and consulting), nonprofits and enterprise companies. We are a team of innovative entrepreneurs focused on creating the most strategic and effective communication channels for our clients.

Topics: social media

Katrice Svanda

Written by Katrice Svanda

Katrice Svanda is a Founder and CEO for Digital Impact Agency, a Houston-based digital media and inbound marketing agency. Her background includes over 15 years of experience in the technology industry from marketing emerging technologies to participating in several technology spin-offs. Katrice has created successful marketing campaigns for business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and business-to-government.