Feel like everyone else has this Instagram strategy thing figured out and you’re just fumbling your way through it? You’re not alone. But it also doesn’t have to be this way. You can know exactly what to post, and have your content attract dreamy clients and customers while seeing your efforts grow your account. The key? Having an individual, adjustable strategy in place that you can rely on.
Instagram marketing is the practice of using Insta to expand your community, increase awareness of your brand and ultimately convert those followers into paying customers. There’s a lot of stress, confusion and anxiety around Instagram strategy and marketing but at its core, you’re using Instagram to talk about what you do, share how you transform your clients’ lives, and help people see how they could benefit from your business!
There truly isn’t one “best” way to use Instagram for marketing.
If you just slammed your computer shut out of frustration, I’m hoping I can telepathically tell you to open it back up and hear me out. A lot of experts and “Instagram gurus” have grown their followings promising easy growth with their hacks and tips. Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple.
The best way to use Instagram to market your business is going to be dependent on you, your business, your goals, your ideal client, your capacity (both in terms of time and money) and so many other individual factors. That’s way blanket strategies and hacks do. not. work. You need an individualized, holistic approach to Instagram to truly see it work for you.
Now we’re going to dive into the nitty gritty of what makes a good Instagram strategy ⤵️
This sounds so fundamental, but many clients come to me with a lack of clarity on who their business is serving (no, it’s not “everyone on Instagram”) and without a comprehensive business strategy in place. Social media is only one part of the puzzle! (If you’re wondering what else you need before working with a social media manager, check out this handy list).
What are your core values? How do you represent your brand on social? What feelings do you want people to walk away from your content with? How do you define your mission? All of these will form the basis for how you communicate your message in your marketing, and cannot be overlooked.
Whether you call this your Unique Value Proposition (UVP), your Unique Selling Point (USP), or some other marketing term, you need to be able to articulate: Why would someone choose you over your competitors? This can be your experience, your pricing, your location, your results, your values – whatever it is, be clear on it so it can come through in your marketing!
This part of your strategy defines which platforms you’ll use for your marketing. And you may be wondering why a post about Instagram strategy is mentioning using other platforms. Here’s why: While I am the BIGGEST Instagram fan (and won’t stop being one anytime soon), it isn’t wise to depend on only one platform for client attraction and acquisition. As explained in this Forbes article, omnichannel marketing (across multiple platforms) is important for nurturing and converting your customers as it allows you to have multiple touchpoints. Think of it as the question of having all your eggs in one basket, or in multiple!
Which platforms to use depends on your preferences, skills and capacity. I highly recommend Instagram being one of them, as it is second to none for community building. Then, depending on your team size, I recommend adding one or two more. If you’re doing everything yourself, one additional platform is sufficient – for example, Pinterest or email. If you have team members supporting you, you can add a third, for example TikTok.
The way I structure my clients’ platform recommendations is to have one
CORE/PRIMARY platform – Instagram
platform for DISCOVERABILITY – Pinterest
FUN platform for experimentation – TikTok
(This is my particular case, and I have three because I have a Pinterest manager who takes one of the three off my plate). Remember that with repurposing you can stretch your content across multiple platforms and reap the benefits (for more on repurposing, read this guest post)!
Enter one of the most frequently misunderstood terms when it comes to Instagram strategy. Content pillars are not content goals like “Entertain, Educate, and Inspire.” Those are great, but they don’t help you figure out the topics of your content!
Instead, content pillars are the 4-5 main themes you want to feature on your page. For an interior designer, these could be:
Ah, the age-old question: How often should you post on Instagram? For more on my thoughts on a great posting schedule check out this blog, but tl;dr: Most businesses don’t need to post every day, and the best posting schedule is the one you can keep up with consistently. My general recommendation is 3-4 posts a week, with at least one reel.
Another hill I will die on: Your content will not perform as well as it could without engagement to back it up! For more on the importance of engagement, check out this past explanation.
In your Instagram strategy, you want to consider both inbound engagement (engaging with people already in your audience) and outbound engagement (bringing new eyes to your page). For optimal results, I recommend 30 minutes per day of engagement M-F (and is what I do for my clients!). An easy method to use is Shannon Mckinstrie’s 10-10-10 method: 10 minutes on your home feed, 10 minutes respond to stories, and 10 minutes on hashtags/explore page. Depending on your goals in a particular season, your engagement might skew heavier to inbound or heavier to outbound.
And finally, when it comes to your strategy you need to identify your goals for the platform and how you will measure success. Note that this doesn’t always mean followers! If your goal is to increase connections, look at accounts engaged and comments. Want to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry? Monitor saves, shares and DMS. Increase web traffic? look at profile visits, website clicks, and link clicks in stories.
P.S. If you’re reading through this and thinking you don’t want to come up with all of these components on your own, I’ve got you! I offer 90-minute strategy sessions where you walk away with a completely custom content strategy, as well as 60 unique content ideas for you to implement! Book your session here and let’s make Instagram feel FUN 🤩
Instagram strategy doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. At its core, it’s about figuring out the best way to share your business and your services with people who need them. With the right plan in place, you can get the results you’re hoping for and start seeing social media as a FUN place to achieve your business goals!
And if you need help doing so, I’m always here for questions and topic requests!
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ABC Social Media Management is a Florida-based social media management company serving female entrepreneurs worldwide through comprehensive management and strategy services.