Instagram has 500 million active users which makes it an attractive resource for your business. We are all aware that social media can require both time & money, both valuable resources to your business. However, can you afford to not tap into that potential audience waiting for you? This investment can easily pay for itself as long as it’s planned and executed effectively. Your time and money are precious, don’t waste them.
We’ve compiled a few key thoughts that you should address before diving into the wonderful world of Instagram.
1. Your imagery is your brand
Whatever you post on Instagram is a reflection of what you are and what you’re selling. You’re going to want to create a strategy that works in line with your brand. Throughout planning your content, consider your brand colours, your seasonal peaks and your tone of voice.
Do you have a corporate tone of voice? Do your stores present a trendy lifestyle vibe? This needs to translate across all of your channels to provide a clear customer journey.
2. Make sure you look good
Your post is going to be one of millions on the channel. Is your content good enough to make users stop & pay attention? Be bold and put your best photos forward.
Just because Instagram is mobile-focused and easy to use on the go don’t underestimate the use of the high-resolution imagery. You need to showcase your brand in the best possible light, customers should aspire to be one of your customers.
3. Consistency is going to be key
Instagram is an opportunity for you to visually market your product or services. This is the chance to make a good impression and present who you are and what you do. But does this message compliment your website, physical locations, other social channels, email newsletters or printed content?
A customer should be able to identify your brand from each marketing channel at just a glance. Help users understand who you are and build their trust.
4. Are you ready to plan ahead?
Plan your content in advance for seasonal peaks and new products. Create a 6 or 12 month strategy to provide a clear timeline that you can work from each month.
It may be a cliché but if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. If you don’t set out that long-term strategy you will find yourself being unable to consistently post or build momentum. Plan your content alongside your other marketing activity to produce a consistent message.
5. It’s time to get to know your audience
Use analytics to identify who your audience is and how your content performs with them. Once you know what works, do more of it!
Your customer base might be males aged 35+, but is that the audience you have on Instagram? If your Instagram channel is building an audience of females aged 25+ then create content for these users. They are following you because they have an interest in your product, create content that leads these users to your sales funnel.
6. Shoot the right size
Its important to make sure your content fits on the channel correctly. Instagram now offers the ability to show off more than just a square, how does this fit with your imagery?
Square: 1080 x 1080 pixels
Portrait: 1080 x 1350 pixels
Landscape: 1080 x 566 pixels
Consider how it looks on your channel and only use imagery that best showcases your brand. Any of your marketing channels might be a user’s first impression of you, make sure you look your best.
7. Will you harness stories?
Stories sit either within your approval or on a user’s newsfeed at the top of all posts. Stories provide another opportunity to get in front of your existing users without bombarding their feed. You can provide exclusive content that users can be the first to see.
Did you know stories can do more than show off more images?
- Interact with your audience using polls & gather their opinions
- Add a URL to your story and drive users directly to your website
But once again, consider your sizes. If you upload images that don’t fit the required dimensions they will be cropped once uploaded. Multiple blogs (Snappa, Photofeeler, Jumpermedia), however the key is testing! Within the frame of the story, you will also need to consider the positioning of the username, avatar, messaging bar and other tools. You also need to factor in the varying dimensions of mobiles devices across the market. Keep your content central and test, test, test!
8. What’s in a name?
When you set up your account, make sure to pick a name that people can find. Once again, consistency is key. Users will be able to find you much more easily if your username is the same across multiple social channels. Don’t make users hunt for you online, make it easier & stay consistent.
Last key tips:
- Once you’ve covered the basics you can start to have fun with it.
- Take a look at what other brands are doing and test it out yourself.
- Don’t spam your followers or they’ll leave as quickly as they arrived
- Don’t fake it, buying followers may seem like a good idea but risking a Shadowban from Instagram won’t be worth it
- Your number of followers isn’t as important as you think, look at other factors such as engagement rate, reach & follower churn (you may not be gaining lots of new followers but are you successfully keeping the ones you have?)
- Utilise tools that help you stand out, canva.com is as slick as a designer without the sky-high costs
If you’re thinking of launching an Instagram account for your brand but need a little more advice then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our experienced Social Media team are ready to help you build a robust strategy with your business objectives front of mind.