There is a plethora of ways to build out a strategy for Instagram. Whether that’s engaging with your audience or brainstorming exciting content to create – success on Instagram comes in many forms. How do you decide what avenues to explore?
Here are some stats for Instagram that should help shape your strategy:
Be Productive with your Content:
Focus most of your attention on your current followers. They are the ones who are interested and/or are already interacting with your content and the most likely to convert. Poll them, ask them questions and see what kind of content they enjoy. These answers may give a clearer image about what your photo topics should be.
Your social media platforms should cover topics that your followers expect you to post about. What does that mean? If you own a mechanic shop your photo topics could include “cars, mechanics, car parts, car maintenance tips.” Topics will vary by industry, but photo topics will help you narrow down content ideas that people that follow you actually want to see. Unrelated memes and generic content is likely to turn followers away.
Anatomy of a Caption:
Every time you write a caption, think about the H.I.C. formula.
- Call to Action
Hook your audience in [within the first 100 characters].
Follow up with insights – the information you would like your audience to know or receive.
The call to action (CTA) should be last and should tell your audience what they need to do [tag a friend, comment, like, sign up for a newsletter, etc].
Rather than focusing on the hard sell in the moment, build traffic that will contribute to future business goals. Meet your followers at their point in the buyer’s journey – some may be ready to purchase your product/service while others may not be. Think about their limiting beliefs and current objections that might prevent them from buying. How can you create content that builds trust?
This can easily look like content that builds authority, shifts beliefs and addresses objections, such as a “myth vs fact” post or a “checklist” post.
Using primary and secondary CTAs can also boost your strategy. A primary CTA is a short-term engagement, while a secondary CTA is a long-term engagement.
Primary CTA: double tap, tag a friend, comment below, etc.
Secondary CTA: Sign up for our e-mail, read our _____ checklist, Shop now, etc.
When posting on Instagram stories, remember to tell a story. Leverage your engagement on stories by using the question, poll and slider feature that Instagram gives you.
Pro tip: Don’t post all of our stories at once. Space them out so that you continue to pop up at the beginning of the story line on your audience’s feed.
The Seasons Method:
The key to successfully selling on Instagram without using paid ads is to use Instagram strategically in a way that matches the season that your business is in: Visibility, Engagement, Leads or Sales.
This is the season that is the hardest because you’re trying to build a loyal following and establish credibility. Use hashtags not just within your posts but also to find new followers. When you post a new photo, click a hashtag that was used and go through the 5-3-1 method. Like 5 photos, comment on 3 and DM 1 person. Repeat as much as you’d like. Remember to give the engagement you would like to receive.
Use CTAs in your captions and engagement stickers. Engagement stickers are available inside of Instagram stories and range from polls, questions, adding a location, gif or quiz. Using these options allows your audience to participate in your storytelling.
Think of a CTA that is unique to your business. Example: if you have a mechanic shop, a CTA could be “call us today for a tour of our property.”
Use CTAs to direct people to your DMs. This way you can build trust and have them ask any questions about your service or product.