Instagram remains a mystery to most business owners I know.
How are we supposed to keep creating great content that can be noticed and appreciated on a platform that is full of creativity and artistic ingenuity?
And should we even bother?
Those two are common questions business owners are asking when considering Instagram marketing.
While the answer to the first question is complicated (and I’ll elaborate on it below), the answer to the second question is “Instagram marketing is almost always a good idea”
Instagram is the sixth-most visited website having reached 140 million U.S. users back in 2020. With such a huge audience, Instagram is not a marketing platform that can be easily ignored.
But how to create an effective Instagram marketing strategy?
As always, it all starts with content.
1. Instagram Content Ideas for Businesses
Create a calendar of all upcoming (smaller) holidays and other notable days that can somehow relate to your business. It is also a good idea to publicize that calendar on your site. This will:
- Improve internal linking of the website (every seasonality-based post would link to related products)
- Allow you to feature products on the home page based on the upcoming holidays / days (even during slower seasons) which may fit the user intent better
- Let you schedule newsletters and time them based on the calendar
- Finally, allow you to publish timely social media updates (with relevant hashtags) even when there are no big holidays coming. These updates can be scheduled far ahead (and can be recurring from year to year). You can also integrate your Instagram feed with your site with these plugins.
Planning your social media strategy around yearly holidays and observance days has lots of benefits, from making it easier to organize to achieving higher visibility and engagement.
Here are a few examples of days that can go into the calendar:
- National Rose Day
- Mother’s Day
- Employee Appreciation Day
Try DaysoftheYear.com to find all kinds of holidays and awareness days to target in Instagram content.
For each holiday, try running Text Optimizer to come up with interesting concepts to target in your content:
Another idea for regular Instagram updates is using weekly hashtags to get your updates discovered organically. Here’s a good list to target those.
2. Use Solid Instagram Tools
Instagram is one of those marketing channels that cannot be used without tools. Instagram audience is spoiled: They see great content every day. It is tough to surprise them these days.
Great tools can make all the difference to your Instagram strategy.
Videoleap is an iPhone app that will help you create outstanding Instagram content. The app gives you access to professional video editing tools that can be mastered without training. The app comes with powerful video editing and enhancing features like layer-based editing, color corrections, video effects and overlays, etc.
The app is free with a premium upgrade available. I would recommend using the free version first and then upgrade when you feel confident that you can handle the multitude of additional features and options.
If you are looking for a desktop tool, Fastreel is a valid and affordable option.
3. Focus on Consistency
Consistency is key in any digital marketing strategy, especially when it comes to social media. You need to gradually build trust and a community of people who look forward to your updates. And that can only be achieved with consistency.
Here’s a quick FAQ to help you create consistent presence on Instagram:
How often should I publish content on Instagram?
Two posts a week is usually a good way to go. Don’t try to create daily updates because you will quickly run into a burnout. Planning and scheduling your Instagram content far ahead wIll also help you maintain consistency without too much pressure of always being there. Tools like Lately can help you with that.
How do I promote my business on Instagram?
Put your products in a visual context in a non promotional way. Adding a CTA within your caption or even your photo is not a bad idea but just don’t overuse it. You cannot build a dedicated following if you just keep selling your products to them. Here are a few easy-to-implement Instagram content ideas for businesses:
- Create updates of your team working or relaxing together. Behind-the-scenes content humanizes your brand and build employee advocacy
- Turn text reviews and testimonials into visual quotes to publicize them on Instagram
- Re-use your lead magnets on Instagram. Instagram users love freebies!
- Create a micro-video showing your product being received or unpackaged
How to build traffic from Instagram?
Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links within updates. The only two sections where you can put your link are:
- Your Instagram bio
- Your Instagram stories (if you have more than 10,000 followers)
Still you can get some decent traffic from Instagram if you create interesting updates and invite your followers to click the link in the bio for more info.
Don’t forget to monitor that traffic to be able to adjust your updates and CTAs to get more clicks and higher conversions. Finteza can help you with that: The tool lets you narrow your data down to a particular traffic source and then evaluate your sales funnel based on the selected data point:
You can also change your bio’s link as often as you want. Try using different URL parameters to track your traffic from different campaigns. Finteza allows users to easily set URL parameters using their free WordPress plugin.
Instagram has become even more popular during the months of worldwide lockdowns. According to Megaphone Marketing, people spent 70% more time on both Facebook and Instagram apps during the lockdown.
As we don’t really know how long the pandemic is still going to last, investing your business’s social media presence is a smart marketing decision.
Instagram can be an effective marketing platform that will help you build brand trust and authenticity. It is also more doable than many business owners think it is. Good luck!