If you’ve been living under a rock for the last 10 years and still don’t know the power that social media holds, what on earth have you been doing? Social media has taken over the globe and created an online frenzy of social platforms from Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Instagram is a massive platform with huge potential to boost your brand’s reach, awareness and popularity. You want results, and Instagram is a great way to do just that. Exploring your creative side is the best way forward for Instagram, and an amazing way to help you to become #InstaFamous.
Because who doesn’t like the idea of living the life of a famous celebrity – or running a world famous business for that matter!
From Instagram Stories to individual posts and IGTV, your options are endless and as a main social platform, Instagram is so powerful in reaching out to your audience and directly engaging with them.
It’s all about collaborating with other business, influencers and any potential customers out of the 1 billion users Instagram has every month, (plus the 500 million that use the platform daily).
Generally speaking, Instagram works best for businesses who are targeting female audiences aged 18-35, and directly aiming for B2C, but that doesn’t stop you from using it to enhance your brand and to thrive in the digital sphere no matter who your audience is
Just because Instagram is incredibly popular with young women doesn’t mean it’s not super powerful at reaching your target market.
Get yourself ready to delve into the world of Instagram, and prepare to engage with millions across the globe. Here’s how to become #Instafamous for business success…
First Things First, Do Your Research…
Just like with every project, trip, adventure, or anything that involves actual planning, it’s always best to do your research first. That way you can make sure that your goals and objectives line up directly with your potential results. Plus, if you’re new to Instagram and you’ve never set foot into the world of vibrant images and videos, a little bit of research can never hurt. You’re getting something spectacular out of it too – the power of knowledge.
Start by having a browse on the platform, first with your own personal interests, and then those suitable to the business. This will help you to figure out what you actually want from Instagram – and especially if you’re working with a digital marketing agency, will help them to understand your needs as their client.
Interacting and following the profiles of your competitors, and looking at the activities of your target audience is one of the massive benefits of being on Instagram as a business. For example, I really like movies and TV and I often find myself endlessly scrolling to find any spoilers and new information on the latest shows to binge watch. If your business targets people you know are fans of a particular show, you can tap into that and use their behaviour to prominently position your brand on their newsfeed.
Think of something you like (maybe that’s cars, beauty, movies, anything that captures your true attention) and have a look at accounts with both small and large followings. Note down anything you particularly like about that account, including the images, videos, themes, colours, tone of voice, the camera angles of the images and anything else that really catches your eye and takes your fancy. The main thing to remember here, at this early stage, is that it should be fun. Browsing through your favourite accounts and influencers, while checking out your competitors and potential audience members is what makes the whole Instagram community so empowering.
Take time out of your day and have a real binge of the accounts that you love. Once you’ve found things that you like, you can then move onto researching your business’ industry and check out what your competitors are doing. Beginning by finding what you (personally) like the most is important, as it allows you to fully connect with the platform and understand how it really works so you can build on that for your business.
Some Crucial Questions To Answer…
Most businesses grow through their interpersonal approach and positive attitude to customer service. Having a strong face for your brand and being approachable is essential, and you can do all that through the world of Instagram.
As you are browsing the platform and checking things out, ask yourself the following about the profiles you’re looking at:
- Are they being exciting and providing great content?
- Have they got a theme that’s interesting to look at?
- Are you drawn to their account straight away and want to click on their posts?
- Are you jealous of their Instagram success?
These are all important questions, the last one being the most significant. Now, being jealous never helps anyone, but in this case, it can motivate you to push for your own success, kick starting your own Instagram activity as you strive to outshine the success of your competitors.
People are drawn to visually consistent accounts. If you can recognise that in your competitors’ work then you know it’s definitely time to get in on the action. You may even get there before your competitors if they haven’t realised the power of Instagram for business yet.
As you move on to develop your own Instagram account, just remember to continue to ask yourself:
- What story are you trying to sell?
- Why are you selling it?
- Who is going to actually help you?
Create Quality Content…
Now I’m here to tell you how to actually use Instagram, I’m here to help you to understand the importance of using it for businesses, and why it’s so important to use it in the right way.
People want to see quality content that will actually make them feel emotion, whether that’s sadness, happiness, or a quick chuckle at a funny post. What they don’t want is boring, “I’ve only got 5 minutes to post something up, this will do!” kind of content.
They want high-quality images and videos with a relatable caption and hashtags that actually relate to that post, something they’re actually interested in. Instagram will get you results if you are doing it in the correct way.
Quality is always more important than quantity.
If you’ve only got an hour, it’s better to create one amazing post than loads of bang average, clearly not interesting posts, that nobody will ever want to see. If anything, it’ll put people off and push your audience to your competitors, which you definitely do not want.
You always want to make sure that your theme is consistent (we will get into this in more detail later), you can get various templates online that will help you out or you can be more creative and create your own.
On our own Instagram, we use a checkerboard theme, which we currently find works great for our business. We alternate from text posts to designs created by our amazing Graphic Designer, and finally to team photos and a few behind the scenes shots.
The most important thing for us is that we show how creative we are, (since that’s one of our core values).
Our content is always genuine and authentic; we’re creating a personality for our business and we’re absolutely smashing it. And we’ve only just got started – there are big plans on the horizon for pushing our own content, upleveling our account, and really getting ourselves out there.
Since I started in September 2018 a brand new strategy has been put in place to revamp Acrylic’s social profiles and website, which has led to a massive increase in the amount of interest and work we have coming in. (And at the time of writing this we haven’t even launched the new vlog yet…)
All of that growth was created through the development of strong strategies and a completely consistent brand.
On Instagram we’ve got the same filter on every one of our images, we’ve got the highest quality, original and innovative shots of the team, as well as designs that show how amazing our work is first hand.
It’s about being creative and imaginative with your images, while telling the story of your business.
To give you some idea of what’s involved, we went through three team members, two cameras, and a few changes of location to get the right lighting for this shot. Add in some serious arm ache from holding the camera so high for so long, and yet another team member putting together the image strategy and determining what kind of photos to take, then stepping in to capture a shot of the three of us working, and you begin to see what goes into a team shot for our own Instagram feed.
The end result is perfect – a creative masterpiece that shows the humorous personality and creativity of everyone here at Acrylic. Yet doing it required gathering the expertise of one expert strategist, one graphic designer, one social media expert, and one poser.
Be authentic and original, that’s the best advice I could give anyone ready to start creating new content on their Instagram.
Learn To Batch Effectively…
The next step in achieving the glory of #Instafame status for your brand is batching content effectively. This is one of the major strategies that is implemented here at Acrylic for all our content marketing, but particularly for social media. Not only does it help you work efficiently, but it also helps to manage your Instagram account successfully and keep to your chosen theme. Better yet, it’s a great way to ensure you tell your story consistently and subtly work into your posts why people should purchase your services or products over other businesses.
When you batch you can sell without being ‘salesy’ because everything is so well planned in advance.
One way that we are working on improving our own Instagram and batching our posts is by having themed months. For example, the focus of Tim’s amazing original designs for May 2019 is content marketing – a way to work in a service we offer in an engaging and non-’salesy’ way. Here’s a sneaky peek at what the feed will look like in a few weeks…
June’s focus is ghostwriting, another service we offer, and the list goes on from one month to the next. We have a chance to share the benefits of all our services, tips and tricks for making them work for your business, all while gently promoting the fact we offer them.
I’m sharing with you exactly what Acrylic does, and how well we do it, without it being shoved in your face 24/7.
Because that’s another thing to note: be creative, personal, and share your story, but don’t be forceful with it. Nobody wants to read your posts if all they’re going to be about is a boring message of ‘we offer this product, we do that malarkey, buy our stuff, buy our stuff, buy our stuff’.
The idea of having themed months works perfectly alongside batching. Typically, I will create a month’s worth of content for each of our social platforms (or the platforms of our clients) in one go. With a well thought out and branded Instagram theme, batching is great, because I know what I need to focus on. Posts can be directly tailored not only to our specific target audience, but the very specific subset of that audience who may be interested in the one thing we’re focusing on for the month (be it content marketing, ghostwriting, or any of our other services).
Work In A Little Spontaneity…
Just like any aspect of marketing, excellent results usually mean an excellent marketer. It’s not as simple as putting together some pretty pictures and writing a lot of posts. You need to have the knowledge of how to structure it all for best effect, a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve, and a realistic idea of what needs doing, when, and how long it will take you to reach your objectives.
These things are all so important if you really want your Instagram marketing to pop.
From a practical perspective batching your content is essential. But from an engagement perspective it’s also vital that you remember the need to still be spontaneous. This can be done by taking advantage of Instagram stories or live videos. You can engage with various audiences in multiple ways simply by batching content and mixing it up a little with an occasional story, post on IGTV, or live video.
Perfect Your Brand…
Much like with having to perfect a batching strategy, you need to perfect your brand and remain consistent. It’s like one of our amazing clients, Zen Buddy. They’re a new upcoming meditation and wellness app for self-improvement and we make sure that their content is all themed correctly and consistent throughout.
Their posts are always on brand and stay as much as possible to their brand guidelines, as well as being visually interesting. Again without repeating myself, it’s all about the theme.
While we develop a clear brand guide for all our clients, those who have Instagram accounts have an entire section dedicated to perfecting their profile grid, and ensuring we know exactly what each individual post, as well as their feed, should look and feel like. Having themes for all the Instagram accounts I manage allows me to focus on attracting their target audience and build their community online. Much like Acrylic have a grid theme that keeps our feed consistent, Zen Buddy have one that focuses on colour and types of imagery: pinks and purples, or blues and greens, with stunning scenes of sunsets, oceans, and other naturally beautiful phenomena…
The community on Instagram is so big, you need something that makes your posts memorable. Something that ensures that while people are endlessly scrolling they know immediately that a post they’ve reached is yours, simply by looking at it.
This will stop them scrolling on. Instead, they will pause, and actually read rather than blindly liking it without further engagement, or skipping past it entirely.
The theme on Instagram becomes part of your brand and who you are as a business.
From the colour scheme to the layout of your posts, and the images themselves, your theme is key to building the success of your Instagram account. It’s also something you can replicate across other social platforms. For example, Zen Buddy’s Instagram theme is continued in a slightly different form on their Facebook page.
Keeping that consistency is vitally important for every business willing to compete in the digital sphere.
Your theme is the first thing that audiences will pick up on and if you’re not doing it the right way, they’ll soon pick up on that too. The thing that everyone forgets when it comes to social media is that people often get lost within it. You start on one topic and within an hour your looking at images of a completely different topic. Your audience are the ones in control and they have the power to simply scroll by not even giving your content a second thought. But, if you provide them with content they want to see, that makes them think, “wow” then you know you’re doing something right. That way they’re sticking to your post, heading to your profile and eventually to your website or your designated CTA.
The most important thing to remember about your branding and theme is that it should evolve. We assess how effective every aspect of our Instagram plans are on a monthly basis, and if we think something isn’t working, we change it. Just because you have a set theme to keep your grid consistent, doesn’t mean you’re married to that one design forever. It can be adapted, with elements that aren’t working set aside in favour of new ideas. Test things, try different approaches, and keep pushing until you’ve found the perfect formula. (Here’s a hint, you never will – social media and digital marketing change too rapidly to ever hit upon a single way of doing things that is never going to need to change!)
Get Your Hashtag On…
There are no limits to hashtagging, but if you want to do it well you need to get to grips with it properly. Creating a niche hashtag for your business is the perfect way to get your brand out there and get people to engage with your business directly to increase your visibility.
Now, it can be a scary world on Instagram and if you’re going alone without an agency, you might not even know where to begin to use hashtags.
This is generally where it all goes wrong:
- You use a hashtag that you thought meant one thing, but it turns out it means something completely different…
- You use one that seems to fit your brand perfectly, but it was actually started by one of your competitors and it looks more like you’re promoting them…
- You’re using great hashtags that perfectly represent what you’re talking about, but don’t actually attract people interested in buying from you…
- Your hashtags are getting you a massive amount of attention from other businesses that do what you do, but aren’t putting you in front of consumers at all…
Instagram hashtags are a powerful tool for audiences to find you, your business, and your products or services, and for you to find other influencers and potential collaborators. Creating that one hashtag that only relates to you is significant and significant enough to make a difference to your Instagram account.
When it comes to Instagram you really need to perfect every aspect of your content creation, your branding, your batching method, and your hashtags to even start competing in the world of those who are #Instafamous.
If you’re desperate to get your business out there and start making a name for yourself (and your business) on Instagram, but you’ve no idea where to start, there is hope – you can hire us! We’ve got all the best marketing strategies you need to kick start your Instagram. From content marketing to social media management to video marketing, we’ve got it all, simply book in for your free consultation below and speak to our amazing team today…
Our Head of Marketing, Hazel Butler, is an award-winning author, copywriter, and editor. Part ghostwriter, part blogger, part videographer, and part strategist, when she’s not endlessly penning content for our clients Hazel’s happily concocting the perfect marketing plans to propel their businesses forward.
Get to know her...
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