Instagram is quickly climbing the ranks to become one of the top influential platforms for marketing strategies. However, in the constantly refreshable cycle of stories, posts and sponsored content, it can be overwhelming to find the right Instagram Marketing Strategy for your brand and business.
As a business, it is important to note that your Instagram Marketing Strategy isn’t merely about posting the right content at the right time and leaving the rest up to fate. As with any social media marketing strategy, it is crucial that you focus on building relationships, engaging your audience and getting them to participate within the Instagram community.
Everything you do on social media is an opportunity for someone to convert. Originally, Instagram was a tool mainly used by influencers and celebrities. It gave users a glimpse into the lives of the elite. It provided pictures and captions that weren’t from media outlets or paparazzi, but from the source itself – revolutionary at the time, since the closest to it used to be Twitter.
Although Instagram has revolutionised social media and social media marketing since its debut, that very original element remains – intimacy.
A sneak-peak into the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of businesses, strangers, friends and brands. That is where the gold mine lies within every Instagram marketing strategy – finding the balance between business and intimacy.
Your Instagram Marketing Strategy isn’t just about brand awareness. The way you interact, your posts and following – all have an influence on how people view your brand. Aesthetic falls to its very core, and a large amount of focus is placed on how you choose to present yourself and tell your brand story.
Instagram Marketing: Is 2018 the big year?
We see 2018 being an exceptionally big year when it comes to Instagram updates, especially for marketers – and it’s only the beginning.
The latest trends and Instagram updates have captured the importance of both intimacy and importance of communitywhile blending it with massive marketing.
In this article, we’ve listed 20 Content Types you should include in your Instagram Marketing Strategy now, to use for boosting awareness which can translate to boosting your sales.
With a current statistic of 800 million active monthly users, we’ve compiled a list of the main content types you should focus on to master Instagram Marketing and fully benefit from everything the social media platform has to offer.
Switch to a Business Account for Optimum Insights and Reach
Depending on the approach you decide to take in your Instagram Marketing Strategy, it is crucial that you switch over to a Business Instagram account, before you delve into the deeper end of a world that is so much more than hashtags. Introduced by the app in early 2016, the Business Instagram Account tools are the building blocks of any successful Instagram Marketing Strategy.
What are the benefits of an Instagram business account?
- You can verify your account as a business, which then makes it easier for audiences to contact you.
- You have access to more in-depth analytics and insights.
- It makes the process of promoting content easier and more effective.
How do you create your Instagram business account?
It should be noted that to create a business account on Instagram, you are required to link it to the official Facebook page that you would like the account to be associatedwith. This reinforces your brand’s credibility and allows you to link Instagram content back to your Facebook homepage, as well as share Instagram posts via Facebook.
Once your account has been created, you can start focussing on the content you want to create
Instagram is where you find young people. Flooded with selfies and stylistic photographic content, it is perhaps the ultimate lifestyle social media platform. Brands are using Instagram to create an image of how they want to be seen by the world.
If you’d like to stand out from the rest, we’ve got twenty great content types for you to use on Instagram.
Content Types to include in your Instagram Marketing Strategy
Content Type 1: Instagram Stories
Businesses frequently promote offers in their Instagram stories as part of their Instagram Marketing Strategy and here’s why:
- Instagram stories are currently trending in balancing out the decrease in organic traffic.
This allows brands to connect freely and effectively with their followers.
- Instagram stories have allowed brands to add clickable links where users can shop or read more.
Using Instagram Stories in your Instagram marketing strategy can be a powerful tool for inbound marketing and increase conversion rates substantially.
- Instagram stories are also used to redirect followers to your website or any other preferred link.
Users can swipe up, and Instagram will take you directly to the link. This form of inbound marketing is beneficial for lead generation and increased website traffic. Try providing coupons with an expiry period. This creates a sense of urgency which increases conversion rates and audience interaction.
Previously, stories would display for merely 24hours and then disappear. Newest Instagram updates, however, allow you to highlight certain stories. These highlighted stories will be pinned to your account and allow you to emphasise certain promotions, giveaways, announcements or product releases. By highlighting certain stories, you are in control of what content your audience interacts with first, ranking it from most to least important.
A few best practices for your own Instagram Story Ads
- The first few seconds must be visually appealing to your target market
- Include the brand name in your story ad (logo, product, brand name written out)
- Add music or sound
- Create relevant story ads (Holiday themed, special days, a specific product targeting a certain audience)
- Incorporate influencers or brand ambassadors in your strategy
Content Type 2: Carousel Ads
Carousal ads have already taken the Instagram Marketing world by storm. Second to video, it is one of the highest engaging ad formats and is already known for having higher engagement/ conversion rates than normal Instagram posts.
Recently Instagram revealed that they’ve been working on and testing a new feature; to incorporate ad formats in Instagram stories.
Introducing Carousel Ads for your Instagram stories
These carousel ads will allow a brand to have up to three types of media (video or image) in one story, instead of just one.
What does this mean?
You will be able to expand more on the content and information you include in your story, making giveaways, product releases, teasers and even event announcements way more interesting. The content within these carousel ads should then compel your audience to want more, read more and engage by either swiping up or using one of the clickable links.
This is a potential goldmine if you’re looking to boost your brand.
The release date of this feature is yet to be announced as of April 2018.
Content Type 3: Live Videos
Whether it’s behind-the-scenes content, events, tutorials, how to videos or DIY, Instagram live stories give brands the opportunity to post longer form content videos in real time. These videos can be watched via live streaming through the app or at a later stage if you decide to share the live story. If you prefer not sharing the story, it will no longer be accessible to your audience unless they’ve seen it live. The pure large amount of content options that live stories cater for are worth a deeper look for businesses. An added benefit is also that the users watching the live video can comment in real time and your business can address those comments, enhancing the relationship between your brand and the consumer.
No one likes to feel like they’re missing out on something.
Instagram live stories connect your audience to some company aspects or events that they usually might not have been able to attend or see which is great when it comes to building trust and relationships. A large portion of social media is driven by the natural curiosity and inclination that consumers have to be everywhere at once. Your followers are intrigued by what is happening when they aren’t present. Giving them that information through live stories will satisfy the urge of being in the loop. Involving these types of posts in your Instagram Marketing Strategy will aid in positioning your brand with relatable and valuable content.
One of the unique benefits of Live Stories in your Instagram Marketing Strategy, is that it takes transparency to the next level. There is no time for edits or fix-ups, and although risky, it connects with your audience and shows them that you’re an authentic business with nothing to hide. Instagram Live Stories can also offer a valuable look into how your users react to certain aspects of your content. By viewing how many people join as opposed to how many people drop out of the live video – together with the live ads – your brand gets a unique perspective into how your audience engages with your brand and where you could make improvements.
More Instagram Story Features:
- Stop motion
Content Type 4: Story Polls
Story Polls recently added an entirely new element to what was previously thought of as engagement.
Creating polls within your Instagram Stories allows users to answer some of the important questions you might have as a business. This is an extremely effective content type to include in your Instagram Marketing Strategy as it allows users to objectively contribute and give your business valuable customer insights. Your audience wants to feel valued, recognised and listened to.
Instagram polls are starting to fill in that gap.
Nowadays, it isn’t a question of ‘if’ your business should be marketing on Instagram but rather ‘how.’
According to recent statistics, the number of people searching for brands on Instagram rather than onGoogle is increasing. First impressions are important, although, even if you left a good and lasting first impression, your Instagram account could very possibly sway the opinion of your potential customer at a later stage.
Your Instagram Marketing Strategy pushes and influences that customer to positively interact with your account. Thus, the same attention needs to be given to how you craft your Instagram account as you would with the design of your website or the design of your logo. Instagram is rapidly becoming a part of the package when it comes to your brand and digital voice.
Content Type 5: Themes and Series
As a business or brand, it is important to consider the importance of your account aesthetic in your Instagram Marketing Strategy.
By using a consistent colour palette or a similar editing style throughout your account, you make your account more visually appealing to those who want to follow or engage with your account.
Many Instagram Influencers use the ‘Archive’ feature on their Instagram account to maintain continuity of the preferred layout and style of their account. Although the content is usually key when it comes to social media marketing, the purely visual aspect of Instagram frequently overrides the copy associated with the brand, as users will be more drawn to the creative layout.
Content Type 6: Inspirational Posts and Quotes
Although there is an emphasis on visual imagery in your Instagram Marketing Strategy, that does not mean you need to overlook the copy.
By making use of inspirational posts, quotes, and text, you offer your audience content that they can relate to as well as images that they will feel more inclined to double tap and interact with.
Your audience will feel more so inclined to follow your account if they feel that it would provide them with daily value.
Audiences search for inspirational posts via hashtags. Thus, it is important to include relevant hashtags to posts that are offer inspiration or quotes, although they are not product relevant they will help users find your post and engage.
Content Type 7: Humour
As a brand, you want to make an emotional connection with your following. What better way than a little bit of humour to connect? Using humour in your posts doesn’t necessarily mean posting a well-rehearsed and timely joke, but rather refers to being witty, smart and creative when it comes to what you post and caption.
This is not merely a futile attempt to better connect with your audience but is also proven to rank higher in shared content. Posts which are relatable and humorous will encourage users to tag their own following in your posts or share your content. Be sure to use humour that is relevant and true to who you are as a company and avoid controversial topics.
Content Type 8: Influencer Content
Organic reach is facing a downward spiral; even Instagram Influencers have been relying on sponsored content to drive traffic.
However, there is undeniable power in Influencer Content when it comes to your Instagram Marketing Strategy.
By using influencers to either promote your brand or have them engage with your content will persuadetheir audiences to become more interested in your product or service. Like old-fashioned word-of-mouth, influencers can convince potential consumers to follow your account or engage with your product, which boosts brand awareness, traffic and ultimately brand credibility. Influencers are seen as not only a reliable source, but an admired one and have gained a sort of ‘celebrity status’ among their following.
Their audiences and following engage with their content because they have a genuine and proven interest in the influencer’s lifestyle. If your product is part of that lifestyle – they want it in theirs too.
You can also engage in Micro-Influencer Marketing.
As a brand, you don’t have to partake in the quest to get the attention of the highest and most popular influencer. Multiple brands have already been utilising the beneficial aspects of Micro Influencer Marketing.
This content types include working with Instagram accounts that have a smaller following, but a more engaged one.
This strategy truly speaks to the massive impact that Instagram influencers have, big or small alike. A micro-influencer has anywhere between 1000 and 10 000 followers. The magic of micro-influencers is their trustworthiness and relatability within their community. It feels like a trusted recommendation from a friend rather than an ad, which lies at the heart of every marketing strategy.
Content Type 9: Behind-The-Scenes
Behind the Scenes Is Where the Real Action Happens
Your followers want to feel like they are following another human, not an automated emotionless brand. As soon as your account startsto run off of promotions, products and sales only, you will lose the interest of your following.
This is where the catch 22 of Instagram marketing comes into play, which may even relate back to the original and outdated notion of purely following people you know.
Your users want to see what happens behind the scenes.
They want to feel involved in the process and like a key part of the entire process of your company, business or brand. Thus, a vital part of retaining followers is making sure that you give them that insight.
Psychologically, people love thinking and feeling as if they are exclusive to information and facts. Your followers want to feel like an elite group and that they have access to more valuable and interesting information than the average client. These posts are one of the more valuable content types to include in your Instagram Marketing Strategy as it humanises the brand and gives your audience that unique glimpse of your company culture. The behind-the-scenes posts shouldn’t be about bragging or showing off how perfectly flawless and structured your company is. These posts go beyond that and aim at showing your audience who they are following and who they can trust.
Behind-the-scenes Posts Include:
- Employee Profiles
- Workplace Tours
- Event Happenings
Below is an example of behind the scene footage:
Content Type 10: Latest Trends
Your audience will constantly be bombarded by posts in their news feed. If they’ve seen it before, they aren’t very likely to want to see it again.
This is where target market and competitor research will become a key component in the success of your Instagram Marketing Strategy.
Keep a watchful eye on which hashtags are frequently trending that you could incorporate into your brand, as well as ways to incorporate trending social topics into your content. Your audience wants to know that you are updated with current affairs and that you aren’t just part of the game, but one step ahead of it.
There are various social media update websites such as Sprout Social, Marketing Land, Later and Hubspot that will provide relevant and helpful information in keeping up with the Instagram Marketing Trends.
It is crucial that you understand the importance of hashtags to know how to use them correctly and effectively. Daily Hashtags are like bookmarks in the visual story that you are telling as a brand. Your audience is looking for something specific, and with the right hashtags, they will easily find you and realise that you are what they have been looking for.
Common hashtags are anything from #MondayMotivation to #FlashbackFriday to #ThrowbackThursday. Then you get more creative, or niche, hashtags like the one below: #plantsonpink
The hashtags you choose must be relevant to your brand
It’s important that the hashtags you use are relevant to your brand. Although you might want to include all the relevant hashtags to gain popularity, in the long-run this will prove less effective as your brand should aim at reaching people who will truly and genuinely engage with your account and ultimately increase your conversion rate. Ultimately, hashtags are there as an index for users, content and brands alike. Sift through them and determine which hashtags your brand can incorporate that are trendy yet relevant.
Use hashtags for competitor analysis
Apart from allowing potential customers and followers to find your content, hashtags are also a valuable tool for competitor analysis. When searching key terms that are relevant to your brand, you will automatically see who and what you are competing against. To stay trendy and current, it’s important to know what you’re up against and what makes your product (and Instagram account) different from all the rest.
Content Type 11: User-Generated Content
User Generated Content has seen a drastic rise in 2018, which simultaneously increases the awareness of digital rights management. This urges your brand to have a rock-solid social media policy and requires your business to ask a user’s permission and approval to reuse their content. Although your users will love their featured content, recognition and approval are key here.
This, however, can work both ways and protects your brand’s content from being used without your permission.
Admin aside, incorporating user-generated content will allow your audience to feel like they are a part of your business.
2 types of user generated content
- Regram other content
Feature your followers’ or biggest fans’ content by posting a ‘regram’ of their post; which entails reposting their post with due credit.
- Open up an invite for submissions
By calling out for user-generated content, you allow your users to send you relevant content. Most brands implement this strategy by asking their followers to post a picture with a relevant hashtag or to tag them in the post, which will then pop up in the tagged section of your account.
This Instagram Marketing Strategyis well-known as it offers your brand fresh and engaging user-generated content and increases brand awareness, as your followers will mention your business in their various accounts.
Content Type 12: Events
It’s very likely that you might have heard the phrase ‘Is it Instagrammable?’
Events are an extremely successful way to boost brand awareness as well as effective ways to launch new products or services.
Events offer a unique and personal way to connect with other brand and your audience alike. Events are best told through pictures and videos and what better platform to promote an event than through Instagram? Some businesses create an alternative Instagram page for their events and link the account to the site where the followers can buy tickets.
Hashtags and Events
Customised hashtags are frequently used by brands during events or new product announcements. Businesses frequently ask people to hashtag business-specific themes when posting photos of their event. This increases traffic to your account and contributes to your specific product or event becoming a trending topic.
Content Type 13: Product Features
Your audience isn’t ignorant when it comes to advertising techniques and marketing strategies. Therefore, ‘products in action’ post types are a great way to boost your brand credibility. Your audience is interested in not only the glitz and glamour of Instagram aesthetic but seeing your USP in action. Providing your audience with these type of content posts will increase the reliability of your brand and allows them to envision your product in their own lives – not just on screen.
Content Type 14: Tutorials and DIY
Tutorials are excellent tools for retaining customers and providing valuable content. Your followers want you to provide them with content that is useful and interesting, and tutorials hit that nail right on the head.
Your account can either provide short tutorial video clips or long live videos.
If your business chooses to focus on video marketing, these videos (including tutorials) can be linked to your Instagram Bio, where followers can click to watch more.
Various Instagram Influencers are also renowned for providing their audience with helpful tutorials. Consider partnering up with relevant accounts in order to involve your product in their next tutorial.
Content Type 15: Competitions and Giveaways
Using competitions and giveaways to excite and engage with your customers isn’t new.
However, are they still as effective on Instagram in 2018?
Your Instagram audience is an engaged one and competitions allow you to increase that engagement, as well as give them something in return. When you are running an Instagram competition, you aren’t giving away a product, you are creating an experience and as with the very foundation of social media, if it’s fun, engaging and trendy, your followers are going to want to be part of that experience. Giveaways and competitions also increase your brand’s visibility and allow potential customers to partake and engage with your business.
Tip: Every Instagram competition should start with a branded hashtag. This will make it easier for your brand to track entries and the competition to gain popularity.
Benefits of Instagram Competitions:
- Boost online engagement
- Build email list
- Encourage virality
Content Type 16: Shoppable Posts
Incorporating shoppable posts into your Instagram Marketing Strategy puts you another step ahead in turning your Instagram account into an all in one homepage, online store and engagement tool.
Instagram and shoppable posts complement each other beautifully as visual elements of photography and videos pair perfectly with product placement.
Shoppable posts will allow your audience to tap on your posts which now have an included call to action, ‘Tap to View Products’. The great thing about Shoppable Posts is that the user does not have to leave Instagram or get redirected to another site to view more details about the products. If they like what they see, the ‘Shop Now’ call to action will redirect them to your site at a later stage. This allows you to push the bottom of the funnel customers to conversion.
Where are these Shoppable posts?
How to set up these posts?
Setting up your Instagram for Shoppable Posts requires setting up a Shopify account. Once your account is set up, Instagram Shoppable posts are going to exceedingly boost your ROI and increase conversion rates, whereas in the past Social Media Marketing Strategies were mostly focused on soft metrics, shoppable posts are beginning to change the conversation.
Content Type 17: Ask the Audience
By now, you are well aware that your Instagram Marketing Strategy runs off of engagement and interaction. It is what you do with that engagement, however, that influences your brand’s success. Asking your audience what they want and what their suggestions should be traced throughout all your content types.
Instagram Story Polls are a clever tactic to ask your audience about what they would like to see more or less of in your company.
You can also ask your audience a range of questions via your organic posts. Brands who understand their audience beyond the level of consumer and products, understand the culture of their following and how their brand can benefit from more meaningful and powerful relationships.
Content Type 18: Product Release
Your Instagram Marketing Strategy shouldn’t just include details about a new product but should be used as a tool to create awareness and anticipation surrounding the new product release and when it will happen. A successful product launch should elevate your business and increase revenue.
Your posts need to create a sense of urgency and identify a problem that your users didn’t know they had, but that they become aware of now. Your new product is going to solve that problem. Social media platforms are key to starting a curious conversation surrounding the topic of your new product.
Your product release, however, should start long before the product is available to the market:
- Provide behind-the-scenes footage
- Post a countdown
- Create a contest
These posts will all involve your audience and allow them to feel like both a participant and an eager consumer. Your following wants to stay up to date with all the news surrounding your launch and your Instagram account should give it to them, but not all of it – which is where teasers come into play.
Content Type 19: Teasers
Your audience members are curious and want to know all there is to know about everything trendy, interesting and valuable. By incorporating ‘teaser’ posts, you give your audience a snippet of something important that they would want to know more about. This tactic will generate more leads to your homepage or preferred landing page and increase your social traffic.
And Last But Not Least, The 20th Content Type You Can Include In Your Instagram Marketing Strategy: Announcements
Announcement posts are important tools to boost relationships and transparency with your users. Within Instagram, community means clarity. Thus, announcements are some of the bigger and more professional ways to communicate to larger masses. This means that when you post announcements, it is important that you are clear about what is happening.
Your followers will appreciate the news that others do not have access to. Announcements don’t always need to be product posts and can be simple appreciation posts. Customer loyalty will improve if you communicate with authenticity.
Benefits of Announcements on Instagram
- Increase Brand Awareness
- Improves relationships
- Creates transparency and credibility
Tip: You can include special offers in your announcements that are exclusively for Instagram followers to strengthen the relationship between your brand and followers as well as increase lead generations and traffic to your landing page.
Now you choose which content types to include in your Instagram Marketing Strategy.
In summary, your Instagram Marketing Strategy should cover four main elements; Internal, external, promotional and creative. The above-mentioned content types fall into these four categories through posts that are tailored to showcase your audience what is happening on the insides, how you engage with other content, what you offer and what makes it different. The ways in which you can communicate that content effectively to your audience is just as important as the content you communicate. By knowing how to master the content and post types, you will move in the right direction and start ticking the boxes of your business goals and objectives.
If you have any questions, give us a call or get in touch with us via email. If you’ve enjoyed this read, we’ve also got an article on Content Types to Include in your Facebook Marketing Strategy you might find quite helpful.