When it comes to marketing your business, you need to make sure that you are using social media platforms to get your message across. Even though most people have been using Twitter and Facebook to spread the message of their brands, many have not considered the possibility of marketing their businesses, brands, services and products on Instagram.

Interestingly, there are many others who have discovered that pictures speak and pass on a great message of what they have to offer. With more than 8,000,000 business profiles already registered on Instagram, it is clear that there is something to write home about. This social platform can reach your targeted audience and help you engage users, thereby providing you with real social value.

The various business profiles that are being set up are there to engage the over 700,000,000 people who are members of the platform. Here you can engage fans of your products and woo potential customers if you have a well thought out plan. If you are to succeed, you must come up with a strategy that has been thought through, a brand that is well defined and visually creative ways of showcasing your brand. How you manage the community is also very important and must be looked into carefully.

Creating an Instagram Marketing Strategy

What are your objectives?
You need to begin by determining what you hope to achieve. You should seek to answer the following questions:

  1. What is it that you can do on Instagram that is not possible on other platforms?
  2. Who are you targeting? Is your target audience active on social media and more specifically, Instagram
  3. How does Instagram fit into your overall social media strategy?
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Instagram is a visual platform and this calls for the showcasing of your brands, services and products, culture as well as people. Starts by making sure you have visuals that catch the eye so that your followers can engage with the content you provide. Here are some objectives that you should consider when creating your strategy:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Showcase your company culture
  • Recruit talent and showcase the current team
  • Increase loyalty and customer engagement
  • Showcase your services and products
  • Drive traffic and therefore sales
  • Connect with those who are influencers
  • Create a community
  • Share industry and company news
  • Offer incentives for consumer engagement
  • Complement and enhance event experiences

By using these objectives as a guide, you will be able to determine the best way to approach the process of creating your marketing campaign.

Come Up With a Content Strategy
The foundation of any social media strategy is content. As the saying goes, content is king. In order to be successful in your marketing efforts, you need to showcase the brand your organization represents. You need to base your content on the objectives you have and the target audience. The content needs to be eye-catching and must be delivered on a regular basis. Here are a few tips to help you with that:

  • Create themes – Think about what aspects of the brand you want to showcase. It could be services, products, culture, the team and so much more. Offering rich content that is varied will help you come up with plenty of content for your brand. Once you have several different themes, you can then create the subjects to be showcased in videos and photos.
  • Content ratio and medium – You need to make sure that you balance the type of content that you are planning to showcase. If you are looking to gain real Instagram followers that will engage with you, the content needs to be compelling, high-quality, and come in different forms. Have a good mix of videos and pictures. There are several different apps that have been created for Instagram to help you become more creative.
  • Content calendar – You need to create a content calendar and it needs to be flexible. You need to figure out how frequently you will post content and also know what times are best for posting in order to reach as many people as possible. The calendar should cycle through the various themes that you have previously identified and then integrate your campaigns and key dates. When you have events, engaging people in real time is a great idea so be ready to do so in order to get proper social engagement.
  • Curating content – Content from the fans can really help you foster engagement. By creating opportunities and contests that encourage your audience to send in or share their posts, you can leverage user-generated content.
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Team Guidelines
You need to set guidelines for the posts that will be put up. Your voice needs to be consistent on all social media platforms and you should be consistent in how you manage the Instagram account. This means that guidelines should be put in place for composition, captions, filters and quality of pictures and videos that go up. You should also make sure to use relevant hashtags as part of the captions that you choose.

Engagement Guidelines
The potential for engagement is very great. Here you can build a community and encourage dialogue. Publishing by itself is not enough; you must also engage with your audience if you are to grow a large numbers of followers.

Analyze the Outcome
In order to know whether or not your strategy is working, you need to make sure that you track the performance of your content. With time, based on the feedback you receive, you will be able to make changes to the strategy. The result is that you will be able to provide content that engages your audience so that you can optimize your campaigns in the future.

Building an Instagram marketing plan that works may take time. You need to find the content that works, the workflow as well as engagement practices that are ideal for your brand. Strategies differ, but you need to get started and then tweak the plan based on what you discover along the way. It can be challenging to build a following, but with the right plan and help from experts, you will make it.

Author Bio: Harris is a leading blog writer and content marketing professional with thousands of real Instagram followers for his postings.