If you’re a business owner that’s trying to make sure you’re having some success from your Instagram marketing there are 5 things that I want to suggest you consider as it relates to how you’re building your Instagram marketing plan.
Instagram can be a powerful lead generation tool for your business, but if you miss any of the elements that I’m going to reference in this post you could be leaving some major cash on the table.
Now be warned, this is not a post about how to make your feed pretty, this is a post about how to efficiently start the marketing process for your brand online by using Instagram, and some of the things you need to consider as you’re building out your marketing plan, the pretty comes later, lol.
5 Things to Consider as You’re Building Out Your Instagram Marketing Plan
Establish what your overall goal is for Instagram, and create campaigns to support those goals…
Lots of times as small business owners we want to share everything about our company with the people that are visiting our profiles, but it’s important to know that less is most times more. Instead of randomly posting about all of your products or services, instead try the campaigning approach. Campaigning is simply having a focal point for your marketing efforts that all lead to a singular product or service, then creating supporting content that educates and informs your audience about the benefits of the product or service and how they’re life will improve as a result of purchasing your product or service. Because Instagram is such a visual platform, once you’ve established the goal for the period, whether it be a month, a week, a few weeks, or what have you, then you can start to look at the type of content you need to create to support the goals of the campaign. We can talk more about campaigning in later posts.
2. Establish a content strategy that supports your campaign goals…
We all know just how important content is to our social media strategies in general, and content for your Instagram account is no different. If you’ve created a campaign with the goals to sending traffic to book complimentary calls with you for your services, then you need to ask yourself how you’re going to use Instagram and the content that you create to educate and inform your audience and make it easy for them to take the action that you want them to take, which in this example is to book a complimentary call. Maybe you need to provide examples of how your product or service works and the ease of use that it provides, can you do that in a 60 second IG video, or do you need to create an episode for the new IGTV? Can you demonstrate this in a live video, and then maybe re-purpose that video and create other short clips from that video to show up on your news feed? Can you do a quick story to demonstrate your points? These are just a few of the questions that you may ask yourself, all to get you to think about how you’re going to create content for Instagram to support your campaign goals.
3. Make it incredibly easy for your audience to take the desired action you want them to take…
Instagram provides a couple of opportunities to help you drive traffic to a specific landing point that you want for your audience. From built in tools like the swipe up feature in your stories (if you’ve got more than 10k followers), the clickable link in your IGTV description, to the link in your bio, & external tools like linktr.ee or linkinbio.com and many more. Your job as the business owner is to understand these functions and utilize them to make it easy for the person that is on the consuming end of your content to take action. Yes you need to have a basic understanding of copy writing to use your words to evoke action, but you can also make it easier on yourself by ensuring that you are utilizing and directing your audience to these tools that are available to make it easy for people to CLICK through to where you want them to go, because ultimately it’s about them taking action not just liking what you’ve posted.
4. Plan ahead with a good scheduling tool…
Let’s face it we are all busy and have a lot on our plate, and creating content is something that requires a little bit of time especially if you’re doing it yourself, which is why I highly recommend campaigning, then planning out what you’re going to post and using a tool to help you accomplish your goals. By campaigning and having a specific goal in mind it makes it a lot easier to know how you want to plan out this story that you’re going to be telling through Instagram and create the content that supports it. Once you know what that story is, you can then incorporate the use of a good scheduling and planning tool to help you to meet the aesthetic needs of your account, the timing needs of your audience and if it’s a really good tool, the analytical needs of you as the business owner to see how well each individual post performed.
I think for most of us, especially those of us that are bootstrapping, we try to save on cost, but the truth is by investing in a good tool for Instagram, especially if it’s your social platform of choice, you can be more efficient in your planning and ultimately save you time, while you’re increasing your revenue from your efforts.
Now the key to the scheduling tool is choosing the appropriate tools for your level of expertise. I could be like every other marketer and suggest a single tool based off of what I use, but I realize that everyone isn’t as data craving as myself and some of the tools I use, I use them because I am an online marketer and I realize that you may not be so my tools may be over your head in understanding. But even with all of that being said, I’m still going to compile a short list of my recommendations just so you can have a starting point, but choose the tool that best suites your needs and level of understanding, you can always grow into a more robust tool as you gain a better understanding of how to plan and analyze your activity on Instagram.
1. Iconosquare – This is what I use it’s a robust scheduling and audience analyzer. If you’re into not only knowing how your profile is going to look, storing media, storing your most used hashtags, analyzing your performance and maybe even that of your competitors and doing a little competitive research then this is an awesome tool for you.
2. Later – This from what I see is a really simple to use tool that not only helps you plan for Instagram but will allow you to post to other social platforms as well depending on the level of account you have. It looks to be very easy on the eye, and it also looks to provide some basic analytics for your account even on the free level. It’s highly raved about, I don’t use it because I require a little more in depth knowledge about my audience and those of my competitors, but from a starting point for someone that is not running an agency like myself, this looks to be a really good start.
3. Hooper HQ – Now this tool I’d suggest if you are really in a crunch for time and would like to also post the first comment on your posts. I normally will create a post and then post the hashtags in the first comment, and this tool allows you to not only plan out your content visually but also leave that first comment, which depending on your strategy may or may not make a difference for you. I have used this tool in the past, but the analytics were very limited for me, but again I’m a different kind of marketer, and you may not be there yet so this in fact could suffice for you. I’ll leave you to be the judge of that.
5. Have a growth strategy in place
Now the final thing that I would have you to consider is how you’re going to grow your account. With the campaigning model, it’s very effective but you need to constantly be thinking about how you’re going to get your message in front of more people. The reality is sometimes the audience you have just isn’t enough for various reasons, and you don’t want to keep beating a dead horse for lack of better terms. So while you’re putting your plans into place, be thinking about how you’re going to get in front of a larger audience whether that is through organic or paid means.
Growth is a big one so we can talk about it just on it’s on in a later post, but for now be thinking of creative ways to get more exposure for your business. Think about collaboration opportunities, paid advertising, interviews, so on and so forth so you can not only get the message to the current audience that is following you but to reach more people as well.
I can assure you that if you’re just getting started on Instagram for business or if you’ve been at it for a minute and have not been getting the results that you want that if you take these 5 things into consideration that you will start to see a change in the response that you receive from your Instagram audience.
Yes aesthetics are important, but more importantly is the goals that you have in mind for what you want to achieve from your efforts by using Instagram as an entry point into your sales funnel.
If you’ve got any questions about what you’ve read in this article please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments. I usually will take those questions and answer them via my Instastories or my IG lives.
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