Why Focus On Instagram Marketing?
Before jumping straight to the tips, let’s first talk about why one should be using Instagram in the first place.
As they say, actions speak louder than words. So we’ll let the statistics speak for themselves.
Instagram just passed 800 million monthly active users and growing as seen in the chart, it won’t be long enough till they hit the billion users mark.
Approximately 70.7% of brands in the US are using Instagram to market their products.
There are many ways that businesses and marketers can use Instagram to connect with their target audience and build a loyal following.
The latest and perhaps the most effective way is Instagram stories.
Here are some statistics to prove that statement:
As you can see, Instagram stories just passed 300+ million monthly active users.
With all these statistics, Instagram has proved itself an exceptional marketing opportunity for personal brands, businesses, and enterprises.
However, all good things come with a catch.
Instagram is one of the toughest strong platforms to advertise on.
Think about it.
You are competing with international brands who employ some of the best photographers, designers, and marketing teams. The amount of quality photos that are posted to Instagram each day is incredible. This will make it tough for you to compete with them.
So how does one stand out among all of this amazing content?
For starters, it helps to think about your Instagram account as your online portfolio. Which is why the first 6-12 photos people see when they first visit your profile are essential to establishing your style, brand, and a great first impression.
But the question is, how do we do it in a way that keeps people scrolling through your feed and coming back for more?
How do we get them to share your photos with their friends and family?
Jarvee has compiled 5 Highly Effective strategies you can use to level up your Instagram Marketing Game.
So grab a cup of coffee and let’s start!
#1 Find Your Unique Style
The first aspect to consider and probably the most important of all is your style.
Have you ever examined a business account?
You’ll notice that they are very aesthetically pleasing.
That’s what we’re going for with an Instagram account. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons for why people will like, follow, share or engage with a photo. Behind their actions is their discovery of your style.
Your style is what you want to be known as. It will decide your image or persona. Whether you’re a personal brand or a business, whether you’re a designer, a traveler, or a Fast Company, your style will be the core factor in forming your image.
The key is to establish what you want to be known for, right off the bat. If you take a look at some of the most popular accounts out there like these:
You’ll notice they follow a very particular theme or style. The colors, photos, and feel is the same.
This will develop a unique image of your brand in front of the people that land on your profile for the first time.
It’s important to stick to your personal style, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change it. If you’re not seeing a lot of success on Instagram, it will definitely be a good idea to consider slowly changing it over time.
But how does one achieve an unique style?
Let’s say you’re a landscape photographer. You decide to switch to coffee shops or cityscape photography. Instead of changing your theme instantly, you can slowly start mixing posts of your desired style.
As an example, you can start posting one photo of each type on Fridays i.e; 1 photo of a landscape, 1 of a coffee shop and 1 of a cityscape.
As a week passes by, you can post photos of two coffees, two cityscapes, and two landscapes.
Finally, as more time passes by, you can increase the frequency of other styles till they cover the majority of your album.
This will not disrupt the flow of your previous style, making the transition to the new one much smoother. Thus, making people adapt to it more easily.
It’s a wonderful challenge as an Instagram marketer to be able to change your style successfully. It will keep the marketing aspect of it interesting for you, your brand and your followers.
In conclusion, find your style. What are you all about as a brand? How is that aesthetically going to fit your feed?
#2 Create A Beautiful Grid Layout
The second thing we’re going to talk about is the grid layout. While the theme and style are considered important, the grid is the most underrated. It’s often overlooked and sometimes, not even taken into account by Instagram marketers.
From our observations, there are really three ways to establish a beautiful grid layout that people will really enjoy:
a. Choose a Color Theme
If you do a little research, you’ll notice that many Instagram accounts have a similar color to all their photos. There are a few ways you can achieve that similarity as well.
If you’re a winter photographer, you might take pictures of lots of snow, giving your feed a very white layout.
If you’re a brand, you have a brand color. You might add your brand colors to each of your photos to give them a similar feel.
There’s also another way to use color. You can add saturation, brightness, perhaps a little tone and a hint to all of your photos. This too will entice a similar feeling among your audience for your Instagram feed.
So regardless of the type of photos you take or videos you produce, they all can have a similar color to them, leaving your layout with a nice, consistent flow of style.
b. Consider Your Photos’ Arrangement
The second way to perfect your Instagram layout is considering an arrangement ahead of time. The arrangement of your photos is the perfect way to make your Instagram feed look neat.
Don’t just wing it. Don’t just throw up photos haphazardly or randomly. Think about how a photo is going to look in your feed.
When you post the next photo, how is that going to shift from the previous one? How are they all going to look together? Do they feel similar?
Make sure that when people look at your profile, it flows naturally and looks nice.
c. Choose A Strategic Content Type
The final aspect to consider when creating a cohesive Instagram grid is the content type you choose to share with your followers. It can be landscape photography, quotes, memes, graphic design, funny videos and so on.
Unlike color or arrangement, you can actually control what type of photo or videos you post to give your grid a perfect layout. When determining the photo or video type, ask yourself questions such as:
“Am I strictly an aerial photographer?
“How does my audience engage with quotes I post?”
“Am I known for posting a quote in every third photo?”
“Do I strictly do designs?”
If you’ve thought about the content you want to produce in advance, people will know what to expect when they arrive on your Instagram feed. If they like the content, they’ll follow you since they’d know what to expect every single time. In the end, you’re going to get people who are fans of your niche.
This proves that the strategic placement of certain photo types or videos in your grid will enhance your brand image when people come and visit your profile.
3. Plan Your Content Strategy
The third thing to think about when taking your Instagram account to the next level is the content strategy. When you plan a content strategy, you’re thinking several photos ahead of what you plan to post on Instagram.
However, taking it to the next level is posting photos and videos in the order that makes sense to the overall story. It may seem like you’re overdoing it, but this is adopted by the most successful Instagram accounts. They have a well-thought-out content strategy in place that really tells a story about who they are as a brand or business.
Well, what does that mean for starters? It means not posting too many of the same photos in a row. As we talked about earlier, you’re going to want to switch up your style. But don’t do it instantly, as mentioned before, the change should be gradual and smooth.
This will save your audience from getting bored of the same thing over and over again.
The key to content strategy is to keep people on their toes. Keep them guessing. Keep them curious about what you’re going to post next and make it super interesting for your followers.
Act as if you’re an Instagram artist. It may sound cheesy, but we’re telling a story to our users.
So the question is, what will your story be?
#4 Write Captions That Stand Out
Captions are another underrated marketing strategy. In reality, captions are great for Instagram.
Many marketers spend a lot of time developing amazing photos and videos for Instagram.
Only to make the caption very bland.
That is not really a problem since it’s the photo or the video that really captures the attention. It is true that people scrolling through their feed will initially look at the photo or video. However, straight after that, their eyes dart straight to the captions of that photo.
Since the caption is what comes last in your followers’ experience of your Instagram post, it can mean the difference between a like, a comment or a share.
The length of the caption doesn’t really matter either. There are a lot of accounts that tell a long story in the caption and get a lot of engagement, however, there are also many brands that sell quick, witty or funny stories in the caption and get a similar level of engagement.
Whatever it is, the caption needs to explain what the photo or the video is about, in an artistic way.
The key to great captions is to make your brand or your business known for something special.
Decide the unique element in the captions that will make you stand out from everyone else.
#5 Continue Your Story With Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are an incredible way to supplement all of the amazing work that you’re doing with your Instagram feed.
One can think about stories as a behind-the-scenes look at the professional portfolio, that is, your Instagram account.
If you’re a brand or a business and you’re posting inspirational quotes, is there a way you can take people behind those quotes, into your office?
Is there a way you can give people a deeper look into why you posted that photo?
Stories are also an amazing way to connect with people on a human level. It gives your brand or business the chance to show off the faces behind your company. You’ll see a lot of people use Instagram stories this way.
They film them very authentically on their device and add more of a real-life feel to their Instagram story. However, there’s also another way to use Instagram stories, which is much more professional.
Edit Your Story
A lot of times professionals will use their DSLR, an iPhone or an Android to capture the video. Then use video editing tools to edit it and then send it back to their phone in order to post the Instagram story.
It may sound tedious but it’s really what helps to set your Instagram account apart from others. So when people know that they’re going to get something really special on Instagram stories from an account, it makes them want to click that little bubble at the top of the feed to watch every single one of your posts.
Those were the 4 major things that you should consider for your Instagram strategy. They all may seem tedious, but if the big brands are doing it, then so can you.
If you have any queries or any doubts, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section.