When working on your Instagram marketing strategy, there are many approaches to take. Your first priority should be to increase your followers. You have a myriad of tactics to accomplish this, including the ability to buy Instagram followers. More importantly, however, you should be working on your content.
As one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, Instagram is all about content. If you want to increase your volume of followers, drive more traffic to your website, establish a brand that people recognize, or accomplish virtually any other metric on the social platform, content is the key.
If your goal is to engage followers, this requires a unique and specific approach to your content strategy. Here are a few things you might try.
Walk in Your Followers’ Shoes
When shopping for a Christmas present for your sister, you’ll try to put yourself in her shoes. You’ll think about her likes and dislikes, where she shops, her schedule, what she does for a living, and other details that can help you find the perfect gift.
Curating a content strategy that speaks to your target audience follows the same rules. Walk a mile in your followers’ shoes, and you’ll have a much better idea about the kinds of content they’re most likely to engage with.
To know your customers, create customer personas. This is a detailed chart that factors in demographics, shopping habits, occupation, values, goals and motivations, challenges that you can solve, income range, etc. As you fill in each of these categories, you’ll come up with great ideas for your content to meet the needs and interests of your audience.
You should also rely on analytics, which will give you important insights about your previous content. It will tell you which pieces of content your customers engaged with most and what times they usually spend online. This catered strategy will help you create content that your customers can’t possibly ignore!
This is a very simple and easy plan for getting people to engage. It also lets your customers know that you value their thoughts and opinions, which earns you major business brownie points.
Expert Instagrammer Melyssa Griffin suggests: “Ask your followers how their day is going. Take a photo of what you’re working on and ask them for their opinions. Share about your upcoming summer trip and see if your followers are headed anywhere, too. Anything to get them talking. It may feel a little awkward at first, but just go for it, friend! You’ll be surprised at how many people will reply.”
She also recommends asking questions that help customers relate to current experiences. For example, if you’re traveling, ask followers if they’ve been to that destinations and have any recommendations on places to eat and things to do. It’s entertaining for you as well as gratifying to those who get to participate in your conversation!
Use Calls to Action
If you’re trying to elicit a certain engagement and get more Instagram likes out of your customers, include a call to action (CTA). This tells customers what to do with a piece of content that you’ve published. Usually, you will direct customers to your bio link or to shop for your products through Instagram.
A great example of this engagement strategy comes from Ben & Jerry’s. The brand knows how to get its customers’ taste buds tingling with delectable-looking photos of their ice cream and related treats. With each post of an ice cream treat, such as the “Cereal Splash-Stack,” the CTA directs customers to visit the bio for the recipe link.
Ben & Jerry’s also exemplifies the power of changing the link in their bio to match the content published. You don’t have to—and shouldn’t—use the same link in your bio at all times. Direct customers to the content on your website that will have the biggest impact on your goals.
Ask for User-Generated Content
There’s great power in user-generated content with multiple benefits for both you and your customers. First of all, you get fabulous content connected to your brand with hashtags without a lot of effort on your part, and second of all, customers love contributing to these kinds of things.
A third benefit comes when you ask customers to post a photo with your product involved. For example, they could be wearing a pair of your leggings while taking their kids to the park or sipping your select beverage brand with their friends. This creates social proof that your products are loved and admired while letting your customers be the star of the show.
“The best photos to choose are those that show your product in use, which is free advertising with a helpful co-sign from the follower who posted it,” says an article from Wishpond. “This keeps users interested in checking your profile to see if their photo gets chosen or to see if their friend’s photo does.”
Naturally, you’ll get a lot of engagement out of this metric, plus tons of great content to promote your brand through social proof, the best form of promotion.
Prioritize Stories and Experiences
Although they may not recognize it when logging in, the majority of Instagram users visit the app every day because they’re seeking an adventure. They want to see stories and experiences that transport them from their humdrum lives into someone else’s more exciting reality.
You already have a captive audience for stories and experiences, so don’t do another promotional post (which gets old very quickly). Let your experiences do the talking.
GoPro is a great example of this. Although they could easily do a few posts here and there discussing their best products, they instead showcase the incredible images that their products can make. Each post is an adventure, primarily generated by loyal fans and professional photographers.
Each photo tells a story, successfully transplanting its viewers to a new reality of adventure and excitement, but you can caption it with more details to get people interested. You could also do a series of photos, telling an interesting experience you had while traveling or creating a new product.
This is the kind of content that fans will naturally engage with. As long as your stories are compelling and interesting, you won’t have any trouble getting likes, comments, and follows.