Instagram's core is about sharing life experiences through images. But the platform has responded to an increasing interest for videos. Now videos on Instagram are expected and may even out-perform static photos. Does your business use Instagram for videos yet? And if so, do you follow a video marketing strategy?
1. Know Your Audience
Before you create a single video, you need to know what type of content will resonate with your audience. Consider this on two levels. First, you should understand your buyer personas. Who is your target audience and what are their pain points?
Second, you need to understand Instagram's audience. Content that your audience might enjoy on Facebook or YouTube isn't always suitable for Instagram. In general, videos that perform well on Instagram are fun or silly, engaging and informative, and almost always visually appealing.
2. Develop a Content Marketing Plan
Plan the type of content that you want to post on Instagram. Knowing your audience's pain points and interests, what kind of video marketing could your business produce? Popular formats include:
Explainer videos (of the business, product, or service)
Instagram videos are a chance for your business to reveal the humans behind your brand. Consider showing clips of employees at work or play. Formal content has its place too.
Many businesses use explainer videos to give a clearer understanding of their product or service. Animated explainer videos using digital graphics or even simple whiteboard drawings, are popular and easier to produce under a tight budget.
Finally, your digital marketing strategy could include how-to videos. Because Instagram's video limit is only 60 seconds, considering speeding up an existing how-to guide and linking to the full video in your profile.
3. Schedule Your Posts
On social media, timing matters. If you've been using Instagram analytics, you can see when you're getting the most engagement. If you don't have that data yet, you can look at general trends on Instagram. When creating a social media video schedule, consider:
Time of day
Day of the week
Frequency of posts
Although staying active matters on Instagram is important, it's unusual to see an account post more than once per day. Three to four posts a week is a reasonable amount. And more important than posting frequently is getting found when you do post.
4. Use Hashtags to Get Found
Hashtags are an essential way to get found on social media. On Instagram, you can use up to 30 but don't force it. In the past, social media marketers advised businesses to use all 30 hashtags and include even more by putting them in the first comment of your post. Don't do that. With recent algorithm changes, Instagram doesn't count comments in a hashtag search, so you'll only annoy your followers.
You shouldn't cram 30 hashtags into one post either, because of Instagram's relatively new "hashtag follow" feature. Users can now follow hashtags like they would users, but this feature can only succeed if hashtags are always relevant to their images.
Use keyword best practices for hashtags and choose highly relevant "long-tail" hashtags. For example, instead of #succulents, you might consider #succulentgarden or #howtocareforsucculents which are more specific and less likely to get lost among other posts.
5. Consider Posting a Video Story
No, we're not talking about a narrative here. Instagram's Stories feature is an excellent alternative to posts and can help your business stand out in a crowded feed. Stories are the length of your phone screen, so it's easy to post videos taken on a smartphone to your Instagram Story.
Stories last for 24 hours but receive preferential placement at the top of the Instagram home screen. And even though they only stick around for one day, you can now save Stories and post them in your profile as Highlights. Any visitor to your profile will see your Highlights clearly displayed just above your post grid.
6. Links and Leads
Finally, don't forget to use links to drive users to your site. Instagram doesn't make it easy for first timers to market well. But once you know how to do content marketing on Instagram, you can easily direct users to a landing page, general website, and other social media pages.
You can't include links directly in a post, but you're allowed one link in your profile. To take advantage of this link, use a CTA in your posts and stories encouraging viewers to visit the link in your profile.
A simple "link in bio" works fine. Once users are on your profile, you're allowed 150 characters to describe your company. To encourage visitors to click on your link, you can include a note describing where your link will lead with a simple CTA.
But there is one way you can get around Instagram's one-link-limit. Services like LinkTree create a single URL with a menu of links that you can post to your profile. When visitors click your link, they'll see options to visit your website, a landing page, promotional page, or any link you choose to include.
7. Consider Instagram Ads
Organic posting on Instagram can be an incredibly time consuming process. I am not devaluing the effectiveness of communicating with your followers, however if you want to drive more prospects and capture new leads / drive sales, you should consider advertising using video on Instagram.
You can use video and create Instagram Story adverts which are highly effective for many businesses. Once the ad has been created, it can be scheduled and run over a period of time that is relevant for your business.
Using Facebook's Ads Manager, you can monitor and optimize the performance of the adverts for even greater ROI as well.
For such a simple platform, there's a surprising amount of content marketing you can perform on Instagram and several ways to do it. We know marketing isn't what your business was made to do.
That's why at React, we'll take care of the work for you with a tailored digital marketing strategy for your business. If passing off the work to someone else sounds tempting, contact our team today!
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