Note: This blog post has been updated on 28th December, 2018.
If you want to grow your business on Instagram, then it becomes immensely important for you to create high-quality and best content for Instagram that succeeds in engaging with your followers. However, it is easier said than done because most of the businesses or brands fail to figure out how to create high-quality Instagram content. Mostly people struggle with these question that we would be answering in this blog.
- Why is high-quality Instagram content so important?
- How to plan Instagram content strategy?
- What type of content performs best on Instagram?
However, before answering these questions, let's find out the importance of using Instagram for businesses.
Why to use Instagram for business?
If you consider Instagram, it gathers 50 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter, it stands to reason why big businesses and brands are jumping on the visual bandwagon.
Also, unlike written content, visual content is snackable - quick, quirky and ready to consume without much of effort which is why Instagram is turning out to be a hot favorite for users across social web.
At first approach, building audience with images may seem effortless and an undemanding job but it’s only when you dive into the pool, you realize the depth. Creating right pictures, fostering user engagement, narrating ideas, reaching target audience- all shape up to be the most challenging task on Instagram for business growth.
Why is high-quality Instagram content so important?
A lot of people asks this question that why has high quality content become so important to stay relevant on Instagram? Because earlier it was immensely easy to grow engagement on Instagram by sharing few random photos and videos. But Instagram algorithm has made it tough for businesses to grow their account on this platform. Now, you need to rethink about your instagram content strategy and come up with high-quality posts and photos if you want to stay relevant on Instagram.
However, Instagram algorithm is not meant to stop you from growing your business but it definitely compels you to rework on your Instagram content strategy to create the best content for Instagram. If you are sharing high quality and engaging posts/pictures then you should not be worried about the Instagram algorithm but if you are doing otherwise, then it's high time to mend your ways.
Apart from Instagram algorithm to be one of the main reason behind creating high-quality best Instagram content, the other reason to focus on creating good Instagram content is because it helps you to engage with your audience and convert them into leads in a long run.
Here's a detailed infographic on how to use Instagram for business in 2019. You can also download this guide as a PDF here.
How to plan your Instagram content strategy?
Before you start publishing content on Instagram, it is important to ask these two important questions to yourself:
Who is your audience and what type of content they expect from your brand? Answering these questions successfully would assist you in creating good content for Instagram.
Finding the audience and their likes & dislikes would take some time but it would make your journey smooth on Instagram. Once you've identified your niche and audience then completely focus on your niche and roll out your content keeping in mind the niche and audience. This would really help you to grow your fan base on Instagram.
For example, if you are a jewelry brand, then you should put out photos and posts revolving around your niche. Most of the brands fail to succeed on Instagram because they try to please too many personas. Hence, it'd be advised that stay focus on a chosen niche and continuously work on it.
If you want to develop the Instagram strategy for your busniess, follow these steps:
- Determine the best performing content
- Command attention with a big idea and a theme
- Learn the art of hashtags
- Run promotion campaigns and contest
- Focus on user generated content
- Maintain posting time and frequency
- Consider Instagram as a source of micro blogging
1. Determine the best performing content
Instagram is all about visual inspiration but image is an umbrella term that needs to be narrowed down when it comes to Instagram. Share images that enhance your visual presence and bring to light your brand utility.
Maintain a narrative pattern through your images such that it becomes your signature over a period of time.
Types of content to share on Instagram:
- Share your company values and beliefs. Post your workplace photos. Let your audience connect with you and not just your product or service.
- Allow your company employees to share their perspective on behalf of your brand or business.
- Share photos of people using your product.
- Try not to use Common Creatives or Google images. It’s always recommended to post original photographs.
- Play with your product. Be creative and explore the different ways in which your product could be photographed.
- Use videos and Instagram Stories to enhance your visual sharing.
Here’s an example of how a famous cafe, Blue Bottle strikes a balance of all these components- a great work culture, new recruitments, happy customers, behind the scenes and of course, some great coffee moments for a better engagement.
Tip: Apply Filters to your images before publishing. Filtered images are 21% more likely to be viewed and 45% more likely to be commented on than unfiltered ones.
2. Command attention with a big idea and a theme
When using Instagram for business, your end goal is to persuade your audience to do some action. Use a common theme that binds the diverse images on your profile.
Here’s how Kitkat, a famous chocolate brand, builds its community on Instagram. Few of its posts are so delicious that it’d literally make you cringe for a break.
And surprisingly, at the end of the day that is what we want; to alter behavior of our audience by inducing action.
Interestingly, all their posts have a consistent theme, color scheme and you rarely miss on that chocolate finger. Besides that, the central idea in all the images remain same- the luxury of a break with Kitkat.
This is one of the ways of gradually developing a likelihood for your product, for building your brand in the mind of your audience. Once they are committed to your ideas, they would unconsciously reciprocate their gratitude in the real world by choosing your brand over others.
3. Learn the art of hashtags
Hashtag is essentially the way of tagging your pictures on Instagram and thereby connecting it to the pool of other photos already existing under that Tag.
It is much like distributing your image amongst different user base, beyond your audience on Instagram. It is an excellent way to use Instagram for Business and engage with your target audience.
A study by Max Woolf reveals that photos with more hashtags have higher likes. 5-11 hashtags in a single post is considered an ideal number.
Tip: Research and create your own pool of 8-10 Hashtags that are popular and can be used consistently. Besides that, you can run your own Hashtag specific to your brands or business name and ask your audience to use it in their comments or for posting your brand related images.
4. Run promotion campaigns and contest
One way for Businesses to gain more audience on Instagram is to run promotional campaigns with Hashtags or photo contests asking your audience to share images relevant to your brand.
Hosting such contests, inspire your audience to participate and connect with your brand. This also introduces your brand in the communities of your followers.
Sharpie does that really well. They create a campaign around one of the popular Hashtag #Iloveyou to connect with audience beyond their own followers.
With great visuals and prolonged use of this Hashtag, they were able to fetch better engagement, more comments and favorites.
Therefore, using a trending or a popular Hashtag to shape your promotion campaign can inspire people to talk about you, thus gathering a better response.
Tip: Create a gallery or a blog post of all the submissions that you receive, let’s say during a photo contest. This helps your audience to stay connected and you can repost their images or simply use it as a resource to engage with them later.
5. Focus on user generated content:
UGC stands for User Generated Content. It is one of the most effective ways to generate buzz about your brand on Instagram and other social media platforms. In simple words, User Generated Content is when users of a particular brand share its content with or without encouragement from the brand themselves.
This strategy works efficiently for big & well established brands, however, if you are still struggling to establish your brand online, then users would not create content about you without any incentive or encouragement. Thus, you should run a contest or promotional event where users would get something in return for creating & sharing content for your brand.
For Example: Online furniture store Wayfair runs a fun UGC campaign allowing users to showcase the products that they purchased from Wayfair using the hashtag #WayfairAtHome.
Then, Wayfair reposts the users content on their page with the link to the products that feature in the post. This is an excellent marketing strategy to promote products using customer testimonial. Moreover, this campaign is also helping the company to engage with their existing customers and make them feel connected with the brand.
6. Maintain posting time and frequency
If you are using Instagram for Business, it is important to post consistently. Sending out posts at times when your audience is most active can help your business connect better. Burrito Principle of Content Publishing, given by Darian Rodriguez Heyman, founder of Nonprofit Boot Camp says the best time to post on social media is during their downtime, when they are most likely to be active on social media.
Based on this principle, you can create single or multiple schedules to effectively manage your content flow. Also, it helps you to visualize a broader picture of your content. And the bonus- you can always come back for revisions and give final touches before you push it live on Instagram.
7. Consider Instagram as a source of micro blogging
Moving in the world of quick fixes and readymade content, Instagram is picking trend as an avenue to microblogging where you can pour your product story in not more than 2,200 characters. This condensed form of blogging is a great way to display your product along with a visual element.
You may share a tutorial, an important update or may be just the story behind the capture.
Keep it short, concise and always substantiate it with a call-of-action. You can give a link in the bio for the follow up or at the end of the description itself. If you are sharing a user experience, you can also Tag to gain more response.
Play with it!
It doesn't matter if you're using Instagram for Business or to build a Personal Brand, the ultimate selling point pins down to originality, uniqueness and creativity. With more and more brands turning to Instagram, it is important to maintain your individuality and invest effectively in building your content strategy. There should be a well defined objective that firmly fits into the mould of visual marketing.
So if you are on Instagram and want to win it, kickstart right away. Be creative and consistent.
And remember, nothing sells like uniqueness.