Content Strategy on Social Media: Instagram – An Attention Grabber with Beautiful Pictures
Instagram is one of the newest major social media platforms. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger first developed this photo app in 2010, and after it enjoyed instant success, Facebook then took over the platform in 2012. The latest official figures reveal there are 700 million active users worldwide, and 77.6 million of them are in the United States alone.
With the abundance of material online, visual content and appealing photos are effective at drawing attention to your work. Images register very quickly and can appeal directly to a user’s emotions. That’s why many companies are represented on Instagram and use the platform for their social media marketing. Instagram announced a new business profile in 2016 by which a company can access its performance statistics and create advertisements to drive their business objectives.
Instagram was originally conceived as a mobile app, but now most of the functions are also available for desktop PCs. Users of this social network can publish their photos free of charge and then edit them using filters and features such as highlighting, contrast, and other image enhancements. These images can then be distributed on other social networks such as Facebook or Twitter direct from Instagram. Storage space for photos is unlimited, though videos are limited to a maximum duration of one minute.
Instagram for Business
As is common on social media, users interact and comment on photos and videos. The tone is generally friendly, and hate speech is relatively rare, which makes this platform a good environment for businesses. Analysis has shown that 80 percent of Instagrammers follow at least one business account.
We will offer some recommendations to get you started on Instagram, but before you begin, you should first analyze your goals, identify your target audience, and determine your strategy for the platform. Then, you should create an editorial plan and define a strategy that includes relevant and interesting content for your target audience.
To get started, it’s important to select a profile name, a profile photo that’s suitable for brand recognition purposes, and then enter an appropriate business description (Bio). This triad of features should match your corporate design and presence on other platforms – and, of course, your Instagram activities.
Now, are you ready to get started on Instagram?
Here are our Top 10 tips for Instagram:
- Don’t buy followers! Even if organic growth takes longer, you need interested and interactive fans – fake accounts or purely passive members are not beneficial to your end goal.
- Instagram is a social network. It’s a good idea to regularly comment on contributions by other members. Take time to respond to your fans’ comments. This commitment will ultimately pay off because it builds a connection with your community. At the same time, follow the golden rule of social media: Always listen carefully to your fans and followers.
- Develop a posting schedule. If you don’t publish very often, you could be forgotten. Also, don’t post too many pictures all at once, or your fans might feel like it’s spam content – which may affect your following. Generally, companies should limit themselves to one or two contributions per day.
- Look for high-quality photos and videos. Carefully select the right picture featuring the image details you require, and edit your pictures when necessary.
- Use popular, well-known hashtags and analyze which ones your fans use for certain topics. The correct hashtags will help you find users who are interested in your products and services.
- Write in an appealing, authentic and entertaining style, and use your posts to develop storytelling. The interplay between appealing photos and stimulating text will help you gain attention.
- Organize competitions and create a new, catchy hashtag for each one. If you then ask your community to tag their contributions with this hashtag, such encouragement should gain you lots of traffic as well as versatile, user-generated content. Present the best of these posts on your account, in each case adding the name of the creator.
- It’s good to offer prizes to the winners, and these should be something special. The material value is not quite so important, but the prize should be unique in some way. This, in turn, usually leads to another solid contribution that features the winner proudly receiving their prize.
- Collaborating with influencers is a good idea. Don’t let yourself be blinded by high volumes of subscribers. Check to see if the followers include your target audience and whether the influencer complements your product and brand profile.
- Participate in regular Instagram features that are very popular. An example of popular Instagram hashtag features include #throwbackthursday for older pictures or #sundayfunday for fun weekend photos.
Learning from the best without copying
Your content must be unique and match your business. Nevertheless, there’s no harm in looking elsewhere and analyzing the campaigns run by your rivals. The well-known British fashion brand Burberry used Instagram for a change of image and launched an amazingly successful campaign. Their community enthusiastically embraced the specially created #ArtOfTheTrench hashtag and also produced some creative content.
Advertising on Instagram
Even though your own channel should always be in the foreground, paid advertisements are available as a supplement. Instagram’s prices for advertising are lower than Facebook’s, yet fans show more awareness and are more likely to respond. You can create a call-to-action within the advertisement to attract customers to your website or online shop.
Moving images: videos and Instagram Stories
Design your content in the form of interesting and entertaining videos up to 60 seconds long. A high-quality video is eye-catching, and the well-worn advice to “keep it short and sweet” is very applicable here.
Perhaps in response to the success of the Snapchat platform, Instagram has developed a transient form of content known as Instagram Stories. Its special feature is that the story remains visible for just 24 hours, after which it is automatically deleted. Users can assemble short videos, photos, or so-called ‘boomerangs’ (mini-video loops, similar to the previous Instagram Vine format). Afterwards, you can edit the story, for example by adding text, and you can also embed links back to your website. As of April of 2017, there were 200 million people worldwide making daily use of the Instagram Stories feature.
Since the beginning of 2017, it’s also been possible to use Instagram Stories for live reporting. So, if you’re launching a new product or organizing an interesting event, you can immediately get your community involved. These videos are not restricted to the usual one-minute format. The live video will disappear immediately after the end of the transmission (rather than after 24 hours). Even though this is a volatile medium, you should still pay attention to the quality of the audio and lighting, and also ensure you can achieve transmission without interference over a stable internet connection.
If you should find yourself short on inspiration, campaigns designed by these creative agencies should give you some fresh ideas.
If you start with a concept and strategy and always keep a watchful eye on your community, there will be little to hinder your Instagram success. Publish relevant and engaging images and videos, and maintain a regular dialogue with your fans. At the same time, you should always stay up to date on any new features offered by Instagram.
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