Owned by Facebook, Instagram is a visual platform. While you can use both pictures and videos on Instagram, videos are limited to 60 seconds. Instagram is optimized for mobile and can only be posted on from a cell phone. The photos you use should be
relatively professional but don’t need to be the best of the best. There are a couple different pieces you need to know about.
Firstly, the Instagram algorithm will make newer posts show up first on feeds in addition, if you comment on other people's posts, their posts will show up more on your feed and vice versa if they comment on your posts. This also applies to videos, the content of people that you watch constantly will pop up constantly on your feed and vice versa of course. Layer engagement habits with followers so people make a habit of interacting with a brand. But in the bigger picture, your #1 goal is to get people to click on your link on Instagram to your target website or wherever else you may want them to go. You also must take into account that Instagram is a better place to generate quality leads versus traffic as the site isn’t SEO optimized as other platforms are. That is to say, you can use Instagram to push qualified people into your sales funnel and it is the ultimate hub to nurture an audience before they enter your funnel but it’s not the best for creating awareness.
Instagram In Numbers
Instagram is the most engaging of all the social media platforms.
1 billion monthly active users
500 million daily users, 300 million of which use Instagram stories daily.
1 in 5 stories leads to a direct message according to Instagram.
80% of Instagram users follow brands,
200 million users look at a business profile daily.
Instagram stories should be less touched up and professional and more raw and behind the scenes. One fun thing you can throw in sometimes is polls which you can use to get more engagement. Use locations and hashtags to increase views but be sparing with it because if you do it too much you're going to get choked off by Instagram. Try to understand that one of your goals is to layer engagement habits with followers so people make a habit of interacting with a brand.
Strategy: Story Arc Method
Every story should have a beginning, middle, and end. In addition, always take into account that stories need to educate, inspire, or entertain followers.
Beginning: We set the tone for the user experience in the story may it be a video explaining what's going to happen, some text or a boomerang with some writing on the screen. To qualify people ALWAYS GIVE CONTEXT TO YOUR STORIES.
Example: day in the life story cup of coffee with day in the life written on it in as the first section. You can also start a story about a product with a what if question: what if your vacuum cleaner could clean by itself?
Middle: All stories are really about our followers. Think about how the story is going to connect with followers in the way I want, maybe I want to sell a product or educate them, how do I do that? Your goal should be to take someone through a process or an experience in the middle. Make sure things build on one another so everything compliments what's coming next.
* Have a reminder during the story about what you're talking about as people may be lost as you go through the different stories.
End: Wrap up with a build up to what’s coming next and a clear call to action.
Example: if you have a product say in your story go check out our feed to see how the product looks/works/ect… come back tomorrow to learn more, to see what will happen next.
* these don’t have to be only three stories or one after the other within minutes
* Diversify content during the different stories, use stickers, text, all things, change them up and be raw.
* Tip: @mention yourself in Instagram stories and cover it with a sticker that says click here so people can’t see the @ but when they click it it leads them to your profile.
Leverage relations in your industry, let your colleagues and employees take over your story for a day.
Use user generated content for content for your stories.
Put a poll up asking who’s struggling with this, who needs help with this, those who answer yes, you can DM them and say: “Hey Mike, I noticed you voted on my poll and that you struggle with getting clients can you tell me more about that.”
Swipe up: verified accounts or people with 10,000 and a business account can have a swipe up link on their Instagram stories to direct people to their website.
Videos Versus Posts
If you are going to post videos, post them on stories, videos do better in stories than on feed, unless you constantly and mostly post video content.
Your Bio is an immensely important part of your Instagram, these 150 characters are your 30 second elevator pitch, people who come to your profile will almost always make it the first thing they read when they come to your page and they will only read it once. Your Bio has to be set up according to the conversation you are trying to generate. Your Bio should include the following:
Who you are: Your name field should include your job description so your audience can find you in a search.
What you do: A clear description of your business mission
What's in it for the person reading it
You can also add in a personality to make it feel authentic
A call to action: Possibly an arrow pointing down to the URL or something else
A link to your website: Make the website link go directly to where you want them to go not just your main page possibly a landing page clear of any sidebars with a link tree with 3 to 4 links to different things be it Facebook , an eBook, or something else so you can really see where they are going from an analytics perspective. (example below)
The message in your Bio should be clear, use your brand personality and voice, use emojis.
Tip: Have someone else write it for you, they can see your business from the outside and many times do a great job.
Use the timeline as a showcase of highlights you want relatively professional but not crazy professional photos/ highlights.
Instagram Feed & Content
Have an epic content strategy- quotes, inspirational motivational images, really know what your audience inspires too, provide value, Triggering an emotion, consistency is everything.You should really aim to create brand promoters that is to say to create posts and items that people want to share. Always keep in mind what your content purpose is and who your audience is.
One way to get people to stop and look at your posts is to create posts that have simple designs that pop off the background.
Instagram is the best hub for re-purposing content because you can do videos, docs, and many other forms of content. Once I find great content that performs well on other platforms you take it and break it up into smaller micro pieces. Edit it for Instagram size and share it to IG tv for videos.
Many people don’t read long captions. It's better to put text in images and carousel posts so if someone shares your post the text remains. Also Carousels get double exposure which is to say that if someone sees a post that is a carousel and doesn’t interact with it, the post will show up again on that person's feed with a different image from the carousel
The captions should also be in the caption section, not just the image. Because people only see the first line or two and then have to click more to see the rest, think of it like a great blog post title. Use emoji’s capital letters, the point is to draw their attention. Make a bold statement, ask a question. Within the caption itself have a call to action. Make the call to action stand out.
Include a @shoutout to yourself at the end so people can click on it to go to your profile without having to scroll up.
Shoutouts is the art of tagging other handles in posts, use shoutouts in your posts to
Have your posts show up on that community members feed
To try to trigger a strategic interaction from that person
Give credit to a person who gave inspiration for a post
Thank a follower
Every post on your feed should include hashtags
When you create a post, only use hashtags that make sense. If you tag a post with #wanderlust, for example, your content must be something globetrotters will want to comment on, like, and share. It’s not about getting seen by a lot of people, it’s about getting seen by the right people. That’s how hashtags lead to higher engagement and more followers.
Use 9 hashtags 3 big ones, 3 medium size ones, and three small niche hashtags.
Tip: Comment 20 minutes a day on other people’s posts interact with them and remember to try and build a community. Instagram and all other platforms are about building relationships and so that is two sided if you want people to interact with you, you need to interact with them.
Don’t focus on funnels, speak to your prospects on your DM. Imagine if you had a sales dialogue on a DM then sending them to your lead page is going to make it more likely to go into the sales process and buy from you.
The Hub Strategy
Step 1: Send traffic to Instagram: it takes a platform to grow a platform. Direct traffic from other platforms that have better SEO to Instagram.
Example: have someone ask me a question in the DM on Instagram, screenshot that and use that to create a YouTube video, include a pic of the DM of course so people know that if they DM & follow you on Instagram you are paying attention and might make a YouTube video out of it.
Show screen recording of Instagram stories, so let say you make a YouTube video, include the screen recording of some Instagram story to show people that the “behind the scenes” is in the Instagram stories. Include a call to action about that
Always mention the value of following you on Instagram.
Step 2: Once traffic is on Instagram start involving the audience: because it is your hub you include people in some decisions in your business (hey guys should I make this post green or red). Do market research on your followers as there are so many different options to ask. Show appreciation, shout out to people especially to people who have bigger followings on other platforms.
Step 3: create shareable content to increase shoutouts for my account: the more people share the more likely new people will see your content and come to you.
Step 4: Contact people who like your content in the DM
Example: Hey Mike, I saw you shared my post thanks, what did you like about it.
That's awesome. I noticed you had a marketing company tell me about it.
KPI’s of Instagram
Retention rates, How long people watched your video, how many people engaged, Direct messages (how can I leverage them to have people join my community at least for small people/businesses)
Don’t focus on likes, focus on shareability: creating content that gives people more incentive to share on their own stories. One someone likes, or comments they are just scrolling aimlessly through the feed and will forget quickly, but when you get a share it increases the longevity of the interaction.
Look at metrics and insights to realize which type of content is actually driving conversions because sometimes high engagement content does not necessarily drive the most conversions to the website.