If you’re looking to update your Instagram marketing strategy there are a few things you first need to look at. The first major thing is understanding how the algorithm is currently working. Instagram has said that it plans to focus on three major pillars in 2023. The first pillar is creativity, they want users to be creative and post more original content and circle back to what Instagram originally was. The second pillar is discovery, Instagram wants to facilitate the discovery of content and creators that inspire individual users and keep them coming back. The third pillar is connection, Instagram wants to facilitate real connection and conversation between its users. Public engagement still remains important (ex: commenting) while private engagement may become more prevalent (ex: messaging).
Your overall goals on Instagram will change and shape what type of content strategy you will want to put in place. Is your main goal to reach a larger audience, increase your posts’ engagement, or to facilitate lead generation? Below we will discuss the different content that is suited for each of these goals.
Content to Improve Reach
- Recommendable Content: Although Instagram recommending content is not as present as it once was it is still important that your content is able to be recommended. Check your account settings to make sure your content is eligible. Once you confirm this you will want to go to your post insights to see which content reaches the most non-followers. Create a strategy around your findings and begin to post engaging content in that style.
- Relevant Hashtags: You do not want to add the most popular hashtags to your posts as it probably won’t increase your reach by much. When adding hashtags go for 3-5 relevant hashtags to your industry, company, and content. This will help to maximize your opportunity of reaching others’ feeds as well as being discovered through search.
- Collaborative Posts: The best way to get on someone’s feed who is an ideal audience member would be to create a collaborative post with someone within or in a similar industry as you. The post will then show on both yours and the collaborators’ followers feed.
- Searchable Text: Make sure when you are posting that you are adding as much context as possible, which in turn allows Instagram to understand your content and decide who should see it. For all posts and reels you should be incorporating key words and phrases. This will help the algorithm decipher your content and share it with others.
Content to Increase Engagement
Content engagement and your content’s reach are very intertwined. When a post gets more engagement it gets pushed up in Instagram’s ranking, which will then lead to your content getting shared to non-followers feeds.
- Interactive Instagram Stories: Instagram shows your stories most to the people who engage regularly with your content. You can ensure this is happening by posting a story that is interactive and engaging. In turn your followers will most likely begin engaging more with your posts. Interactive stories help you connect on a deeper level with followers. Be sure when posting these types of stories to give clear instructions on how to engage (ex: vote in this poll).
- Reels: Although Instagram has begun to favor photo posts again, that does not mean you should stop posting reels. When posting reels now you will want to make sure they are more engagement focused then just reach. Make sure your reels include hooks in the beginning and interesting transitions. You also can increase engagement by following the trends that are appearing in reels or using a popular sound. Lastly, you can remix any popular content, which may help you start a conversation with a popular creator or showcase how your business differs from others.
- User Generated Content: User generated content has been known to outperform even the most well crafted brand content when it comes to engagement. Sharing user generated content helps your feed to look authentic and it will help you customers feel important. When sharing user generated content always get the permission from the original creator of the content. You also can share any customer’s stories that you’ve been tagged in.
- Carousel Posts: Carousel posts are special because each post within a carousel has the opportunity to be shown on someone’s feed. This gives your posts multiple opportunities for engagement. Make sure when posting a carousel post that you encourage your audience to swipe to see more.
Content to Boost Lead Generation
Once you have mastered engagement and reach you will want to convert your loyal followers into leads. Follow the content strategy below to boost lead generation.
- Lead Generation Stories: When creating stories be sure to add an action button. Whether you are taking their information for a quote on a service or you redirect them to your website to purchase this will help with lead generation.
- Message Buttons: Comments are a great first step for engagement but to turn prospects into leads you will want to rely more on private engagement or messages. In messages you can have more in depth conversations with your followers and create a real relationship. To get your prospects to engage with you in DMs, post a reel or photo and have the call to action in the caption, offer a special or promo if they message you. You are able to add a message button to your actual post/reel to make it easier for your followers. You can do this by tapping the “ADD MESSAGE BUTTON” option in an Instagram post or reel composer.
Like any social media platform Instagram is always changing, because of this you will want your content strategy to also change. Follow the suggestions above to help your company improve on your content strategy and meet your 2023 goals!