Your Guide to Instagram Content Strategy.
Did you know that 72% of Instagram users have purchased something they have seen on Instagram?
It’s no surprise that your social media strategy is crucial to your overall marketing success. Your branding on Instagram should be consistent and cohesive with your branding on other social media, your website, your ads and any other media you use in your marketing strategy.
How can you use Instagram to drive sales? To increase your reach? To develop your brand image? Luckily, we’re here to help!
We find there are three main categories for Instagram content: content for brand image, social proof and sales. It’s important to note that brand image-based content and social proof content also contribute to an overall increase in sales. So we recommend you use all three sections for maximum results!
Content for Brand Image
Brand image is one of the factors taken into consideration when consumers make purchasing decisions. It entails their perception of your brand: your values, purpose, attitudes and value proposition. Your goal is to demonstrate that your brand image aligns with your target market, so they relate to your brand more so than competitors brands.
For example, if your brand’s value proposition is that you’re an ethical and sustainable brand your target market would be individuals who value sustainability. To align your brand image with these values you should create content surrounding sustainability.
Behind the Scenes
Give insight into your company culture and your company values by showing your employees at work, how your products are made, and the day in the life of your employees. The insights you give should align with how you want to be perceived and with your company values. For example, do you use organic cotton in your products? Are you a fair trade company and does your supply chain demonstrate this? Are your workers treated fairly? What does your product being made look like?
Behind the scenes posts also make your brand seem more authentic – a characteristic increasingly important to younger generations when making buying decisions.
Repost your employee’s social media posts, demonstrating their life at work. This gives the perception of a close and genuine relationship between employee and employer – customers like this, as your brand seems more friendly and caring. Publicising your employees also helps customers put a face to your brand and understand what their brand experience is going to be like.
Celebrate holidays and special days alongside your followers. These should be specific to what your followers and target market care about! Ultimately, this content demonstrates that your values align with your followers and that you care about the same things they care about!
Make your followers feel good by providing motivational quotes, poems and stories. Create a connection with your customers by making them feel good and empowering them to do more!
Content for Social Proof
What is “Social Proof”? Social Proof is a psychological phenomenon where individuals copy the behaviour of the masses or idealised individuals (influencers). This is because people assume that influencers, or the majority, must be undertaking the correct behaviour. For example, If you’re looking for a restaurant would you choose one that was empty or one that was full? Most likely, the one that’s full! You use heuristic processing (a shortcut) to assume that the restaurant that’s full of people is going to be better than an empty restaurant. Conformity to the masses would guide your behaviour!
Good news: Social Proof can be used in digital marketing to increase sales (yay!). How do you get your customers to see that majority of people, and/or idealised individuals, think your product or service is fantastic?
Influencer marketing is the BIG thing at the moment! Why? Because it provides evidence that an idealised individual loves your brand, and so, their followers should too! This is Social Proof. Influencers, especially ones with large audiences, can pick and choose which brands they work with. So, by choosing your brand they must believe in it, right? Collaborations with influencers also have other benefits of increasing the reach of your brand, promoting credibility and associating your brand with the perception of the influencer (ever heard of classical conditioning? Pavlov’s Dog?)!
Our main tip for influencer posts: get influencers to interact with your brand in your posts! This way the post seems a lot more genuine, rather than them just being paid to take a photo with your product. It’s ideal that influencers are seen using your product or that they show an experience with your service (e.g. before and after pictures).
Let potential customers know how much past customers loved your brand by posting their testimonials! If your followers see a lot of people happy with their experience with your brand, they will be more convinced that your brand is reliable, credible, and a great option for them too. Testimonials also give potential customers peace of mind in choosing you!
User-generated content involves reposting existing content that customers have posted of your brand. These could be images of customers wearing your product, videos of them using your product, or videos of a service you’ve executed. Reposting content of customers interacting with your brand shows your followers the type of person who uses your products/services and provides evidence of happy customers!
Content for Increasing Sales
Sales!! The magic word in business. It’s a lot easier said than done, however. Alongside your content surrounding brand image and social proof, you can use content forms that specifically target making sales!
One way to spark followers into action is by having a sale – everyone loves a bargain! Let your followers know that this is happening by posting about it on your Instagram across post and story formats. You can promote posts surrounding sales so you can reach a wider audience that might be interested in purchasing from you.
- Use the countdown feature on stories to build anticipation for sales!
- Emphasise time sensitivity (countdown until the sale is over) and limited stock to get people into action.
Product demonstrations consist of an employee explaining best practices for using your product as well as its key benefits for customers. Alternatively, a service demonstration would walk through a case study showcasing your service and how it benefits your customers. Demonstrations should clearly outline your value proposition and give your followers a reason to purchase your products!
The purpose of education-based content is the help your followers learn about what makes your product or service unique. How do you source your product? What awards have you won? What outstanding ingredients do you use and why? Your goal is to convince your customers that your product or service is superior to competitors.