Content marketing is the practice of developing content that addresses the needs, pain points, and decision criteria a buyer has throughout their customer journey in order to bring them closer to your brand. It also establishes your brand’s strengths and helps expand your brand’s presence through engaging and highly relevant content.
If you’re wanting to utilize Instagram to connect with your audience, it will be helpful to use content marketing in a way that will tell your brand’s story while enticing people to follow along. Creating and gathering content for a social platform is fun, but without a well-organized system in place, your story will be difficult to follow. Do not fear! We have six steps to help you approach content marketing effectively.
When it comes to thinking strategically about content marketing for Instagram, remember that what you post is less important than WHY you post. If you find yourself posting images that look “cool” but don’t relate back to your brand AND your audience, then reconsider.
Your brand’s WHY should drive the WHAT. To establish your brand’s raison d'etre, uncover your brand’s ethos. What are the beliefs, visions, and goals you’re trying to convey to your audience? The answers to these questions will help you realize why you’re doing something and what to create to embody this.
Establishing a WHY for your content makes this next step much easier. When you start to create content (e.g., take photos, write captions, make graphics, etc.), you will be able to cater your creations to fit your brand’s ethos.
You can create different content types to do this such as boomerangs, photos, and GIFS. Also consider different ways you can tell stories, such as “a day in the life,” creating a poll, or sharing user-generated content.
Since all of your content will mirror and emulate these beliefs and goals, it will be easier to ensure it stays and looks consistent.
CONSISTENT VISUAL AESTHETIC IS KEY
Consistency is so important because it helps to associate your brand with a specific look people will come to recognize.
All your newly created content won’t get you far unless it’s posted to your Instagram for your audience to see and interact with! Posting on a regular basis is necessary to make your presence known on social media; otherwise, you’ll get lost in the shuffle of the other 500 million Instagram users fighting for followers.
It isn’t as easy as it sounds to remember to post content, especially when you’re busy doing other things. That’s why planning and scheduling your content is a valuable step to follow.
Planning will ensure you’re building a presence online while scheduling through tools like Sendible or HootSuite will save you time. If you want your sanity to remain, don’t skip this step! You should be sure to create, plan, and schedule content that is timely, relevant, and seasonal. Think about upcoming holidays, cultural events, and the like.
Remember, you don’t own your followers, but you can influence their actions. You’re not just trying to appeal to your target audience, you want to entice them to invest in your brand. So what do you do?
Move your audience OFF the platform, and into channels you OWN. Utilize webinars or quizzes to entice them to visit your website to gain insight. Provide e-books or how-to guides as a valuable resource. You can even offer premium content only accessible through membership or email subscription.
Growing your audience means you grow with your audience. The way to build a following and keep it is to actively create and build relationships with followers like you would with a friendship. This step is ongoing and necessary because it shows people that you care and appreciate them for being part of your brand’s growth.
Growing with your audience is done by increasing engagement. You can do this by responding to comments, reaching out to users who may be interested in your brand, sharing user-generated content (photos or reviews someone may share with your product), liking photos, and more. Simply put, growing your audience requires you to be SOCIAL on social media.
The first five steps will have you geared up for content marketing, posting, and engaging with your audience. The last step is to analyze all the good work you’ve accomplished.
When it comes to analyzing Instagram, your best friend will be the “Insights” tool available on the platform itself. You can look at impressions, reach, follower growth, and engagement. This will help you gauge key performance metrics such as brand awareness and audience building.
Reporting and analysis is one of the most critical steps because it is ongoing. You always want to analyze your results to determine what you’re doing right, wrong, and what you can do better.
Content marketing is easier to traverse with a step-by-step framework guiding you along the way. Hopefully, this sets you on the path to success. Just remember, there’s always an opportunity to adjust your framework to get there.