Updated: Jan 28, 2019
Now that you have prepped your page with the basics, let's get to the most important part of your Instagram strategy- your content.
It can be scary and confusing to wonder - What should I post anyway?
If you’re facing or have faced this paralyzing fear, you’re going to love the tips below.
Now if you read my previous post in this series, you know that the first thing to know for your content strategy is your target audience and your niche.
Knowing your potential follower helps in deciding what content they would like to see plus the key topics that you want to talk about.
Let's get to this in detail.
Find Your Core Features
What are the top 3 things you think people will like to see you post?
Remember, Instagram is more about what your followers want to see, than just what you want to share with them.
At best, meeting in the middle of those two demands is where you'll find the most satisfaction in creating content.
Therefore, what are the 3 topics you can zero in on that you can do really well?
Let's work with an example.
You want to start an Instagram account for your food blog that focuses on healthy food & lifestyle. (Niche)
It is targeted towards 20-45 yrs age group who work 8-9 hours a week and don't have time for elaborate meals or going to the gym. (Target Audience)
The three things you can post could be - Meal prep ideas for the week, healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner recipes and perhaps small exercise tutorials they can do at their home.
The more specific you get, more targeted your content is.
For example, if you add to the target audience- Vegan cuisine or people looking for affordable, healthy meals, your content gets even more specific.
So write down a few ideas of what you'd like to post for now.
Next, let's see if you match up to your competition. And how you can tweak your posts so that it stands apart from the competition.
Do Your Research, Study Competition
Start off with studying your competitors (similar brands, blogs to you) and the type of content they usually post.
What posts gets more likes and comments? Note them down.
You'll get a good idea of what the audience already likes and expects from brands or blogs like you.
Write those ideas down and think of how you can bring your own spin to it.
Don't be another one of them. Make sure if you are only taking inspiration from them and you are adding something unique to it on your page.
Look Back at your Objectives
Remember in part 1 of the Ultimate Guide to Instagram series, we spoke about your objectives - what do you want your Instagram to do for you?
Now look at your content ideas- will they help you achieve any of those goals?
Can you tweak them with clear call-to actions in the caption to ensure your followers know what to do next (that helps achieve your objective)?
Every few months, assess your content according to your goals.
Delete or archive the posts every now and then you know did not deliver in that sense.
Popular Content on Instagram
Now, the types of content that do really well on Instagram already are either
What will your account on Instagram be? Write this down too.
For the fitness blog above, I'd choose Inspirational (show transformation pictures), relatable (talk about the struggle to being healthy) & informative (showcase recipes and exercises to get more healthy).
Day Based Hashtags
These have a lot of people weekly checking the hashtag and they could end up following you one day because of it.
For eg, to continue on the Healthy Food Blog idea, maybe every Monday you share a motivational quote or experience.
Wednesday you feature someone in your industry/niche who you admire and your followers should also know about.
Holidays, Events, Memes - Trending Content
Look up on what popular holidays, themes and events are going to happen that will have the world talking.
Maybe it's super bowl or a big match between your favourite teams, Oscars or breast cancer awareness month.
Maybe Christmas is around the corner.
The world also celebrates tons of holidays like National Pie Day, International Chocolate Day, International Yoga day etc.
Are there any days you can promote your content around it?
This is a great way to sound current and for your audience to relate to you more easily.
Also, memes are the easiest bandwagon to get on to get new followers and increase engagement.
Just modify a trending meme with your industry or theme to make your followers laugh and feel like they can relate to you.
User Generated Content (UGC)
Why are small and big companies alike so eager to have 'brand ambassadors' or normal small influencers talk about their product?
Because nothing is as powerful as a user testimonial.
We know really big celebrities and influencers get paid to promote a product and as a result there is some cynicism.
Word of mouth, especially from people we trust and see online strongly influences our buying decisions.
They don't need to have a ton of followers, just seeing that they use something in their life makes that product more attractive.
So if you have an account that deals with customers, make sure you are incentivising them to share their results or thoughts about it with you.
Post it regularly throughout your feed to inspire trust and credibility. You'll be surprised how much of a positive difference this makes.
It shows you are not just shouting into the void - people show that they love what you're sharing or selling to them.
Create a calendar
Now that you have a fair idea of the topics you will post about, create a calendar (you can start with weekly or bi-monthly if it overwhelms you) so that you can plan & create the posts in advance.
Half the time people don't post is because they see it's too late to create content according to a trending topic or feel scared because they have no plan in place.
I'll do another post on an effective content calendar for Instagram soon so stay tuned for that!
Congratulations on reaching to the very end of the article!
To round up, here are the main things you should take away from this post-
What will you post about?
How will it be different from your competition?
Will they help you acheive your goals?
Hope this piece stops the fear and pushes you to create more content. Don't miss the next post in this series here!