23Nov
By: Paula Borowska November 23, 2016

The secret to a strong Instagram marketing strategy is that there is no secret. It’s the small overlooked details that make for a strong strategy. Do your research and be, well, strategic. That’s all there is to it. In this post, you’ll read about five important aspects of creating a wonderful Instagram marketing strategy. If you’re interested in reading more about how to use Instagram for your dropshipping business or how top brands use Instagram, we’ve got that covered too.

Instagram Marketing Strategy #1: Understand your niche and target audience

Before you do anything, start with some research. The best marketing strategies, for Instagram or any other platform, are based on what your target audience wants to see. So, who are these people? Figure out their gender proportion, their age distribution, and their physical locations if you can too. You want to find out when they are mostly online or how they like to use Instagram. What are their general social media habits like? You can’t have an Instagram marketing strategy without knowing these details about your audience.

iconosquare instagram marketing strategy

Sprout Social has insight into the average Instagram user data. It should be a good jumping off point. To learn more details about your specific audience reach out to a few of your customers. Conduct a survey. Use Instagram analytics tools like Quintly, Iconosqaure, or ScheduGram. These will give you concrete data on your current followers to see what and when gets them to engage with your content the most. Understanding your target audience shouldn’t be a secret, but it’s too often overlooked. You can’t possible target everyone and anyone, it’s a big waste of effort.

Instagram Marketing Strategy #2: Have a clear goal

You can’t have a successful Instagram marketing strategy without identifying your goals first. It should be something simple like gaining 100 followers in two weeks. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure with something unobtainable. The best Instagram marketing strategy goal will have one larger long term goal and many small benchmarks along the way.

Say you want to gain 1000 followers in 3 months. Give yourself smaller benchmarks within the three months as short-term goals to achieve. To be on track, you’d have to gain 165 followers every other week.

Your goals don’t have to be restricted to gaining followers. You can aim to increase your sales by 10% through your Instagram marketing strategy. Or, a general and generous increase in traffic to your website. You can try to increase the use of your company’s hashtag. Set your goal to match your business goals.

Instagram Marketing Strategy #3: Post often and regularly

Keeping a regular schedule will ensure greater engagement than posting sporadically. No Instagram marketing strategy would be complete without a thorough calendar. Posting regularly is a sure way to let your followers expect content regularly. While posting often makes sure that your audience is likely to see your content.

Posting once a day is not enough. Using an analytics tool will help you figure out when to post. But, my recommendation is to post 4 to 8 times a day, every few hours to start. It will give your analytics tool something to analyze. Use a tool like Later or Buffer to help you create a calendar so that you’re at least a few days ahead of what you’re supposed to be posting.

Instagram Marketing Strategy #4: Create your own photography style

Instagram is a very creative and artistic platform. Invest some effort, money or your own time, into quality photography. Take some time to explore what kind of photos you enjoy and what works well for your company too. Get influenced by the kind of photos that receive the most engagement from your audience too. My best advice for an Instagram marketing strategy is to have a consistent style, like a theme. There are plenty of eCommerce bands that have an amazing array of Instagram posts like Bonobos, AYR, Huckberry, or Patagonia.

ayr instagram marketing strategy

Figuring out your Instagram photography style will inevitably affect your other social media posts. That’s a good thing. You want to be consistent across the various platforms. It’s an indirect benefit of following a solid Instagram marketing strategy. A great pro tip is to keep your images on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest in the same style as Instagram. It will help people recognize your company. It’s also a sign of a mature business that knows what it’s doing.

huckberry instagram marketing strategy

Think about it, Instagram accounts that are inconsistent are not something anyone like to follow. The same goes for companies that seem to post odd things across platforms. Don’t be one of them. Figure out your style and use it to your advantage anywhere you can. Here is a great post about tips from fashion and photographer Instagrammers on taking beautiful photos to get you started.

Instagram Marketing Strategy #5: Connect with Instagram influencers

A McKinsey study found out that word-of-mouth advertising has a 37 percent higher retention rate. Additionally, 75% of customers are influenced by social media to make their purchases. Those are fantastic statistics for any social media marketing strategy. However, for Instagram, it means you should invest some cash and reach out to influencers. Make them an offer for sharing your products in their Instagram posts. Make sure they tag you or mention what it is what they are showing off. You can find influencers in your niche through tools like Revfluence, BrandSnob, Klear or Instabrand.

You can partner with influencers in a few different ways. Usually, they’d either give your items away. Or alternatively, they’d post a photo wearing or using your products. Most of the Instagram posts don’t explicitly say “Buy this product now”. It’s mostly a casual mention of the influencer loving the product. And it works wonders. 90% of people respect and trust the opinion of their peers. Don’t underestimate the power of social media influence.

The above Instagram posts are from Bethany Marie in partnership with Lululemon and Aritzia.

Creating a winning Instagram marketing strategy is not as hard as it might seem. It’s all about being smart and strategic. It’s called a strategy after all. I’m sure you’ll find these tips helpful in improving your Instagram game.