If you’re here, you’re trying to figure out what is it that you’re going to do on Instagram to be effective in your business. I’m gonna teach you everything you need to know to plan, research, and create great engaging content to grow your business on Instagram.
I have predicted that Instagram is going to take over as the number one social network on the web, replacing Facebook, and I think that’s saying something considering the fact that I’ve been on Facebook for over 15 years.
Now, the basis of anything that we do in content marketing for whatever platform it is, you definitely want to make sure that you have a content plan. I want you to grab my freebie that I have for you here so that you can kind of work along with this video from start to finish.
With that content planning worksheet, the first step is going to be planning with a goal. It’s very important to make sure that anything that you’re putting on the internet has a very specific purpose, and Instagram is no different. Even though you might be accomplishing what you want to with an image or a video or a carousel post, it’s important to make sure that what you’re posting accomplishes a goal.
That is why you need to think, “What is it that I need from my audience with this post?” This isn’t always going to be “Go buy from me”. It also isn’t going to be, “Go to my link in my bio” or “Click and go buy something from me.” It can also be things like engagement or shares or views or awareness.
So when you’re creating every piece of content, when you’re working through your messaging and what content you’re going to create to support that messaging, you want to make sure that you know what your goal is for that post. If you don’t have a goal for your post, the post should not exist.
Then knowing who your perfect customer is is something that we need to have across the board when it comes to your marketing, and this applies to Instagram too. You want to make sure that you know exactly who you’re talking to. That way, when you’re reviewing your analytics and your insights, you can make sure that that content is hitting that demographic you’re trying to work with and be engaging with your content.
If maybe you’re trying to reach women under the age of 30 who have kids, but for some reason you keep getting all of these 40 plus year old women who have kids, it probably isn’t that you’re making the right content for the demographic you’re trying to reach or you need to pivot into content for that other demo. So it’s really important to know who you’re talking to and what you’re going to need to create for them.
Next, we’re going to research. I want you to spend time scrolling through Instagram and finding content that you really love. Spend time in the discovery section, watch reels, watch Instagram TV videos. Get a feel for the kind of content you like to consume and that you can create.
I know that what I do when I am scrolling through my feed where I not only am following businesses and people that I love it, that I’m inspired by, I’m also following specific hashtags so I can find really fun content, usually engaging quotes and pictures that pump me up, so that I’m able to use those as inspiration for future pieces of content. I also do this with reels too. Reels is gonna be an important part of our creation strategy that we’ll talk about near the end of this video.
I watch reels and I’m like, “How could I use this song “or this concept for my own brand, “my own business, my own mission?” And I’m like, “Can I or can’t I?” No, and then usually I move best. I also have, not gonna lie to you guys, I’ve read a lot of really great, fun tutorials and things I did not know in Instagram reels, so it’s also kind of entertaining and a learning opportunity for me as well.
But make sure that you’re researching and saving the kind of content that you like, that inspires you, that can help you when you get into the creation process.
Now, once you’ve researched, you have your plan, your goals, now I need to create pillars or buckets that we want to put our content into. I think it’s very important to make sure that when you’re creating your content, that you have specific buckets that you kind of fit your content into.
So for myself, I usually sit in three buckets. It’s going to be personal relatable content, the Women of YouTube podcasts, and then stuff related to content marketing. With these three pillars, I know exactly what kind of content I need to be making and how it’s gonna work for my schedule and what’s going on.
You need to establish what those pillars are for you. Not just one – you need to be able to have at least three different kinds of content that you are talking about. Now, once you’ve established those pillars, you’re gonna need to create hashtags to go with them.
You’re gonna wanna research what hashtags are most often associated with your kind of business and the demographic that you’re trying to check out. I have a tutorial on using allhashtags.com, which you can find up in the cards right now, which breaks down for you, how to search for hashtags, find them and create a list of them that you can keep using over and over again for your posts.
We need to make sure that we’re establishing a look and feel, or a brand, for your business. I have created a brand sheet for my business that I use for everything. It has my hex codes for my colors, it has my fonts and it has other images that inspire me, as well as my logo. This is my standard for all of the content that I create.
Everything that we put up on my feed has to coordinate with this brand board so that we can make sure that whenever someone’s seeing my content, they know, “Ah yes, that’s Desiree.” And that’s what you want to make sure that you’re doing as well.
So decide, are you going to have a cool look, a white look, a warm tone? Are you going to use lots of browns and oranges? Are you going to use lots of blues and purples? You really, it’s going to tie into the adjectives that you use to describe your brand, the people that you’re trying to attract, as well as what your actual brand colors are.
Next is our messaging. You want to take everything that we’ve talked about so far and funnel it into what you want to say in your Instagram posts. So we have our goal, we have our objective, we have examples of things that we like. Now we need to funnel it into the different pillars that we have and connect it to our hashtags.
When we’re putting together our messaging, there are some simple structures that you can use as a basis for your foundation. First things first is going to be your sentence. Now your sentence needs to be 115 characters or less before you have to hit see more. So you want to make sure whatever you say in your first sentence is going to be fully read.
I encourage you to make it a power statement, something that’s shocking, maybe a question. Maybe, for example, if I wanted to promote this video with my Instagram posts, my first sentence would be something like, “Are you super confused about what to do “on Instagram in 2021?” And then that would be my caption with a question mark, maybe with one of those think emoji guys, and I would use that as the foundation to set up what the post is going to be about.
That first sentence is so crucial to the success of your posts that you need to make sure you put a lot of thought into it. Next we’re gonna tie it into a relatable story. So again, using our example of, “Do you not know what to do “for your Instagram content marketing strategy for 2021?” I would talk about the message and be like,
“I have been an avid Facebook user since 2006. I’ve been on it since you could only get it with an email for college. And then what happens? Instagram comes out a few years later and I can’t get on it because I am not an iPhone user. I had with so much stock interest into Facebook that Instagram was always secondary. Well, now I see the importance of this tool.”
As you can see, I’ve done my relatable story. This is why I’m gonna talk about this, and I’m connecting with this person that is in the post. Next I need to bring it around to the purpose of this post, which is talking about content marketing with Instagram, and that’s when I want to have the relatable hook with some sort of list or emoji or call to action that’s going to wrap this all up.
So I would say something like, “Now that I see that Facebook algorithm is just becoming impossible to crack, but Instagram is rising as a place for you to create tons of really great engaging content, Instagram is going to be my go-to. Why? Because they have reels, they have carousel posts, and they have IGTV.”
Again, my list. At the bottom, I’m gonna wrap it all up with a call to action. It’s going to be, “Comment below what your favorite thing about Instagram is right now”, and make that the pillar for your content marketing strategy, right?
So we have this long message that we put together and that’s fine. You want long, you want engaging. The more people are spending time on your posts, scrolling your carousel posts, watching your reels multiple times, watching a long IGTV video, and also consuming that message, the more time someone is spending with your content, it means they’re more likely to put that content in front of them again, and others like them.
Now, finally, we get to create our image. This is going to be the first thing that people are really drawn into, whether it’s an image, a carousel post, a reel, or whatever it may be that you are choosing to create. You’re going to really pull people in and get them to read that first line and that message and hopefully funnel them into whatever your goal and objective is.
This is why establishing a look and feel is so important. This is why taking time to create good content versus throwing it out there is going to be so important. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re planning your content, being methodical about the kinds of pictures you’re taking, the kind of reels that you’re doing, and of course the kind of text graphics that you’re making as well.
What’s really cool about heading into 2021 is we have so many different options. We’re not just stuck with just an image and trying to make that be and do everything. We have carousel posts where we can have up to 10 images sliding through, solving some problem or telling some other form of long form story.
You have reels, which are these short, fun, engaging videos that don’t have to be dance videos, by the way. They can be just really funny things that you can connect and relate to your audience with. You’re able to do IGTV videos, which are long form video content.
I repurpose a lot of my YouTube videos and put them up into IGTV. There’s a lot we can do, and it’s so awesome. We have so many opportunities on Instagram and so many different ways to create that you can find one that will work for you, and I hope that you will try them all and add really great variety to what you post on Instagram.
So if you’re wanting to figure out more about how to create different things, like Instagram guides, reels, and more, watch this playlist I have right here, where I’m gonna break down all these different parts to Instagram so you can better create content for your calendar. My other blog posts also have so much info for you.
Remember, you are impossibly amazing!