How to Create a Successful Instagram Marketing Strategy By Guest Author Posted December 15, 2017 Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook Share on Twitter This post was originally published on August 1st 2017, and was last updated on December 15th 2017. Why You Can’t Succeed Without an Instagram Marketing Strategy Here’s the deal: If you have no solid plan or an interesting personality, then you can’t expect people to remember your brand. The best brands on Instagram, didn’t get to the top by accident. They made it because they clearly defined what they wanted and how they would get there. They made it because they had a bulletproof recipe for success. But what’s the recipe? How did they get exactly what they wanted? In today’s post, I’ll teach you how to build a successful Instagram marketing strategy from the ground up and how you can use Sked (formerly Schedugram) to automate as much of that process as possible. Instagram for Business 101 Grab our ebook Instagram for Business to take your Instagram game up a notch! 1. Know Your Brand and Make a Plan You can’t post thoughtlessly and expect good results. What you need is an Instagram marketing strategy plan that can help you get what you want. Here are some questions that can help you get started: What’s the purpose of your Instagram account? Will it be a place for you to promote your products? Will you use it to improve brand awareness? Often, companies use Instagram to let their customers know who they are and what they do. Who is your target audience? What’s their age, location, and interests? What makes them tick? You need to have a clear idea of who you’re targeting. This way, you can create posts that can make viewers stop and stare.One way you can understand your audience is by checking out the profiles of your competitor’s followers. You can also visit the profiles of online users who use the hashtags you’re targeting. How will you promote your brand?Do you want to show off the nice things clients have to say about your brand? Will you use your account to promote discounts and giveaways?Think about the type of posts you’ll publish. This will come in handy when you and your team create a social media plan. Do you want to create numerous posts and decide a promotional strategy later? This works too! 2. Create an Instagram Brand Brief What do the top Instagrammers have in common? They stay on brand! Their photos have a consistent filter, color, tone and aesthetic. And, no photo ever feels out of place. Just check out the accounts of WeWork and Califia Farms: How do they manage to create a consistent visual aesthetic? The best brands on Instagram have a brand brief. For starters, a brand brief is a guide that marketers use to remind themselves of their brand’s personality, colors, values and aesthetic. Is the tone of their posts conversational or formal? Is their brand bold or gritty? The brand bible answers all these questions. Not sure how you can create a brand brief? Here are some tips that can help you define your brand’s personality: Determine Your Aesthetic What are the filters you’ll use? What are the most prominent colors in your photos? What’s the look and feel of your Instagram feeds? You need to define your aesthetic to stay consistent. Know Your Copy Random copy will get you nowhere. Your audience might not even remember your brand if they don’t know what it stands for. To avoid this potential disaster, let your copywriters know the tone and feel of your brand.How do you want to communicate with your audience? How do you want them to respond? If you want to start a conversation, then you have to convey the right message.Here’s an example of an amazing piece of copy that gets people talking (check out their account to see how they apply their ‘style’): Use Consistent Typography Consider your brand’s personality and choose the fonts that will reflect it. The typefaces that you use will impact how audiences perceive your brand.If you need a bit of inspiration, then visit The Daily Type: Don’t settle for mediocre Our in-browser editor and planner helps you to create a consistent aesthetic by offering a plethora of options such as cropping, filters and a fully-customisable grid so you can move around your posts to create your perfect visual narrative. To try out our planner, log in to your account, select your social media accounts/channels, upload the images you want to use to create your grid and save them as drafts, then click on the planner icon in the sidebar menu (see below). Next, drag and drop the images you uploaded from your recent drafts onto the planner and arrange them (see below). If you need inspiration, check out this ultimate guide to creating Instagram grid layouts that get you more followers. Once you got a great-looking grid, click on each image on the right-hand side and set the date/time you want them to automatically publish, then hit submit changes and you’re’ done. 3. Stick to a Schedule How often should you post on Instagram? Tailwind found that it’s best to post every day. Not surprisingly, the more you post, the more likes you get. Remember to use an editorial calendar to keep track of your posts. This way, your team social media can easily determine when they’ll take the shots and when they’ll publish the content. Now, what about the time? That varies a lot depending on your audience, and what works best for one account won’t work at all for another. The best way to find out is test and see. You can use the export Sked gives you with likes and comments (in addition to Instagram’s Business Insights for reach and impressions data) to see what works best over the long run for your account. Here’s a good starting point: Post more on off-work hours, specifically 7 to 9pm. Weekdays drive more engagement than weekends. Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to post, while Sundays are the worst. Avoid posting at 3 to 4pm. Not surprisingly, Instagram users are online when they’re not busy with work or spending time with family. After you’ve created a social media calendar, you can schedule your posts on Sked. The app ensures that your posts will be posted, at the exact date and time you specify. This way, your team won’t have to go online every time they need to publish a post. 4. Stalk Your Competition Always watch your competitors. What are they posting about? Are they riding a viral trend? Visit your competitor’s accounts and find out which posts get the most engagements, the hashtags they use and the number of followers they’ve gained. This can help you find opportunities that you can post about. Who knows? If you have a witty post about a viral issue, then your brand might also go viral. 5. Optimize Your Account Before you start posting, optimize your profile to make the most out of it. Not sure how you can optimize your profile? Here’s what you need to know: Choose Your Hashtags Wisely Instagram filters it content through hashtags. This means that if you don’t’ target the right hashtag, your target audience won’t find your content. So, remember to choose them wisely.You can determine the most popular hashtags via Webstagram. You can also check out the hashtags from your competitors, to find out the most engaging hashtags in your niche. Prizes If you manufacture a product or service, then giving away a few of your products might not seem like a big deal. But, it can make a big impact. According to Neil Patel, a single giveaway could land you thousands of followers. Use Instagram Business Tools Want to know which posts readers engage with the most? Want to know the status of your paid ads? Want to know which posts have the most shares and impressions? With Instagram Business Tools, analytics is a breeze. Add Links to Your Bio What’s the point of a fantastic Instagram profile if you can’t get viewers to check out your brand’s website? [Editor’s note: you can even use Sked’s click tracking feature and see how your posts are converting]. Call-to-action links (CTAs) If you want your viewers to take action, then you need to add CTAs. Fortunately, CTA buttons such as “Shop Now” and “Install Now” can be easily added to any sponsored post – they aren’t yet available for regular ‘organic’ posts that you post to your profile. You might still use similar direct language and/or direct users to click the link in your bio for more information. Conclusion Bottom line: It takes a hell of a lot more than high-quality photos to get noticed and followed on Instagram. You need to have a solid Instagram marketing strategy and a personality that people will love. But don’t worry! When in doubt, you can always refer back here to remember the basics. In the meantime, follow these steps and pretty soon you’ll be on top. If you’re looking to carve out hours in your social media workflow, sign up for Sked’s 7-day trial. Our all-in-one Instagram scheduler allows you to automatically post images, carousels, Stories, videos and more. Tag locations, users and products and manage all your hashtags in one place to save 5+ hours every week. Monique Danao is a freelance writer, content creator and copywriter with expertise in tech, food and digital marketing. When she’s not creating her next big article, you’ll find her enjoying funky food, listening to music and marketing startups. You may contact her through her website or follow her on Twitter.