If you're using Instagram to promote your business, you must understand how important EVERY. SINGLE. PHOTO. actually is to your overall marketing strategy. There is so much content out there competing for the attention of your audience. Each time you post, you have to think about what YOU can show/offer them that's valuable + different. What can you put in front of your ideal customers that will cause them to #SlowTheirScroll ?!
When you start to create visual content for your brand on this platform, there are a couple of things that I want you to keep in mind. Before you hit that "Share" button, take a look at the tips below to ensure that you are creating a perfect Instagram post every time...
1 | THE IMAGE ITSELF
I know you're probably thinking to yourself, "DUUUUHHHH, self", or at least I hope you are. Because this should be a no-brainer. After all, Instagram IS a visual platform, so the photo is ALWAYS the most important part. But, you might be surprised by how many truly terrible, (#sorrynotsorry, y'all), photos get sent out into Gram-land every single second. It makes me twitch a little just thinking about it.
Don't be those people. Take the time to create a beautiful, hi-quality, breathtaking image each time you decide to post. Every image should evoke an emotion or tell a story. When photographing, consider your subject, consider the composition + for goodness sake, consider your LIGHTING. Using Instagram to promote your biz should be fun, so if you start to feel totally stressed or frustrated at the thought of taking decent photographs, find someone who can do that part for you. Look to your talented employees, hire a friend, or a part-time photographer. The image is king (or perhaps #YASQUEEN) on Instagram and absolutely cannot be overlooked.
2 | COMPELLING TEXT
Once you have the image nailed down, you need to fill in the description with engaging copy. Do not leave this blank. You can use this space to elaborate on the idea expressed in your image. Invite engagement with a Call To Action. Tell a story, ask a question, have your audience vote. Each time you post a photo there should be some intention + thought given to what you would like viewers to do with the content. You can tell a joke or a funny anecdote to add humor, use Emojis + inject your personality to continuously build your Know-Like-Trust factor.
Maybe you're asking yourself, what exactly is a KNOWLIKETRUST factor + how do I know if I have/need one?!
It's a pretty simple concept... The goal for using Instagram to promote your business should ultimately be to convert followers into customers. Putting yourself out there on a social platform allows your audience to get to KNOW you. People are more likely to buy from people they know + like. So, by adding interesting/authentic copy along with your images, they can decide how they feel about you. If you consistently offer them valuable content (for free), or if you constantly make them laugh, or if you teach them something new every time you post, they will know they can TRUST you when you offer them a premium product. Therefore, each time you post, it's another opportunity to build on this K-L T Factor.
3 | ADD HASHTAGS
Hashtags allow your content to be discovered through hyperlinks in Instagram, grouping them with similar content that can be searched by potential customers. It is very important that you know what hashtags your ideal target audience might be looking for + use them on each post. I recently wrote a little more about hashtags here + you can also download a handy guide to help you figure out the best tags to use for your business.
Pro-tip, because I manage a handful of different Instagram accounts for a variety of clients, I keep a list of hashtags for each of them on the NOTES section of my phone. After posting a photo on an account, I will then copy + paste the hashtag list from my notes into the COMMENTS section of the photo. I prefer posting in the comments because it still allows the photo to be searchable, but as other people comment, the hashtags are pushed out of view, allowing the focus to be on the photo + copy. Too many hashtags in the description can feel cluttered + spammy, something we definitely want to avoid.
4 | CONSISTENT POSTING SCHEDULE
Although the "right" number of pics per day + the time of day that you should post will vary from business to business, the bottom line is that your followers crave consistency. If you're delivering valuable content, make sure they get it when they expect it. You can use an analytics program like Iconosquare to track your most engaging content + see what your best times to post are. Then, you can use a program like Latergram.me or Hootsuite to bulk schedule them in advance which will also save you lots of time.
That's all there is to it, you guys. Crafting a perfect post on Instagram is really about creating an irresistible image that tells a "story", then adding in relevant, well-written copy to engage the audience. It's like a mini-blog post, but backward ;) Just don't forget to add hashtags to allow interested folks to find it + then create a posting schedule based on when your audience interacts with it most often.
Remember that we want these folks to #SlowTheirScroll so we need to deliver BEAUTIFUL, VALUABLE + CONSISTENT content EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.