Instagram is an important part of any business’s marketing toolkit in 2020, but your success on the platform will largely be dependent on the Instagram content you create. It’s a good platform for businesses to be present on because many people actually enjoy following businesses there. In fact, 90% of Instagram accounts follow at least one business account. In order to find those followers for yourself, though, you’ll need to become clear on why you have an account in the first place and what kind of value you’re providing through your content. Let’s take a look at the types of Instagram content that are working right now and how to maximize your investment into the platform.
Create Shoppable Instagram Content
If you have a product-based business and you aren’t creating shoppable posts yet, now is the time. There are two types of shoppable content: stories and posts. Shoppable content allows you to tag the items within your posts or stories or photos the same way you would tag another account.
Instead, though, the tag allows the people who see your post to easily tap and purchase your products directly within Instagram. You can even turn shoppable posts into ads to get even more viewers that will hopefully convert into sales.
You’ll also want to add an action button to your profile, if it’s applicable. Simply go to your profile and click “Edit Profile.” Then, select “Action Buttons” and choose one that fits your business. You can choose gift cards, order food or donate. Fill out the necessary information as Instagram walks you through the process, and then you’ll have a clear call-to-action directly on your profile for your audience to see.
By creating shoppable posts, you’ll also have the chance to be found on the “Shop” page of the Explore tab. Here, users can easily search for and find products that are on their list, or maybe even discover some they didn’t know they needed.
Also, Facebook (which owns Instagram) just announced the new rollout of Facebook and Instagram shops. Businesses will be able to design a storefront for their products directly within the platforms, making the customer experience even easier. This hasn’t been rolled out to all users yet, but keep an eye out as it expands.
Branded Instagram Content
If you work with influencers, chances are they’re creating excellent branded content about your company. You can now use the Instagram ads manager to promote that branded content in the Instagram feed or as a story, with the creator’s permission. So, if an influencer you’ve partnered with has created a really beautiful post that is resonating with their audience well, you can promote it as an ad to reach even more people and bring them back to your brand.
This will help your brand expand your reach. Working with other content creators is a great way to reach new audiences, but they still have a finite audience. By promoting the content as an ad, you can reach even more people. And, this type of promotion allows you to target a very specific audience, as you can choose your demographics and other targeting measures in the ads manager. Finally, promoting branded content also gives you a solid way to be able to measure the performance of the post among people outside of that creator’s audience.
Branded Instagram Feed
The posts that you create for your account should be easily recognized by your audience as your posts. In fact, they should be able to spot one of your posts in their feed or their Stories without even needing to look at your handle.
When people visit your profile, too, before they decide to follow you, they’re going to scroll through your grid. Even if it’s just for a moment or two, they’re going to look at your posts as a whole, and they’ll probably want to see an aesthetically pleasing profile. To create this kind of look, choose a filter or a color that matches your brand nicely, and use that to create a cohesive look among your posts and convey your brand well.
There are many different types of profile themes that you can choose. The most important thing to consider when choosing a theme, though, is to find one that naturally fits with your brand. If you are trying to force a theme that doesn’t quite fit onto your brand, your followers and potential followers will know, because it will feel inauthentic, and we certainly don’t want that.
- All one color or filter: This is fairly self-explanatory. All of your photos would be edited with the same filter, and your colors would be consistent throughout your posts.
- Natural feed: Avoid editing or staging as much as possible. As the name implies, your grid should be natural and reflect the raw and real side of your brand.
- Rainbow theme: Alternate the colors in your posts so that you create a neat, multi-color look throughout your grid.
- White border theme: Simply add a white border to your photos so they all look uniform throughout your profile.
- Row theme: Create a cohesive account by always posting with three photos at a time that connect with each other when they’re lined up. This one takes a little extra thinking and planning, but it can look really neat when done well!
Get Creative with Carousels
A carousel is a very popular type of Instagram content that allows you to swipe through to see multiple photos or videos. With a little strategy and planning, you can make creative carousels that captivate your audience and keep them wanting more.
- Use carousels to tell a story. Show the beginning, middle and end of an event you went to or another story you want to share.
- Instagram vs. Reality: Jump on board this trend to create entertaining content that shows a bit of the less-polished side of life that doesn’t always make it to social media.
- Before & After: People love to see transformations, whether it’s decorating, a new logo, weight loss or any other sort of before and after that fits your business.
- Show step-by-step tutorials. With so many spaces available in your carousel, you can show your process or a unique way to use your product.
When you put effort into creating carousels, though, you want to be sure you’re encouraging your audience to swipe through. Use intelligent editing and doodle-type graphics to connect the photos in a creative way so swiping feels like a natural next step. You can even add “SWIPE ➡️” to the beginning of your caption to catch people’s attention and encourage them to see your next image.
Join in on Challenges!
Challenges are a great way to be recognized and increase your reach. Find a challenge that is trending and be sure to participate. You’ll also want to make sure that it fits with your brand, though, so your followers aren’t confused about this type of content. You could create a video that fits a new Tik Tok trend and post it to your feed with the associated hashtag in the first comment. Or, join in a photo challenge, like a Photo-A-Day challenge where you’re given a category to post about each day.
Make sure you use the associated hashtags so that people who are interested in the challenge can see your content when they search for it. Challenges can be a lot of fun for your team, and they can show your audience that your brand is made up of real people who enjoy what they do.
Keep a Consistent Message that Conveys Your Brand
You want your audience to recognize you on the platform. This applies to your photos, captions, hashtags, and your feed, as well as your Stories and any other way you choose to show up on Instagram. Create engaging and informative Instagram captions that truly represent your brand and give your audience a look into your business. This is where you can really build connections and relationships.
Take advantage of emojis in your posts to show your personality. Plus, when you add emojis, you can increase the engagement on that caption. Many people are drawn to the little illustrations whether they know it or not. You’ll also want to use relevant hashtags in your posts to attract users in your target audience. Finally, as we mentioned before, keep your feed content consistent with your brand and its personality and voice.
Create a Instagram Content Calendar
The best way to ensure that you are creating the best content possible is to have it organized right in front of you. Creating a content calendar doesn’t have to be difficult, and it can save you time and energy by allowing you to coordinate your feed, create your captions in advance and make sure that you are posting at the best time for your industry.
Begin by deciding how frequently you want to post and when the best times are for your audience. Then, choose photos you want to post or topics you want to post about (if you haven’t taken the photos yet), and edit them so they’re ready to go. Next, spend some time writing your captions. This is the place you can share your story and really connect with your followers and other Instagram users. Finally, choose the hashtags that will work well with this post and make sure they’re set. Some of your hashtags need to match your photo and your caption, otherwise Instagram could mark you as spam.
At this point you can either schedule them into an Instagram scheduling tool for automatic posting, plan them out in a scheduling tool that alerts you to remind you to post, or save a week’s worth of posts as drafts within Instagram itself, and remember to go in and post them each day.
So there you have it: the types of Instagram content that are working in 2020 and how to make the most of it. We primarily focused on your feed content today, but remember that Instagram has many different mini-platforms inside of it, like Stories, IGTV and Instagram Live. You don’t need to use all of these at once, but set aside some time to do additional research to know if you should incorporate one or more of them into your Instagram content calendar. Happy creating!