Managing online marketing these days can begin to feel quite overwhelming when there’s so many platforms and networks where audiences are looking for published content. How do you decide to manage your time and where do you prioritize your efforts? What seems to be true for most brands is that they can’t afford to ignore Instagram. Approximately half of Instagram users follow brands’ accounts as well as their friends’ profiles. It follows then that brands get more engagement with their followers on Instagram than on any other social network. Planning out and posting consistent content will help you get more followers on Instagram.

Photo Credit: https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5442/10040668044_e41bb1cc85.jpg

But once you decide to publish on Instagram, how do you make the most of your time and still deliver valuable content to your followers? What might work for you, that works for many marketers these days, is planning out a month’s worth of content in one sitting to the best of your abilities. It might seem like a lot at first, but this method allows you to strategically curate and schedule a mix of content. That way, throughout the rest of the month, you don’t have to think about what you’re going to post that day or spend a lot of time looking for content and ideas. You’ll already have everything ready to go.

When you sit down to create 30 days of Instagram posts in one day, think about what you can do in 30 days that shows Instagram users that you are a producer of varied, interesting, and engaging content. Read on to to learn about ideas for monthly Instagram posts:

Visual Content

We’ve learned over time that visual content, especially video, is more successful on social media than textual content. Visual platforms like Instagram make it easy to publish visual posts that are accompanied by simple, short captions. As a brand, your Instagram photos and videos are representative of your company, your culture, and your mission, so make sure that the images you post are representing the brand image you want. Also, make sure that your photos are high-quality.

Post photos that tell your story, show your lifestyle, and that inspire people to learn about your products and/or services. This has become even more important as more and more customers are shopping on Instagram and/or researching products on the platform. For example, many fashion brands now include a hyperlink in their Instagram profile that directs users to a Shop the Feed website, where they can follow links to order the products that are appearing in the brand’s Instagram feed. In addition to photos, be sure to mix things up and post videos as well. You need to elevate your brand, create an Instagram presence, and avoid getting lost in the crowd.

It’s Okay to be Cute & Funny

How can you mix it up? Be fun! Remember, users come to Instagram for the fun and playful photos they encounter. No matter who you are, almost everyone loves seeing photos of delicious food. No matter what your brand is about, people love photos of puppies and cute animals. At first, it seems counterintuitive to go away from topics that have to do with your business. But social media is all about sharing, and sometimes that means sharing things that are outside of your field of expertise.

 

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/target/?hl=en

Take the post from Target above as an example. Yes, the photo includes a Target product (pineapple printed rugs), but the corgi pups are the stars of the post. Note that Target also tagged @lacorgi in the post. Posts that tag other users often perform better than those that don’t, so keep an open mind when it comes to collaborations and shoutouts. Take a customer-centric approach; don’t push your sales and your advertising. Be a voice on the Internet that your audience is excited to interact with.

Regram Posts

Another way to give another brand or user a shoutout is to regram their content. Regramming is like a share on Facebook; you are publishing someone else’s content on your feed and crediting the original creator. Not only does regramming help develop good relationships, but it also extends the reach of your post by getting it in front of the other user’s audience as well.  

 

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/krispykreme/?hl=en

In the example above, the bottom left-hand corner of the image indicates that it’s a regram. Krispy Kreme also gives credit to the user in the caption with the tag @munchinwithmirah and the hashtag #reposticonosquare. We also love that this timely post spreads awareness about Krispy Kreme’s seasonal pumpkin treats.

Go Behind the Scenes

Instagram is a great way to let your audience know more about you and your brand. They’ll get to see how your products and/or services are actually being used and how they work. It’s nice to have close up images of products so the customer gets to know them especially if they are researching a purchase decision. However, it is most effective to post photos of the product being used so your followers can get inspired to use the product and imagine how the product would fit into their lives. For example, if you sell clothing, can you share ideas about which pieces to mix and match? If you sell makeup, are there styles and techniques you can spread? If your business has grown recently, can you share photos of your new retail and/or office space?

Engage with your audience by sharing your authentic stories. Show your audience persona content like photos of a company event, snapshots of a tradeshow, a weekly meeting, and/or a trip to a local historic or scenic spot. Show your passion and provide context for your brand and your company culture to show what you’re about.

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/disney/

What Day is It?

Be relevant and catch users’ attention by posting timely content that fits the day of the week, the season, or a holiday. What events can you highlight in your daily Instagram posts for your followers? Halloween and Thanksgiving are coming up, so don’t forget to post about those holidays and hashtag your content.

A simple way to come up with content for each and every month is to occasionally post a “Day of the Week” hashtag. You have probably noticed this trend as you scroll through social media, including days like Throwback Thursday, Motivation Monday, Words of Wisdom Wednesday, and Sunday Selfie.

The example below, posted by Oreo, celebrates National Oreo Day with a fun animation that pulls back the day on the calendar.

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/p/BCne0x8RtM0/?taken-by=oreo

Call to Action

We all want to gain more followers on social media, but at the end of the day, you want to encourage your followers to complete specific actions that will promote your brand presence and enlarge your brand community. First, what is the goal of your post? What are you hoping to encourage people to do? If your team wants to increase sales, are you going to add a Shop the Feed link to your Instagram profile? If you want to increase website traffic, are you going to direct users to a landing page for a promotion or contest? Or if your goal is community engagement, are you posting photos with short, well-written captions that encourage your followers to like and comment? See the post below by Cover Girl on how to enter a contest to win tickets for an example of an effective call to action on Instagram.

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/covergirl/?hl=en

Once you have your content plan for the month, it will be much easier to focus your time and energy on creating all of the Instagram posts in one day. Your first attempt may take longer, but it will become easier with time and experience. We recommend collecting ideas in a folder dedicated to Instagram. When you sit down to plan out your 30 days of content each month, you’ll already have some of it covered. When an idea pops into your head, write it down before you forget it.

Don’t be afraid to promote some of your posts to extend your reach and to widen your audience. Just be sure to measure and track your efforts to make the most of your time and your budget. Tweak your strategies as you go and find out what works best for you and your brand.

Have more questions about social media marketing and content creation? Feel free to contact us at Square 1 Group, a boutique web development firm that specializes in crafting and managing beautiful websites.