Have you been posting on Instagram regularly to increase your brand awareness and engagement?
Have you implemented hashtagging for all your posts and still do not see any progress?
If you said yes to any of the above questions, then keep reading; this guide will take you through the process of creating an Instagram campaign that will result in higher engagement and broader reach.
Instagram has been one of the highest ROI channels among the social networks after Facebook. Don’t lose your mind in the tactics that don’t work; follow these simple steps; from setting up your hashtag database to how often you should be posting.
Instagram campaigns are designed mostly for two main purposes:
- Create brand awareness and reach.
- Generate leads and sales directly.
Sometimes the campaigns might have different objectives like increasing engagement or followers, but at the end of the day, either of the ones will be the main objective.
Just like any other platform, you require to invoke the interest and grab the attention of a user as soon as possible from the moment they see your content.
Using branded hashtags as you post engaging content related to your target audience, will improve your brand’s presence on the platform.
Moving forward let’s look into the steps involved:
1.Create a Smart Marketing Plan
The campaign should have a clear plan that will align with your marketing objectives. Make sure that you are not wasting your resources.
Identifying the metrics to measure and improve, will give you a better picture of how the campaign will unfold from the very start.
The engagement of the campaign cannot be measured in advance, but with data collected from previous campaigns, you can always make an informed estimation.
Make sure that you have KPIs to track for each objective and the subtasks related to the campaign. Unless it is measurable at every stage, you are losing data that is invaluable for future campaigns.
Read more about Setting SMART goals for your Instagram Campaigns here
2.Identifying your Target Audience and Their Interests on Instagram
With 1 Million Monthly Advertisers and 8 Million Business Profiles, you can say that it is one of the biggest sources of traffic and you can find all kinds of audiences in this platform.
Creating the right content for the right audience is the next step when creating a marketing campaign. That said, sometimes it is difficult to find and reach the right audience among these billions of profiles on Instagram.
The crucial part of this process is identifying the buckets of interests, your target audience has. You need to answer questions like:
1. Where are they located?
2. What are their interests?
3. Whom do they follow?
4. Why do they support these brands?
Apart from these, you need to identify how you will be able to sync Instagram campaigns with other platforms you have a presence for your brand.
Since Instagram is a visual platform, you can also use the content on other visual platforms and repurpose the content to suit them.
In case you need to read more about creating an Instagram customer persona, you can read here.
Why Stuffing Hashtags Don’t Work (most of the time)
If you have been adding all kinds of hashtags to your Instagram and not seeing any results, these could be the two main reasons of the many:
3. Choosing the wrong hashtags.
Not tracking the hashtags.
Why choosing the wrong hashtags don’t work is obvious, but let us look deeper into the reason. You need to have identified your target audience already and most of the time, hashtags with high usage can be broad tags which don’t target a specific niche audience.
You need to use tags that are most relevant to your audience from the research in the previous step.
Tracking your hashtag metrics will give you a clear idea of what is working and what is not. If used with the right research of the exact target audience, hashtags have the potential to reach your target audience who are not among your followers.
If reaching new audiences to increase your followers in one of your campaign objectives, using the right hashtags is a crucial step.
4. Creating Content for the Campaign Objective
Choosing the audience and the content plan plays a major role in the success of an Instagram campaign.
If you have done your competitor research and audience research as required, you will have an idea of the content that needs to be produced to create engagement with your followers and new audiences available on Instagram.
Since it requires a lot of resources to produce quality content, you need to plan your content strategy according to your available resources and budget.
Some of the most common types of content for Instagram are:
User-generated content includes videos and photos. You can generate user content by implementing contests, requesting testimonials, showcasing customers, collaborations or influencer marketing.
Content formats do not frequently change unlike content itself. If you find a particular format performing well in your campaign, try to use that more because that might be the best format for your target audience.
5.Creating A Content Calendar for Instagram
Once you have identified the content format and the content, the next step is to create a content calendar.
From your research, you should have the exact data to justify your posting schedule and timelines for the campaign.
An editorial calendar will save you from rushing into creating low-quality content as you run past the posting schedule.
Having a content calendar will also help you in identifying holidays, major calendar events and other trends that will lineup with your campaign. You can integrate these events into your campaign to push it a little further if it is relevant to your target audience.
Example ( Including a Christmas theme in December)
Identifying the most engaging content on your Instagram account is one of the most difficult tasks for marketers.
There are usually too many variables to consider at any given point of time. The key here is to identify trends and user behavior over a period of time.
If you are running a campaign, you need to have the data from previous campaigns that are similar to this from which you can extract the information that contributed to the success of that campaign.
You need to be always testing and optimizing the posts that you make on Instagram. Making sure that you are on the right track and reaching your objective is an integral part of the whole strategy.
If you are not tracking the metrics that matter to the objective, you will never know if you are dedicating your resources to a fruitless venture.
Using Instagram Insights you can have a clear idea of the performance of the campaign during the period. You can also use tools like Buffer, Sprout Social etc. to create a detailed report on the campaign performance.
Now you have a step-by-step plan to create a powerful Instagram marketing campaign.
Remember that your audience research, competitor research with high-quality, relevant and engaging content that encourages people to like, share, or comment should be at the center of any campaign to make it a successful one.