How to plan, create and implement your Instagram marketing strategy

category: guide|author: Ilona Iftode|updated: 19-07-18

The dawn of 2010 brought us Instagram. Since then, a lot of things have changed. Trends have come and went (remember Harlem Shake? What about planking?), hashtags have appeared and disappeared with bolting speed, the Internet got enraged like a million times and online marketing has taken flight. And that’s particularly why we need to talk about Instagram Marketing. Because even if trends are fleeting and hashtags only live as long as the latest craze, the foundation of makes or breaks a great Instagram Marketing strategy doesn’t change as fast as the whimsies of the online opinion.

Currently, Instagram gathers 800 million monthly active users, with 500 million daily users. That means serious business. And it also means that if you run a business, Instagram Marketing should be high on your agenda. With 60% of Instagram users declaring to find new products on the platform and 80% of users following businesses on Instagram, it’s clearer than ever! Instagram Marketing is something you should master! The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. We’re here to help you along the way. So let us give you a helping hand and get you started. Here’s a step by step guide that will make Instagram Marketing seem approachable and, dare we say, even fun!

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What to research before even thinking about your Instagram Marketing

What to research before setting your Instagram Marketing

Every good plan starts with thorough research. That’s a life lesson but also an Instagram Marketing must. Yes, knowledge is power and this nugget of wisdom is as true in the age of the online as it was a thousand years ago. Thus, before even thinking about how your Instagram Marketing should look like, you must know everything (and more) about your niche.

Thus, the first step in planning a killer Instagram Marketing strategy is researching your competitors. Start by looking at their Instagram profiles but also have a sneak peek at their other social media account and their website. See how they position themselves, what type of tone of voice they use, what tactics they entail and how their target reacts. Draw conclusions from the strategies that work but, most importantly, learn from their mistakes.

Next, a vital step in crafting an Instagram Marketing strategy that will hit the nail is understanding your audience. Makes sense, right? Because to attract new followers you must know what they like (and dislike). That being said, go about and analyze the way your ideal type of follower interacts with other accounts and what kind of content they prefer and engage with.

Another aspect you should research before planning your Instagram Marketing strategy is related to current and emerging trends. This will give you a great head-start and some nice ideas on what content to create. Of course, also dig into the hashtags to discover the most relevant ones for your niche.

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Make a list of your Instagram Marketing objectives

Write down all your Instagram Marketing objectives

Now, although you may know what other competitors are doing for their Instagram Marketing strategies and what your followers expect, you also need to think about what you want. Yes, yes! Because depending on what your objectives and goals are you will need to create different Instagram Marketing approaches and employ different tactics.

To make sure all the efforts you direct towards your Instagram Marketing pay off, you must think about where this awesome social media platform can help you most in your funnel and how it can integrate with your global marketing strategy.

  • Do you want to simply grow brand awareness?
  • Do you want to reach more potential clients and generate leads?
  • Do you want to drive sales directly from Instagram?
  • Do you want to use it for your employer branding?

The better you have these cleared up in your mind, the better you’ll do. What’s more, it will also be easier for you to think about what type of content to create. Selecting and prioritizing objectives will give you the continuity and coherence your brand needs to succeed. Instagram is a great platform when used right and it can offer you the competitive advantage to get ahead. BUT, and there’s a big BUT, you have to think strategically about it and organize your efforts. Otherwise, don’t even bother.

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Draw the blueprint of your Instagram Marketing strategy

Draw the blueprint of your Instagram Marketing strategy

Once you check out the competition, get warm and close to your audience by knowing their likes and get in tune with your own needs, it’s time to do what you came here to do! Yes, finally, it’s time to…draw a blueprint of your Instagram Marketing strategy. You thought we were going to say implement your Instagram Marketing strategy? Why are you in such a hurry? Think about this: skipping steps along the way won’t make you achieve things faster. It will only get you to stumble, fall and hurt your brand. So, take it nice an easy and you’ll get a long way.

Now that we agree, let’s get back to that blueprint. With all the knowledge you’ve gathered, try to think exactly what type of content and tactics will work better with your audience. It’s also the time to think about the aesthetics of your feed and think about it long term. We’ve written a lot about how you can better your Instagram Marketing by improving your aesthetics or by simply stepping up your game when it comes to captions and hashtags.

In a nutshell, here are the steps to consider when creating your Instagram Marketing strategy:

  1. Define your tone of voice and aesthetics
  2. Create your Instagram Bio
  3. Think about what types of content you plan to create (think descriptive posts, behind-the-scenes, contest, influencer posts etc.)
  4. Plan for a balanced proportion of photos, videos, Instagram Stories
  5. Define your post frequency and create a schedule based on the best times to post
  6. Schedule dates to audit your content

This would be enough to get you started with your Instagram Marketing strategy. Of course, along the way, you will have to prove that your flexible and adapt as you go. It’s also highly important to constantly monitor your progress and check your engagement rated. Digging into the insights from Instagram and using other analytics tools will help you perfect your Instagram Marketing even further. And, of course, keep on reading because there are so many things to consider.

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Tools to help you implement your Instagram Marketing Strategy

Tools to help you with your Instagram Marketing Strategy

We know the task of creating and implementing your Instagram Marketing strategy might feel monumental. But don’t be daunted by the task. You’re not alone in this story and you don’t have to carry the load alone either. Luckily, there are a bunch of tools and great aids that can help you implement and tweak your Instagram Marketing. Here are some ideas on what tools can make your days easier:

  • The Instagram Business Blog - your direct source for the latest Instagram News, updates and inspiration
  • Snapseed - on-the-go, rapid and powerful photo editor
  • WooBox - create, manage and run Instagram contests
  • Whole Design Studios - a trendy marketing ensemble for fashion brands that want to drive organic traffic and boost their collection of followers
  • Linktree - helps you pump-up the link in your bio by redirecting followers to a page where they can choose among various links
  • Preppr and the Preppr Blog - your sidekicks for automatic posting, visual planning, and Instagram Inspiration
  • Owlmetrics - dig into Instagram Analytics and get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t
  • Tapinfluence - find the right influencer for your niche and manage your relationship with them
  • Keyhole - find the most relevant and fresh hashtags to extend your reach
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Keep a constant eye on your Instagram Marketing strategy

Keep a constant eye on your Instagram Marketing strategy

The most important thing you must remember about your Instagram Marketing strategy is that you must constantly tweak and adapt it. Even if your initial plan might seem bulletproof, no social media strategy lives in a vacuum. Followers change as digital trends change and you must keep up with the times.

That’s why you must equip yourself with a plan that includes regular Instagram Insights check-ups and digging into more complex analytics. Make sure to also schedule at least yearly Instagram Audits. These habits will definitely help you improve and get the most out of your Instagram Marketing. And, this goes without saying, keep on reading, keep on learning, keep on putting your creativity to the test!

Until the next Instagram talk, we salute you!