The Official Instagram Strategy Guide
Download For Free Here
You’re posting to Instagram regularly and your hashtag game is on-point, but are really making Instagram work for your business? Promoting a campaign with Instagram might seem stressful, but it doesn’t have to be!
I know you’re wondering “Sue, what’s the difference between regular posting and a campaign launch?” As opposed to your daily posting, where you might share general updates and engagement opportunities with your followers, posts on Instagram during a campaign have a specific intention behind them, a branded theme and use focused calls to action to support the campaign’s mission.
But before I dive into a few of my tips, let me define “campaign” for you. A campaign is a focused marketing promotion for a specific offer during a specific period of time. Typically, you might launch a promotion for a new product, service, or online course. When a business is running a well-developed campaign, the launch is obvious not only on Instagram but on all other social platforms and marketing tools (like website and email marketing).
At the end of the day, people don’t like being sold to. Much like a beautiful magazine layout, your Instagram promotion should add value in every post. Whether it’s a stand alone image or part of a larger campaign, every post should inspire your followers to sign up, learn more and ultimately become a paying customer. Here are four ways that you can get your Instagram to do all the work for you.
A great Instagram bio is like a billboard for your business. According to researchers, it takes less than two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to form an impression of your account. That’s why it’s really important that you make the perfect first impression.
When you look at an account like @createcultivate, you instantly know what their latest event will be. How do they do it? They punch up their event launch with the fun use of emojis. You instantly know what the conference is about, where it is and when it’s taking place. Take a look at your bio, and consider what first impression it’s giving off. Not in line with your promotion? Change it!
Think about some of the memorable campaigns you’ve recently seen on social media and TV. Whether good or bad, they all have one thing in common – a branded visual theme. If you’re posting on a regular basis to your Instagram account, your followers have probably become familiar with your go-to branding strategy. That’s why it’s so important that when you launch a new promotion that you develop a distinct brand theme.
When I launched a campaign earlier this year for Marie Forleo’s B-School, my team and I wanted to stand out but stay true to the bright, vibrant color scheme that we used to connect with our loyal followers. Instead of our normal rainbow color palette, we used a vibrant red hue to distinguish the Marie Forleo campaign from our regular content. It was a small adjustment that had a big impact in helping our campaign content to stand out.
Even if bright colors aren’t your go-to strategy, you can use other content strategies to make your launch stand out. @OrangeTheory, a company specializing in personal fitness and high-intensity workouts, knows that that one of the things that helps their brand stand out is their bright orange color scheme. Using text overlay, Orange Theory clearly conveys exactly what each promotion is and when their followers can redeem it. Since Instagram is no longer chronological, this helps to keep the promotion timely even if their followers don’t see it for a few days.
Of all the ways to leverage your campaign, none are as overlooked as the post descriptions. It might seem obvious, but there a lot of businesses on Instagram who forget to remind their followers to check out the link in their bio. Knowing that you don’t want to oversell your campaign, post descriptions are a fun way to nudge your followers to click the link.
One account that manages to be straightforward without being overly salesy is @Birchbox. Whether it’s airbrush concealer or a new limited line of nail polishes, Birchbox takes the guess work out the promotion by telling people to “tap the link in the bio.” Even better, they remind people after the end of the post, thus putting the value of the product first.
Another way to seamlessly nudge your followers to the link in your bio is with hashtags. Businesses like @thecorcorangroup, a high-end real estate company, has a formula for the perfect post description:
Here is an example below.
While it is a more subtle strategy than Birchbox’s, it is still an effective way to relay exactly what you want your followers to do without an overly wordy post.
If you’ve read any of my other blog posts then you know I’m a HUGE fan of Instagram Stories. Not only do Instagram Stories allow you to share behind-the-scenes peeks at your business, but they also allow you another free opportunity to share your newest campaigns or product launches.
This strategy is most effective if you’re already updating your Instagram Story regularly, like @theskinnyconfidential. From cute videos of her adorable pup Pixie Bean to a glamorous night at the Canned Film Festival, Lauryn invites her followers to get to know all of the motivations behind her business. But when she’s launching a new campaign, Lauryn goes above and beyond to give the full details on her Instagram Story. Not only does she relay the information in a more dynamic way, but she opens up the opportunity to start a two-way conversation with her clients.
When it comes to business inspiration, there are few that are as inspiring as @WeWork. A company focused on building beautiful, collaborative spaces, We Work takes their inspiration to the next level with updates to their Instagram Story. Since their followers are already tuning in for their daily dose of inspiration, We Work knows this is the perfect place to promote their latest campaigns. Not only do they pay special attention to keep their story on brand, but they always tie in their latest launch with the kindred spirit that defines the We Work community using colorful photos and motivational messages.
No matter what strategy you decide to tackle first, I encourage you to think critically about how you incorporate these best practices into your business. Just like there’s no one-size-fits all business plan, you have to do the necessary research and deep dive on your data insights to know exactly what is working for your business.