27 September 2021
How to Start an Instagram Marketing Campaign in 2021
Way back at the end of 2020 Manchester’s top digital agency – Seek Social – took a look at the state of the Instagram marketing campaign heading into 2021. Now some 9 months later we’re back once again to refine that advice with the help of hindsight and insight, and help you prepare your Instagram page to do business successfully through the rest of the year, into 2022, and beyond. Without further ado then, let’s get into it!
Step 1 – The Prep Work for Instagram Marketing
Instagram marketing campaign can be different at times, Manchester’s top digital agency also know that much of the prep work for a successful Instagram page is the same work that you’d do for any other social media platform or ad campaign – and we’ll take you through those tasks now!
Step 1.1 – Set Your Social Media Marketing Goals
We know that this is something our team has talked about before, but Manchester’s top digital agency believes that this is so important it bears repeating. Define what you want to achieve (and how you’re going to determine if you’re achieving it) before you begin posting anything. You have more chance of defining a relevant goal if you do things this way, and that makes it easier to tell if your current Instagram approach is actually helping your business or not.
In addition, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re succeeding because one metric that doesn’t really mean much to the business you are improving – be honest with yourself, set a meaningful Instagram campaign goal that you can measure, and stick to it.
Step 1.2 – Identify your Target Audience
Just like having a clear and measurable goal, our digital strategy creation team knows that you need to identify who it is that you want to market to. After all, who you’re speaking to has a massive impact on how you express yourself, or how you present something. In addition to this, your ad campaign will see more success if you talk to your audience in the way that they want to be talked to. However, in order to do so, you need to know who that audience is before you start talking…
The Three Golden Rules of Instagram Marketing
Once you’ve taken the time to lay the groundwork for your Instagram marketing campaign as outlined above, Seek Social – Manchester’s top digital agency – know that you’re in a better position to succeed when the campaign goes live. However, the team at this top digital agency know that you also need to obey the three golden rules of Social Media Marketing – which are as follows:
– Have Good Content Ideas: ‘Content is king’ in digital marketing, and that holds true no matter what platform you’re posting on, so you will need awesome content no matter how you choose to use Instagram. It might be insightful, thought provoking, or an invitation for audience feedback – it might be just plain ‘cool’ – but however you do it, your content needs to inspire your audience to react to it. Now is the time to start thinking about how you’re going to make that happen.
– Have Good Support: Of course you’ll want the best creative people you can get in charge of your written content and the images that go with them – but beyond this, there are a number of Instagram marketing tools, plugins and platforms out there that can help you raise your game, and maybe even give you the edge over competitors. Make sure you aren’t missing out here!
– Be Consistent: When we’re talking about consistency, Manchester’s top digital agency are referring to both your message and content types in general, as well as your posting schedule. Your audience should know roughly what to expect from you (and when) – but with that said, if they’re able to predict specific posts or exactly when you’ll make them, things have probably gone a bit too far here!
Step 2 – Starting Your Instagram Marketing Campaign Off Right
Step 2.1 – Profile Setup
Our top digital agency knows that as soon as you sign up on Instagram, you have an opportunity to take a step towards success. Space is tight on your profile, granted, but the more information – like a basic description of your company, your website link, email address and so on – that you can get into here, the better.
Likewise, you’re going to want a good quality image for use in your profile – Instagram is a very image-focused platform after all, so the right profile pic can make a world of difference (as can the wrong one).
Step 2.2 – Setting A Posting Schedule (And Sticking To It!)
Humans are creatures of habit. We regularly do the same things at the same points in our day. We have routines. Your Instagram posts will find a greater audience – and more success – if you can fit into your audience’s routine, so the advice from this top digital agency is first to find out when your audience is online and when they’re not (analytics suites and platforms can help you do this). Establish a posting schedule around that information, and you put your content out there at your audience’s times of peak activity.
More than that though, the staff at our top digital agency also know that the more your audience sees content from you popping up in their feed on a regular basis, the more they start to trust that you’re a reputable brand and business that’s going to be around for the foreseeable future. This then makes them more likely to engage with your posts, and possibly even become customers!
Step 2.3 – Getting Some (Digital) Help
With Instagram being as popular as it is – it’s the sixth-most visited site on the internet, after all – there’s a vast array of plugins, apps, browser extensions and other digital tools available to help you get your content out there on time and looking great. So be sure to check around the various app stores and repositories for these tools and grab the ones that you think will be of use to you. Don’t forget either that a tool doesn’t need to be Instagram-specific to be used with Instagram. Scheduling platforms for example often work with multiple platforms, so – while they will work with the platform just fine – their branding or marketing won’t necessarily be Instagram-specific.
Step 3 – Content Creation
With the groundwork laid, now is the time to start creating content for your Instagram marketing campaign. However, as with most things in digital marketing Seek Social – Manchester’s top digital agency – know that there’s a right way to go about this, and a wrong way. As ever though, we will share our Instagram content knowledge with you now…
Step 3.1 – Use Quality Images
Especially compared with other platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, Instagram has a definite focus on visual presentation and images. The advice from Manchester’s top digital agency is therefore to make every effort to make quality, high resolution images a part of any Instagram content that you post. That goes double for your profile pic too – you want the best image you can possibly get in this key spot.
Step 3.2 – The Posts That Work In 2021
Now it’s time for the top digital agency in Manchester to talk turkey, and go through the different post types and marketing opportunities that exist on Instagram. Over the next few paragraphs we’ll show you how all of the various post types differ from each other, and what they work well for – so if you want to really get the most business benefit you can from every post you make, you’re in the right place – let’s take a look!
Instagram Feed Posts
Even in 2021 and 2022, standard Instagram feed posts are still your bread and butter on the platform. Posts will become less relevant and less important as they age, that’s just the nature of social media – but every post you make here matters, at least while it’s still ‘fresh’. That being the case Manchester’s top digital agency would strongly advise that you pay close attention to your top nine posts, what’s in them and what it says about your business or brand. Why your top nine posts? Quite simply because they are highly likely to be visible to visitors without scrolling – they’re what people will see ‘by default’ when they visit your feed.
These days there are ads all over the internet – you won’t need the help of Manchester’s top digital agency to see that. Google has many different types just in and of itself, Facebook has it’s own ads platform – and since Instagram’s owned by Facebook, Instagram has ads of its own now too. Just like the platform as a whole though, Instagram ads focus on the visual – so you’ll need a great image or short video to stand out from the crowd. If you can provide that however (and team it up with some good advertising copy), Instagram ads have proven to be a valuable and effective marketing resource on the platform.
Instagram stories are a great marketing tool for your business – they’re located in a key position on the screen so you can’t miss them, they take up the full screen when opened, and even better – they expire. Their 24-hour shelf life is great for building your audience – as the team at Manchester’s top digital agency know, by their very nature Instagram stories create FOMO (‘Fear of Missing Out’) – and that threat of ‘catch this now or it’s gone forever’ is a big motivating factor in getting your audience to view your content.
All things video: IGTV, Instagram Live, and Reels
Another thing the top digital agency in Manchester can say with confidence is that video content needs to capture the viewer’s attention quickly in order to be effective. Reels and Instagram Live are the platform’s answer to TikTok and livestreaming respectively. Even with IGTV though – where videos can run up to 60 minutes – you can’t afford to wait around, because if your audience doesn’t get the information they want soon enough, they’ll just go looking elsewhere. So don’t be shy, get straight into the meat of your content, and do so in a vibrant and entertaining way. If you can there’s a wealth of engagement and likes to be had, which will push your profile forward and get you more exposure in the long run. In the short term too, if you can go viral…
Instagram Highlights & Guides
Instagram Highlights and guides let you assign your content to albums, which will remain visible on your profile until you remove them. Manchester’s top digital agency therefore want to point out that for business purposes they are a great way to make your cornerstone content or key products are visible and highly accessible to your audience. They can also be used to ensure that evergreen content is shared and seen on a regular basis too – and YES, you can also use highlights and guides with stories!
If you choose to sell products directly through Instagram, you remove an un-necessary step in a customer’s buying process, and one more chance for them to lose interest and move away from their buying journey. Now, as long as you can make an eye-catching post that people want to interact with, you can use Instagram to generate sales directly, rather than ‘just’ engagement – and that’s a huge plus point for any business. The only thing the top digital agency in Manchester would remind you of is that Instagram Shops are only available to those selling physical products – you can’t use them to sell digital merchandise or for service-based businesses (yet).
If Instagram is your sales location, then the top digital agency in Manchester would liken your Instagram DM’s to your customer service helpline. If you’re doing business on the platform then in addition to posting your regular content, you need to be using your DM’s to build, maintain (and if something goes wrong, repair) relationships with your individual customers.
Step 3.3 – Hashtags
Just because Instagram gives you lots of hashtags to play with, doesn’t mean you can use any tag that you think sounds good. As the team at this top digital agency know well, each hashtag is a chance to put yourself in front of a new segment of your audience – a chance that’s wasted if you don’t put thought into the hashtags you’re using, and make sure that each one is a popular, vibrant place to be on the platform.
Step 3.4 – Engagement
The key thing that you’re looking for is engagement from an Instagram post. Not everyone that visits your page is going to be in a position to buy something from you, to be honest they may not even know who you are at first – but the one thing they can all do is like and comment. Because of this, the staff at this top digital agency know that engagement is the metric you should be using to gauge the success of your posts. The more engagement a post gets, the better for your social media presence.
Step 4 – The Other Rules of Social Media Posting Still Apply
Don’t forget though, whatever kind of Instagram post you choose to use, it’s still a social media post – so the basic rules of social media posting as laid down by the expert team at our top digital agency still apply. Post regularly, and post when your audience is online to make sure that your content reaches more of the people that will be most interested in both seeing what you have to say, and engaging with it.
The Final Word on Instagram Marketing With Our Top Digital Agency
So, there you have it folks – Seek Social’s complete guide to Instagram marketing campaign in 2021 and beyond. If you follow the tips that the staff at Manchester’s top digital agency have given today, we’re confident that you’ll see a definite improvement in your fortunes on the platform. However, if you’d like any further marketing tips for Instagram that are more personalized to your situation, or if you want to talk to us about any of the other digital marketing services that we provide, get in touch today via Facebook, via email to ‘email@example.com’ or by calling 0161 761 1800!