Instagram Marketing – 6 Steps to a Winning Campaign

How do you launch a successful Instagram marketing campaign?

A social sharing channel for visual content, Instagram allows users to upload photos and short 15-second videos, write captions, tag friends (also known as shout outs), and add appropriate #hashtags to boost discovery.

Like any social media platform, Instagram has its unique characteristics.

Users typically scroll through 10s of photos and videos each time, liking (through double taps) those that catch their eye, and adding an occasional comment. Really good stuff gets reposted on the users own account, often with the right hashtags and shout outs.

With this in mind, follow these steps to enjoy better outcomes in your Instagram marketing campaign.

1) Identify Campaign Objectives

Zoom in on what your Instagram campaign hopes to achieve.

Do you wish to bring greater visibility to a new product? Raise brand awareness for an existing product? Invite consumers to a launch event? Or drive revenue for a seasonal promotion?

Different objectives have different outcomes:

  • Brand awareness campaigns usually looks at reach (followers reached) and likes
  • Member acquisitions usually drive users to click through a URL to register
  • Sales promotions are normally tracked via a #hashtag (offering discounts) redemption
  • Customer loyalty and affinity can be measured by likes, comments, and reposts

A clear campaign objective lays the foundation to eventual success in Instagram marketing.

HOT TIP: Instagram works better for B2C businesses wishing to raise product/brand awareness, than B2B businesses hoping to generate sales leads.

2) Choose Target Communities

Understand who you hope to reach and why. There are two ways to segment your communities:

  1. Demographics

Traditionally, demographic attributes like age, sex, income levels, and education play an important role in marketing. While their importance has somewhat diminished, it may still be useful to determine the life stage (eg student, swinging single, young families) of your users.

  1. Interests

Are your targeted consumers foodies? Do they love following the latest trends in fashion? Would they enjoy awe-inspiring landscape photographs?

Collectively, these behavioural traits help you determine where you can best reach targeted consumers.

HOT TIP: Instagram is heavily skewed towards a younger demographic of tweens, teens, youths and young adults.

3) Partner Instagram Influencers

Now that you’ve identified who you want to reach, your next step involves working with the right Instagram influencers. These are the “uber users” who have significant number of fans/followers (usually 1,000 and above).

Consider the following attributes:

  • Brand Fit: Does the persona of your targeted influencer fit your brand?
  • Content Fit: Is there a fit in what she posts with your brand or product?
  • Engagement: How engaged are her fans? Do they like or comment much?
  • Promotional Savvy: Does the Influencer know how to work with brands?

HOT TIP: Don’t just look at the number of followers an influencer has. Rather, consider how responsive and engaged they are, especially if the influencer has worked on campaigns before.

4) Create Instagrammable Content

Diving into the Instagram campaign mechanics proper, one needs to weave in the following elements:

  • Photo Ops: Are there ways to create photo opportunities (ops) for your products or services? Where will these occur – on site at your outlet or anywhere your product can be found?
  • Video Ops: Can you create short 15 second videos showcasing your products? What about your influencers and their fans?
  • Text and Logo Overlays: Find a way to brand your content by introducing watermarks of your logos, website URLs or brand names. Include eye-catching captions too.
  • #Hashtags: These are hugely important in Instagram. Create your own branded campaign hashtag (make sure its short and memorable).

HOT TIP: Impose limits on the number of words needed to communicate your campaign. Use bullet points rather than long passages.

5) Activate Your Community

Ensure that you have a strong and clear Call To Action (CTA) in your Instagram campaign. Include the following:

  • Rules of Engagement: What do followers have to do? Does it suffice for them to like your post or do they have to also add in a comment, tag a few friends and repost it?
  • Offer Great Prizes: What do they stand to gain if they win? Generally speaking, prizes relevant to your business works better in attracting genuine customers.
  • Drive Them to a URL: Include your URL (make it easy and short) in your campaign messaging. Put it on your own bio page (the one place with a clickable link on Instagram).
  • Involve Influencers: How are your Instagram influencers helping with your campaign?
  • Showcase Fans: Everybody loves their 2 seconds of Instagram fame. Repost the content of worthy fans and give them a shout out.

HOT TIP: Determine the right balance between reach and engagement. CTAs which require more effort (eg post original content, tag 5 friends) normally have a lower participation rate but higher levels of engagement.

6) Monitor and Track Success

It is very important to actively manage and monitor the progress of your Instagram campaign throughout the campaign period. Don’t wait until the last day!

Common metrics used to track Instagram success include:

  • Followers reached (via influencers and your own networks)
  • Number of fan generated content (through hashtags)
  • Increase in followers
  • Likes on your/your influencers’ posts
  • Comments generated
  • Number of reposts
  • Shoutouts generated (ie @yourbrand)
  • Click throughs to your URL

There are two ways to do so:

  • Manual Monitoring: Get an employee to manually trawl through Instagram to check on how many branded hashtags are being shared, who your most “productive” fans are, as well as the effectiveness of Instagram influencers. Log down the time of day and day of the week where content is shared.
  • Automated Monitoring: Invest in an Instagram marketing automation software to take away your headaches of monitoring campaign success. A good example of this is StarNgage, our own proprietary platform for Instagram influencer marketing.

HOT TIP: Keep your KPIs simple and limit yourself to 2 or 3 success metrics. Remember to link what you measure and monitor to your original objectives.

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