Instagram feeds update fast and there’s a new face-altering filter available each week. Users have figured out how to attract massive followings and even become “Instagram Famous.”
So how should brand marketing efforts fit the attractive, square mold?
Lucky for you, Buffer has done all sorts of research for you and rounded up eight key guidelines to follow when creating marketing content for Instagram. Here’s what they recommend:
1. Younger audiences like relevant, relatable and creative content.
Instagram’s user base is primarily 18-29 year olds and more women use the platform than men, according to the Pew Research Center. This demographic is fond of inspiring, beautiful and unique content. If you can create high-quality images and videos that can be described as “current, creative and useful” – the top three words used teens and young adults used to describe Instagram – you’ll be in good shape.
2. Post consistently, not constantly.
If you stick to a regular posting schedule and publish well-made posts, engagement will follow. Irregular, low-quality, constant posts won’t do you any favors. In fact, it may drive followers away if your posts becoming a nuisance and/or don’t measure up to others.
3. Post when it works best for you.
When’s the best time to post on Instagram? No one really knows; research varies. Make your own schedule based on what you’ve seen work for your audience.
4. Don’t neglect Instagram Stories!
Snapchat was all the rage for a while, but Instagram Stories are slowly taking over. According to Techcrunch, Instagram stories generated an average of 35 percent more views for brands than Snapchat.
Another study found some Instagram users pay more attention to stories than posts, too. Maximize engagement by posting a story every so often. Not sure how to create amazing story content for your brand? Free template resources, such as this one, can get you started.
5. Add hashtags and location tags.
These are tools to help users find your content. Use them when you can.
TrackMaven found nine hashtags seems to be the magic number for maximizing post engagement. Just don’t be obnoxious. However, use too many and your posts may be hidden from the hashtags feeds if they appear “spammy.”
6. Create a mix of videos and images.
Videos took over Facebook, and that may be Instagram’s fate, according to L2 and News Whip studies. However, whether videos will outperform images on Instagram depends on each brand’s followers. Experiment with videos and compare their performance with your image posts. The data will reveal what your followers prefer.
7. Utilize user-generated content.
Big brands such as Ben & Jerry’s and GoPro collect the best customer-created photos taken of their products and repost them to their Instagram accounts – with great engagement success, too.
If you’ve noticed consumers frequently tag your company in pictures relevant to your product and brand, experiment with this strategy. It could be a great (and simple) way to expand your reach and reward consumer loyalty.
8. Caption lengths can vary.
Don’t make your captions longer or shorter than need be. The point of a caption is to convey a message, and this can be done in many ways: From a lengthy text story to a handful of emojis.
Instagram recommends keeping captions to 125 characters or less so users don’t have to click “read more,” but don’t forgo important details in an effort to be concise. Once again, quality versus quantity.