Instagram has over 500 million active users, and 70% of them are under 35-years-old. If you want your business to target younger audiences, there is no better platform for you to market with.
And Instagram offers tons of posting options like Instagram Stories, Instagram Live, IGTV, and Reels. But original Instagram posts are still vital.
They are the first thing users see when they click on the app. And users almost always start strolling through their posts before looking at anything else, too.
But with so much competition from other brands and platforms, how can you make your posts more exciting? Here are some essential Instagram marketing tips so you can gain a larger, engaged audience on the platform. And more loyal customers, too!
1.Create a Flawless Brand Toolkit
One of the best Instagram tips for posts anyone could give you is also one of the best Instagram marketing tips in general. If you run a brand or business, you 100% need brand guidelines or a brand toolkit.
It is a document that includes all the information you need to communicate with your clients or customers. This is so that the company has one cohesive voice and look. Even if an employee is creating social media posts and not you, they should still look like the same person made them.
Here are some examples of what you need to include in your brand toolkit:
- Brand colors
- Brand fonts
- Brand logos
- Visual assets e.g., types of images, videos
- Written tone e.g., playful, professional
You can use this brand toolkit to create Instagram posts, too. It will help them look professional, eye-catching, and exciting. You can use a simple design program like Canva to make your brand toolkit.
Don’t choose too many fonts or colors. Two fonts in different sizes and three base colors are plenty. And two versions of your logo are also enough: a regular version and a smaller version for social media posts.
In this toolkit, include templates and good examples of Instagram posts. Include your ideal photo content and style and one with graphics. Don’t be afraid to show what you don’t want in your brand toolkit to avoid confusion
2.Build a Library of Cool Stock Assets
It is always more difficult to create Instagram posts “off the cuff” with nothing prepared than it is with a folder full of ready-to-post assets.
Though you should always plan your content in advance (more on that soon!), it doesn’t hurt to have some generic visual assets in case of emergencies.
No matter your business, here are some photographs that you should have stored:
- Group company photos
- Individual staff photos
- Office/store space photos both interior and exterior
- Product and/or service photos
- Action shots e.g., completing a sale, enjoying an event
Try and get photos in different seasons so you can post photos that suit the right time of year. Sharing a photo of your Seattle flower shop on a beautiful spring day when it’s actually December is jarring for your customers.
It also goes without saying that you should invest in professional photos. Build contacts with reliable, talented, local photographers so you can have a consistent visual style for all your photos.
Make sure you have landscape and portrait versions of every photo, too. This means you will have assets for Stories and Reels as well as normal Instagram posts.
Having a collection of stock video assets as well as photos is a great idea, too. Here are some videos that you should have stored to use as Instagram content:
- Making a sale
- Staff at work e.g., pouring a coffee
- Sweeping shots of your store/office, both interior and exterior
If you can adapt these shots to be in slow motion, you can post them by themselves or as part of a larger video edit. Never use generic stock photos that you buy online, as they will not look consistent with your other posts.
There might be more stock visual assets that you can capture than you think. Sticking with the coffee example, you could make videos of pouring beans, making latte art, serving drinks, making payments, etc.
You are only limited by your imagination!
3.Plan Your Content Calendar Far in Advance
The key to making exciting Instagram posts lies in making a killer content calendar. If you know what to make in advance, you have the time to create exciting assets and not something that is an afterthought.
Then, you’ll have tons of Instagram likes for Mac and Windows rolling in!
There are a few different types of content you need to include in your calendar. These are:
- Seasonal content
- New product launches
- Deals, sales, and voucher codes
- Fun facts, quizzes, questions, and interactive content
- Testimonials and reviews
Seasonal content relates to the four seasons of the year, National holidays, and celebration days. You should always make content that relates to seasons and holidays. But, only recognize celebration days, weeks, and months that are relevant to your business.
For example, if you run a waffle house, you should be sure to post about National Waffle Day on August 24th! But National Redhead Day on November 5th might not be as relevant.
New Product Launches
Whenever you launch a new necklace in your jewelry store or menu item, make sure you make content about it. You could also create a teaser post, do a countdown, or even run a poll so that your audience can choose a limited edition flavor or t-shirt print.
Everyone loves a deal. So, you could post a voucher code only for your Instagram followers. This is a great way to get new followers, too.
Behind-the-scenes stories should not make up the bulk of your Instagram posts, but they are important to publish now and again. Here are some examples of behind-the-scenes posts:
- Posts highlighting a staff member
- Your business’s back story
- Putting up holiday decorations
- Making a big order e.g., creating bouquets for a big wedding
- Putting together parcels to deliver
Whether your business is pet-friendly, updated opening times or any other business updates are important to post, too.
This is the type of Instagram post you should aim to create the most often. People love to learn new things and feel involved.
Post fun facts relevant to your business. For example, if you own a coffee shop, you could post, “did you know only two US states produce coffee?” for example.
You could also cross-post between Instagram posts and your stories. You could ask a question on your feed post and say, “the answer is in our stories!” and vice versa.
Choose one day of the week to run a quiz either in your stories or via a grid post. For example, if you run a hotel, you could post a “true or false” quiz about your local area every Friday. Your followers will look forward to your quiz, and it will keep them coming back and engaging.
And the last types of Instagram posts you can create are recreations of a nice testimonial or review. If someone leaves a stunning five-star response on Google Reviews or elsewhere, let everyone see it!
Recreate it in your own branding and post it on your feed.
4.Use a Mixture of Text, Photo, and Video Posts
To create a beautiful and cohesive Instagram feed, post a mixture of text, photo, and video posts.
Video content is easier to publish whenever you want as you can choose to create a reel instead of a feed post. That way, it can appear on your followers’ feed but stay in the reel section of your profile without messing up your grid.
But post text/graphic posts and photos either every second or fourth post, so they look good on your grid.
5.Don’t Make Your Captions an Afterthought
The visual content of your Instagram post is the most important part, but don’t forget to create an engaging caption, too.
Use emojis to create bullet points and write in short, snappy sentences. Some posts, like your brand story, will need a longer caption. But others will only need a sentence or two.
Always end your caption with a “call to action” to encourage your followers to comment on that post and/or “like” it.
Use relevant and well-researched hashtags. Instagram allows 30 hashtags but recommends you only use three to five. Try using a different amount of hashtags on different posts to find out which gives you the most engagement.
Give Your Instagram Posts a Boost
Instagram is one of the most important platforms for both organic marketing and paid advertising. You should use all their features to entertain and attract followers, including Instagram posts.
And now you know how to make them exciting and informative, you will have no problem doing both.
Want to learn more of the latest digital marketing tips to skyrocket your business online? Browse our marketing section for tons of useful guides and helpful tips and tricks!