877.5 million. That’s how many people are predicted to be using Instagram daily in 2020. There’s no doubt Instagram is a vital platform for brands, but if you’re not keeping your profile up-to-date and providing your audience with real value, you’re unlikely to be reaping the rewards. So, how about some innovative ideas to freshen up your Instagram feed?
1. Feature new events and encourage engagement through Instagram stories
There are multiple tools you can use within Instagram’s platform, but one that we often like to use is the poll tool. It’s not surprising to learn that audiences don’t want to have to work too hard to find out about new events. So, make it easier for them by posting a poll on your Instagram story. Users can just click that they would like to receive a link to your event, and then you can simply forward on a message and the link to the user’s Instagram inbox.
From farming to health and lifestyle, we’ve tried and tested this approach and have found that it really works. Messaging your audience does require a little man-power, but when you take the time to develop that relationship with your audience, it’s worth the extra minutes in the long run.
2. Hold a weekly hashtag challenge
By commandeering a hashtag and giving your audience challenges, you are asking them to engage with your brand on a non-sales level. This could really help you to solidify the relationship with your audience and grow a loyal following. Building audience trust is becoming ever more critical within marketing, so this approach ticks a lot of boxes.
So, how can you use your hashtag to engage followers? A great example is to hold a 7-day challenge encouraging your readers to post a picture within a particular theme, message or style along with your chosen hashtag. You may also want to provide an incentive to build up the excitement a little and give people a reason to get involved, whether that is a giveaway or simply reposting your favourite pic.
3. Tease your audience with behind-the-scenes content
Do you have a new product launch? Or an exciting company update? Why not tease your audience with little information to encourage anticipation? Or showcase what goes on behind closed doors at your company? Reward your Instagram audience by offering V.I.P access behind the scenes.
Offering a unique perspective into your company can be a valuable way to boost curiosity and brand awareness, and may deliver stronger engagement once all is revealed. For instance, you could showcase your company culture by allowing staff to take over your Instagram Stories, or reveal product updates on your Instagram feed, rather than traditional channels.
Just don’t forget: Instagram is a visually engaging place, so make it stand out!
4. Make your stories just as creative as your feed content
Your feed looks great, yes, but what exactly is your strategy for Stories? You need to keep both your feed and Instagram stories in sync by paying just as much attention to both.
Creative ways you can do this include designing a story template that fits in with your feed. Not only does this keep your Instagram consistent, visually, but it will also ensure that whoever is watching knows that it’s you. In a world where people flick through stories very quickly, it’s important to stand out.
Of course, also keep an eye on your analytics to ensure that what you are doing is keeping people engaged.
5. Don’t post as what your company does, but as who your company is
The best brands out there are those that have a distinct tone of voice or persona that makes the channel feel as if you’re speaking to a person, rather than a company.
This may not work for all of your channels, as different channels serve different purposes, but try building the persona of your Instagram account. What does your brand voice sound like or say? Which emojis will you use and what types of things should you advocate/share or engage with?
It is known that the more human your brand comes across, the more likely your audience is to engage with you. So, think creatively about positioning your brand on Instagram not as what your company does, but as who your company is.