Instagram Strategy For Brands. All About Goals, Audience, Content, And KPI For The Most Efficient Brand Promotion

Last Updated: 31.10.2017 10:33

Today we’ll describe the stages of developing an Instagram social media strategy, which includes goal-setting, finding a target audience, developing a content plan, and setting KPIs. Having read this article you’ll also learn how to get followers on Instagram and how to get more likes on Instagram.

Setting Goals

Instagram strategy for brands starts with the proper goals. The goals of your Instagram social media strategy should be aligned with the general marketing strategy. For example, if the marketing objective is to raise brand awareness, on Instagram you should also concentrate your efforts on raising awareness and work on increasing the outreach to your target audience.

In order to properly formulate goals, you need to conduct a provisional audit of what you have and what stage you are at. You should also determine the specific result you’d like to achieve and what the time frame is. It’s crucial to keep the levels of your objectives in mind — there are business goals, marketing goals, and communicative tasks. Let’s examine them in more detail.

Business goals are all about money and profits. Both numbers and details are important here — to increase the sales conversion rate from 3% to 5% by December 1, 2017, or to increase the average purchase size by 30% by March 2018.

Marketing goals, which are the desired actions of the target audience, depend on your business goals. It’s essential to understanding of what’s important to you in people’s behavior. Based on these goals, you should formulate the communicative task, which will become the core of your social media work, namely, the desired change in brand perception and related attributes and characteristics.

Let’s consider a case study. For example, you represent a beauty salon, and one of your goals is to grow sales. The business goal may be formulated as follows: increase revenue by 30% by the end of the year. Consequently, we designate the action of the target audience that’s is crucial to us, i.e. making nail design appointments more frequently. The final level is outlining communicative goals, such as the audience’s opinion of the brand, i.e., creating an image of a salon that offers fine creative manicure services. Thus, the last phase, namely, the communicative goal, is our very social media strategy.

Study The Competition

The second step of Instagram strategy for brands is analyzing the competitors. An analysis of your competitors provides a wealth of useful information for your brand strategy, such as what content to post and when to post. Remember that besides direct competitors there are also indirect ones, as well as competitors “for attention.” It’s vital to study them in order to work efficiently with your communicative goal.

Let’s say, you own an evening gown boutique. Your goal is to distinguish yourself from the competition and create an image of a cutting-edge brand in the sphere of evening wear. On the way to achieving this goal you won’t be competing with other dress boutiques, rather, it’ll be those striving to attain the reputation of a trendy and innovative brand, those who speak to your target audience about fashion and become a source of inspiration for them.

It’s optimal to conduct two types of analysis — qualitative and quantitative.

Quantitative analysis of your competitors should include the following parameters:

  • number of followers;
  • frequency of content updates;
  • average number of likes and comments per post;
  • engagement rate — the correlation between the number of actions per post (likes + comments + saves) and the number of Instagram users who saw the post (outreach).

Qualitative analysis should pay attention to:

  • community issues and creative concept;
  • types of content: the balance between entertaining, selling and informative;
  • post execution;
  • mechanisms of engagement: giveaways and collaboration with micro influencers and top social media influencers.

This information is necessary for comprehending the direction of further efforts, so as to avoid creating a conceptual clone of a profile that’s already prominent in your niche. In order to be successful on Instagram, it’s crucial to have a pronounced individuality, and find ways to stand out from the competition. If that’s true, you’ll be able to attain your goals much faster.

Finding Your Target Audience

In order to understand who are you catering to, you have to imagine the people who will purchase your brand products — your target audience. How this can be done?

Stage 1: Segmentation and description. You basically need to outline your potential customer’s psychological portrait. Let’s examine different approaches to this process using a new brand that produces glasses as an example.

Case #1

• Anna, 25
• Music band PR-manager
• Not married
• Loves to attend various events — exhibits, presentation parties, restaurants
• To her, glasses are more than a tool to improve her vision, they are a stylish accessory. Loves Chanel and Dior brands.

Case #2

• Andrew, 37
• Bartender
• Married, has a son
• Receives good tips because he wears trendy clothes to work
• Glasses to him are a means to see his clients. Selects classic, sophisticated, but budget frames.

Stage 2: Creating a client’s profile. The profile is a detailed portrait of a particular individual that allows to set up personalized communications based on an understanding of his/her motivations and problems.

• Irene, 36
• Married, has a 6-year-old daughter
• Federal employee
• Goes on family trips 4-6 times per year
• Owns an Audi Q3
• Loves pets — owns a cat and a dog
• Has problems with her vision, and lenses are a poor fit for her. She is shy, and wants the frames to be inconspicuous and appropriate for both home and office.

How is this useful in developing a brand strategy? With detailed portraits of your clients you’ll be able to develop content relevant to each of the segments, and mold a unique Instagram brand promotion strategy.

Drawing Up A Content Plan

A content plan is required for making your work on Instagram systematic. Having put some effort into it once, you won’t suffer from a lack of topics, formats and prep time, or forget the promising ideas you planned to implement.

Here’s some theory for starters: all of the content within a community is usually subdivided into pre-planned and situational. Posts related to company products, discounts, or history, as well as posts devoted to any holiday fall into the first category. Event announcements and clients pics, as well as all trendy content, such as new memes, belong to the second type. In our experience, situational content resonates with the users in a significantly stronger way, but creating quality content of this type is not an easy task. That’s why it’s important to distribute content according to its type in the correct proportion, i.e. 70/30, and devote more time to preparing the posts in advance. The record shows that the best improvisation is prepared improvisation.

How is the content plan used in reality? The first, and, probably, the simplest way is to use an Excel table. You can mark dates, post subjects, times of publication, use relevant hashtags, add images and accompanying text. You can also work with mobile services like FeedMaster, or Visual Instagram Planner, which will help you visualize how your content will look in the feed.

If several people — designers, photographers, copywriters — are involved in working on the account, you can use Google tables in order to be able to track changes online and provide access to several users simultaneously.

The next question that plagues content managers is the regularity of publications. There’s probably no right answer, but during the beginning stages, we suggest that you publish 1-2 posts daily. You can peek at your competitors and see what time they publish their posts.

Also, observe your audience. Statistical tools allow you to see when your followers are most active and test various publication times with that knowledge in mind. You can also choose the times when people are likely to be browsing social media, and these may include early morning, the way to work, lunch break and evening time. Just remember — it’s important to try and then track results — that’s the only way to attain efficiency.

Determine KPI

Even before you begin to promote an account there’s the starting point “A” and the desired result “B”. With that in mind, you have to determine which specific KPIs are important and will need to be tracked. The indicator that comes up first on any statistical service is the engagement rate by post and by day. This is most certainly a crucial parameter, and during the early stage (first 2-3 months of your brand promotion on Instagram) it should be the one to evaluate your actions by.

Then you should focus on parameters that impact your goal. In our earlier discussion of goals, we made an example of a beauty salon, where we planned to increase revenue by 30% by the end of the year. What action taken by our followers will affect the attainment of this goal? Main KPIs here will be site hits from Instagram and the conversion of these hits into leads. (We have a separate article on how to calculate these parameters). Secondary indicators may include comments to your posts addressed to your nail service masters, as well as “live likes”.

If by the end of the month the real-life situation is far from your KPI goals, it means that you’ve made an error with one of the elements in your brand strategy. Reconsider your target audience or content — these are the two weakest spots that you may need to experiment within your social media strategy plan.

If everything is going more or less according to your social media strategy plan, but the numbers are slightly lower than you expected, keep going. You have probably set the bar a bit too high.

Instead Of A Conclusion

How to get followers on Instagram? How to get more likes on Instagram? The way to go is through similarly-themed and competitors’ accounts: interact with their followers in comments and “like”  their followers’ posts. Also, use the posts promotion opportunities.

And, of course, find influencers in your field and collaborate with them — that’s the fastest way to accumulate relevant followers. To find influencers use influencer marketing platforms, because doing it manually will take you 5 times more time, and it would be physically impossible to analyze a blogger’s audience makeup.

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Kate Nut
++ Editor