Instagram isn't dead. In fact, here at Later, it's still our top channel when it comes to growth, driving, traffic, and conversions. Today, we're going to share how you can steal our strategy to grow your own account in 2023. This is a four-part strategy, so make sure you keep watching until the very end so you don't miss any tips that you can use to refresh your strategy.
Let's get into it!
Part #1: Have a crystal clear content strategy
First things first, you need to have a clear content strategy for Instagram. You're going to start off with content pillars, sometimes called content buckets, which are a small handful of topics that you create content around consistently. If you're not sure what these are, we have an entire video dedicated to that topic, which I'll link right over here: How to Use Content Pillars to Build Your Social Strategy.
Content Pillars are great, but at Later, we like to even get more specific in creating a content formula by also using what we like to call a "Content Menu".
We also made up that term, so don't @ us. It's just what we internally like to call it. Now, our content menu is how we visually deliver our contentpPillars to our audience. It was through experimenting with different post formats that we were able to find what works best for our account and create our own content menu for us. Our main post types are carousel posts, memes, Tweet treatments, videos, and news-style or headliner assets. We created templates for each of these.
We also have a creative team that creates custom assets for campaigns and important blogs. The types of posts I just mentioned are the ones that we create the most. As a social team ourselves, we also keep a simple Google Doc with a link of these types of posts and hyperlink it into our content calendar, so it's really easy to refer to when we're planning out our weekly Instagram content.
This also means that we don't have to stress or start from scratch every single time we have an idea to share out. It's a game-changer for saving time! Let me give an example of this in action. We are a social media scheduling tool and one of our content pillars is social media education. Educating our audience typically looks like sharing out social media tips or giving a tutorial based on the specific education we're providing.
We'll pick from our content menu, which is full of the types of content that perform best for us to create the content, which for education would likely be a carousel post that allows us to explain more in detail or a video with a visual tutorial. Having a list of high-level topics and an idea of what visually performs the best for us, we're able to create a perfect formula for highly engaging content that reaches our target audience.
Part #2: Reach new audiences on Instagram
Okay, now that we've got our content strategy in place and we don't have to start from scratch every time we have an idea for a post, we can move on to some strategies to specifically reach new audiences. Obviously, when you're trying to grow your account, you want to focus on actions that will reach the most people. Instagram Reels are still one of the most effective ways to reach new audiences.
And yes, you are right that views are declining due to saturation on the platform, but we have found that they still organically get the most eyeballs compared to any other type of content on Instagram. A big part of our own account growth in the past year has been because we've consistently posted to our Instagram Reels three to four times a week. The most important factor really is staying consistent with the types of content that perform best for your goals. We found that short, funny videos that speak to the pain point of our own target audience is the best for reaching a larger audience. If you think that Reels aren't working for you, it likely means that you haven't found the right type of content yet.
You need to keep experimenting with different styles and spending some more time watching Reels that are successful so that you can find ways to recreate that success in a way that works for your brand. Now, once you do find what works for you, stick to a specific number of times every single week that you can post this content because a posting cadence is really important in terms of staying consistent every single week. If you're struggling with how to create high-quality Reels, we've got some resources that I will link below.
If you're struggling with the filming and editing process, we also recommend checking out our good friend Taylor Loren's Reels course, which we'll link below as well. In addition to Reels, some other tactics for reaching new audiences could be posting giveaways using the Instagram Collab feature to co-author a post so that you can tap into the audience of another Instagram user or optimizing your profile and posts with keywords to increase your profile visibility via the Explore page.
Part #3: Converting profile visitors into Instagram followers
Now that you've got a content strategy in place and some tactics for reaching new audiences, it's time to move on to part three: converting profile visitors into Instagram followers. Honestly, you've probably heard these tips before, but we're just going to reiterate them because they are important and people often forget to refresh and update their profiles. Take this right now as a reminder to take some time to update your profile if it's been a while, okay?
If you're posting really great content that's reaching new audiences, your profile needs to be on point to get them to actually hit that follow button. Here's what we do to ensure a profile is optimized: have a clear, branded profile picture and bio.
You need to immediately tell the audience what you can do for them. You can even get super literal and put what you post about. Use the Pinned Post feature to spotlight your best pieces of content or even an introductory post. Make sure your Instagram Story highlights are informative and up to date. People view these more often than you think, and they're an easy way for someone to learn more about you and your brand feed.
Aesthetically, your feed absolutely doesn't have to be perfectly curated, but it needs to not be boring to look at.
Part #4: Build community on Instagram
So you've got some new followers, but how do you get them to stick around? It's all about building an engaged community. You can try regularly posting to your Instagram Stories and also using engagement stickers. Or, you can experiment with your Close Friends list and create special content just for your most engaged followers.
It's always really important to just take the time to reply to comments and also comment on other people's posts. Social should just be a reciprocal relationship, so don't forget to actually be social.
Okay, so to recap, here are some action items for you:
Take a look at your profile and see what needs a refresh. Can you add more keywords? Update your highlights with something more recent or on-brand?
What about your pinned posts? Take the time to build out your content pillars and a visual content menu. Spend some time building templates or outsource this to a designer. It'll save you so much time in the long run. If your current strategy isn't working, it means it's time to start experimenting with some new formats.
Research your competitors and get outside your comfort zone to try something different. To figure out what works best for you, make sure you're regularly focused on tactics that will reach new audiences, whether that's hosting giveaways, a challenge, a collab, or even hopping on a trending topic.
Last but not least, do not forget to nurture your current audience with regular connections through Stories, comments, and relatable content.
We hope you found this video helpful, but if you have any specific questions about growing your Instagram, drop us a comment. Until next time, I'll see you later.