Creating content for Instagram
Whether you’ve just decided to get serious about the platform or you’ve been posting for a while but aren’t seeing many results, our guide will help. Find out how to streamline the content you share on Instagram and steadily grow an engaged audience.
When it comes to nailing your Instagram content, there’s three things that are key: knowing your unique selling point (USP), utilising every feature and a regular posting schedule:
Knowing your USP
You USP is what makes you different from everyone else on the platform. When people look at your feed do they get a clear idea of what it is you do, and why they should follow you?
A good way to test if you’ve got a good USP is to ask a couple of friends or family members to take a look at your Instagram feed and then describe your content in one sentence. If they’re able to sum it up easily and precisely then you’ve likely got a good USP, but if they struggle to describe what you do or give a vague answer then your feed needs some work.
Deciding on your USP
There’s a couple of ways you can do this. If you’ve posted a lot of content already, take a look at what your most popular posts have been over the past three months or year. This will let you know what your audience are responding best to and you can build your USP around them.
If you’re fairly new to creating content, start by deciding on your general topic. This can be fashion, beauty, travel, food or anything you’re passionate about. Then keep narrowing it down until you have a description that is specific to you. For example, a style blogger’s USP could be that they share haul videos where they compare designer items to their dupes and rate them for their audience.
Having a USP will help your content to really stand out from the noise on Instagram. It also means if people fall in love with your page they can then easily describe it to their friends when raving about it. This makes it far more likely that you will be able to build an audience on word-of-mouth recommendations.
Utilising every feature
There’s lots of different features you can use on Instagram, and this gives a lot of flexibility when it comes to creating content. The more features you use, the more your audience can get to know you.
To start with, it would be a good idea to regularly post on your main feed and Stories. Your main feed posts can take two different forms: still images or videos. Sharing carousel posts that have two or more images or videos can also help to boost the performance of your posts. Instagram will show your audience the different images or videos from the carousel if they haven’t engaged with the post yet.
For your stories, find ways to get creative and also save time. Can you film snippets in advance and then edit them into a mini vlog to share? Run polls and ask questions – both of these story features give your audience a chance to communicate directly with you. Hashtags, location tags and stickers are also well worth using on your stories as they mean your content will be shown to a wider audience than just those who follow you.
Video is a great way to give your audience a more realistic look into your life and what you do. Why not film informative IGTV videos or host regular livestreams? IGTV videos can also pull through as a preview on your main feed which increases the likelihood of people watching the full video. Livestreams are always pushed to the front of people’s story queue, so they can be a great way to engage people during peak times.
Livestreams don’t just have to be Q&A sessions. You could give people a tour of your hotel room, get your audience to help you choose how to do your makeup in the morning or play a videogame while your audience suggest what to do next. Keep your livestreams short and sweet though, so you don’t lose people’s attention halfway through.
Having a regular posting schedule
Once you’ve decided what type of content you’re going to share, and how to adapt it for Instagram’s many features, it’s time to set yourself a posting schedule. It may seem overkill to plan your content in advance, but the advantage of doing this is that you’ll never run out of steam. A schedule also means you can promote content on your stories before it goes live, and as your audience grows they’ll know when to expect you to post.
Once you’ve decided on a schedule that you can stick to, it will be easy to batch shoot content and then post it when it’s ready to be published. This means that you can capitalise on your most creative moments and have a batch of content to rely on when you’re not feeling as inspired.
If you put these three things into practice, you’ll see the engagement on your posts increase. Then you can watch that audience grow!
We hope this guide is useful, if you want to learn more about how to up your Instagram game why not join us at BorderlessLive in September?