Where will Instagram fit into your overall marketing strategy?
It is essential to note that Instagram offers unlimited pro’s, but it is also important to be aware that it may not suit all, as it comes with varied con’s. Careful consideration should be given to whether it is suitable for your brand strategy, industry, business goals and target audience. If it is an appropriate marketing channel for you, it can be used in many different ways as part of your broader marketing strategy.
To get the best results out of your social marketing, you need to formulate a social strategy into your marketing plan. It’s essential to map out your entire marketing strategy and understand which parts of the customer sales journey are covered, and where.
For some, it may become a primary source of lead generation and building brand awareness where the focus is heavily on growing the follower base.
For others, it may be used as more of a support function, nurturing existing customers or clients and maintaining a connection between them and the business - while lead generation happens elsewhere.
And for those who are lucky enough to have built up strong brand awareness and have plenty of warm and hot leads, Instagram may be a place to post new products or services, to encourage direct purchasing.
Setting your Instagram goals
Your Instagram goals will depend on a variety of factors, including how much brand awareness you already have (or don’t have), how much of an existing customer or client base you have, and how the rest of your marketing is functioning to acquire and warm up leads.
One of the great things about Instagram – it can cover all your marketing bases. From lead generation and brand awareness, all the way through to sales. This gives you a lot more control on how you can use it and the type of user experience you are giving your audience.
Let’s say you have powerful email marketing campaigns that get great results in warming up and converting leads to sales… in this instance, Instagram may be best utilised to bring in new leads and expose your brand to new audiences. Once they follow, your content can push them to sign up for the email list, rather than to encourage direct purchases – because you know your email list converts very well.
Maybe you have persuasive paid ads or PR campaigns that handle lead generation for you, in this instance, Instagram becomes a place where warmer, more curious leads come to be a part of your community and learn more about your offers. Or the inverse may be true: perhaps your best conversions are happening on retargeting ads, so Instagram’s priority can be pushing new leads to your website to be captured by your pixel.
These mentioned examples showcase why it is imperative to think about your overall marketing strategy, where your strengths and weaknesses are, and decide precisely how Instagram is going to play a part in the journey between awareness and conversion for your target audience.
High follower count vs. high-value followers
When starting on Instagram, many businesses want to push for a high follower count, believing the “vanity metrics” will give more legitimacy to their business. While follower count can establish some credibility, it’s important to remember that nurturing an engaged community is what matters on Instagram.
A high number of followers who don’t engage with your content will have a long-term negative impact on your account due to the way the algorithm works. You only want to push for high volume follower growth once you know your content strategy is getting high engagement rates and genuinely working to attract and convert your core audience, of high-value followers.
Don’t rush into giveaways, influencer campaigns, generic paid ads, and other larger-scale growth methods until you know your chosen content strategy and approach is working well organically. If not, you can end up with a stagnant account with low engagement which can take a lot of time and effort to recover from.