Back to the Instagram Future

  • October 18, 2018

In June, Instagram announced that it now reaches 1 billion active users each month. It’s no surprise it has steadily grown, on average, over 200% each year since its launch in 2010. We went back to the basics to help bring your Instagram strategy into the future.

UNDERSTANDING INSTAGRAM USERS

  • 71% of U.S. businesses use Instagram.
  • 80% of users follow a business on Instagram.
  • 70% of users look up a brand on Instagram.

THE ALGORITHM

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RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

1. HASHTAGS: Instagram posts with at least one hashtag have 12.6% more engagement than those without.

2. GEOTAGS: Posts with location have 79% more engagement than those without.

3. TIMING: Post when your audience is online. Generally speaking, Instagram users engage more on weekdays.

4. PHOTOS > VIDEO: Instagram photos generate 36% more engagement than videos. Despite Instagram Video increasing consumption by 40%, photos lead in the category of engagement.

5. 80/20 RULE: 80% of your content should focus on educating, inspiring or engaging your audience, while the remaining 20% should be promotional. Not the other way around.

6. FACES: Instagram photos that feature faces get 38% more likes than those without. 

INSTAGRAM STORIES

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Why you should adopt stories into your strategy:

  • A unique and more personal way to get through to your current followers.
  • The ability to be discovered by new accounts from the Explore page, a hashtag story or geolocation story. 
  • The ability to swipe up and drive clicks to editorial or sponsored content or even drive sales, i.e. subscriptions or online education (for accounts with 10K or more followers).

ANALYZE
You can still analyze how a story performed up to 14 days after it’s expired. Measure views, replies, drop off rates, and clicks. Also note and track the following:

  • Day
  • Time
  • Content pillar
  • Types of stickers used
  • Asset used (photo or video)
  • Length of copy
  • Number of slides
  • CTA

STRATEGIZE
Collaborate with your respective teams to determine what your end goals are, then create content pillars to support that. Clicks? Impressions? Discovery? Feedback? As you begin to execute and test your content you can inform your future strategy more accurately. 

INSTAGRAM STORY ADS

STRATEGY
Instagram Story ads can contain up to three frames that can include video and/or photos. Avoid being over-produced on your creative—being too ad-like can be off-putting. Be authentic and on brand, but more fun and relaxed.

HOW TO
Through Facebook Ads Manager you can select a “consideration”,” audience” and “objective” of the campaign. Then select “Instagram Stories” as your ad placement. You can follow a set of prompts to set up the creative within the Facebook platform.

TIP
25% of Instagram Ads are single videos. Video ads can be up to 60 seconds long, but drop off in engagement occurs quickly as length increases. A mix of photo and video for a three-slide story ad should ensure your content is viewed fully and has greatest reach. 

INFLUENCER MARKETING

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BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER

One of the most important things you can do for your brand’s Instagram strategy is to closely monitor the patterns in your analytics consistently and collectively. Pull out the positive trends in your performance and audience’s engagement patterns. Beyond your immediate social media team, reach out to other groups in your organization to get a pulse on what stories and creativity exists. It’s likely that you’ll uncover something new to freshen up your ongoing and evolving strategy. 

Want to discuss innovative ways to optimize your Instagram presence? Contact us at catapult@aimmedia.com.