CREATING ENGAGING CONTENT FOR INSTAGRAM IN 2021
Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms, with over 85% of big brands highly investing in the platform.
Various surveys and studies have shown Instagram to be a platform that brings a higher rate of engagement and has proven to be great for selling; making the platform one that your business simply can’t pass up on.
Being on the platform and posting haphazardly won't get you very far, and in fact, it can do more harm than good. You need to stand out to get your audience to connect with you and your brand, so to convert them into buyers and work at making them loyal customers.
If you’re struggling with getting more engagement on your posts, we have all the right tips you need to start connecting with people and growing your community on the 'gram.
Here are 9 tips for creating engaging content for Instagram:
1. Ask your audience a question
Asking questions creates opportunities to get your audience sharing their thoughts and ideas on practically any topic. These insights can help you come up with even better content in the future.
They might even help you come up with new product ideas if you ask the right questions. For example, if you run a fitness coaching business you might ask, “What do you struggle with in the gym?” The answers your followers give you help develop new content — from new products, Instagram posts, and more.
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2. Add a Call-to-Action
A call-to-action (CTA) gives your audience direction. You encourage them what to do at the the end of your post to get them to do what you want them to do, so you can engage with them, collect information or sell to them. Without a CTA, people may not know what to do after reading.
Here are some tips and tricks for a winning CTA:
Use strong action words. Exact, instructive words like “Download my guide” “Get it today” work really well.
Use some urgency, eg: “Sign up before all the slots are filled up!”
Make the benefit clear, so they know exactly what they will get out of it.
Having a call to action also helps you measure the success of your content, you will know if people are actually reading your content and doing what you ask them to do, whether its sharing their thoughts in the comments or tapping through to your website to sign up for your newsletter.
3. Show people how to use your product
Great digital marketing provides viewers and readers with valuable, engaging content. That’s why tutorials or how-to's do so well on social media, people like to see how they can expect to use, wear and style your products.
This would be a great place for user generated content (UGC) from customers or influencers to create content for you to share, while also giving you social-proof that shows your audience there are other people that love your products/services. This also could see your content gaining some added reach from the posts being reshared by those featured in it and what you offer being seen by their audience and new potential clients.
4. Go behind the scenes
A great way to humanize your brand! Show your audience what goes on in your office. By letting your online community in on what goes on behind the scenes, you help them emotionally invest themselves in your business. And don’t just take a photo of some sleepy looking faces in a boring 10am Monday morning meeting; show them the fun side of your workplace - it could be anything from an employee working at their desk, an office dog lounging on its bed, or even a Bollywood-style dance number starring the entire office.
Take a look around your office and ask yourself, “How can I show share our fun office vibes with our online audience?” - this could also work to make your business people may want to work at and attract talent that wants to stay.
5. Write longer captions
Longer captions are great for storytelling, giving context to your post, promoting your product, raising awareness, and increasing engagement. And the extra time people spend staring at your post tells the Instagram algorithm that people love your content enough to spend more time on it.
Of course, longer captions should only apply when it is relevant, and you should note that you can add up to 2000 characters in your Instagram captions!
Don’t underestimate the power of words, even on Instagram. Besides using beautiful imagery, make sure the language you’re using is inspiring, speaks to your people you are looking to connect with and fits your overall brand tone.
6. Keep up with trends
One easy way to boost your engagement is to take part in viral challenges. Viral challenges can help you stay relevant, while also generating attention that can drive more people to your profile and increase your following.
It will serve you well to keep an eye out for new trends or conversations and join in on those that are relevant to your brand (don't jump on every new thing!). Getting in early has the added benefit of more people seeing what you share, before being flooded with similar content once the trend catches on. Again, participating in challenges that align your brand and are consistent with your brand’s style is the key.
You can see what’s trending on the explore tab. Search for terms and hashtags and see what people are posting on the platform that day or follow people that you know to lead or be the first with what's new and turn on post notifications or subscribe to their newsletters to make staying in the know easier for you.
7. Share content that adds value and people actually want to see
Instead of guessing what your followers would be interested in, do your research. This means looking into your audience insights and sharing content that is aligned with their interests. The last thing you want is having people unfollow you because what you share doesn't offer any value, doesn't live up to expectations or doesn't speak to what you said you are about. Share tips, advice, inspirational messages, entertaining posts, and fun content that makes your audience feel good. By sharing content your audience enjoys, you'll have them looking forward to what your share and check your profile regularly; therefore nurturing your relationship with them.
All of these tips will definitely get you more engagement if done diligently and consistently. Like all good things, they take time, but if you have a winning content strategy, you’re well on your way to turning your followers into loyal customers that love your brand.
8. Share your mistakes
Humans aren’t perfect, so don’t shy away from admitting the odd failure.
No, you don’t have to share details of a litigation process if your company gets sued or an angry client email from a messed up order. Instead, show the small mishaps that might happen around your workplace and add some levity to it!
Maybe you own a bakery. Show the results of that batch of cookies you left in the oven for way too long. Or perhaps you are a blogger, share how you sent out a newsletter with a typo and how annoyed you felt about it.
Whatever you decide, the most important thing is that with your mistake you also show how you corrected that mistake. Only then can you build trust with your followers while humanizing your brand.
9. Share a before and after
Before and after photos will show your audience the true impact of what you do. Viewers see how exactly your work changes and benefits your clients, which is really great for engagement and audience building.
These photos come in many different types too! You can show a before and after of your company’s logo to show how it has changed over time, a photo of your old office and new, or you can show a photo of the number of employees you’ve added to your team over the years.
Of course, if you have a product or service you offer, you can also show that off the experienced changes (transformations) from using your products or service, by existing customers. The sky is really the limit with this type of content.
Here are some important elements to consider when sharing your highly engaging content:
Post every day and at the right times
Posting every day is a great way to keep your brand top of mind in the minds of your audience, especially if you’re posting intentional content that gives them great value. This can be a post or IGTV one day, some stories another or consider going live on another day - mixing things up will allow you to offer variety and connect with your audience in different ways.
Keep in mind that Instagram rewards you for regularly using and staying on its platform, which means your reach widens. You’re likely to receive more follows and engagement for being consistent with your efforts.
Posting at the right times is crucial and that simply means sharing your content when the people you hope to attract are active on the platform. You want to get as much engagement as possible on your post in the first hour is key because those initial likes and comments prompt the algorithm to show your post to more people. For new accounts, you can run a trial test on which times your post gets more engagement. For older business profiles, use audience insights to determine which days and times your followers are most active.
Interact with your followers
Most brands are so busy chasing numbers they forget why they are working so hard to build their online community. Building up your audience and business in general shouldn't solely be to sell, but it should also be to connect and nurture relationships with those people, to establish your brand and foster brand loyalty. Having a healthy connection with your community is much more important than having a large following that isn't interested in you or your business.
Interacting with your followers is the best way to build a lasting relationship and encourage brand loyalty. Improve your brand’s image by sincerely commenting on the posts of the people in your audience, it will also help you get seen by their followers [people that are similar to them]; simply from seeing your meaningful comment.
And responding to your audiences comments and direct messages promptly also works to retain them in the long run, as it shows them you value them by taking the time to respond to them.
Remember to stay patient and consistent, stick to your brand’s style, and you will soon build a recognizable brand, that has a community of supportive and engaged advocates for your brand on Instagram.
If you need assistance with building your brands online presence or want to save time with our monthly done-for-you content plans, don’t hesitate to look through our services and book a discovery call today.