You are uploading regularly to Instagram, using the “right” hashtags but you just don’t understand why your metrics have flatlined?
We all begin our social media journey posting whatever content we have on hand, using it to build up a following and potentially get in front of potentially new customers. Sometimes, this is a great strategy but when you have a goal in mind, what you really need is to create an Instagram marketing campaign.
What is an Instagram Marketing Campaign?
An Instagram marketing campaign is a marketing campaign that occurs on… you guessed it, Instagram! At the core, an Instagram Marketing Campaign is a focused series of posts, stories and overall content related to one main purpose or objective. That goal can be broad, like increasing brand awareness, or it can be exact, like creating sales leads for a new product or service.
In either situation, the goal is to create interest in a specific amount of time– and usually, the most effective way to do this is by creating and sharing a series of relevant, creative and engaging content that helps you achieve that objective. Some of the most common signs of an Instagram marketing campaign is a branded hashtag, specific imagery and an overall message that assists in bringing everything (and everyone) together in the app.
Here are 5 steps to creating a successful Instagram marketing campaign:
1. Establish a Purpose and SMART Goals for Your Campaign
Before you begin taking photos, writing captions and sharing your campaign with the world, you need to start from a place of clearly knowing what is the goal that you are trying to achieve.
You need to be clear about the reason you are even creating an Instagram Marketing Campaign: Are you trying to build brand awareness? Launch a new product? Have people join your e-newsletter list?
Write out the purpose and then, it is time to set some goals.
Your campaign needs to be built from the END first. Say, if you are aiming for brand awareness, how will you know if it has been successful? Will you have an increase of website views? More instagram followers? A higher engagement rate?
Make your goals S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.)
Be specific. Write out how you will attain your goal of brand awareness (or sales). Be specific, what type of content will you post? How often? What will be the deciding factor to help propel viewers into leads and then into sales?
Measure everything. Have metrics in place to know if you are making the impact that you want. Metrics will help you pivot the campaign if things are not going as planned.
Make your goals attainable. We all want to hit the ball out of the park, but we can’t base our entire campaign on the chance to hit a streak of home runs. Yes, stretch that goal but make it available for you and your team to hit.
Relevant. If the purpose of your campaign is to build brand awareness, having a sales goal may not be the right focus. Make sure your goals are all in alignment with the larger purpose and business strategy for this year. So, if this campaign is to build brand awareness for the new product launch happening in the third Quarter, focus solely on brand awareness, not on discounting older products.
Time-based. Create a startline and a deadline. Build in objectives along those lines to hit.
Remember to establish first the purpose of the campaign. Then, build out a SMART strategy and set of goals to bring that vision to life. Set goals that align your Instagram campaign with your overall marketing objectives. This will certainly help you see results that are not just relevant to your campaign, but also increase your overall business goals!
2. Research Your Audience
Do you know who you are trying to reach with the campaign?
Recognizing who you’re attempting to reach with your Instagram marketing campaign is as essential as how you reach them. If you’re looking to attract a great deal of engagement, it makes sense to develop a strategy around content that your audience wants to connect with. The more you understand your audience, the more you can tailor your campaign around them in their daily life.
One of the most effective ways to research your audience is to find them on Instagram. Discover who you are looking to reach, use metrics like their age, gender, where they live, their marital status, their job, their hobbies, etc. When you find them, follow them on Instagram.
What kinds of posts do they like seeing on your account? What type of posts do they publish on their own feed? Exactly how do they make use of Instagram? Do they prefer stories? IGTV? Photos? Video? Live broadcasts?
A quick way to find more followers in the same demographic is to use Instagram’s “suggested” function to investigate your target audience. When you find an Instagram user that symbolizes your target audience, click on their suggested tab to look for other customers just like them.
Once you are done researching, build out an Ideal Client Profile using all of the information you learned. Adjust your goals and strategy based on the new information and tailor your campaign to their preferences.
3. Develop a Plan For Your Instagram Marketing Campaign
You need to have a distinct purpose, measurable goals and a clear understanding of precisely who you’re trying to reach. But how do you apply any of this?
Begin by organizing a roadmap: how long is your Instagram campaign going to run? What are the number of posts/stories/videos that you are most likely to release? Are you publishing original content curated specifically for this campaign or user-generated content (UGC)? If it’s original content, are you working with a photographer, an illustrator or taking the images yourself? Who will be writing the copy? Do you need a landing page? Do you need to create a specific hashtag to name your campaign? Asking these questions will help you prepare your sources beforehand.
Once you have actually built your roadmap, write out all the people involved and the work that needs to be created, it’s time to start thinking about just how specifically you wish to implement your strategy– and there are a few typical ideas, such as Instagram user generated contests and Instagram influencer marketing. Whatever method you choose, remember that at the centre of any type of campaign, there needs to be high quality, interactive content that motivates customers to like, share, or comment.
Exactly how to Run a UGC Instagram Campaign
Competitions structured around user-generated content (UGC) are all the rage, and for good reason: they’re enjoyable, popular, and great for both driving engagement and reaching a new audience. So what is an Instagram UGC campaign? You build out a competition structured around individuals who create, like, comment or share a post in order to win a prize or experience. Typically it entails a person uploading their own picture on Instagram, after that tagging it with a specific hashtag that your business has chosen (and potentially tagging your business as well).
If your brand doesn’t need to have millions of followers to make this work. You can use the very same strategy with a different rewards, like the chance to win product or prizes for making use of the campaign’s hashtag.
4. Incorporate Instagram Influencers into your Campaign
As soon as you start the campaign, you’ll want to get it in front of as many people as you can! A great way to advertise your Instagram marketing campaign is to work with influencers. Generally with Instagram influencer marketing, you can find relevant influencers, bloggers, or photographers who have a big social following (related to your ideal client) and contact them to see if they want to work with your business. You will normally have to negotiate a price for sponsored posts with influencers who have tens of thousands of followers, but if you don’t have a massive budget, there’s a lot of influencers who would be more than happy to trade your product for promotional posts. It’s all about locating the appropriate fit for both the influencer and your business.
Working with influencers offers you direct exposure to their audience, and is an easy way to get even more people involved in your campaign.
5. Give Yourself Time
Running a successful Instagram marketing campaign can feel like an uphill battle, especially when you’re strapped for time. Always plan a campaign a few months out. This will allow you to research your ideal audience, to build the proper relationships with influencers, to curate content to post and to build out any campaign relevant content on your website. Build your campaign out into various stages and set mini targets. Being prepared will allow your campaign to roll out without any stress. As long as you put in the time to strategize and organize, your campaign ought to run smoothly.
To sum it up, Instagram is an amazing channel for companies to achieve their marketing goals. All it takes to grow your business to the next level with an Instagram marketing campaign is a little planning, and a lot of enthusiasm and creativity. We can’t wait to see what Instagram campaigns you make!