10 Guidelines for great Instagram Content

Content is the key to a successful Instagram account. Follow these 10 guidelines to improve your content and make the most out of your Instagram account!

Adjust to your target group and audience

When designing content for your Instagram account, always keep in mind who you are trying to reach. Users between 16 and 20 will react to other kinds of content than users between the ages 25 and 30. Different age groups and especially different demographics are attracted to different lifestyles, products and values. Make sure that your desired target group is the basis for all your content. Use the analytics Instagram offers business profiles to find out more about your followers. Additionally, use your customer base as a reference point. Adjust your content and the timely manner in which you share it to your customers and audience for optimal brand marketing.

Be fun, nice and exciting

As much as you see Instagram as an advertising and/or marketing platform, Instagram is supposed to be a fun environment. Users are excited to discover new products and services and are longing for nice and friendly interaction. Don’t take the network too serious. Publishing a nice snapshot from time to time is a good way to come across more “down to earth”. Make sure your Instagram account is run by friendly people who are actually excited to share content and engage with users. Use funny captions or share playful content to make your account a pleasant experience for yourself and your followers.

Make it worthwhile

Instagram is not a place for you to publish images from your website or catalogues. The platform requires content that was specially designed for Instagram. Users are looking for authentic and worthwhile information and content that they couldn’t get anywhere else. Followers will only stick to your account if you share special insights with them that enriches them in different ways. This could include special deals or offers you only promote on Instagram or specific kinds of content you produce for Instagram only, such as outfit inspiration or backstage insights. Whatever you decide to share, make sure it’s of interest and of value for your audience.

Post on a regular basis

Humans are creatures of habit, we like to know when to expect certain things. Use this for your advantage and show your followers they can rely on you. Share content on a regular basis and maintain this rhythm. This could mean to share an image each day or multiple times a day – this is again dependent on your audience and target group. The important thing is that you find a rhythm that works for you and your followers. Overdoing it or disappearing from Instagram for a few days is not advisable. Be consistent and prove to your followers and potential customers that you’re dependable and reliable.

Share high quality content that is your own

As mentioned before, users expect content you have specially designed for Instagram. When designing content, make sure your images are of high quality. Use good lighting and professional cameras. Don’t publish images that are below your average quality. Additionally, any content you share should either be your own or you need to be allowed to share it. Don’t just share images without knowing who they belong to and whether or not they’re free to use. Regarding user-generated content you should always ask for media usage rights. Stick to your own content as often as possible to avoid any (legal) difficulties.

Give followers something to look forward to

Based on the guideline that content needs to be worthwhile, you should give your followers something to look forward to. Whether it’s the regular display of your favorite UGC, backstage insights or special offers: excite your followers. When followers are sure that your account offers exciting news or insights on a regular basis, they are more likely to follow for a long period of time and to interact with you. Strengthening brand loyalty is a matter of consistency and excitement. Therefore, maintaining a worthwhile and exciting Instagram account will allow you to keep your followers/customers close.

Promote without being pushy

Every user will know that your Instagram account is one of your marketing channels designed to advertise your brand and your product. That is okay and of course the logic behind a business account. Still, as mentioned before, Instagram is a platform for fun content and friendly interaction. Feel free to promote your product but do not force it onto your customers each time you share content. Surely you can display your own products as part of a larger setting. An example of this would be a watch as part of an outfit inspiration or your décor products in a living room. Promote your products in a sensible way that offers your followers useful insights.

React to current trends/events/occasions

The key to any form of marketing and especially on social media, is to react to current trends or events. This could mean holiday specific content on Halloween, Christmas etc. but also simple things like “the beginning of fall” or any other season. Regarding events or occasions, react to those that are of relevance for your target group. Commenting on events in the finance sector won’t be helpful for you if you are a brand for jewelry. Therefore, choose wisely when using current trends for your content. Also, do not try to pick up every viral movement in the online world as this will make you look like you are trying too hard. Limit your choices to fitting and overall important occasions.

Interact with users

Not regarding content itself but the management and care of content is the interaction with users. When sharing useful and good content, you will encourage your followers to like and comment your posts. While you can’t be expected to answer every comment that just shows the user’s admiration, answering questions is always advisable. The new direct reply for comments and the ability to like comments will help you to interact with your followers. Your followers want to feel heard and important, therefore direct interaction is of vital importance. Additionally, this will encourage a positive image for your brand which you will naturally profit from in the long run.

Stay out of politics

Just like you shouldn’t try to include current trends that aren’t of relevance for your audience, do not – we repeat DO NOT – refer to politics on your social media channels. Politics are a highly controversial and delicate topic and you will never be able to express an opinion that all your followers/customers agree with. Loosing loyal followers to an expression of political opinions just isn’t worth it. Surely, encouraging political activity such as voting in national elections can be appropriate but always be prepared for discussions or critique being voiced. If possible, try to stay away from political issues.

Coverphoto: unsplash.com/clemonojeghuo

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