Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Brandon Leibowitz, the founder of Get Plus Followers, a social media marketing agency in Los Angeles, CA and Shralpin.com skateboarding news blog. He is featured on sites such as Social Media Today, Live Chat Blog, Simply Measured, Business2Community and other popular sites. He reached out to Verblio (formerly BlogMutt) and we worked together on this post. If you’d like to submit a guest post, please contact us.
So you’re marketing your business on Instagram. So far, you’re getting fairly good at rustling up a conversation. But you could take a couple leaps to create even more engaging content. Why does engaging content matter? With a higher engagement rate, you’ll also experience improvements in other areas such as conversions and retention of quality leads.
Here are five types of Instagram content to try on for size for your brand, which have been shown to perform extremely well on this social channel.
1. Content that provides useful tips.
Posts that have some kind of value and use to readers tend to perform well. So create bite-sized tips to accompany your picture posts instead of simply showing off your products. This adds value to your posts and gives users all the more reason to keep following you.
You could provide tips related (or even just loosely related) to your products or tips that will help people use your products more effectively. If you sell clothing, for instance, you could put together an outfit using some clothing items so that fans can get some idea about how to wear your clothes or put together looks.
Even something as simple as the following post from Asos (@asos) will work wonders.
In this post, the jumper alone is quite plain and showcasing it by itself might not work so well. Instead, they paired it with an embroidered bag, which adds some “jazz” to the look and makes it instantly more appealing and approachable.
2. Content that shows what’s going on behind the scenes.
Keep your fans updated about the goings-on in your business. Provide them with behind-the-scenes posts about what you’re working on, how you’re making it happen, who’s responsible, etc. This is a great way to make your audience feel like part of the brand, forging a closer bond with them.
Let’s say you’re a restaurant and you want to show fans what’s going on behind the scenes or some special feature like ‘A Day In The Life’. You could show them images of your chefs at work or you could simply post an employee appreciation photo featuring your staff. You could even post images of how your source your ingredients. This not only humanizes your brand but also shows people that you’re a business that cares about its employees.
An excellent example of a behind-the-scenes post is the following screenshot from Ketsourine Macarons (@ketsourinemacarons). The café created a video to show fans how they’re making their caramel ice cream for the next day. The video received more than 9,600 views.
3. Content that promotes giveaways/contests.
Who doesn’t like a chance to win free stuff? Enrich your Instagram account with occasional giveaways or contests, which tend to perform excellently (when done well). Create contest rules that allow you to branch out and engage a new audience so as to make the most out of this type of posts.Pip Snacks (@pipsnacks) runs the occasional giveaway and even teams up with other brands and businesses to make the campaign even more compelling. The screenshot below is an example of one of their giveaway posts where they have teamed up and cross-promoted with Project 7 (@project7).
Puravida Bracelets (@puravidabracelets) also runs giveaway contests regularly. And many of their posts receive more than 10,000 likes with thousands of comments. The screenshot below for a product giveaway shows a post that received 14,700 likes and more than 2,000 comments.
4. Content contributed by users.
Instagram is a place for building a relationship with your audience, arguably a deeper potential relationship than by any other social media channel.
One of the best ways to do that is by acknowledging them and featuring them on your profile. Ask users to post images of themselves using your product, doing something related to your business, or assign a unique hashtag they can use for the post so they can potentially be featured.
Makeup Monsters Cosmetics (@makeupmonsterscosmetics) regularly posts images of their fans using products, uploaded by fans themselves.
Here’s an example of a fan-uploaded image re-posted by the makeup company.
5. Content that makes people laugh.
“Laughter is the best medicine” and in marketing, laughter could be the key to your brand’s success. Use humor to make people laugh so as to build the association of your business as fun, authentic, and relatable. This can also strengthen your relationship with your customers and help you build a longer-term bond with them than may have been previously possible.
You don’t necessarily have to be a comedian to make your fans laugh. Simple puns and wordplay in your captions can perform just as well. See for example how MVMT Watches (@mvmtwatches) uses a pun to engage their followers. It’s funny and friendly but it’s not “trying too hard”, making it the perfect balance for a good Instagram post.
Now that you have a clearer idea what kind of content you should post to further engage your fans on Instagram, remember that it’s not always about just promoting your products. Your ultimate goal on Instagram should be connecting and understanding your audience on a deeper level.