So, you have set up an account on Instagram, creating a complete Business profile for your online brand. Now you are trying to figure out how best to get your account functioning to gain maximum outreach and credibility. How can you ensure that the two go hand in hand for your brand? The first step, of course, is to concentrate on building up your organic follower count.
Although you do not need a huge follower count to begin gaining audience trust, chances are the more followers you have, and the more likely new visitors will be open to exploring your online content and your services. Having a massive following allows your account to get your content across the social media platform faster than what you will appear on more people’s feeds. Hence it is a good idea to concentrate on building up your follower count.
The second simultaneous step is to plan your post content. In other words, you must put together and constantly update your Instagram Posting Strategy.
What Is Instagram Posting Strategy?
An Instagram posting strategy is an essential aspect of your Instagram marketing strategy. What you post will determine how your audience builds their perception of you. Its prime purpose is to ensure you are publishing authentic and credible content online without deviating from the end goals of your brand building. A strong Instagram posting strategy should take into consideration:
- Content matter for the post – What should you post about and why? Do you have micro-goals in place that the post content caters to?
- Target audience – Who is your post aiming to reach and connect with?
- Post format – How should you present your content? Should you be using Reels, Story, Live, Grids, IGTV, or a combination?
- Time of posting – What time do you generate the best response rates on your postings?
- Post responses – How is your audience receiving and reacting to your content? Do they save them and revisit them?
- Post promotions – Can you optimize your posts by converting them into ads for your business?
Why Should You Have an Instagram Posting Strategy in Place?
Instagram has over a billion monthly active users. This means the platform is swarming with businesses vying for the attention of the same audience market as you. To make yourself visible and keep yourself a cut above the rest, you need to invest in intelligent planning for your Instagram presence. Having an Instagram posting strategy ready is an indispensable part of this planning. Having the right posting strategy in place will:
- Drive new audiences to your account;
- Enable you to create engaging content that invites organic interactions.
- Build your brand image positively.
- Create opportunities to attract new businesses and collaborators.
- Grow your current social value.
For these reasons and more, having an Instagram posting strategy ready is an absolute must for your social media marketing game.
If you are convinced of the benefits of having a posting strategy in place, it is time to scrutinize: what should you really post about using your business account that will set your online business apart from the rest? This question does not have a one size fits all response.
A lot depends on your business type, the values, and the goals it aspires to. Nevertheless, some ideas can help establish brand authenticity and trust across the board regardless of what services you sell and your target audience.
Here are a few pointers in that direction:
How to Ensure Your Posts on Instagram Enhance Your Brand Credibility
- Begin by asking yourself the right questions
Producing content that yields high performance can challenge new businesses and those unfamiliar with Instagram’s interface and metric calculations. A rookie mistake aims for the numbers and fast growth of the brand without checking to ensure that each post also focuses on strengthening your brand’s credibility. Hence each time you create content for a publication, consider the following questions:
- Is this post reflecting your knowledge base?
- Is the content highlighting new ideas or fresh thoughts that can organically stimulate its viewers to engage with it?
- What does the post do differently that sets it apart from similar posts by competing businesses?
- What unspoken goals of your business apart from building credibility is the post catering to?
- Why are you creating the post, and with what aim in mind?
- What reception do you expect for your post from members of your niche community? Do you have enough research in place to back this expectation?
Once you have figured out these preliminary aspects of your content creation, it is time to move on to decide on the content presentation.
- Choose your content format
Research what type of content gains you the most audience traction. Different formats work best for other end goals. Some businesses, however, prefer posting in a consistent form to build visual branding. The following types of content are typically favored by those looking to build brand credibility on Instagram:
When it comes to establishing authenticity, researchers are obsessed with numbers. So, what’s better than giving your audience what it wants to set their minds at rest? Infographics are graphic visual representations of data or information. Their purpose is to present precise information quickly at a glance. Audiences prefer infographics to plain text information as these let them see the critical points of the presentation at once in the least amount of time.
Statistical data and visual representation of the same are a great way of establishing credibility and field expertise. Has there been a comparative study of your brand in your niche? Are you documenting trends and projections based on audience surveys?
Creating infographics is the perfect way to present facts in a fun and visually appealing manner. Instagram is primarily a visual platform, and hence this mode of presentation works best for the platform. Use infographics in your stories, reels, and feeds. Back this up using strong keyword-enriched captions and relevant hashtags.
Web Conferences allow you to present and share data among professionals in your field located anywhere on the globe. You could host closed webinars or open them for access to all viewers. Instagram offers several tools to host informed webinars.
Instagram itself runs a series of webinars for businesses to grow themselves advantageously on the platform continually. You could create live sessions or put up pre-recorded webinars based on specific topics around your brand and its niche.
Putting yourself in the role of an educator or a facilitator of discussions centering around your field of business is an excellent way of building brand credibility. This is because people tend to trust those who speak from the point of view of an expert in a field, especially when speaking as part of a group of experts in the area.
Webinars are also a great way to connect and build professional relationships with others in your business community, be it competitors, trendsetters, or influencers.
- Live Sessions:
Instagram live lets you go on air and authentically connect with your followers in real-time. As you cannot pre-record a live session, interactions during such sessions dispel doubts about your genuine experience and expertise in the field. You can collaborate with up to 4 Instagrammers to create joint live sessions, or you can hold one on your own independently. Your live session can be on anything.
Think creative and out of the box to generate maximum impact and audience engagement. Instagram live sessions do not get stored permanently unless you choose to do so. Create stories and notifications advertising the date, time, and topic of your live session well in advance to ensure you have a good turnout when you go live. You can further re-purpose your live session and create an IGTV video out of it for later viewing if you do not wish for your session to disappear in 24 hours from the public domain.
Interviews are a popular online content format across several social media platforms. You have the option to record interviews in blogs or other social websites and cross-post links to the same in your Instagram stories. You could also update your profile with a link to the interview and create excerpt posts with a Call-to-Action asking viewers to click on the interview link on your profile.
Additionally, you can upload the interviews onto your IGTV channel for your audience to watch at leisure. Interviews not only communicate your authenticity and reliability to your audience, but they are also great traffic generating options. You must, however, be cautious of whom you interview or whose interviews you agree to do. The right people, the right set of questions, and the right approach to the interview can make or break your credibility. For your interviews, consider connecting with:
- Experts in the field,
- Behind the scenes personnel,
- Genuine clients and collaborators,
Persons working in other allied services in your niche.
What is a better approval of your brand than a testimonial? Testimonials can come from established voices in your field, your co-workers and collaborators, your customers and clients, and even your employees. Testimonials are trusted because they come from others who have had a good experience interacting with your brand.
They let your target audience know why you are worth their trust. A good customer testimonial, for instance, is not just a bunch of lines spoken/written in praise. It highlights your brand/product is noteworthy and why your consumer is likely to return to you again.
Repost testimonials your clients put up with a thank you note tagging their account back. Publish links to other websites and social sites that contain testimonials for your brand. Create stories and reels. Occasionally revive old testimonial posts to regenerate engagement on the post or reuse it to publish fresh content creatively.
In addition to the above, strengthen your trust quotient by creating posts that:
- Provide Strong Customer Support Services:
One of the most effective uses of social media communication is providing a fast and reliable channel for client and customer interactions. Businesses can both humanize themselves and build brand credibility by putting up posts catering to common customer queries and responses.
- Provide Transparency and Aim to Build Connections:
Businesses achieve the best results when they focus on soft selling on social media sites, and Instagram is no exception. Building trust requires you to open your brand to communicate with potential clients and the Instagram community. Posting verifiable and quality content is key to creating this transparency and trust.
Brand credibility is not something you can establish instantly. It requires you to constantly work on building your business up online reliably and consistently. Posting the right kind of content can turn Instagram into the voice your online business needs to establish itself as an authentic and honest company.
Hence it is vital to ensure your Instagram activities are lending legitimacy to your brand. Back your content with a clear and complete profile and a great profile photograph. Gaining credibility and visibility, you need to go hand in hand to achieve a successful online presence. In addition to your content, the response generated, the time is taken for responses to trickle in, the time you spend on Instagram will determine the flow of traffic and visibility for your brand on the social platform.
Hence building brand credibility must be looked upon as a part of a more comprehensive integrated marketing approach. You must convince your potential audience because you are worth their trust over your competitors and how you add value to your brand services. If you get that right, your brand will continue to grow online on the desired path, and you will soon find yourself turning into a brand everyone places their trust in!