“Most people post the first thing that comes to mind on their Instagram feed,” says digital marketing consultant and Instagram expert Scarlet Vincent. It’s basically a surefire way to make sure that you miss the bullseye when you’re aiming for your ideal clients. So it pays to work on your aim. “You need a specific strategy if you want to use the platform to attract clients,” says Vincent. “Research shows conversion rates are up to six times higher for businesses that have a content marketing strategy compared to those who don’t.”
No doubt, finding time to come up with something strategic to say is the perpetual entrepreneurial struggle. But with more than a billion people scrolling through Instagram every month and the average user spending half an hour there, having a strategy can pay off. A whopping 90% of Instagram users follow a business on Instagram, according to Sprout Social, a leading social media software company. That means it’s an excellent platform for increasing your brand visibility.
To figure out how to make time for creating deeply engaging posts that attract ideal customers and increase your following, I caught up with Vincent for some advice. Not only did she grow her Instagram following organically to more than 50,000 people over two years, but she did it as a busy, single mom with an immune condition that causes chronic pain. As a result, her approach to social media is all about clarity and simplicity so she and her clients can build thriving businesses without being overwhelmed. Follow Vincent’s advice for a prosperous plan of Instagram action.
1. Identify Your Customer’s Pain Points
“Your ideal clients scrolling through Instagram need to find value in your posts before making the decision to follow you,” explains Vincent. “In order to create that value, you need to compose strategic content that does a deep dive into their pain points and offers the solution that they desire to get.” For example, if you’re a finance expert, are your ideal clients struggling with managing money during a pandemic and can you offer tips about that? If you’re a relationships coach, are your customers depressed over dating while social distancing? Can you help them with that?
“Your marketing message needs to resonate and align with the beliefs of your target audience, so it is essential to go beyond demographics,” says Vincent who encourages you to ask your own audience about what they’re struggling with and pay attention to comments and questions in your direct messages. “When you have a clear understanding of your Ideal Client Avatar, then you’ll be able to connect with them through your brand message.”
2. Do Market Research To Increase Engagement
“Market research will show you the types of words your ideal clients use to describe what they’re going through, what’s going on in their lives and so much more,” says Vincent. “YouTube is a great place to conduct your market research. You simply go to your competitor’s channel, filter their content for “most popular videos” to see which topics are hot in your niche, and repurpose that as an Instagram post.”
“Beyond that, you can leverage strategies that are already proven to increase engagement on Instagram, like mining your own feed for information,” explains Vincent. “When you have been constantly creating content, you’ll be able to determine which types of posts tend to get a positive response from your ideal clients. Monitor what has been getting a lot of traction and duplicate that on your feed.”
3. Put Posting On Your Schedule
“Have a schedule specifically to create content and stick to it,” says Vincent. “For example, you can work on Instagram content every Monday between 9am to 11am. That way, you’ll stay consistent, which is key for growing engaged followers. Remember, you’re planning high-value content that is strategic, instead of uploading random content on an irregular basis as inspiration doesn’t always strike a pain point.”
“You should also create a social media content calendar to plan your content two weeks in advance, leaning into the kinds of posts that have gotten a positive response for you in the past. When you have a consistent schedule, followers will also look forward to your posts as they know when to expect fresh content from you.”