Instagram is a great tool for marketing, networking, and sales. As a business, you want conversions, but a consumer wants value. So how do you create value to exchange with your audience, so they make an exchange with you?
Content creation. Not some spammy content, but real valuable content. You want to create content that tells a story, creates emotion, gives value, and yes…you eventually want to ask for the sale. After all, you are a business, and you want to help people with your product.
1: Inspirational Quote Post
These are the most common, you’ve seen these type of post everywhere. These make for a nice way to inspire, motivate, but also to give value. How? By not just trying to motivate, motivation is dead. Give “Instructional Motivation.” Simply telling someone to do something, but not telling them how to do it is like giving someone a box of pizza, with out the pizza inside. It’s just an empty box…a very sad empty box.
Give your reader something instructional to do with the motivation.
2: Shout outs (person or brand)
This is one of my favorite ones to do. Whenever someone buys a product from my store they get a shout out on Instagram, or Twitter (if they have one). This not only brings massive value to that person, because they are now getting free & more attention, it also shows other people what they should expect when they receive your services or product.
The same goes for a brand, maybe you were given a shirt, or purchased a shirt, product, service, anything, giving them a shout out on Instagram is a great way to give out more value.
3: Behind the scenes
Do people really know what you do? Do they understand it? Why hide it? Show your audience some behind the scenes images or videos. These are great, because it shows the process. People want to see the process of how things are done. A behind the scenes picture, or video is a great way to give that to your audience. This also can show them the effort, and work you put into what you do.
Give you audience a taste of what you do.
Show your face! I have only recently been doing this more. Why I havn’t been doing this earlier, I cannot honestly tell you. I like to know who I’m following. Showing yourself on your feed, or with friends, or clients, or colleagues, gives your audience some insight into who you are.
This allows them to have a better connection with YOU. Why? Because now they have a face to the brand. Stop hiding your face behind inspirational quote images, and show yourself!
Be sure to still give value, something the reader can take away. This will be a general theme throughout all of these posts. Give your audience value, by giving them actionable tips. GIVE GIVE GIVE
Creating videos can add a lot to your page. Videos tend to do better with the social media algorithms (I do not claim to be an expert on the whole algorithm thing, just what I’ve noticed), especially for any posts that you run as advertisement. If you boost a post, make sure it does not have a lot of text, the advertisement system does not like those as much, and typically don’t reach as much of an audience. That’s just a side note.
The key here is to understand that your audience does not all like to consume information the same way. Some prefer text to read, others just want to listen, some don’t want long form blogs, some want to just watch. That’s where a video can bring some amazing value. Give them something good to watch, and I guarantee success with it.
Don’t focus so much on the content though, focus on the context. What you’re saying in the video, or what the video is about, rather than the quality as much. Make sure your video is horizontal, and not vertical. PLEASE?!?!? Keep the camera steady, good lighting, try to make sure you capture the audio if there’s anything they need to hear.
Scenic views are great for capturing the viewers eye. Post a picture of a beautiful mountainside, a river, the city, train station, anything that has a lot of color, cool designs, and something unique and beautiful about it.
Make sure you tag the location as well, (as long as it is safe to do so, don’t tag your house location…don’t want any creepers). Tell the story of why you are there, what you learned, what you love about it most, give your viewer some insight.
As said by the Red Hot Chili Peppers “Give it away, give it away give it away now!”
I love free stuff, you love free stuff, so why not give away free stuff? At the time I am writing this blog, 1/2/2018, I am conducting a book giveaway. I am giving away a copy of Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book “Crushing It.” I pre-ordered 3 copies to give away. This is a nice way to give back to your audience, and drive new people to your Instagram page!
I have done giveaways in the past, and it has been great. Yes, there is some up front cost sometimes, but the results are always great. You can create more loyal followers, new followers, new business. The giveaway does not have to be super expensive either. It just needs to be a quality item, that brings value to the recipient.
It also helps to know who your audience is, and what they like.
8: Audience Participation
Get your audience involved, and engaged. Ask a question for them to think on, and answer. The term “Social”, means having a conversation. Get your viewer talking, and converse with them.
Come up with some thought provoking questions. This can help you in a couple of different ways. It can help you improve your engagement on Instagram, and give you some insight into what your audience likes, or dislikes. That’s valuable data.
9: Showcase Product/Service
Yup, you get to show off your product/service. There’s a good way, and a bad way to do this. What I have been learning, is that you do not just want to show off your product in a spammy way where it is just “BUY BUY BUY!! BUY NOW!!!,” on every single post. That annoys people. That’s why you want to give lots and lots and lots of value, so when you do go in the ASK, it doesn’t seem pushy or of bad taste.
Make sure when showcasing your product, it’s done in a native way. What I mean is, simply showing the product does not do as well. What value is that? That’s just like one of those advertisements that we ignore. If you can get someone, a recent client, to showcase the product for you then you have something of value. Or, showcase yourself wearing/using the product in your everyday life.
If someone is wearing/using your product, make sure to give them a proper shout out! This gives back to the person who bought the product/service, and shows your viewer the product. It also helps give the product/service some authenticity as well.
Sometimes it’s okay to not have 100% original content to post. That’s where reposting, and curating content comes into play. I really love what Gary Vee, and Grant Cardone have to say on social. I know my audience does as well. So from time to time I will curate off of their content.
What is curating content? It’s where you combine original content, with other peoples content. The example below will show you exactly what I mean. I repost an image from Gary Vee, and then add my 2¢ of original text to it. I make sure I tag the person who owns the original image (that’s just the right thing to do).
This is a unique way to give your audience a little something extra on your feed. This may also introduce them to someone knew, who can give them value in different ways. This inadvertently gives them value, because you have given them something new and fresh. Or you’ve simply expanded on something they already love.
These are just 10 ways in which you can create valuable content for Instagram. Are you doing anything else? If so, let me know! I would love to hear what is working for you!