In this installment of Instagram Marketing for Small Business Owners, I’ll share with you some of the ways I’ve gone about finding my own voice on Instagram and writing to content that I feel is relevant and engaging to my target audience. If you’d like to read the previous posts in this series, they are HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Second in importance only to the quality of the images you are posting on Instagram is how engaging the content you are including inside of your posts into your followers or potential followers.
Of course, the term ‘engaging’ is most definitely subjective. That’s why it’s important to spend some time honing your message and what it is you are trying to convey.
Who Is Your Audience?
If you are selling baby products, your target audience might be a little different than if you are selling motorcycle parts. The tone you use, the length of your posts, whether you try and engage with your audience and have them respond in some way, all of these things make a difference in how you will write your content.
Spend some time looking at accounts that are similar to yours in brand or offerings and just get an idea about what they are doing and how they are writing their content. How long are their posts? What is the tone of their content? Is it casual, or does it sound more professional?
Use this as a starting point, and just see what feels comfortable for you. Once you start writing your own, you will quickly know what feels right and what doesn't, and your own unique voice will emerge.
How Personal Do You Want to Get?
If you are a large company, with hundreds of employees, and your Instagram page is the face of the company, you will probably end up creating content that is based on information on whatever product it is you are selling.
However, if you are your brand, like, say, a photographer, or an artist, or massage therapist, or if you are a family owned and operated business, it would be a good idea to decide whether you want to include some back story or more personal info, and if so, how often and how much. Again, this is on a case by case basis, and some people feel way more comfortable sharing personal information than others do.
My experience is, I find that the accounts that tend to stick with me are ones where I feel like I am following a ‘real’ person, who I know even a little bit about, even if I’ve never met them.
The 75:25 Rule
There are LOTS of accounts out there that ask for follows and likes and contest entries in every single post. It's clear they are selling, non-stop, all the time, and sometimes for lots of other brands. I’m sure there is value in that method, and it definitely depends on what your end goal and vision for your marketing is, but, if you are trying to build long term relationships with potential followers and clients, this might not be the most subtle way to go about it.
A rule that I heard early on, and that I like to try and follow personally, is that 75% of your content should be teaching your audience something, sharing something potentially interesting, offering a fun fact or tip, offering them some kind of value, etc…, and 25% is a post where you sell something. It’s about building long term relationships, not trying sell, push, or market in every single post you write.
Really, the most important thing, no matter what content you end up sharing, is to be genuine. Be yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing something or in a certain way, don’t! Don’t try and be like everyone else. It might take some trial and error, but, find your own voice and rhythm.
Remember, there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to do content. Some accounts literally write one or 2 words on a post, and it works great for their audience and what they are trying to convey. Give it some time, practice and try and few different ways out and soon, you'll find your own unique cadence.
I hope this post has been helpful and stay tuned for our next installment of Instagram Marketing for Small Business Owners soon!