10 Tested Instagram Engagement Hacks for Your Business 0 204

By now, you probably know the basic rules of Instagram when it comes to posting content that will get seen: pay attention to what time your posts goes live; carefully curate images to grab the attention of those who are scrolling down their overcrowded feed; post often but don’t bombard people with 380 pieces of content over the weekend. Good, we are on the same page, then.

However, as you invest more time and resources into creating a professional and engaging Instagram for your business, you may realise that, very often, you have to do more than simply publish content and expect it to perform at any level.

You then have two choices:

The most popular one is to blame the ever-changing algorithm of the Facebook-owned platform, who are currently boosting over one billion monthly active users – after all, it is hard to keep track of so many changes and to compete with a sea of content being posted every second.

Your second choice is to work hard and not be afraid of using any legal hack that can help your content and your brand to shine.

It could be that you use a little trick, such as adding stickers to your Instagram Stories; 83% of the time Stories which utilise stickers to enhance storytelling outperform those that don’t use stickers. Or maybe what will work better for you is to reach out to between five and 10 micro-influencers, within your niche, and work closely with them by creating a series of tips that can be shared across both channels: your brand and theirs.

It is never too late to learn one or two new social media hacks. Here, 10 professionals share their experience and Instagram tips to help you reach a wider audience and harvest organic engagement.

 

1. Engage before you post

“You can support the spread and reach of your content by warming up your audience. So, just before you post, go on an engagement spree. If you’re planning to put something out at a specific time, before you hit publish, spend some time engaging with other people’s content. They will all then receive notifications saying that you liked their post, commented on their post, or responded to their story.  They’re reminded of you and then it’s likely they’ll visit your profile and see the brand-new content that you’ve just posted.”

Jodie Cook – entrepreneur and author of Instagram Rules.

 

2. Use polls to trigger engagement

“Regardless of whether you have the swipe up feature or not, the most helpful feature for engagement is polls. People want to feel like they’re heard, even if the poll is funny (e.g. settle the argument once and for all – tacos or burritos?). This also gives you more content to post, within stories, by sharing the results.

I have found that, by doing this, regardless of the size of your audience, people are engaged and are more likely to keep watching your stories. IG sees this as engagement and will bump your posts up in their feed.”

Carmen Smith – DIY Home Decor Blogger at www.livingletterhome.com

 

3. Properly curating your Story Highlights 

“Story Highlights are a great way of presenting your brand’s message. They can be accessed any time and, if you’re smart about it, you can curate them so visitors see exactly what you want them to see, in the correct order. For better results, strategize when creating your content. Plan a Highlights album from the very beginning, and upload in the order you want it to be seen, with the most relevant content being uploaded last. That way, anyone viewing the album will get the best content right at the beginning, as it’s often rare for people to go all the way to the end of an album.”

Jennifer Walden – Director of Operations at online marketplace WikiLawn Lawn Care

 

4. Show up on Stories

“You need to prioritise showing up on Stories in 2020. They are the first thing people see when they log into Instagram and they want to know your personality, be you an employee, a content creator or a brand. Stories are also binge-able – meaning you start watching the first one and can easily get carried away and watch them all. Keep in mind that, nowadays, tons of people only watch stories and rarely scroll their Instagram feed – unless they see a feed post shared in Stories. So, don’t forget to share your feed posts to Stories as another way of increasing your reach”

Sílvia Pinho – Social Media Manager and VA Coach

Marcio Delgado – Instagram Hacks for business 2020

Adding stickers to your Instagram Stories will make it perform 83% better

5. Create a customized hashtag

“Besides using relevant hashtags, aligned with a specific niche, businesses need to have their own customized hashtag representative of their brand identity. This hashtag should be used in all their posts. This also enables them and their followers to easily access relevant posts.”

Sandy & Vyjay Rao – travel bloggers at www.imvoyager.com

 

6. Engage with followers of similar brands

“One of the most important parts of your Instagram content strategy should involve building a solid relationship with an online community, and thereby growing that community exponentially. This means spending some time every day connecting with potential customers by liking and commenting on their posts with genuine, thoughtful comments. You can find these future customers by exploring hashtags related to your business as well as engaging with the followers of similar brands. Remember that 80% of Instagram’s 1+ billion active users also follow brands, so be genuine and consistent with your communications and you’ll find your community flourishing.”

Ellie Pritts – Chief Creative Officer at www.supermassivesocial.com

 

7. Be creative while researching topics

“Figure out what your target audience wants to know by researching top viewed videos on Youtube, related to your industry, and make great content around that. At the end of the day, you should produce content for the followers that you want to eventually convert to a customer, so make sure you regularly deliver entertaining and valuable content that your followers will care about”.

Tanner Chidester – Entrepreneur and Founder of Elite CEOs 

 

8. Be consistent during transitions

“To keep an Instagram business account relevant and engaging you to need to be consistent with what people followed you for. For example, someone who followed a business for food-related content does not want to see tech posts. If your business decides to transition to a different niche, expect changes in followers’ behaviour in the short term; engagement will get lower and people may unfollow. New followers will join you for the new niche, as long as you remain consistent with this new niche with what you post. If necessary, have more than one account so you can stay consistent and highly targeted – it is easier to plan posts for two completely different niche accounts than trying to please an audience that is too broad with the same content calendar.”

Raymond Cua – full-time blogger and founder of Travellingfoodie.net

 

9. Leverage your own network first

“I would say one hack when building your brand and audience is to start with your own network. Transition back to the basics and look at your personal network. Ask the individuals of your network to share your brand’s social media page and account with their own followers and network. If you ask 50 people to do this and they share with 50 people each, your reach can grow at an immense rate… The main takeaway from this is consistency. Replicating this process, and then going outside your personal network to embrace new potential followers and community members, will allow you to reach and engage with new audiences organically. The key is to then prove to them why they should come back for more. You can do this successfully by having your network tell you what they want to see and what they find interesting. By implementing this basic step into your strategy you can grow daily, with growth visible right from the start. Stories are a good place to organically find and collect this information too because the responses come directly from your audience. It’s all about giving your audience exactly what they hope to see from you.”

Jessica Armstrong – PR and Social Media Manager at www.cuddlynest.com

 

10. Create audience habits

“To keep your Instagram business accounts relevant and engaging, always use Stories as the behind the scenes of your business. Post multiple slides throughout the day and include one thing that you do everyday repetitive daily feature, so you can maintain consistency (e.g. a morning drink at your office or your to-do list as a story slide). This helps people feel like they are along for the journey with you. Based on this, your followers will often return because they feel more connected to business growth.”

Chelsea Clark – Co-Founder of influencer marketing platform momfluence.co

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Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, speaker and a Content Producer working with brands and publications in the UK and Latin America.

How to create evergreen content to boost your social media strategy 0 210

No social media strategy is complete without evergreen posts to help balance your content calendar. They are the posts that cover topics that will remain relevant for your readers, over time, even if they are new followers who have just found your social media channels.

For someone with a news background, like me, understanding the basics of evergreen articles has always come easily.  This is exactly what journalists frequently have to do: we have to create both contemporary, factual content and evergreen features that can be used when the contemporary content is lacking in quantity or quality.

Think of a fashion magazine, for example.

Every issue will explore articles focused on current trends or pop culture fads. You can expect an issue to almost certainly bring you features on the latest clothing collections, and maybe even a perfume launched by a singer or football player.

However, the content that makes you keep a magazine as you know you will read it again later, or lend it to a friend, are the articles with a much longer shelf life because good quality evergreen content has almost no expiry date.

Have you noticed how beauty tutorials, how-to lists, and DIY videos never seem to age?.

Maybe talking about Kylie Jenner’s lipstick range won’t add much to your content strategy for Instagram. However, it is possible for a very wide range of businesses to create evergreen content about family, saving money, careers, travel, or adopting a sustainable lifestyle – just to name five very relatable topics. The trick, when using topics with such broad appeal as the foundation of your evergreen content, is to deliver it in a unique way, is committed to your brand’s voice, and making it useful for as long as possible, so your posts don’t become rapidly disposable.

Remember a very important SEO rule: the longer your post is relevant, the longer it will keep bringing traffic to it.

Let’s look at some inspiring tips to create long-lasting content?

 

Leverage excerpts from previous content

“Reuse long-form items, such as blogs or videos, to create timeless pieces to be used in the future. From infographics to quotes, which can summarize or emphasize a relevant topic, there is always useful information you can lift, from already published long-form material, and turn it into evergreen content.”

Amy Hernandez – Public Relations Manager at ElectrIQ Marketing.

 

Tap into your brand’s core values

“Sharing your brand’s purpose or core values on social media is an effective way to promote long-lasting, evergreen content. In theory, your purpose and core values won’t change too much over time, so telling stories that bring what your company stands for to life will withstand the test of time. Establishing a core value theme on social media will not only help ensure you are regularly sharing this type of content, but will also educate prospective customers about your brand.”

Lisa Hirst Carnes – COO at www.arcstone.com

 

Use Google trends to find topics

“Since we started our business, we have focused on generating evergreen content for our blog and social media. In our experience, the most important step for creating evergreen content is to identify the good evergreen subject matter. A great way to do this is to use Google Trends to check the trend line of the subject matter. If Google Trends shows consistent interest in the subject matter over the course of months or years, you have likely found a good subject. Alternatively, if Google Trends shows peaks and valleys, the subject matter is likely more on the trendy side and may not be suitable for evergreen content. Once you have identified the right subject matter, make the content as complete and comprehensive as possible, so that it becomes the go-to content for anyone interested in that subject matter.”

Jessica Rose – Chief Executive Officer at www.copperh2o.com

 

Create useful DIY posts

“People love learning new things that are easy to understand, and almost every niche can find a relevant how-to to push out to their audience a few times a year. You can also add a caption to it, such as, “Back by popular demand!” to grab attention and acknowledge that you realize it has been posted before.

Another evergreen idea would be historical posts. A great example would be a “this day in” history article. Unless a big new discovery changes what we know about that historical event, it will still be applicable that day every year.”

Camille Chulick – Co-Founder at averraglow.com

 

Create a mind map to address essential points

“Focus on content related to the core issues of your niche and create a mind map to write approximately four essential points that will always be of concern. Then, for each essential point of interest in your niche, list as many spin-off article ideas as you can think of. Once you have your list of article ideas, go back and cross off anything that wouldn’t make sense a couple of years ago. If it would not make sense two years ago because it involved current events, it is likely that it won’t be relevant 24 months from now and shouldn’t be considered as evergreen content.”

Morgan Taylor – Chief Marketing Officer at www.letmebank.com

 

Research keywords for your industry

“One tip I have is to do some keyword research around some evergreen topics you have in mind for your industry. Look for keywords that have consistent search intent (e.g. are not seasonal or declining in search results). The idea here is to discover trends that people are searching for on a regular basis. Additionally, doing this research on keywords can lead you to find new inspiration from similar keywords you’re researching.
Even though keywords may not be super relevant for social media, it’s a great way to discover relevant topics to create evergreen content around.”

Katie Fellenz – Head of Marketing at www.trustandwill.com

 

Elevate your strategy with user-generated content

“By using UGC, be it testimonials, questions, staff contributions, stories, or images sent by customers, your users become brand advocates and will engage in positive word-of-mouth marketing.

Besides being cost-effective, user-generated content is the most authentic, trustworthy, and reliable form of content available across the digital space. It is driven by users’ real experiences and 90% of users trust UGC to influence their buying decisions.”

Daniel Thomas – Co-founder at www.tt-creative.com

 

Check the performance of previous content

“The best way to create quality evergreen content is to study previously published content that still makes a massive impact on your social media platform’s engagement metrics, despite being posted a long time ago.

When you find such posts, the chances are high that there are similar characteristics shared between these evergreen posts. Once you identify them, you can incorporate those elements into future posts to increase the frequency of evergreen content in your social media channels.”

Yaniv Masjedi – CMO at www.nextiva.com

 

Choose a topic that solves problems

“Evergreen content requires time but is worth every effort.
FAQ articles, videos, and posts are must-haves for your social media strategy. They are efficient evergreen content that helps guide users towards a more informed understanding of your product or service. If an instruction or feature changes, don’t forget to upgrade and ‘refresh’. Doing this will keep your content fresh and relevant and, besides your audience, search engines will also continue to value it.”

Supriya Agnihotri  Brand Communications Manager at www.surveysensum.com

 

#DigitalMarketing #ContentMarketing #EvergreenContent #SocialMedia #ContentCreation

Can IGTV help a business to engage with and sell to an audience? 0 220

In 2020, video content remains a strong tool for marketing. IGTV continues to grow exponentially and is not showing signs of being replaced by other media formats any time soon. The pandemic has only further boosted social media usage in 2020 and Instagram’s determination to make its answer to YouTube work at all costs.

When Facebook first launched IGTV, in 2018, brands were reluctant to use it. The service would allow users to watch longer videos made for mobile devices directly through Instagram or through the stand-alone IGTV app. However, brands did not believe the new tool justified spending extra money and time in adapting content to a vertical format, as part of a marketing strategy.

To attract viewers and creators, Instagram has moved fast in the last few months.

Firstly, Instagram enabled users to share a 15-second preview of IGTV content to their feed. The aim of this was to lure audiences to check the rest of the content on IGTV. In May, the social platform announced that they would introduce ads and share IGTV revenue with influencers. And, to make sure the video segment of the platform would get a boost in content, Instagram introduced a feature allowing people to upload Instagram Lives directly to IGTV. This decision benefits those viewers who missed a Live and, by default, is helping Instagram to increase its IGTV content.

2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report shows that more than 50% of marketers are producing videos on YouTube and Facebook, with 38% of digital marketing professionals using Instagram Stories, and 26% using native Instagram videos like IGTV.

But the question that everyone is looking for an answer to is: Can IGTV help a business engage and sell to an audience?

Social media experts and business owners share their successful tips ahead of 2021. According to a study by Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT, networking and cybersecurity solutions, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic by next year. If IGTV hasn’t made its way into your content calendar, the right time to start doing it is now.

 

Subtitles are key for IGTV engagement

“We find that video content is king when it comes to engagement and IGTV has been an excellent add-on paired with an existing robust strategy. If it’s teachable, listable, informative, and a on brand IGTV can be an engagement powerhouse.

Keep in mind that subtitles are key! Over 85% of users view the video on social media with their sound off. You don’t want to put all of your efforts into crafting an amazing video, only to have people scroll right past it.

Unfortunately, for a few businesses, there is a lack of understanding around IGTV’s value. This can then translate into lower engagement and enthusiasm overall. On the flip side, however, clients who are in the health and beauty industry have benefitted from the extended engagement. Audiences are hungry, during this pandemic, for content that they can learn from.”

Kris Lal – CEO at content agency www.curatorsocial.com

Never stop making it better

“IGTV can help engage your existing audience and also help grow your audience further! IGTV takes some time to master and you want to ensure that your entire video runs smoothly. My best advice before implementing IGTV into your digital marketing strategy is to practice. Your audience wants concise and engaging information, not forced sales messages.”

Cali Saturn – Digital Marketing specialist at SEO agency www.direction.com

 

Add a call to action to promote your IGTV

“Yes, IGTV can help a business to engage and sell to an audience. Importantly, the aesthetic of the video content is important. Repurposing the video for use beyond IGTV is the key. Add a “Call to Action” on the short clips or snapshots on Instagram Stories. Additionally, start planning for the 15-second version of the content for Instagram’s new function – Instagram Reels.”

Bernie Wong – Founder at www.social-stand.com

 

Keep it genuine

“If you’re in the medical industry, like me, the material you post might be behind-the-scenes footage of specific medical procedures. Or, it might be basic talks about intimidating medical procedures. People also want to see genuine stuff. So, producing original content with audiences can allow you to create a successful IGTV channel with a devout audience.”

Dr. Vikram Tarugu – Gastroenterologist and medical professional at www.detoxofsouthflorida.com

 

Make the most out of your current followers

“Something to keep in mind is that IGTV works well when you already have a large enough audience. This is because it does not appear in hashtag rankings as well as posts do. So, depending on what your strategy is, IGTV can help boost existing follower engagement rates. IGTV promotes resharing or saving content to accounts. In comparison, posts usually promote a user to hit the like or comment buttons.”

Terry Tateossian – Founding Partner of full-service boutique agency www.socialfix.com

Use it as your permanent shop window

“IGTV can be very beneficial for business, particularly for selling products rather than services. With IGTV you’ll be able to describe the product in-depth. Show BTS footage and you can even have potential customers take a closer look at the material.”

Sharon Mills – Lead Publicist at public relations and partnerships agency www.bysbm.com

 

Grab viewers’ attention as fast as you can

“I use IGTV to promote our podcast, Entrepaidneur Sessions. We post highlights from our episode, which gets our viewers excited about watching a full episode.
It has worked. My super tip is to make sure that the content you post is engaging. If you can catch people’s attention in the first 30 seconds, the likelihood that they will watch the entire video, and take the recommended action you want them to take, is much higher.”

Jennifer Onwumere – Founder at Jen-gerbread Marketing

 

Repurpose content that appeals to your audience

“Generally speaking, Instagram is great for younger audiences and niches where rich visuals sell. You don’t necessarily have to create more content, you just have to focus on repurposing it accordingly, as businesses need to try to find ways to turn one piece of content into seven or eight pieces of content.

But you will need to know well your target audience to decide if it worth the extra work. Are they likely to consume IGTV?

The more you know your audience, the better you can decide what to do when it comes to creating content for IGTV – or any other feature – as part of your digital strategy.”

Jack Choros – CMO at content optimization agency www.ironmonk.com.

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