Instagram content creation: Our top tips for winning branded content

Is your brand one of the 200 million businesses on Instagram? If it’s not, it certainly should be. 

The Meta-owned photo and video sharing platform is no longer just a place for people to share over-filtered snaps of their latest sojourn abroad or Stories of their drunken night out. Instagram is a bonafide branding bonanza.

The benefits for brands are clear to see. According to Hootsuite, over a third (35%) of Instagram’s users are expected to make a purchase on the platform in 2023, while 15% of shoppers start their journey there. 

Aside from directly reeling in customers, other benefits of using Instagram for marketing include raising brand awareness, making yourself more relatable to your audience, and offering opportunities for direct customer engagement.

With all of this in mind, brands need to pay close attention to their Instagram content creation strategy. We’ve compiled a list of our top content creation tips for Instagram to help you do just this. As a dedicated content production agency, we know a thing or two about winning content creation — particularly when it comes to Instagram. So without further ado, let’s get into it.

1. Plan your content carefully

As the saying goes: fail to prepare, prepare to fail — and this rings incredibly true for Instagram content creation. 

Planning Instagram content is vital for brands because it ensures a consistent, cohesive and purposeful presence there. It helps align content with a brand’s identity, target audience and business objectives, and ensures it can tell a compelling story, maintain a visually appealing feed, and engage its audience effectively.

In addition, strategic planning allows for timely responses to trends and events, and provides data-driven insights for continuous improvement. Ultimately, it’s a blueprint for building a strong, enduring brand. Some tips for Instagram content planning include:

  • Think about content themes that align with your brand and resonate with your followers. 
  • Explore trending topics and industry news for timely posts. 
  • Use interactive elements like polls, quizzes, and questions to engage your audience, and ask for user-generated content (UGC).
  • Celebrate milestones, holidays, or special occasions related to your business.
  • Stay inspired by following similar accounts, attending webinars, and keeping an eye on emerging trends to ensure your content remains relevant and engaging.
  • Reimagine your existing content with fresh perspectives or behind-the-scenes glimpses.

2. Prepare and schedule your posts 

It’s crucial to prepare exactly what and when you’re going to post ahead of time — you can’t just open up Instagram and post a random photo or video when you feel like it. Preparing and scheduling your posts offers many benefits, including:

  • Consistency: It ensures a consistent posting schedule, which helps maintain audience engagement and trust.
  • Optimal timing: Scheduling tools allow you to post at times when your target audience is most active, increasing post visibility and engagement.
  • Efficiency: Planning and creating content in advance saves time and effort on a day-to-day basis.
  • Strategic planning: You can align posts with your overall content strategy, ensuring that each one serves a specific purpose in achieving your marketing goals.
  • Global reach: Brands like yours can reach a global audience by scheduling posts to accommodate different time zones.
  • Peace of mind: Scheduling posts reduces the risk of forgetting to post during busy periods or when the team is unavailable.
  • Flexibility: Brands can adjust their content schedule as needed, making it adaptable to changing circumstances or promotional campaigns.

To effectively prepare and schedule content, it’s highly recommended to invest in a dedicated content calendar to keep all of the relevant information in one place. Some can even be used to automate the posting process too. Check out this guide to content calendars for more information.

3. Consider your posting frequency

The ideal posting frequency on Instagram can vary depending on the specifics of your brand, though it’s generally recommended to post at least three to five times a week on the platform. That said, there are some general guidelines to consider:

  • Quality over quantity: Focus on creating high-quality, relevant content rather than overloading your followers with posts. That said, you should aim to update your Story at least once a day to keep your audience engaged since they have a shorter lifespan. Use Stories to share content like behind-the-scenes clips, updates, and promotions.
  • Know your audience: Pay attention to when your target audience is most active on the platform so you can post during these times. 
  • Test and adjust: Experiment with different posting frequencies and analyse the results. Your audience’s response may dictate the optimal posting frequency for your brand.
  • Consider your resources: Keep in mind the resources required to maintain your chosen posting frequency. Ensure you have the time and content to sustain it.
  • Take into account seasonal variations: Your posting frequency may vary during special events, promotions, or holiday seasons. Be flexible and adapt your schedule accordingly.

4. Post quality content 

We touched upon prioritising quality over quantity when it comes to content, but what does quality content entail exactly? There a number of things you can do to make your content great, including:

  • Use high-quality visuals: Be sure to post high-resolution images and videos, and invest in good photography or graphic design if needed. It’s also important to maintain a consistent visual style or theme.
  • Write captivating captions: Craft compelling captions that tell a story, ask questions, or convey value, and use emojis and line breaks to make your captions more readable.
  • Tell a story: Use Instagram’s storytelling features like Stories and IGTV to connect with your audience on a personal level. Share behind-the-scenes content, company values, and your brand’s journey.
  • Educate your audience: Post valuable and informative content related to your industry or niche. How-to guides, tips and tutorials can help establish your authority.
  • Use carousel posts: Carousel posts allow you to share multiple images or videos in a single post. Use them to tell a complete story or showcase a product from different angles.
  • Experiment with formats: Instagram offers various formats like reels, live videos, and IGTV. Try different approaches to keep your content fresh and engaging.
  • Collaborate and partner: Partner with influencers or complementary brands for co-promotions and collaborations, as this can help you tap into a wider audience.
  • Stay authentic: Be authentic and transparent in your content. Show the human side of your brand, including its challenges and successes.
  • Follow trends: Keep an eye on current trends and incorporate relevant ones into your content strategy, but ensure they align with your brand.

5. Ensure your content’s visibility

You can post the greatest content in the world, but it’s little use if nobody sees it. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to increase your content’s visibility, including:

  • Use hashtags wisely: Research and use relevant and trending hashtags in your posts to increase discoverability. That said, avoid overloading captions with too many hashtags, as it can look spammy. You may also want to create a branded hashtag specific to your business to encourage user-generated content.
  • Engage with your audience: Engaging with your audience can encourage them to engage back. Be sure to:
    • Quickly respond to comments and messages to foster a sense of community.
    • Like and comment on your followers’ posts to show appreciation.
    • Use Instagram Stories’ interactive features like polls, questions, and quizzes to engage with your audience.
  • Collaborate and partner with others: Collaborate with influencers or other brands in your niche for joint promotions, and share user-generated content and give credit to build trust.
  • Utilise Instagram ads: Invest in Instagram advertising to reach a broader audience and target specific demographics. The platform’s ad features can help to drive website traffic, promote products and raise brand awareness.
  • Cross-promote your content: Cross-promote your Instagram content on your other social media platforms and website to bolster visibility.

6. Track your content’s performance

The only way you’ll know if your content is successful or not is by tracking its performance. Doing so helps you understand what resonates with your audience, allowing for data-driven decisions and refinement going forward.

Fortunately, Instagram has a built-in analytics feature called Instagram Insights that you can use to track various metrics, including:

    • Account activity metrics: These include interactions, which is the total number of actions taken on your account, including profile visits, website clicks, and email clicks, and the Discovery feature. This provides data on how many people have found your account, such as through hashtags, location, and the Explore feature.
    • Audience metrics: These include the number of new followers gained over a specific period, and insights on your followers’ age, gender, location, and when they are most active.
    • Content performance metrics: These metrics include engagement stats (including the number of likes, comments, shares and saves your posts get), and data on audience reach and impressions.  
  • Stories metrics: Impressions and audience reach are covered here too, but metrics exclusive to Stories include the number of times users tapped forward to the next story, tapped backward to re-watch your story, exited your story before it ended, swiped up to visit a linked URL, or direct message replied to your Story.
    • Website metrics: The number of clicks on the website link in your Instagram bio.
    • IGTV metrics: Including the total number of views, likes and comments your IGTV videos have received.
    • Promotions metrics: Insights on the performance of your paid promotions, including reach, impressions, and engagement.
  • Activity metrics: Data such as how many times your profile has been viewed, the number of new followers gained and, if you have a business profile with contact information, you can track how many users clicked on your email address.

We hope the above tips will be of immense value going forward, though you don’t have to tread this path alone, as Pitch is here to help. 

Pitch Platforms is our specialised service dedicated to all things digital, including comprehensive Instagram marketing strategies that catapult our clients to the front of the cultural conversation. To find out more about how Pitch can take your business’ social media marketing efforts up a notch, get in contact with us today. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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