Just as Instagram continues to roll out new features on a regular basis–from introducing hashtags and links to bios, to sharing feed posts to Stories, to the emoji slider–you, too, need to regularly add fresh tools and tactics to your Instagram strategy.
Below, we’ve pulled together a list of tactics for you to experiment with, along with examples from best-in-breed Instagram brands in 2018.
1. Choose a Feature, Not a Product
Put together a product awareness campaign with Instagram Stories, not a brand awareness campaign, like Manduka did.
Manduka knows that their Instagram Stories views are primarily coming from users who already follow them. Taking this opportunity to explain features and tell the story of their latest product release to this likely buyer is a very smart move.
2. Educate in a Brand-Relevant Way
Another tactic to use is audience education. Make sure that the educational campaigns you put together for Instagram are related to your brand, and that they eventually lead back to your product and/or core brand values.
For instance, skincare line Tula recently published an educational series on Instagram Stories about what different herbs and compounds do for the skin—featuring only ingredients that are present in their products.
Dr. Oz does a good job with educational content along these lines as well, using clear visuals to tell the story of essential oils and their benefits.
Note that neither of these examples starts with the brand or product: they are focused on increasing engagement and providing audiences with real value. A savvy way to find out which kind of content your audience is looking for is to use a listening solution to identify hot topics in your industry right now.
3. Pass It Off
Conduct an influencer or employee round-robin, like Women’s Health did recently on Instagram Stories.
Come up with a core question or theme, and ask your participants to structure their content around this theme. Choose a time period for each participant to take over, from one hour to one day to even one week, and determine a posting cadence.
4. Take Advantage of Instagram Highlights
Use Instagram Highlights to its fullest potential, and bucket your Instagram Stories content into different highlights categories.
This will give your Instagram Stories content a longer shelf life than the typical 24 hours, and it will help visitors to your Instagram profile immediately know what your brand is about, what you offer—and if they should follow you or not.
5. Get Early Feedback (and Film It)
Do you have a new product coming out? Release it to influencers and/or employees early, ask them to film their reactions on their phones, and then weave this together in your Stories, both sponsored and non-sponsored.
Bonus Points: Intersperse these raw clips with more polished, designed frames, like in the example above.