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.

Instagram Stories Analytics
Advanced Analytics, powered by Simply Measured, has Instagram Stories data, so you can see the impact of your efforts.

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.

Tula Instagram Stories

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.

Simply Measured Listening
Advanced Analytics, powered by Simply Measured Listening.

3. Pass It Off

Conduct an influencer or employee round-robin, like Women’s Health did recently on Instagram Stories.

Women's Health 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.

Instagram Highlights

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.

6. Use Your Sound Clips

Barneys NYC has a podcast. To publicize this podcast, and repurpose this content, they create Instagram feed content using snippets of recording from the podcast.

If your brand has a podcast or any events recordings, layer the audio files with sleek visuals for content that is sure to please.

7. Show the Process

Food Network does a wonderful job of showing the bones of how a recipe is put together on their Instagram feed.

Your product may not involve an edible or drinkable item, but it most likely has several pieces and stages which make it come to life, whether those are humans, tools, or even software components. What process can you reveal on your Instagram feed?

8. Choose a Palette

Farmacy, a skincare brand, uses its Instagram feed to create an association between the brand and a certain color palette.

This is reflected when you visit their profile, but it is also effective in creating a visual association that Instagram followers come to appreciate and recognize immediately.

9. Team Up

Use a listening solution to identify other brands that are a major part of the conversation in your space.

Ask these partners to cross-promote content with you to leverage all your followers in one campaign.

10. Feature Real Reviews

User-generated content will truly never die, since the social experience is rooted in the conversations that social users have with one another.

Feature positive reviews of your product in your feed on a regular basis.

Want to level up your own Instagram strategy, and come up with fresh tactics every day? Download the guide below.