Creating Instagram content that shines is a major key to social growth in 2022. Here’s how to stand out in the crowd.
Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to create more engaging social media content for your brand? Maybe you want to increase your total follower base. Or, maybe you’re looking to increase views and overall engagement on your posts.
No matter what your end goal as a brand on social media is, there are some tried and true strategies that you can employ to stand out on Instagram.
1. Reconsider your Aesthetic and Design of Branded Posts
If you’re confident with your current designs and content, skip this piece. However, if you’re ready for a fresh look and feel as you move into a new year - it may be time to consider your overall design scheme and aesthetic. Take a look at your competitors and other accounts that you enjoy consuming social media content from.
What do their pictures look like? What do you like about their content? What design cues and inspiration can you take from them? Do you feel engaged and excited when you read the captions? Do you like their consistent stories?
If you’re looking at adopting a new aesthetic on Instagram, a major piece of advice is to still keep your posts within the scope of your overall branding strategy. Find new ways to use your brand colours, fonts, and logo - but keep these in your creative vision to maintain some semblance of consistency! You can also opt to gradually make the change so that your feed doesn’t jump from one aesthetic to another - gradually introduce content with your new aesthetic until the feed becomes fully populated with your brand’s “new look”.
2. Incorporate Trending Hashtags
All of your posts can contain a text caption and up to 30 hashtags on Instagram. Hashtags are a great way for your audience to find you and for the algorithm to display your content to people who may be interested in your content, brand, or products.
Use trending hashtags that fit well into your niche to attract your target audience. There are loads of free websites to help you find trending hashtags or “alike” hashtags that are similar to your current ones in use. If you’re looking for a pro-tip, spend an afternoon creating a document with hashtags or keywords that you can pull from. That takes the guesswork and research right out of it during your content development processes!
3. Use Engaging Captions
To stand out on Instagram, a clear and concise writing style that infuses personality is a great start. Use this technique in your Instagram captions to keep your audience engaged and excited not only about your visual content but your written content as well.
Change up the lengths of your posts too. Some brands keep it short, others longer. See what works best for you and your brand.
4. Use your Stories Feature & Post Actively
Are you using your stories feature for your branded Instagram account? If not, you’re missing a huge opportunity to increase your engagement with your audience and to improve your performance in the algorithm. Stories can be a great place to tease your audience with upcoming products, keep your customers engaged, and show a sneak peek into your day-to-day operations.
Stories can be a less serious way to communicate with your fans. Infuse your brand’s personality and worry less about your overall Instagram branding strategy.
5. Consistency is Key
A huge part of managing a branded Instagram account that performs well is to schedule posts consistently. Instagram’s algorithm rewards accounts that are fuelling its content hub. Create a mix of content that rewards your fans, and that keeps you trending upward in the Instagram algorithm.
If you’re finding creating posts daily is too challenging, it’s a good idea to create content for the week (or even the month) and have it ready to go. That way, you just have to worry about posting the content and not about creating, writing, proofreading, finding hashtags and posting.
6. Develop Reel Content
The introduction of TikTok and Instagram reels has caused demand for short and upbeat videos. If you’re not already creating short video content for your users, it’s time to start. Reels are one of the major ways that your audience may find, follow, and engage with you. Stand out on Instagram from your competitors by taking the time to create entertaining and valuable reels for your audience.
Again, you can record or create all of your reels ahead of time and simply post them on the days that you have scheduled that kind of content to be posted.
7. Interact with Your Followers
If your followers are reaching out to you on Instagram, engage with them! Reply to comments, feature people in your stories (especially those who have tagged you), use polls and questions to interact with your audience. The only caution here is not to reshare content to your story or feed without proper attribution. Try to stay away from resharing content not owned by you for a sales purpose. If you’re using an influencer’s content that has not been paid by you - consider reaching out for a partnership to have them create content for you instead.
Just like a real-life business, Instagram is also about creating meaningful connections. Authentic engagement is an excellent way to increase the efficacy of your Instagram branding and take your social media account to the next level.
8. Track Your Progress Over Time
Measure your metrics and take note of what strategies seem to be working and what aren’t. It’s a great idea to double down on the social media content that appears to be popular and to fine-tune your strategy. If there are content types that aren’t resonating with your audience, ditch it! Don’t be afraid to optimize and tweak for efficiency since you’re spending valuable time (and maybe money) on your Instagram branding.
Key Takeaways to Stand out on Instagram in 2022:
- Reconsider your aesthetic and design of branded posts
- Incorporate trending hashtags
- Use engaging captions
- Use your stories feature (post actively)
- Consistency is key
- Develop reel content
- Interact with your followers
- Track for progress over time
- Optimize and double down on successful social media content types