This is a really simple guide to the prep work that needs to go on in the background to creating a totally on brand account the right way.
So why Instagram? this is a question that comes up with my client’s time and time again.
Instagram for me on a personal level is a great way for me to express and showcase my creativity in a largely positive place, Instagram is my happy place one could say.
Why Instagram business? , well other than me spitting out a tonne of stats that I am sure you have all already read, Instagram for us is a place where we are free to express our creativity, it’s the place that we really build on relationships with our future clients and followers and for us its also the place where we feel like we can add value to our community.
So today what I plan on talking you through is a comprehensive but simple guide to getting a strategy in place for your business on Instagram.
Firstly, before we delve into the visuals of Instagram (the fun stuff) we must first understand the why’s so follow me through and answer these questions if you will.
Type this out, print it off and stick it up in your office. It may seem like a bit of work, but I can absolutely promise you it will all be worthwhile.
What is your brand mission?
- What does your business do?
- Why did you set up your business?
- What makes your business different?
- What is your business known for?
- What are your core values?
Who is your audience?
I’m sure by now you will have heard every marketing expert and their dog prattling on about buyer or client persona’s but there is a reason for this. Working out what your buyer persona is or are is so important because if you haven’t got a clue who you are targeting your marketing exercise at it will be like shooting blindfolded.
Don’t feel like you have to go down the track of just having 1 persona, most businesses have multiple and also bear in mind that you maybe aspiring to target a new customer type so you may have a current and prospective persona.
The more details on this on the better.
Ask yourself these questions then elaborate.
- What profession is your buyer from?
- Are they male or female?
- How old are they?
- Where are they based?
- Where do they hang out?
- What hobbies do they have?
- What is important to them?
- What drives them?
- Give them a name
The list of questions really could be endless, but I think you will get where I am going with these.
What do you really want to get out of your Instagram account? Ask yourself why 5 times.
- Why do you think your business should be on Instagram?
The exercise of asking the Why question 5 times means that you really must dig deep, and it uncovers the real reason.
So now you know the real reason you think your business should be on Instagram we need to look at the metrics you will be looking at to measure your “success”.
Instagram is a multifaceted channel and because of this there are a lot of metrics you can track through a business profile.
The metrics that Instagram offers can be categorised into three groups and depending on what you wish your outcome to be you choose the relevant one.
|Impressions||Likes||Click on Link in bio|
|Followers||Comments||Click on Shop posts|
|Story Views||IG Stories retention|
My advice to start with is pick one group and stick with it for at least six months.
Audit your current page
Now we are presuming here that you already have an Instagram business account and if you don’t then its worth a read anyways.
Have a quick look at your feed, do all the posts look aesthetically pleasing together, are they all relevant and do they reflect your brand mission?
If in doubt archive it out, you wont loose it, it will stay in the archive ready for you if you ever want it to be visible again.
Branding your profile
Here is where we start to do the fun stuff. I’m going to take you through the elements of your profile so you can make an informed decision as to how you tackle this beast.
Image or Logo: Your profile pic really is the very first thing someone is going to see when they search out your name or handle, so you really do Need to make this bold and stand out. For most businesses I would advise your brand logo but if this is overcomplex or wishy washy then I would ask you to consider a brand icon (a brand icon is something that sits along side a logo or is sometimes a simplified version of a logo that clearly represents your brand).
For a personal branding exercise, I would advise that you use your own image but please bear in mind the industry that you work in and how that image would represent you to others.
Handle: you’re @…… this really needs to be as close to your business as possible
Name: now I am sure you will be thinking this one is the obvious one but wait…, your Instagram name is one of the few elements in Instagram that is searchable.
You have a decision to make here. For more established accounts (ones over 10k followers) I would advise yes use this space for your business name. For the beginner accounts or for ones with fewer followers I would advise you use this space to your advantage, use this space for your key services. Think about what search terms would be relevant and your prospective followers and clients would be using.
For example, Oh agency we have in this space, Creative Web Design Marketing
Bio: You must consider a few things here, who will be reading it and what do you want them to remember about you.
Your bio really should be a “does what it says on the tin” effort. It needs to be short, to the point and memorable.
Taking Oh agency as an example again ours goes
The NO BULL Agency that delivers real results
You only have 150 characters here so make sure you make them work.
Oh and just as a side note (this is my pet peeve) do not use hashtags in your bio!, hashags in your bio are not searchable the only thing they serve is a way to draw potential followers away from your account. Don’t believe me? Go onto a account with them and click on one, see how far down the rabbit hole it sucks you before you realise you have lost the original account you were looking for.
Lastly, we need to work out your Instagram look. Treat this as a mini branding guideline. You need to decide as to how you want your Instagram account to look and how you want your followers to feel when they look at your page.
Now is the time where you really need to get pen to paper and make some decisions. I have popped a bullet point list below of the different aspects of the branding of your Instagram that I would suggest you look at.
- Font (the caption font is what it is but if your ad any text to you images it needs to be in line with your brand)
- Colour palate, what combination of colours do you want in your profile. This could probably be dragged out to a whole day’s work for me looking at colour psychology as this is something that I really do enjoy. my advice would be to keep it looking clean and contemporary. Choose only a handful of colours that all look beautifully coordinated together. @Clemmie_telford is a great example of this, her colour palate runs seamlessly through her Instagram account, it runs right through to her website too giving you a seamless transition from her Instagram account to her blog posts.
- Filters, Instagram itself has a vast selection of filters and adjustments without going into the various apps dedicated to adding filters, stickers, text and more. My advice would be don’t be like a kid in a candy shop with too much choice so trying them all. There really is nothing worse than an Instagram account with loads of different filters it just looks busy, unprofessional and really isn’t aesthetically pleasing so won’t attract followers. Choose a filter, don’t do too many adjustments (unless you are a photo editing professional and in that case just get on with it you will more likely know more about this kind of shizzle than I do) and then stick with the same one on each post.
This really draws me to the end of this post, this blog post is my guide to you, it’s the way I work through setting a client Instagram account up and it has worked on lots of different accounts, for lots of different industries and on B2C, B2B and personal branding.
There is tonnes of advice out there relating to how to set up, manage and grow Instagram accounts there really isn’t a one size fits all so give it a go, track your progress and please please give me a shout if you have any more questions I am more than happy to help you out.