3 Must-haves for a Solid Instagram Strategy

Is your organization on Instagram? The social medium has been around for a while, but not everyone has taken advantage of it yet. Maybe you didn’t think the app was right for your business, or maybe you joined and haven’t been posting for months—or years. Whatever the case, Instagram is still a powerhouse for social media marketing, and it’s never too late to develop and execute a strategy. Here are a few tips to get started.

1. Optimize your profile.

If you don’t already have one, get an Instagram Business account. Business accounts give you access to features that personal accounts don’t, including Instagram shopping, ads, insights and call-to-action (CTA) information on your profile.

As for your profile, you have just 150 characters to make your bio stand out, so use them wisely. When crafting your bio, include content that will help your audience understand:

  • Your organization’s mission or promise
  • Your organization’s personality
  • What makes your services unique
  • What you want people to do after they visit your profile

Your bio also includes a spot for one link, so if your goal is for people to visit that link, your CTA should revolve around it. For example, if you want people to sign up for your e-newsletter or visit a specific page on your website, link and drive users to that URL.

If you’d like to include more than one link in your bio, there is a workaround: you can use services like Linktree, ContactInBio or Carrd, which allow you to group multiple links in one place, under one URL. Or, better yet, create a landing page on your website that includes all of the links and resources you want your audience to access.

2. Define your goals and audience.

It’s hard to build a strategy if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve. Are you using Instagram to build brand awareness? Generate leads or customers? Establish your organization as a thought leader in your industry? Maybe you want to combine a couple of different objectives. Whatever the case, having a clear goal will help your strategy in the long run.

You also need to define your target audience. Instagram’s demographics may skew younger (18–29 years old), but with millions of users, it’s still a diverse channel where you can speak directly to the people who would most value your services and content.

3. Create compelling—and varied—content.

Instagram is all about visuals, but it boasts more than photos these days. In fact, Instagram head Adam Mosseri recently said the channel is no longer just a “square photo-sharing app,” but is aiming to become a leader in video and entertainment.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be posting photos—they are still important for a well-rounded feed. However, if your organization doesn’t have a lot of photos to share on a regular basis, you can turn to other visual content, such as quotes or other text-based images, and regrams (sharing user-generated content, with their permission).

Video is another important aspect of Instagram, and there are multiple formats to choose from:

  • In-feed videos: These show up in users’ feeds like photo posts and have a time limit of 60 seconds. Video posts are a fun way to introduce your audience to a new teammate or member of your organization.
  • Reels: Similar to TikTok, Reels are short videos with a time limit of 15–30 seconds. Reels are good for sharing educational content, behind-the-scenes looks at your office or events, or promoting products and services.
  • IGTV: IGTV is a good option for long videos, as the time limit is one hour, but unlike the other video options, they must be prerecorded and uploaded. IGTV is a good place to cross-post marketing videos you’ve shared on your website or YouTube channel.
  • Stories: You can post photos as well as videos in your Instagram Story. Both appear/have a time limit of 15 seconds and disappear after 24 hours. Video stories are a popular way to show off new products or services. You can also use filters, stickers and other interactive features, such as a poll or question box if you’d like your audience’s feedback on something.
  • Live: These videos occur in special “Live” rooms and allow users to watch and engage with your video in real time. Live videos can be hosted by one or two accounts and last up to four hours. Livestreaming is a fun way to share organizational news, host a tutorial or workshop, or broadcast at an event.

Reels are particularly popular, but each format comes with its own benefits. Try them all to see what works for your brand—and what your audience finds most valuable.