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How to Manage Your Instagram Engagement in Just 45 Minutes per Day

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Are you struggling to dedicate the time required to maximize your Instagram engagement? Want to learn how to achieve social media success in just 45 minutes per day?

The team from The Social Momma share their Instagram engagement strategy in this infographic.

They break things down as follows:

  • Reply to DMs
  • Story content
  • Big accounts
  • Smaller accounts
  • Hashtags
  • Comments

Check out the infographic for more detail.

If you are interested in original article by Mark Walker-Ford you can find it here

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How To Create Your Instagram Content Plan

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An Instagram content plan can make a difference for brand engagement and audience growth. Read best practices for Instagram content plans.

Are your Instagram posts not bringing desired results?

Then maybe you need to think about reshaping your strategy and create a content plan.

Content plans can help guide how you release content to make sure you’re hitting certain goals and help your content perform better.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to create a content plan that increases brand reach and conversions on Instagram. You’ll also learn some helpful tips to help boost your content.

1. Define Your Goal

The first thing you want to do is create your Instagram goal or goals.

What do you want to accomplish? Is it to grow your audience, drive more engagement, or generate sales?

Once you figure out your plan, you’ll be better prepared to tailor your content to meet those goals.

Then, you can set the key performance indicators (KPIs) to mark different points of analysis you want to observe along with your Instagram campaign.

After you select your goal and some KPIs, it’s beneficial to break down your goal into different milestones you would like to reach along the way.

For example, let’s say you want to grow your audience by 20% by the end of the quarter.

What are some milestones along the way you can mark to achieve that goal? What types of content, topics, or content series can you create to increase engagement?

Now, that you’ve done some brainstorming, it’s time to start building your content calendar.

2. Plan Your Content Calendar

A content calendar is important because it’s your roadmap to guide your path, help you meet your goals, and set an end date for a campaign.

This way, you’ll know when you’ve met your goal and can readjust and analyze ways to improve your content strategy for your next campaign.

In addition, a content calendar can help keep ideas and campaigns organized, help you identify any content gaps, and help build consistency (which is critical for Instagram).

When creating your content plan for the month, quarter, or recent campaign, it’s helpful to plot out which days of the week you want to talk about what.

Next, choose the topic and then form the right caption.

Break content planning into smaller actionable steps makes it easier to make a content calendar.

Then, if you have your goals, topics laid out, and captions, you can move to the next step: Create the necessary pictures or videos.

Finally, you can compile your topics, days you’re posting, and captions and hashtags into a simple Google, Word, or Excel doc so you can easily copy and paste when you’re ready to schedule out your content.

Bonus Tip: Align Your Content With Marketing Initiatives

If you already have some marketing initiatives, it’s the perfect time to incorporate them into your marketing campaign. For example, maybe you have a new product release.

Then, you can create a content series for that. Create a couple of posts teasing the release of the product, include a giveaway, have an influence to promote your product or a video with them using it, and market those benefits.

Events or holidays are another great way to get consumers engaged and turn more consumers into customers.

If you have an event coming up, you can create a campaign hyping the event and discussing the speakers involved, products that will be there, or awesome grab bags you’re giving away at the event.

Holidays are another fun and positive way to get customers talking about your brand. Holiday giveaways or deals are another way to grow brand awareness and gain followers.

3. Keep A Consistent Theme And Tone

Creating a tone or brand guide can be an effective way to make sure you keep posts consistent. You also want to maintain a similar theme throughout your posts, including style, font, and colors.

For inspiration, you can look at your website, content, and logos to help create the proper tone and theme for your posts.

In addition, Instagram has the tools in stories that can help you get a color scheme that complements your brand.

You also want to think about the look of your content for both pictures and videos. Consider a consistent angle or filter to set the right tone and look for your content.

It’s also vital to think about your messaging, whether it’s for captions, comments, or responses to direct messages.

It’s crucial to have a standard operating procedure for how you respond to consumers on Instagram, especially if you have multiple people responding to comments and messages, to ensure it’s within the brand’s tone.

4. Showcase Your Creativity

IG is more than just a photo-sharing app. There are many different ways to create content for Instagram that can highlight your brand and increase engagement.

Let’s talk through them and share some tips on when to use them.

As you know, Instagram has pictures. Pictures are a great way to showcase products. It’s also great for sharing quotes, posing questions you answer in your image caption, or promoting deals or giveaways.

Videos are an excellent way to show sneak peeks of something coming up or create product teasers. You can also use videos for business BTS and show how to best use your product.

You can use Instagram Reels, or short videos, to showcase products, share stories, and grow your audience.

IGTV or Instagram TV are longer videos on an Instagram feed. Brands use these to go more in-depth into describing a particular topic.

Instagram Shopping is a feature that allows consumers to shop your products through your photos and videos.

Brands can create product tags and product launches where consumers can purchase products straight through Instagram.

Then, customers don’t have to take the step to leave Instagram to go to your website. Instead, they can quickly buy through the app.

Stories are photos or videos that last 24 hours (unless you add them to your highlights on your profile) where you can share posts from your profile or post new content. It’s a popular way to gain more followers and engage with consumers.

User-Generated Content or content created by influences, customers, or other users is a great way to extend your reach to different audiences and further promote your products.

People are more intrigued to learn about a new product if it’s promoted by someone they already follow.

Likewise, it can help build trust with consumers new to your brand if they see a post by a customer who already loves it.

But what content goes viral? It can be beneficial to look at what your competitors are people on Instagram creating and put your brand’s unique twist on it.

5. Craft Compelling Captions And CTAs

While it’s great to have high-quality pictures and engaging videos, the captions and call to action still matter.

If you hooked the consumer with your picture or video, you want to reel them in with your caption and CTA.

It’s essential to take time crafting the right CTA to ensure consumers follow your page, engage with your post, or purchase your product.

6. Choose The Correct Hashtags

It’s also crucial to research and choose the right hashtags to ensure your posts reach the intended audience and some new ones that might be interested in your brand.

Hashtags allow your content to reach users beyond your profile’s following. As you create content for specific hashtags, note which posts perform particularly well.

That way, you can create future posts for specific hashtags that will increase your content’s visibility.

7. Know The Best Time To Post

Planning posts ahead of time can help alleviate some stress of social media strategy.

You can use Meta Business Suites to schedule posts for Facebook and Instagram and set posts for a week or a couple of weeks.

If you’re unsure when to post, they have suggested days and times where analysis points to where you’ll get the most engagement and views.

Although, it would be beneficial to do some research specific to your industry to see the best time and day to make your posts.

One important thing to keep in mind when you’re planning your content is the upcoming holidays.

Are you going to make a post celebrating the holiday, use the holiday to do a promotion or give away, or choose not to post on that day altogether?

No matter what you pick, it’s important to keep holidays in mind.

8. Measure Results And Adjust

Instagram Insights, both on the app and through Meta Business Suites, can show how many views a post gets and statistics on the engagement with the posts to help you see which types of content are working best. You can see your content’s likes, shares, comments, and saves.

Brands can also use Insights to get metrics on the paid activity. Insights are a great way to see trends so that you can adjust your content strategy.

You’ll also be able to see metrics into your followers to see how many you’re receiving, the age of your followers, and information on when they are most active online. This way, you can adjust the times you post to ensure you are better at reaching your audience.

Wrapping Up

Content planning is the best way to help boost reach and engagement on Instagram.

Creating a content calendar inspired by current marketing objectives and tailoring your content with a theme backed by metrics is the best way to help meet your goals.

If you are interested in original article by Brent Csutoras you can find it here

freelance

A helpful guide to marketing for freelancers fed up with Instagram

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Instagram has been a beloved tool to creatives everywhere since its launch in 2010. But recent algorithm changes and a push for more video content have left many artists and designers struggling to enjoy the same likes and reach. If IG has become too exhausting, what marketing alternatives are there? We explore some options.

Before we get started, we understand that many of you embrace reels and making videos and still enjoy some success on Instagram. Whilst that’s great news for you, for many others, even the idea of creating films is just too much to bear. We’ve had more than a decade of chasing ‘likes’ and trying to keep up with the changing social networks. Do we really want to stay on the treadmill? Particularly when we’re not in control of these platforms?

Yes, you could pay to reach your audience through social ads, but can any of us afford to in an age of uncertainty and rising costs? Can we even trust Meta to help us target the right people? If you’re looking for free or affordable options to market yourself, don’t fret! There are plenty of alternatives, which we’ll share now. Included in our list are suggestions and tips from the creative community.

Look at the website you own and turn it into a powerful SEO machine

If you’ve not yet considered Search Engine Optimisation, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in. Your website has huge potential when it comes to organic reach. Although often confusing, terrifying, misunderstood, and forever-changing, SEO is simply a way of making your website rank highly for its chosen keywords to attract people organically. So if you’re a ‘graphic designer in Manchester’ and want to be found for those search terms, then that’s your goal – to create a site that Google thinks falls into that category and deserves to sit on its first page of results.

But it’s not a simple task. SEO experts don’t fully understand the mysterious inner workings of the world’s largest search engine. Nor can they keep up. Google is on a mission to prioritise quality content over sites trying to trick its algorithm. It even punishes those who step too far and try to game the system. It means you have to play fair and apply everything that’s currently known to succeed. We’re all busy, so how do we even get started?

There’s no magic wand. If you can’t afford to hire an expert, you will have to learn this stuff yourself. But as SEO is constantly changing, courses and learning guides can become outdated quickly. We recommend Moz for all your training needs. We’ve relied on it for over a decade, as it does a pretty good job explaining complex things in a language we can understand. Before you do anything else, read its Beginner’s Guide to SEO. It’s an important overview of how this type of search engine marketing works. Watch the ‘One-Hour Guide to SEO’ below, delivered by Moz’s founder Rand Fishkin.

According to Moz, you need to follow these seven steps to successful SEO:

  1. Crawl accessibility so engines can read your website
  2. Compelling content that answers the searcher’s query
  3. Keyword optimised to attract searchers & engines
  4. Great user experience, including a fast load speed and compelling UX
  5. Share-worthy content that earns links, citations, and amplification
  6. Title, URL, & description to draw high CTR in the rankings
  7. Snippet/schema markup to stand out in SERPs

There’s a lot of work to do. And it’s not going to be an overnight success. We’d recommend carving out an hour a day to learn and implement SEO.

For further reading, SEO expert Brian Dean also has Backlinko, a weekly newsletter that features tons of tips and insight to keep you on your toes.

Add an integrated blog to your website and get writing

One of the fastest ways to start making a difference today is to add a blog to your website. One that sits on the same domain and isn’t separate. Imagine your website is a boat floating on the sea of the internet, and its pages are various fishing lines cast out to catch and hook web visitors – it means the more pages you add, the better. That’s why a blog is so powerful. You can write as much as you like and attract people to your brand via endless means. HubSpot has a pretty good guide to optimising your blog content with loads of tips and recommended resources included.

Our biggest tip is to write within the theme of what you’re offering and how you solve people’s problems. So if you’re a graphic designer and help businesses build more powerful brands, what tips, advice, case studies, or insight pieces can you write and share that showcase your skills and expertise and entice people to your website and hire you?

“Writing consistently about one topic will always be a viable marketing strategy,” says Tom Berry, brand strategist and creative director at Studio Bennu. “Think about how you can help people. Add your unique perspective. Make sure everything you write adds value for a specific audience. Focus on creating timeless content that people can apply to their problems.”

And last but not least, you’ve got to think of your blog post titles, as these often can make or break the effectiveness of an article. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyser is brilliant for ideas and perfecting the most SEO-friendly content out there.

The #1 Free Headline Analyzer by CoSchedule
The #1 Free Headline Analyzer by CoSchedule

Actively build links back to your website and work on your PR

As you’ll quickly learn with SEO, one of its many aspects is the importance of link-building. That means getting other websites to link back to your own. How you do that can be achieved in various ways. You can guest author on blogs or online magazines. You can focus on some PR and pitch yourself for platforms like Creative Boom, and It’s Nice That. You can put yourself forward for podcasts and talks. It’s a big effort, granted. But the more links you have, the better – particularly from higher-quality sites like those of universities, newspapers or renowned brands.

Top tips for excellent PR management: – Be prepared to stand out by getting great photos of yourself ready for features and having a decent microphone for podcasts. – Consider press packs to make it easier for busy journalists. – For extra reading, check out our tips on getting featured in the press.

“Getting our brand in the press and having quality photography of us and what we do has helped grow our profile,” says Rebecca Wild of May Wild Studio. “Instagram is still a good visual resource or portfolio for clients, but it’s the PR push that has been the most effective.”

“We’ve even been collaborating with other creators on YouTube channels and in podcasts to talk about the industry and, by extension, our own work within it,” says creator, filmmaker and broadcaster Neil Evans. “That organic reach is huge for us.”

Build a list and send out a regular newsletter

There is nothing more valuable than building an email subscriber list. It’s yours alone. No one can take it away from you. It’s a bunch of engaged people who want to learn more about you and what you do. But there has to be some valuable reason to get them to sign up. Can all that fresh blog content, guest articles and press coverage be the solution? Yes, it can. Sign up to Mailchimp to get started, as it’s free to those with fewer than 2,000 subscribers.

Then, you have to market your newsletter on your website. Give people an enticing reason to join. Have a dedicated page where they can sign-up – see Creative Boom’s weekly newsletter landing page for inspiration.

Another top tip, add a ‘recommended reading’ section to your newsletter. It allows you to give back to the creative community, but it also builds happy connections who might be inclined to return the favour.

Creative Boom's newsletter page where people can join 35,000 subscribers
Creative Boom’s newsletter page where people can join 35,000 subscribers

Consider other social networks where engagement still rocks

Twitter, LinkedIn, Discord, Behance and Pinterest have their merits and are still drawing in lots of traffic and engagement for many creatives. “LinkedIn has been a favourite for quite a long time,” agrees illustrator Ari Liloan. “You get to put your work in front of people who have real hiring power instead of just other design fans. Some of my biggest commissions happened through organic recommendations there.”

Artist Russell Taysom loves using Pinterest. “I’ve always enjoyed it for collecting images I like, but recently I’ve been using it much more to add my art,” he says. “You can organise images by category with the board, and Pinterest images appear in Google searches.”

Manchester-based creative Jaheed Hussain says Twitter for his platform Fuse has been the go-to for a while now, along with the website itself. “Both seem to have the best engagement for what we do,” he says. “LinkedIn feels consistently strong for personal accounts compared to company pages, which we’ve noticed.”

Go old school and remind clients you exist (and ask for help)

It doesn’t hurt to send physical mailers, cold emails, updated portfolios and other bits and bobs to existing clients. They’re inevitably busy and will have things on their list that they keep forgetting to sort, so reminding them you’re still around will likely result in some fresh work.

Don’t forget to ask clients for referrals, either. Consider offering a discount to loyal customers should they recommend you to a friend. It all helps. “I went a bit old school recently and created a little PDF deck of my work that I email to clients, and it’s got amazing feedback,” says illustrator Connie Noble. “I also started a newsletter, which gets more engagement than my Instagram as people like to take the time to have a little read.”

Get out there and do things ‘In Real Life’

Is there anything that beats actual human contact? Many events are back on in your local town or city. Business meetups, creative talks, networking parties – add a few to your diary and get out and meet people. Even art fairs are proving to be a success for many artists and designers. “I’m getting out and about,” says Maz Leyden. “I love doing art markets and craft shows. It’s so great to connect with people in person, plus so many people take business cards, which leads to social media follows and website sales.”

London illustrator Loulou Elliott agrees and makes a final important point. “I discovered the joy of doing art markets last year. Anything in person is just great and very fulfilling. Because the art is directly in front of you, it’s very physical and tangible and ultimately real. It holds people’s interest better and engages their curiosity. It makes them more likely to remember you or buy something. People have very short attention spans on social media, especially with this generation’s TikTok style. focusing on the genuine connection over ‘engagement’ is a great breather from doing loud things to catch people’s attention.”

To conclude and recap everything we’ve learnt

There is no quick solution or fix when it comes to marketing. It takes a little effort every day to build your SEO, improve your network, and attract the attention of journalists. Here’s a helpful checklist to refer back to:

  • Set aside an hour each day to work on your marketing. This isn’t going to be an overnight thing. And there’s no magic wand.
  • Learn SEO with all the free resources available: Moz is a great place to start. And we recommend signing up for Backlinko’s newsletter.
  • Start that blog you’ve never had time to launch. Write quality content around the theme of your website and business. Add value.
  • Build links to your website through guest blogging, press coverage, talks and podcasts. Be brave. Get your name out there but don’t forget to be prepared, i.e. get some professional photography of yourself and your studio. Buy a decent microphone.
  • Create a regular newsletter to share your story and all your content. Develop a subscriber list but give them an enticing reason to sign-up.
  • Consider other social networks to build contacts and community. Twitter, LinkedIn and Behance still enjoy the high engagement.
  • Remind existing clients you exist and ask them for referrals.
  • Do things IRL: art fairs, networking events, conferences. Meeting people face-to-face is a powerful way to build relationships and meaningful connections.

If you are interested in original article by Katy Cowan, you cna find it here

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