The Content Strategies of 13 Instagram Icons
If you're looking to engage your audience and keep them coming back from more, start with these tips.
A good content strategy leaves your reader, viewer or follower engaged, informed and most importantly, hungry for more. It's especially important when starting out, and once you find a plan that works for you, you have to stick to it.
Through Entrepreneur's series Instagram Icons, we got insights into the strategies of 13 power users of the photo sharing platform. In this roundup, they offer a breakdown of what kind of content they choose to post and how often and how it helps them gain followers.
Name: Leslie Mosier
Content Strategy: As far as the content goes, we just try and make sure that it's all as cute and relatable as possible. We put a lot of thought into the caption as well. And any time we can do a pun, we’re going to do a pun.
Showcase an experience.
Name: Jessica Hirsch
Content Strategy: My content strategy is trying to execute a photo or video that really showcases an experience. Showcasing who I am and what the food is, and maybe where I am and when. Every photo that I post is a little different depending on what it is and where I am, and obviously I don’t want it to get dull, so my content strategy differs based off of that information.
Curate a feed-like experience.
Name: Daniel Kordan
Content Strategy: I travel almost 10 months per year, so I’m always on the road. When I finish a trip, I process pictures -- maybe 10 to 20 -- and I try to post them in clusters and make a story about the location. It’s one topic and helps the feed look nice. They are aligned, in the same color scheme, the same composition and the same mood.
Stay on schedule.
Name: Micaela Erlanger
Content Strategy: You want your followers to know what to expect from you. They know to check in on Wednesdays because they’re going to see what my rack is. You want that engagement. I try to make sure I have a healthy balance of what’s happening in my work life, with my team and in my personal life.
Be honest and consistent.
Name: Natalie Amrossi
Content Strategy: I just try to stay consistent. People follow you for a certain reason, and if you just stay consistent to that, then you’re going to grow your following faster. But there are so many times that I want to post something personal, but I’m like, “You know what? Yeah, some people will enjoy this, some people won’t. But this isn’t true to my brand and what my end goal is, so why post it?”
Ask your audience to take part.
Name: Ryan Glick
Content Strategy: We have an in-house creative team where we can produce content but we also have this [user generated content] momentum where people are helping us market our brand and producing content to help us grow. Right now, we produce around half of our content and half of it is UGC -- and it depends if we're working with brands or if it's a campaign.
Focus on visuals.
Name: Lana Elie
Content Strategy: We partner with so many unique florists that everything we do is talking about their identity and why we showcase them and why they became florists. You know, why they use only British-grown flowers or why they use specific varieties instead of maybe using more popular varieties. Every time we sign someone up, we get given quite a lot of content and because I come from a content background, it's always been content first.
Curate a community.
Name: The Osmanns
Content Strategy: If you look at our #FollowMeTo photos, they aren’t only just travel. It’s about two people, it’s about love, it’s about inspiration, culture. All of these things might not be in one photo, but if you look at them as a whole, there are a lot of messages within. With #FollowMeTo, it’s about a couple traveling and the whole community we have. With the people who do the same type of photos as us, we sometimes share them once or twice on a two-week basis to unite the community.
(Read more: How a Spur-of-the-Moment Photo Led to This Couple's Iconic Work Being Featured in Times Square and Around the World)
Treat your content like your personal gallery.
Name: Aureta Thomollari
Content Strategy: I look at it as a gallery space [that] I'm curating. I'm so conscious of the colors and the shapes of the picture next to the other. A lot of people just look at it as when [they] scroll through [a] feed, whereas I go to the main page and make sure that the colors are in harmony with the ones next to it -- with the picture to the left, to the right, under it. I'm looking at it as a gallery, as a white wall space. [It’s] complete passion -- just the way I see the world. So my mood on creating content always changes on how I'm feeling that particular moment.
(Read more: This Mysterious Entrepreneur Uses Instagram to Show Off Art and Her Travels and Now Has Half a Million Followers)
Inspire others like you want to be inspired.
Name: Rachel Ryle
Content Strategy: Ultimately, I hope that the time I'm taking to create something is going to bring joy and inspire other people to create and to explore their own creativity and take time to make something. Because had I not been inspired myself, I would have missed out on this entire fun ride that I'm on.
Stick to a theme.
Name: Sharmadean Reid
Content Strategy: We tend to focus on a color or theme for at least a week. You might see all pink or all orange. The only thing that defines that week is color. I tell the girls, post whatever you want. If you have a nail that's not on the theme, just post it with it as the background color.
Post fresh content.
Name: Claudia Oshry
Content Strategy: People always ask me, "Do you have a bank of content you just post?" No -- because content goes viral and then it's dead. [If] people have seen it, they won't like it. So I have to be on my phone 24/7 [to be] aware of what's getting hot and what's getting a lot of retweets or a lot of likes. I start posting around 11 a.m. to noon and I post up until 10 p.m. I never post something that someone else has posted in the last day. And I think content that goes viral has a shelf life of about six hours. So every time I post something I double check that nobody else has.
(Read more: Instagram's 'Girl With No Job' Actually Works 24/7 to Build Her Brand)
Know your audience.
Name: Melanie Garcia
Content Strategy: Insights definitely helps you know who's your target audience. Most of the things I post on Hamlet's account are things I'm interested in, like pop culture. The things that she watches, I watch. So, it's just interesting to see that the age group that follows Hamlet is my age group, and so I know, "OK, this is going to be funny to my followers," or, "this isn't." Maybe they won't get a Grease joke or a joke about Johnny Carson.