*This post contains affiliate links and we will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the links.
Not getting the results you hoped for on Instagram? Perhaps the answer could lie in the look of your grid.
One of the first things we do when we view a profile on Instagram, is to read their bio, check out the number of followers and then see what the grid looks like. Not everyone has a creative eye, but the look and feel of your posts should create a good first impression to any reader. This process takes about 5 seconds – and can be the difference between someone following your account, to them disregarding you completely.
Not everyone follows an account because of the way it ‘looks overall’ and it won’t necessarily get people to discover your page but it does go a long way in establishing people who are going to become loyal followers and potential customers – people who like what they see, stay interested for longer.
With an Instagram grid that is pleasing to the eye, with eye-catchy content and interesting posts, you are more likely to grow your following. The slight increase over time will or can results in hundreds, if not thousands, of new followers – which is great for business if it means more people are seeing your content.
The grid layout
You may spend most of your time swiping through your phone’s Instagram feed without actually visiting other profiles, and in that case you’d not be overly familiar with the layout of Instagram. But if you take a few moments to visit some profiles, you’ll see how they are laid out. This is called a grid.
Posts are displayed in rows of three, stacked on top of each other, each time pushing the previous post down the grid.
As it is always posted this way, it’s easy to create patterns or repeatable orders of three to keep the grid moving and to emphasise the things you want to highlight the most.
This could be represented by a brand colour, a quote, or something relevant to your profile.
When you’re deciding which looks best, it’s great to have a tool which can help you see the visual before you post. And also to have a scheduling tool that can help you plan ahead – we personally love Tailwind (actually for both Instagram and Pinterest!) as it takes the hard work out of posting. Have you tried it?
So, thinking about the different ideas of layouts, these could vary between:
- Line down the middle / on the side
- With boarders
Let’s look at these a little further – which grab your attention the most and how could you think to use these ideas in your own Instagram profile?
We love this example of a random Instagram grid, it’s pleasing to the eye, fun-loving and inviting. It makes you feel happy and best of all, you want to keep scrolling. Depending on what your business is about, it can work for you too and is especially desired if you want Instagram to be easy. Try to still stay on brand though, keeping the same filters and colours, and making it eye-catchy to your trusted followers.
This is a popular choice for Instagrammers. It gives it an instant theme, easily branded by the choice of colours or filters and is a fairly easy grid to keep. To keep this going, you’ll need to post your chosen ‘diagonal’ every 4th post.
This again is easy to follow, remembering to keep things alternate. This is good if you want to use a strong colour, or have lots to say, enjoy using quotes etc. It’s consistent and clean and your followers will know what to expect next for each post! Here at KJP Creative, we like the idea of both the diagonal and tiled look, so we’ve mixed them up a bit – here’s what ours looks like:
This layout is when you have images that you really want to show off – Instagram is the perfect place to highlight good photography and / or branded content. You could keep it to every row or three is one block, or you could mix it up a little and keep every third row as a block. Each row usually would tell a story or share a message
This is just the opposite of the rows except you’re going in a vertical direction instead of horizontal. They look pretty, thought out and entices a reader to keep scrolling!
The majority of posts on Instagram are square, and they fill as much of the post as possible within the allocated space. But what if you could create a different effect but not using all the square space? Check out this example – it’s different and unique and extremely eye-catching.
This really is something that stands out if you get your colours right. Always stay true to your brand and identify with your audience through your colours. You can create some pretty eye-catching and inspirational content with the right choice of colours. And the same goes for a black and white theme, you can’t go wrong with that, especially if you’ve got some great photography behind it.
Have you ever thought that your posts don’t have to be stand alone? By getting creative, you can come up with very inspirational content. Not everyone will notice or realise the impact of these posts when looking at them individually, but take a look at the bigger picture and you discover a masterpiece!
And at the end of this list, you couldn’t miss off the mixed up Instagram feeds! They are both creative and eye-catching and definitely worth exploring. Images roll into each other, two or three posts can become one gorgeous design. You don’t have be limited to the traditional border either – think outside the box!
Whatever style you decide to go with and whichever theme you settle on, remember to keep it branded, with your business tone of voice and ensure that you’ve got some great copy behind each post. Utilise hashtags, inspiring text and always giving value to your readers on every post.
If you’d like to chat about your social media marketing plan, and especially Instagram, we’d love to talk. Strategy and planning are key to an engaging and inspirational social profile. Raise your brand profile, grow your business and see results – all with the use of strategy.
With social media being the most popular way for people to communicate with a business, it is a given that businesses need to be responsive and interact on social media to keep their customers and audience engaged. A place where consumers can discover more about a brand, learn more about a product or service and get to know and trust a business before making a purchase.
The growing popularity of social media makes it an essential place for businesses to be and to reach their audience right where they are. It provides a faster and more personal touch to any conversation and allows the follower to feel cared for and part of a community. However, there are some rules and things that you can adhere to, to ensure that you’re covering the right basis and interacting in a positive way.
Post valuable content
Whatever social media content you produce needs to (and should always) produce value. Personal profiles are the place where other non-business things can be shared and talked about, but when it comes to your business profile, your customers want to see that they can rely on you giving value and being supportive when they need it. Whether you’re giving an inspirational quote or sharing a tip or advice, make sure that your followers can benefit from it.
It doesn’t always have to be something that you have written, this is called curated content. If another business or industry expert has written a relevant and valuable blog post, why not share this to your audience? Tip: You can use other people’s content to grow your own brand awareness!
Show some personality with your voice
You are your brand, yes, but the voice that you portray across social media content should reflect the right tone for your business. People will see through split personalities and conflicts of interests – be true to your brand, the core values that you believe in and the way you want your business to be seen and heard.
Create a voice across social media where you can be yourself and give a good impression of every aspect of your business. Your unique voice is your authenticity and is essential in speaking to the right people, engaging with the right people and reaching the people that are going to want to grow with you and the brand.
Creating your unique voice will make you stand out in a crowded digital space, make you stand apart from the other businesses and competition, and increase your chances of being heard and appreciated, trusted and loved. Become known in a digital world that is fighting for attention by being authentic.
Keep your social media simple
There’s nothing worse than trying to jump on every social channel, keep up with the large organisations and compete with everyone out there – it’s not going to work! Keep your social media marketing simple, make it as easy as possible with the best possible results. Learning to be effective and efficient in your online marketing will make life a lot easier and will help control stress levels which can increase when someone tries to everything all at once.
If you establish that you need to be doing more and keeping up with bigger competition, or even that you’re not the right person to be doing the marketing (everyone has their strengths and weaknesses) then why not think about outsourcing your social media to a VA (virtual assistant) or a digital agency that has the resources and expertise to be productive and reach your business objectives.
When it comes to simply, start with sticking to the point in everything that you post – captions, images, text & copy – keep it simple and easy to manage. Once you start making it complicated and adding in extras, your audience will expect that every time and it is obviously harder to keep up with. Start small and increase as you have the time and skills to do so.
Monitor your social channels
There’s one thing to create a great social media plan and schedule every post for a month in advance, but it’s something else to monitor the reactions and engagements that come from those posts. Be reactive and responsive on the content; when someone comments, respond. When someone shares, thank them. When someone recommends, engage. At all times monitor your social media profiles along with other people’s content that mentions you – this is called social listening and is a very valuable tool.
Make the most of User Generated Content
Your followers and consumers are the people who drive your business forward, who are an influence to others seeking out your business and are the people that will help you build trust and confidence with new customers.
UGC not something that is essential in your social media strategy but always an action that will help.
When someone shouts out about your business – engage with them and share their posts on your social channels. Their reviews, experiences, journey with your business can be shown to other people looking in – utilise User Generated Content wherever possible. Not only will it help with finding a variation in your content, but it will provide insight and reassurance to others.
Above all when it comes to your online marketing efforts, be consistent and on the ball with everything. Diffuse controversy, especially when it’s something that effects your business or nature. When you say you’re going to post, post. When you get into a routine, be sure to keep it up – people expect what they are used to and can get despondent or bored if they feel let down. Be true to your brand and let your personality shine through in your content. Organise, plan and prepare everything – there’s always room to add in extras, but ensure you have your basis covered first.
How do you manage your interaction and engagement on social media? Are you finding that you’re not effective or productive? Do you love social media and have some success stories to share with your audience? Are you looking to outsource your online marketing so you can focus on other parts of your business? Do you need a marketing strategy to work towards? Whatever your situation, we’d love to listen or help you engage and interact with your online audience, feel free to get in touch and let’s talk!
In the meantime, our Social Media Checklist can help, you’re welcome to download our FREE resource to give you the first step up. Click the link below.
How often do you come to write your content and find yourself hitting a brick wall? You’ve set aside time to put pen to paper but you simply have writer’s block! How do you get around that or how do you make the writing process easier when you’re on a tight schedule?
Find inspiration around you
Start to notice the things going on around you and take note of what other people are doing or share about. Use other people’s experiences to give you ideas and inspiration. All you need is an idea or a seed and you’ve got something to start from.
Take a few moments every week to make a list of relevant topics or titles which you can use another time. Research what is trending, what other people are writing about and most importantly, what your audience will want to read or hear about. Your content should be relevant to the people who are likely to read it so they can gain the value and insight from what you have to say.
Keep a notebook
One of the best ways to never find yourself with writer’s block is to keep a notebook with you all the time and to jot down ideas as you think of them. Someone may ask you a question which you could later turn into a blog post. You may see something on an advertising board that gives you an idea about a series of ‘how to’s’ or tutorials. You may be in a coffee shop and find inspiration from the conversations that you hear. In all these situations, you don’t need to write a load of content there and then but make a note in your pad so that you have something to write about the next time you sit down to put your content together.
When you hit writer’s block, hit the research button! Spend some time looking at other reputable businesses and industry leaders to see what topics are hot at the moment. Use Twitter to see what questions people are asking or what people are searching for – what’s popular and what subjects need to be addressed.
Research is a good process to go through regularly anyway, whether you have writer’s block or not – it keeps you up to date and in touch with those around you.
Ask your audience
What better way to give your audience the content they want to hear by asking them the question.
Ask them: what do they want to know about \ what would they like to learn \ what would inspire them \ what would help them in their business or life situations?
Gain insight directly from the people who the content is for. If you’re asking them what they need and you’re writing content to accommodate, they will come back for more.
When you hit writer’s block if can be an extremely frustrating time however with planning and keeping your eyes open to what is around you, it becomes easier to overcome. Have processes in place that when you get to a time when you are drawing a blank on content, you’ve already got a backup plan to help you through.
Keeping on top of social media content and regularly posting to a blog takes time and effort. If you’re using a multiple of social channels and are committed to providing valuable content to your audience, it can be a lot of content to write! Try to keep your message from going stale, keep relevant to your audience and be sure to be giving them content that helps them. If you’re providing value, you’ll have loyal followers, you’ll grow your audience and (hopefully) grow your business.
Remember that in everything you do, refer back to your initial marketing strategy and keep to your goals – long and short term – in order to measure what works, what you are achieving and the direction you are heading.
If you still find yourself hitting writer’s block and you know that writing is simply not your thing – talk to us about our content marketing packages.
Why not download our FREE 2020 Awareness Days to see if the day you’re stuck, there is something you could write about – at least you’ll be on trend!
Where do you start when marketing your business online? Do you struggle with getting a relevant, interesting and authentic message across? Do you find it difficult to come up with content that doesn’t repeat everything else you say?
Sometimes when a marketing message goes stale, we need to take a step away to refresh, recharge and revisit our mission statement. What we think we are saying, what we really say and the way that message comes across can be completely different things. Do you find yourself in the trap of repetition and regurgitating the same content over and over again? It’s time to freshen up!
Go back to basics
Go back to the drawing board, it’s time to brainstorm.
Start at the very beginning of your mission statement and the values that you hold, the things that are most valuable to you and your business. What is it that drives you forward, that gives you the motivation to do what you do? These are the fundamental elements that glue your business together and make you want to succeed. And these are essential parts that your audience need to know about when getting to know who you are and what your brand about.
Start the storyboard
Moving from your mission and values, start to set the scene and tell the story of where you’ve come from to where you are now. Everyone loves a story and for you to be authentic and unique will set you apart from the competition. Get the story rolling by sharing the heart behind your mission, the thought process of why you do what you do, the emotional angle of what’s precious to you. And then you can move on to the services you offer, why you offer them, what products you have, what value you give, what people can get from you and everything that physically makes up your business. By now your brainstorm should have lots of parts to it, all different aspects relating to the make up of your business.
Now you can start to link them together and begin to pull a common thread through it all. All these things together are what you’re going to share with your audience. You don’t just have one message to share but lots of multifaceted aspects that make up your brand.
Your message will not have a chance to go stale when you constantly go back to the basics, revisit the drawing board and brainstorm regularly to bring new ideas and visions to the table.
New content with new ideas
Once you have the ideas flowing and you’ve got everything that says what your business is about, you’ve got an opportunity to create some new content to go with it.
- Blog posts
- Social media content
How can you put your message into the above types of content? It’s about getting creative and sharing your message in different ways. Jump behind the scenes and share a video about what’s happening/ what’s going on/ your team/ your network/ your office. Interview people or create a podcast, this could give an opportunity to work with industry professionals – it’s not necessarily you doing all the speaking but it’s giving value and a variety to your audience. How much more engaging can a video or podcast be rather than a simple blog post? Both varieties have their merit but by doing both blog and video you automatically have two types of content that you can use across your social media, which you can then re-purpose and use again and again.
Once you’ve written a blog post, how many images or types of posts (i.e. infographics / how tos etc) can you create that share a similar message which you can use across your channels? Re-posting the same blog image could get repetitive but 5 or 6 different images that relate to the same thing will give a variety to your readers and your audience.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of what’s always work should always work – but that’s simply not the case, especially in a fast paced online world where there is so much competition and fight for attention. There is no place for complacency. You may be comfortable, you may love what you do, but are you seeing measurable results from it? If the answer is no, you’re just wasting valuable time that could be better invested in your business. Try not to sit on the fence hoping that something will change ‘soon’, if it’s not working, something needs to give. Go back to the drawing board and figure out what your message is truly about and give your marketing some fresh substance for people to get a hold of.
At the end of the day, your message needs to be fresh, consistent, inline with your values and mission and giving value to your audience. If it doesn’t meet these needs, you’re going to struggle to make it work. Use this opportunity to get creative in your marketing, to relight the fire and passion about what your business is about and to think of new ways of getting the attention of your audience. What is it they want to see, what do they want to hear that will solve their pain points? Be there in the forefront of their minds, show up when no one else does and give purpose to your brand. If you love it and share that zeal, then other’s will catch on and be there with you.
If you’d like to chat over your marketing plans or strategy or simply know that it’s time to outsource your social media marketing to a team that want you get results – and know how to get them!, we’d love to talk. Contact us today for an initial consultation.
In the meantime if you’d like some inspiration on what to talk to your audience about, why not download our FREE 2020 Awareness Days Calendar – and start the conversations today!
In order to understand how content marketing can impact a business, we need to understand what content marketing is and the benefits it can have on business owners.
What is content marketing?
According to the dictionary, content marketing is defined as: A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
Another way of looking at it, is how the Content Marketing Institute put it: Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
The main thing to remember is that content marketing is about being educational and not all about selling a product.
What is content marketing good for?
The reasons we look to content marketing is not ultimately to promote a product but about building a brand and reputation. Here are some other reasons:
- To build an engaged and interested audience – making sure that you’re taking the people that you want to speak to and not generalising at anyone that will listen.
- To educate customers – teaching your customers or potential customers about your business or industry.
- To increase sales in the long-term.
- To build a loyal customer base and create a brand that people will know, love and trust.
What do people know about your brand?
If you search Google or the search engines for you / your business, what do you find?
This can be a great exercise as you get to see what other people can find out about you.
Do you like what you find? Are you surprised by the results that you find?
By building on your content marketing, you can start to create a base and substance for what people are going to find when they do their due diligence and research your business. You can start to get control over the content people find about you. And the more good content you create, the more reputable your business will become.
Practice – Patience – Persistence
It can be easy to get worked up when you don’t get it right all the time but that’s just part of the process (and a part of life!). Not everyone is good at creating great content, but you will get better if you keep practicing, have patience and are persistent in your approach.
Results will happen when you have patience. But you have to be consistent and persistent. Don’t forget that if you really find that you’re not great after all at content marketing, there are people there ready to help. Outsourcing marketing is a common occurrence and just means that you’re looking after the interests of your business, focusing on what you do best and allowing an expert to take care of the other stuff.
Understand your business goals
Producing content for the sake of it will not get you anywhere fast, it will just increase stress, workload and worry about not producing results. Every piece of content should be created with a business goal in mind. Although this may seem a long process, for everything you produce, ensure that it aligns with a business goal and establish how it is going to benefit your long or short-term goals.
Consider your business goals, where do you ultimately want to get to, and think about how your content can contribute towards achieving them…
- Raising brand awareness
- Build an email list / customer base
- Provide a good customer journey and experience
- Upsell existing customers
- Help customers to be an advocate of your brand
Understand your mission and values
Just as you did with your business goals, each piece of content has got to be in line with your mission and values. There is absolutely no point in creating content that goes against what you believe, or doesn’t sit right with the people you want to reach, or even with the values that you promote. Your content needs to true to what your brand is about.
Consider your values or mission and how your content can contribute towards aligning with these:
- Who can you help the most with your content?
- What type of information can you provide?
- What is the desired outcome with the content that you’re producing?
What type of content can you use?
There are a wide range of resources that you can use to create your content marketing ideas, way to many to list but back to what we said at the beginning, all content must be educational or informational – not selling a product. Therefore the list can begin with:
- Books / ebooks
- Webpages / websites
- How to’s
And the list can go on. There is so much content that you create to build your brand, without directly selling.
But the question may come down to what you love to do, what you enjoy doing, what makes you smile and sits right with you personally. Looking at the list about, what jumps out at you and makes you think “yes I can produce that”? These are the things you need to start with. It doesn’t have to be hard, it just has to be true to your brand.
The more you start to think about writing or creating content that adds value rather than selling, the easier it will become. In all you do, the audience should feel like they’re receiving value, or being looked after.
Implementing the process
Once you’ve established what content marketing is how you can add value to your audience, it comes down to implementing it into your marketing strategy. Social media plays a big part in today’s society in reaching a wide and engaging audience and is often the best way to market to your customers. Build your content ideas into your social media strategy, creating a solid foundation for your business to gain respect, become reputable and trusted within your chosen niche. The more solid and authentic your content is, the more people will become to trust you, in turn becoming loyal and valued customers.
As we mentioned before, great content can increase your brand awareness, it can help build an audience that is interested in what you are about and ultimately it can lead to long-term sales and business growth.
If you’d like to get started with content marketing but are still unsure of how to get off the ground, or would like to look at outsourcing, we’d love to chat with you. Contact us today – let’s talk marketing!
And in the meantime if you’re looking to create engaging content around some of the issues that are important to your audience, why not download our free 2020 Awareness Days Calendar – it’s always good to have new ideas to share!
We look forward to hearing from you.