Your brand launched an Instagram account and built a following, but your engagement and audience growth has plateaued. So, now what?
To spark fresh interest in the platform, Noah Champion Buck, executive director of Los Angeles-based Wagstaff Digital (the digital arm of Wagstaff Worldwide), says it's crucial to pair a data-based approach with ingenuity and experimentation.
Buck, who has worked with many hospitality and travel brands to generate eye-catching Instagram content, shared six steps toward crafting more tactical and inventive Instagram content:
Research audience behavior across all social channels. Wagstaff starts by doing an audit of a brand's presence on other social media channels, looking at the audiences interacting with each platform, as well as what content gets the most attention and why.
Leverage audience behavior to create benchmarks. Using that existing audience data, Wagstaff sets specific goals around diversifying content—aiming to increase video from 20% to 40% of total content, for example. It then creates an editorial calendar that specifies what kinds of content is being posted and when to post it.
User-generated content drives Instagram engagement…Today's audiences are hardwired to share visuals of their personal experiences, taking pictures and videos that perform well on social. This is a great opportunity to repurpose content created by consumers, Buck says.
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…But be sure to give credit where credit is due. Wagstaff always credits anyone whose content it's using, to avoid a grey area of legal non-compliance. Before posting user-generated content, Wagstaff always reaches out to the original poster.
Focus on what’s being responded to, but focus more on what’s being shared. Overall reach is important, but the firm looks more at what posts are being celebrated by an audience. For instance, if Wagstaff featured a cocktail recipe leading up to the Kentucky Derby and then sees followers sharing that recipe afterward, it knows it's on the right track.
Innovate with carousels and cinemagraphs. Wagstaff has played with Instagram’s new album format to create contiguous posts, so viewing becomes a continuous experience. The firm once created a travel timeline across multiple images; swiping left was like pulling photos along a string, Buck says. Cinemagraphs, which combine static images with moving ones, look carefully composed and artfully created, and see high engagement as a result.