The Best Marketing Strategy for Instagram? You Need to Do the Work or Pay Someone to Do It for You
This article was first published by Sofia Simeonidou for Linkedin here
YouTube #Instagram marketing videos, Instagram marketing strategists, agencies promising to double your reach within a day. Everyone’s sharing their “secret” tips on how to #grow. In fact, Instagram strategists are everywhere and they are full of confidence selling you what they never managed to achieve for their own accounts.
Do you know why? Because they can’t grow on Instagram. They can tell you how they think you should do it but they can’t implement it themselves. Because they don’t have the skills, because they don’t actually know how and because they can’t be bothered. Maybe once upon a time they bought some #followers and they are using a VSCO cam filter and they look like they know what they are doing. But they don't.
That’s an old story though, that’s how we’ve always done it, that’s how the world works. It’s not an Instagram thing. You have real experts and you have what I call the great (and less so great) self-branding preachers. But that’s for another article.
The reason I’m mentioning this is to tell you that whatever promises they sell you about growing fast on Instagram, don’t go for it. You can follow as many inspirational #experts as you want but if you want to grow on this channel you need to invest time and effort. More than you’d need with other channels. And more than you’d need a year ago after the algorithm changes.
Can you still grow on Instagram? Yes.
Are there any secret hacks? No. Not any more.
Is there a fast way to get there? No. Not any more.
The first and most important question to ask yourself when you start your account is what does “grow” means to your business. Increase brand awareness? Direct sales? Just lead generation? Or do you have a customer #acquisition strategy and you want to put it into test?
Needless to say that if with “grow” you mean increase the number of your followers and just that, then you can buy hundreds and thousands of them with 10 euros. You can then sit back and relax while your followers’ numbers increase and your engagement and credibility plummet. You can have 10.000 followers and no one will watch your stories, none will read your posts, no one will know what you’re selling. But you will appear to have 10.000 followers and you might convince people of your expertise, at least people starting out now. And your friends will find you amazing also. That’s important, isn’t it?
All joking aside, If you’re starting out now focus first and for a while only on brand awareness. Don’t look at numbers, work on engagement. You need to win your followers, your future clients. And if you have no money, you need to invest time, a lot of time into it. You have to be the creative kind or you have to learn how to become one. And besides knowing the obvious, like who you’re trying to reach, why you’re doing this, and where are your clients hanging out, you also need to be a photographer, a stylist, a copywriter, a marketing ninja, a community builder, a good cook, a wellness warrior, a happy face. You can have the best product, you can be the most creative and talented person but if you don’t have money and if you don’t have the time to do the work then don’t be on Instagram as a brand.
If you have a big budget though or you’re already a relatively established brand then get on with your customer acquisition strategy. Pay someone to do the work, meaning the visuals, the content strategy, the copy, the engagement and the nurturing and wait for the customers. Yes, it will take time and money. But it will pay off.
You can grow and you can make a living out of it but the times have changed. Choose wisely your why and your how. Instagram isn't just pictures with a nice filter.
Sofia Simeonidou is a Content Creator and Writer, Brand Designer and huge Fitness Advocate .
For more information on what I do, visit my business page. If you are in the market for engaging, creative, journalistic content, we should talk!
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