I always coach and teach clients from the big picture perspective: Rather than focusing on the specific details of how to create a post or what apps you need to use to edit your videos, I look at the overall marketing strategy: What do people need to know, think, and believe and themselves and you in order to convert? That’s where we start with all content planning, especially Instagram brand strategy.
That’s because if you truly want to build a sustainable business, before you worry about what the latest algorithm change is, you need to master the foundations of marketing. What do I mean by that? If you know the key pillars of what makes good marketing work, then it won’t matter what the latest thing is. All you have to do is apply your high-level skills to the new delivery channel—rinse and repeat regardless of what changes are made on your favourite apps.
It’s about setting trends instead of adding to the noise. There’s already enough people online trying to talk louder than the person next to them. I’m here for something real. That’s how you grow a business that sticks.
Keep reading to learn:
What is a brand strategy?
What aspects to consider when developing an Instagram brand strategy?
How to create an amazing Instagram content strategy.
Content creation hacks so you can save valuable time.
I wrote an entire blog post about brand strategy in general here, but to summarize: You need to have a detailed action plan for all aspects of your brand if you want to show up consistently and cohesively. A brand strategy takes the guesswork out of what to say, what to post, and what vibe you’re going for. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but all the hard work in the research and planning stages pays off in the form of conversions later. So we do the work.
Let’s talk about Instagram specifically though. I’ll walk you through the basics of showing up authentically on the app in a way that not only feels good to you, but attracts a super engaged audience.
Your Instagram brand strategy should have 5 key pillars: Message, voice, aesthetic, content, and time. It’s crucial to cover all of these areas in the planning stages if you want to attract paying customers and clients on the app. Let’s go through each in detail…
What do you stand for? What makes you different from your competitors? Overall, your brand message is the root of what makes you and your business so special. You need to have a clear understanding of this before you start creating any posts because without this direction, you’ll probably be stuck with the question of: What do I even say?
When you know your brand message and how you’re different from your competitors, every piece of content you create will just make sense because it’s so aligned with your core.
How do you speak to your audience? Your brand voice comes from your unique personality and has a special tone and style that’s individual to you. Your brand voice might even feel really similar to your personal voice.
A lot of work goes into developing your brand voice—that’s why clients often have me help them with this! You can do this on your own as well, or with the help of resources inside the shop (like #InstaBiz!) if you’d like some guidance.
What vibe are you going for? Your brand should have a unique look and feel, and this is often shaped by your personality. Is it dark and moody? Bright and white? Perfectly curated or unfiltered?
It might take some trial and error to determine your Instagram aesthetic—that’s okay! Good things come with time. Your aesthetic can evolve through the seasons as well, but try to keep it fairly consistent. If you aren’t sure what kind of vibe you want for your feed, look around yourself. Often our homes, fashion choices, and the places we frequent are good queues of what kinds of visuals we like and dislike.
What are your content categories and how do you deliver your message on Instagram? Are you a photo kind of person, or do you love graphics? What about video? You should balance the area that you feel the most comfortable in while also paying attention to what your audience responds the best to.
This is also an iterative process. What worked well last week might not work this week. Always go back to your data and continue to improve.
When creating your Instagram brand strategy, you need to be realistic with yourself: How much time do you have to dedicate to content creation? It’s better to post quality content less often than to share lackluster posts more frequently. Check out this blog post for productivity hacks to create more, better content, faster than ever.
One place that brand strategy is extremely important: Instagram. Without a clear brand, messaging, and marketing strategy in place, you’ll never see the growth that you want on Instagram.
To get started with branding yourself on Instagram, check out #InstaBiz. This self-paced course teaches you how to create an entire month of daily content in a single afternoon. And not just any content—good content that people like so much that they can’t wait to work with you. Instagram has been a key component in my own marketing, and has helped me double my business year over year since going full time. I know that if you’re a service-based business or freelancer, this is going to be good for you too. Check out #InstaBiz here.
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