For most women entrepreneurs it’s important to use Instagram for your online business. But it can feel time-consuming and like you’re putting in a lot effort for very low returns in the form of clients, a bigger email list, etc.
I promise it doesn’t have to be so hard!
Time to give you a content marketing strategy that’ll outlast any tweaks to Instagram’s algorithm. It also works no matter what new medium they introduce, from stories to reels, and so on.
This is your core posting strategy. You’ll make sure you’re putting out intentional content in 3 different buckets that will get you more interest, more engagement, and more clients or customers! Below I’ve given you the name of each of the core post types, along with how many times a week to post them if you were posting a full 7 days. Tweak accordingly for what works for you!
The 3 core types of posts when using Instagram for your online business
Know/Like/Trust – 2 posts/week
- These are relatable images and stories about you as a human being so others identify you as “my kind of person.”
- Behind the scenes of your business also works!
Know/Like/Trust posts should form about a third of all the content you put out there on Instagram.
Based on the name of this bucket, which includes the word trust, you probably sense that it’s about sharing your humanity and showing that you’re like-minded with the people in your audience. So share a little bit of vulnerability in a way that builds trust, meaning it doesn’t undermine your business in any way.
Show what your interests are, especially if you think those interests line up with those of your ideal clients. That can really bring a more personable experience to your Instagram account and build what we call a parasocial relationship with your followers. That’s when people feel like they have a relationship with you, even though they haven’t had the chance yet to meet you in real life. The benefit is that parasocial relationships shortcut to emotional connection so that when it’s time to invite them to your email list or sell them a product or service, they’re very warm and primed.
Expertise – 3 posts
- Pour value into your audience by teaching them what they want to learn from you.
- This is also where you’ll show evidence of your expertise, like media recognition, guest spots on podcasts, testimonials from happy clients, stories of how you’ve helped your clients solve a problem, achieve results, or simply having answered a question
- You can also share your expert take (ie. your well-informed opinion) on your industry
You want Expertise posts to make up about 45% of the content you’re putting out there. Now, that’s a somewhat arbitrary number, but the point is you’re getting close to half of all the Instagram content you create.
Share your knowledge and the systems you have in place for your business, any frameworks you teach, and so on.
Even if you’re a coach or course creator, don’t be afraid to share your knowledge. It shows your audience that “If this is what she’s giving away for free, her service/course must be incredible!”
And also, remember that Instagram is really where you’ll share WHAT they want to learn. It’s not a great platform to share HOW to implement it. It also doesn’t give them the same level of support and perhaps even individualized attention they get from you when they’re a paying client. You’re not threatening your business by sharing what you know; in fact, you’re impressing the hell out of future clients who are now dying to get on the inside!
Offers – 1 freebie, 1 offer
- These are posts where you explicitly talk about your offer(s) (whether a freebie or a purchase) with a call to action for the reader to in some way consume it (ie. sign up to your email list, purchase, book a call, etc.)
- You can lead into this with stories, like with a client testimonial or the backdrop of why you created the offer (ie. why it solved a problem or offered value to the world.)
- You can post more of this type of content during your launch season.
Now, note that this category covers your paid offers and your freebie that builds the email list for your business. So this is maybe about a quarter of what you put out there. Consider also posting about your freebie in Instagram stories to encourage more sign-ups.
The general idea behind using Instagram for your online business
Content Marketing on Instagram is primarily about building relationships, growing engagement, and warming an audience of future clients. So it’s mostly about pouring value into them first, and then at select times, you’ll ask for a little bit or a lot of value back.
A little bit might be to ask for their email address because they love your content and would benefit from your freebie or live event. If they’ve been engaging with you consistently on Instagram, it’s time to take it to the client relationship step.
Whether you’re asking for value back in the form of money, time, or their email address, they’re far more likely to do so when you’ve already invested in them.
So to make your offer successful in a social media context, it’s critical that you’re focusing on pouring value into your audience first, which happens by sharing your educational posts, evidence of your expertise, and a bit of who you are. Then, if you’re offering something that’s right for them, they’ll absolutely say yes.
Even if you just post on Instagram just a few times a week, using these 3 post types will help you grow a warm audience of followers who are excited to hear from you and ready to take their relationship with your business to the next level!
Create a content marketing plan that’s customized to your business by booking a chat with me about your very own VIP Messaging and Marketing Strategy Day.