Build an Instagram Content Strategy & Crush Your Goals

Picture of Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy

Creator and Co-founder

instagram content strategy

Do you have an Instagram content strategy?

Having a well-crafted plan in place can make all the difference when it comes to reaching potential customers.

But that’s not all it does.

Creating and implementing a solid strategy may be THE deciding factor that determines whether you fail or succeed on the platform.

Case in point: 78% of businesses that reported their marketing was “very successful” also had a content strategy in place.

And, over and over, we see that businesses without a strategy struggle to bring in ROI (return on investment).

Yes, even on Instagram.

With that said, ready to get started building an optimized Instagram presence with a content strategy? Keep reading as we dive into each part of this comprehensive approach.

Table of Contents: Creating an Instagram Strategy

How to Create an Instagram Marketing Strategy

Ready to create your Instagram content plan? Here are the key steps to take.

1. Identify Your Target Audience & Set Goals

Identifying your target audience is essential to any successful Instagram content strategy.

Knowing who you are trying to reach with your posts will help you craft more effective and engaging content that resonates with the right people.

And, while you’re in this initial planning phase, don’t forget to set Instagram marketing goals for how you hope to grow through this platform.

Analyze Your Existing Audience

The first step in identifying your target audience is analyzing your existing followers.

Take a look at their demographics, interests, and behaviors to get a better understanding of who they are and what type of content they engage with most often. This information can be found in the Insights section on Instagram or through third-party analytics tools like Sprout Social or Hootsuite.

Research Your Ideal Customer

Once you have a better idea of who’s already following you, it’s time to start researching potential customers that fit within this same demographic but may not yet be aware of your brand or product offerings.

You can do this by looking at similar accounts on Instagram as well as other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter for ideas.

After gathering all this data, it is important to create buyer personas so that you know exactly who you should be targeting with each post or campaign moving forward.

These personas should include detailed information about:

  • Age range.
  • Gender.
  • Location.
  • Interests/hobbies.
  • Job title/industry.

This will give you a clear picture of the type of Instagram users who would benefit from seeing your content in their feeds.

Once you have identified your target audience, it’s time to start crafting engaging content that resonates with them.

By understanding what works for your followers, you can create posts that will capture their attention and keep them coming back for more.

2. Craft Engaging Content

Crafting engaging content is essential if you want to grow your brand on Instagram.

To ensure your posts resonate with your audience, it’s important to understand their interests and preferences for post topics and types.

Start by researching what type of content topics they engage with the most on other accounts. What do they most want to see on their Instagram feed? This will give you an idea of the topics that are likely to generate interest from your own followers.

Once you have identified popular topics, create a content calendar outlining when and how often you plan to post about them. Scheduling ahead of time helps keep your feed consistent and organized while also ensuring that you leverage relevant holidays or events in your posting strategy (for instance, posting about special deals or offer codes around the holidays, or posting about big news in your industry).

Here’s an example of an IG carousel post on a hot topic (ChatGPT!):


Experiment with different types of posts (e.g., Stories vs. carousel posts) at various times throughout the day until you find out which ones work best for reaching new audiences and driving engagement among existing followers.

Finally, track performance metrics such as likes, comments, shares, etc. to measure progress against goals over time and adjust your strategy accordingly. (More on this in point #4.)

Struggling to come up with topics and post ideas for your Instagram content strategy? You need a proven process in place. Good news: It’s all laid out in my Content Process Blueprint, including templates, recommended tools, and how to leverage AI. Get the Blueprint here.

content process blueprint

Once you have a clear understanding of what resonates with your audience and have developed an effective content calendar, it’s time to start optimizing for reach and engagement.

3. Optimize for Reach and Engagement

Optimizing for reach and engagement is an essential part of any Instagram content strategy.

Let’s talk about leveraging hashtags and location tags in your Instagram captions, as well as posting at optimal times of the day.

Leverage Hashtags and Location Tags

Using hashtags and location tags will help you get discovered by social media users who don’t already follow you on Instagram. By using relevant tags, you can make sure that the right people find your Instagram profile and content.

  • Hashtags help categorize your post by topic and allow users who aren’t already following you to discover your account.
  • Location tags categorize your post by your location and can help attract local customers or visitors who may be interested in what you have to offer.

Post at Optimal Times of Day

Timing is everything when it comes to getting maximum visibility for your posts on Instagram.

Research by Later shows that the best time to post on Instagram is in the early hours of the morning, as this is when your posts will get the best engagement. (They recommend 4 a.m. as a good benchmark, but as long as you post early, you’ll see the benefits).

However, since every audience is unique, it’s important to experiment with different times to determine what works best for you specifically.

For example, your particular Instagram audience might prefer to generally log on in the evenings to scroll their feeds. That means posting later in the day will get your content in front of more eyes.

best times to post on instagram

Variety is key for keeping things interesting on social media, so be sure not only to vary the topics but also to switch up the type of post you publish (photos vs. Reels vs. carousel posts vs. Instagram Stories). This will help keep followers engaged over time and give them something new each time they visit your page.

By understanding the best practices for optimizing reach and engagement on Instagram, you can create a content strategy that works for your business. Now let’s look at how you can measure performance and analyze results to refine this strategy further.

4. Measure Performance and Analyze Results

Measuring your performance and analyzing the results is essential for refining your Instagram content strategy over time.

Setting goals and tracking metrics helps to ensure you’re making progress toward achieving growth through the Instagram app.

This includes setting key performance indicators (KPIs) such as engagement rate, follower growth, website traffic, etc., so you can measure your success against these benchmarks.

key performance indicator

Additionally, tracking analytics like post reach and impressions can provide valuable insights into how well your content is performing with your Instagram followers.

Analyzing insights requires looking at the data from a holistic perspective to identify trends or patterns in user behavior. For example, perhaps you notice that posts with videos are getting more engagement than those without videos. At that point, it might be worth investing more resources into creating video content for future posts.

Similarly, understanding which hashtags are resonating with your audience will help inform what tags to use when you post new content going forward.

Testing different strategies to improve performance involves experimenting with various tactics until you find what works best for your business goals.

Try out different types of posts – from stories to carousels – as well as varying the lengths of your Instagram captions or using interactive elements like polls or quizzes in Stories. This will give you a better idea of what resonates most with your followers and encourages higher levels of engagement on each post.

Finally, don’t forget about A/B testing. Comparing two versions of the same post, side-by-side, allows you to determine which one performs better. Then, you can optimize accordingly moving forward.

By understanding the metrics behind your content strategy and leveraging insights to refine it, you can ensure that your Instagram presence is performing optimally.

Create an Instagram Content Strategy for Better Results

The key to success with Instagram is to get strategic.

Identify your target audience, craft engaging content that resonates with them, optimize for reach and engagement, measure performance, and analyze results.

With a well-thought-out plan in place, you’ll see better results than if you guess along the way. As long as you stay consistent and creative with your Instagram content strategy efforts, you’ll meet your goals AND grow your brand.

Need help along the way? Then you might benefit from the coaching and mentorship you’ll find inside The Content Transformation System.

This 12-month program takes you through every step of building your business, creating your content strategy, hiring your team, and delegating efficiently.

If you want to build a sustainable brand fueled by an amazing content marketing strategy + process, you need to get inside.

Apply today for your spot in the Content Transformation System.

content transformation system

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