When it comes to marketing your business on Instagram, do you hate the idea of working to a timetable or content planner?

You’re not alone. In fact, here at The Whin, we like to keep our social media marketing as loose plans, rather than strict rules. And if you want to get the most out of your posts on Instagram without tracking data or planning weeks ahead, this week’s podcast helps you do just that.

In the intro to this episode, I mentioned that I’m really excited to be speaking at the upcoming Social Selling Summit, on the 17th and 18th June. It’s free to register, if you’re interested, and it would be great to have you along!

Instagram marketing for people who hate strategies

Some people love to work to timetables and plans, but I am not one of those people. As soon as a plan or schedule is in place I rebel against it. I’ve made peace with that and have used my personality type to make my style of marketing easier and more enjoyable for me and my audience.

In fact, it’s a subject that comes up a lot. We talked about marketing for your personality in episode 21 and in episode 7 “I don’t think – I just do” we talked to Marc Keys about his avoidance of content plans.

There are four key areas in Instagram marketing that will help you connect with your audience and convert your audience into customers. In this week’s podcast we look at each area in more detail and set out ideas for how you can have a loose plan rather than a tough timetable.

Choose the right images and pictures for Instagram

Pictures are a vital part of your Instagram marketing. How do you know what kinds of pictures to post? And what can you do if you have basic equipment and photography skills?

In the podcast, we share our favourite tips around this theme, which include:

  • Choosing image categories that represent you and your business
  • Identifying the right photos and selfies for your brand
  • Quick wins for improving the images you take
  • When to use free stock images and graphic design tools

“Have a look at the Instagram accounts you admire and see if you can identify categories that could work for you, too.”

Find winning Instagram caption topics

Often the captions you write will connect with the image you post – if it’s a picture of a product for example. This week, we delve into ideas around crafting captions that help your audience get to know you better:

  • Finding a way to share information about your product or service through your selfies
  • Sharing a story that makes you more relatable
  • Bringing the conversation back to what you do or how you do it

“We’re not working with a strict strategy here, it’s just a few ideas of what you might want to create and what your audience might want to see and hear from you.”

Select 3 or 4 Instagram hashtags to use over and over

Hashtags are essential to connecting with people who are interested in what you have to offer. There’s a common belief that you should use as many as possible, all relating to the type of business you run. In the podcast, we talk about why that’s not a great idea. Instead, we look at:

  • Using hashtags that will connect to potential customers
  • Finding 3 or 4 hashtags that we know will work and using them regularly
  • Making use of our energy and inspiration at the time of posting to add other hashtags in when we need them.

“Having a few hashtags in your pocket to use consistently will be really useful.”

Make Instagram marketing fun – or at least enjoyable!

Insights are a great way to discover how your audience engage with your posts. However, tracking data and stats sounds a lot like having a strategy so I play a game instead.

  • Check out your best performing posts
  • Work out what worked well
  • Commit to beating your score by posting new content using the same techniques
  • You’ll either win or you’ll run out of steam. Either way, you’ll have posted great content to your account!

Links to other resources & websites

Canva – for graphic design ideas, templates and stock photos

Unsplash – more free stock photos

Looking to outsource? We’ve had a few guests on the podcast who’s skills might come in handy. These links will take you to the page for each episode where you can find all their contact details and social media links.

Claire Watson – professional headshots and lifestyle shoots

Andy Johnston – graphic and brand design

Rachel Anderson and Louise Oliver – virtual assistants

For more advice on growing your Instagram audience without having a strategy

It’s common to ignore Instagram marketing if you rebel against strategies and planning but we’re sure you’ll find some great ideas in this week’s podcast. We’ve included ideas you can use this week to get started on growing an engaged audience. 

This not-a-strategy approach to Instagram marketing is one of our favourite topics. We love finding new ways to make your Instagram marketing easier and more enjoyable. The no-strategy approach has worked for our guests here on the Whin Big podcast and it can work for you too.

If you have questions or ideas for podcasts you’d love to hear from in the future – please drop me a line, and follow The Whin on Instagram for more great tips and ideas to get the very best out of Instagram for your business.