Written by Anjuli Gopalakrishna on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)
Instagram started as a photo sharing app in 2010 and has made its way in the past 12 years into an app that offers multiple content formats: Instagram Stories, Lives, long form videos, Reels, Interaction features and much more. The people who use Instagram daily have grown to around 2 billion in numbers. And 500+ million people use Instagram Stories daily. More than 200+ million businesses are on Instagram. A diversified user base makes it an ideal platform for your brand or business to reach out to your target audience and influence them.
So how exactly can you build your tribe on Instagram and get them to know, like and trust you and eventually to buy from you?
I poured over many successful Instagram accounts, went through 100s of YouTube videos from the internet gurus, tried all the black hat hacks touted out there on the Instagram to grow your following. I studied the exact system the ace Instagrammers followed to try and understand what really works on this platform.
After months of deep dive, I cracked the code and came up with my own 6 C framework to success on this amazing platform. This is a step-by-step framework that will enable you to attract your dream audience, grow your genuine following and influence on Instagram and convert them into paying customers without the overwhelm and anxiety or the need to be glued to mobile phone 24/7. Read on if you want o learn more.
The first C: Clarity
This is the fundamental step. You need to know you ‘why’ to be on Instagram before ‘what’ and ‘how’ to be successful. Why do you need to be on Instagram? Who do you want to serve? What problem can you solve for them? What reasons can you give them to follow you? What’s your niche? Who is your ideal customer avatar? What keeps them up at night? These deep and fundamental questions are essential to answer to build the strategic foundation for your Instagram success.
From optimizing your Instagram bio / profile to planning your feed content and story highlights, this clarity will pave the way for building blocks of your content messaging and formats.
The 2nd C: Content
Out of the clarity of purpose flows the best content that resonates with your target audience. There are possibly only three reasons that people consume content on any platform. It educates, it entertains, or it inspires. Your job is to figure out what might be of use to your target audience. Remember everybody wants to listen to the ‘WIIFM” radio (What’s in it for me). Place your focus on what they need and serve them with that content that fulfills that need. And given the digital world we live in today, it is easy to figure out what your target audience needs, if you care to listen. A simple Google Suggest can be used to glean into the minds of your people. Keyword planner tool, Answer the Public or many such tools are available for you to do your content research and create your content plan.
The 3rd C: Consistency
To build the ‘KLT” factor or the ‘know, like and trust’ factor with your tribe, you need to show up for them consistently. There is no other way to build a community around your brand or business. Mere exposure effect will ensure that you stay top of the mind of your tribe. I see many businesses lose heart when they don’t see instant results from their content lose their motivation to post and share useful content consistently. The steam dies off. But here’s the point you are missing. It is those who may not have interacted with your content, but the silent lurkers who simply watch and consume your content without giving out any signals that end up becoming your customers when their time of need arrives. So don’t be disheartened and be guided by vanity metrics of ‘likes’ and ‘follows’, instead focus on consistently providing value to your tribe and sure enough they will convert.
A strategy of content pillars and category-based system works best to make the job of consistent content pipeline flowing. Think of 10-12 categories that you can place your content in, catering to different needs at different stages of your target audience in their buying journey. There are many content-scheduling tools available out there that can help you to stay consistent with your content. My favorite is Social Bee.io which enables you to manage and automate your content posting for all your profiles in one place and is super value for money for the paid version.
The 4th C: Community
When you start showing up consistently with value adding content, you are bound to start attracting your tribe to your Instagram profile and slowly building a community. One thing to remember when building your community is that social media platforms are meant for being ‘social’. It is not a place where you just sell or talk about yourself all the time. That would be such a big put off. Instead engage with others, leave genuine comments on other’s content, join the conversations, leave meaningful value adding bits to the conversations and the community will reward you with engagement. Instagram has so many features for you to build a high engagement with your tribe through stickers like polls, ask me a question, emoji slider bars in the Stories. Make use of them all to truly engage and learn from your tribe.
The 5th C: Connection
Once you have active engaged community on your Instagram profile, it is time for you to build deeper connections with your people. Take the effort to connect with them through conversations in the DMs. Instagram Stories allows you to directly start conversations with your story engagers in the DMs. Again, remember to keep the conversation flow natural. Be interested in them and try to understand their needs first before rushing to pitch your product or service or making a sales offer. Just talk to them. Warm them up, nurture them by offering a freebie or something of value so that you can take the conversation to the next level through other channels such as email or even DMs.
It is a slow process. Like dating. You don’t ask the person to marry you on the first date. It takes time and effort to get to know each other, build trust, before you can go for the big ask, the proposal to marry. Take it slow and easy and keep the conversation flow natural.
There are many innovative features available in Instagram DMs to take advantage of. Voice notes, video messages, video calls, saved replies, gifs and even automation for you to engage with your tribe in Instagram DMs. Sky is the limit if you can make use of all the features with your imagination and creativity.
The 6th C: Conversion
Converting your prospects into paying customers is the final and the most rewarding steps in the framework literally speaking. Afterall, you want all your efforts to finally end up making some money for you. This is the step you need to be well prepared for with a well set up sales conversion funnel that makes it easy and friction free for your warm leads to convert and make the purchase. Your landing pages for your products and services must be able to act as your salesperson to answer all their questions or objections. Be ready with your offers and bonuses to get them to open their wallets and credit cards for you.
Now there you have it! The 6 Cs to Success Step by Step framework for you to follow on Instagram. I would like to invite you to join my free online course Instagram Influence Foundations at this link. Once you are happy with my style of teaching and are ready to take your Instagram strategy to the next level, you can take a deep dive with the deep dive online course Instagram Influence Mastery 2022 and beyond with 60+ video lessons. You can take this course anytime anywhere at your own pace. Once you buy it, you get a lifetime access, and all the updated content comes to you for free.
That’s true, we need to keep adding content as the Instagram platform keeps changing and evolving.