3×3 – The Purposes & Types of Instagram Content

Things I Learned – Social Media Series

Did you know that the content you actually post to Instagram should be strategically focused on what you want the end game to be?  If you just want to entertain people, posts should be focused on engaging and reaching an audience to entertain them.  If you are trying to sell a product, your end game needs to be to get that sale.  Make sure you are using the right kind of content to get the desired results.  Different types of content are good for different audiences and wanted results.

The purpose of your Instagram content should be one of three things.  The posts should be to engage or reach an audience, to build trust and affinity with your followers and finally, maybe, for a sale.  70% of posts should be for Engagement/Reach (ex: viral posts).  20% of posts should be for Trust/Affinity (ex: product/behind scene/business posts).  10% of posts should be for Sales (actually selling your product post).  Therefore, ask yourself when you are posting if you are optimizing for one of these three reasons.

Reach is the number of unique users that saw your Instagram post or story on any given day.  Engagement can be measured by impressions, reach, website clicks, profile visits, followers, comments, saved posts, views and likes.  Brand Affinity is also important. For instance, easypromos blog says, brand affinity goes beyond the products and services you sell.  Make customers feel like they have a real relationship and shared values with your brand.  When customers invest in your brand, not out of habit or convenience, but because they really believe in it – that is affinity.

Posts should be done in three phases.  You want to reach a targeted/relevant audience in Phase One posts .  You want to build trust and affinity in Phase Two posts and in Phase Three posts you want to convert to sales.

For Instagram, there are three main types of content, all of which you are probably familiar with.

Photo content consists of an image posted to your Instagram profile page.  Video content consists of content posted to your Instagram profile page as well.  For Instagram Stories, it’s a bit different.  It is an ephemeral form of video and photos that disappear after 24 hours.  They are linkable and have a really high engagement rate. 

What is ephemeral content? 

According to HubSpot, ephemeral content is content that disappears after a certain amount of time, giving audiences a small window to view and engage with it.  This is a smart method to use if you are looking for your audience to take faster action on your content.

Now, different types of content are good for different purposes.  A photo post is good if you are trying to reach an audience and good for building trust with your audience. A video post is also good for reach and trust. However, a video post is better for reach than a photo post.  An Instagram story post is good for trust and the only way to go for a sale.

Instagram posts should be strategically focused on what you want the end game to be. So in conclusion, you should have it planned out with your reach/engagement posts (remember, these should make up the most posts), trust/affinity posts and finally a sale if that is the end game.  Laying these things out will help maximize your Instagram account and its followers.