A few weeks ago, Chelsey and I put together a custom Instagram strategy—a mere 45 pages of exactly how to setup the account, what to post, which hash tags to use, and how and when to track and measure performance, etc., for a client whom we dearly love.
During this exercise, a strategy was rediscovered that we felt inspired to unpack and share with you. This particular strategy isn’t a new one but it works beautifully, it’s easy and it’s one that you’ll greatly benefit by adding to your Instagram marketing toolbox.
If you have a product launch coming up, the launch of any sort of marketing initiative—maybe it’s even the launch of your Instagram account. A simple countdown strategy goes a long way.
Here’s how it works:
1 – Clearly identify your launch date.
2 – Decide how many days you want to build enthusiasm, excitement and anticipation (i.e., do you want to do this for a week leading up? Is it your firm’s 50th anniversary, so perhaps, you countdown each week until the official commencement?). Even a few days leading up to your big launch works.
3 – Have graphics made for each of your countdown posts. Chelsey’s personal favorite tool for creating custom graphics is Canva—an amazingly simple graphic design website. Rhonna Designs is another great tool for creating graphics, very affordably, via the $1.99 app from the Apple app store.
Also, you can hire a graphic design artist by checking out Fiverr—a marketplace for creative and professional services, in which all jobs are done for $5. Tip: Be sure to review your seller’s ratings and reviews before hiring. You can save yourself a lot of hassle and heartache this way, and connect with some wonderful professionals from all over the world. Here is the dedicated graphics & design area to get you started.
4 – Commit to a day to start your Instagram countdown, now that you have your graphics and know how far in advance you want to begin counting down to launch (days vs. weeks). Get it on your team calendar and begin slating posts in advance (see our Lategramme Tutorial for steps on exactly how to do this).
5 – Use the caption space of your Instagram post, especially on the first day of the countdown, to let viewers in on what you’re counting down to and its significance. Remember, it’s always got to be newsworthy … not just to you but to them—use the caption of your post to build context for your audience.
6 – Add the right hash tags for increased visibility and exposure. If you’re an author launching a new book be sure to use the same, consistent hash tag that your marketing team is using on Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, etc. If you’re a business launching your Instagram presence, this is an ideal time to begin using your official company/brand hash tag.
FOR SPECIAL EVENTS
The countdown strategy (same steps listed above) works beautifully for special events including open houses, conferences, grand openings of businesses or the opening of new neighborhoods, home developments or parks. Truly, the opportunities are limitless.
This strategy works well for events because your community has been seeing your countdown updates so when/if you happen to “flood their feed” on event day, they’ll understand what’s going on (and why). They won’t be unpleasantly surprised—and hopefully more intrigued and excited versus annoyed.
Please, if you catch any fun countdowns on Instagram be sure to share them with us in the comments section below. For more Instagram strategies and tips, sign up for our next LIVE Instagram training here. Happy counting.
Rochelle Veturis Coles is Chief Executive Officer, Public Relations & New Media Strategist at Sister Act Media. Her consultancy works with mission-focused brands to amplify their impact in the “socialmediasphere.” Last year alone, she worked with more than 200 newsprint, television, and online media outlets. Named a “Twitter Powerhouse” by the Huffington Post, Rochelle has been featured on MSNBC’s Your Business, KTLA5, OC Family, OC Metro Business, Orange County Business Journal, and Orange County Register, to name a few.