Our marketing series continues with a deep dive into Instagram. What Instagram marketing trends in 2021 do you need to know, and how can you leverage my 70/30 rule? In today’s episode of the podcast, I’m sharing 5 ways to use Instagram marketing in your business in 2021.
Two years ago, I decided to go all-in on just one social media platform – Instagram. I’ve been a business owner for 13 years now and as I’m sure you can relate, I was stretched way too thin for far too long trying to be “all the places”.
Instagram is hands down my favorite social media marketing tool and now, it’s the only one I use to market my business.
This episode is part of our ongoing marketing series.
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By focusing my energy on one platform, and letting myself do less, I was able to build a highly engaged audience relatively quickly. I doubled my business revenue in the past 12 months.
Unlike many other coaches or educators in the space, I don’t run ads to connect with my ideal clients. I have found time and time again that Instagram has everything I need to connect with my ideal customer and turn them into buyers.
In today's episode of The Power in Purpose podcast, we're doing a deep dive into 2021 Instagram marketing strategies.
What Instagram Marketing Trends in 2021 Do You Need To Know?
Although so much has changed on Instagram in the last two years, there are some marketing strategies that seem to stand the test of time. Today, I want to share with you 5 Instagram marketing trends in 2021 to help you market your own business on the platform this year.
It’s Going Down in the DM’s
Our first Instagram marketing trend for 2021 is all about the DM's. Want to connect more with your ideal clients? My first piece of advice is to send videos and voice notes in the DM’s.
I have been sending voice notes and video DM’s since Instagram introduced the feature. The feedback I got was incredible. My audience loved hearing my voice and responded with how flattered they were that I took the time to record a video or voice note. And guess what? Your audience feels the same about you.
The human element can get lost when we type back and forth to each other. It also gets lost behind thousands of fast scrolling squares. This year, take some time to get back to truly being social on the platform.
When you can show up with your voice, you instantly add a layer of intimacy and personalization to the conversation. I can’t think of a better way to connect with your ideal clients. And truth be told, as an added bonus, it takes less time to respond to messages when you just hit “record!”.
Ditch The Curation
The second strategy I want to share with you today is one of my favorites – ditch the curation. It’s impossible to stay “on brand” all the time so here is your permission slip to stop trying.
Being perfect is exhausting. The other day, I read a quote that stopped me in my tracks and I wanted to share it with you. “We are a sad generation with a bunch of happy pictures”. I don’t want to contribute to that narrative.
More than that, your followers actually want to connect with you and see real parts of your day-to-day life. When I freed myself from showing up perfectly in every post or story, I noticed an increase in engagement, followers, and most importantly as a business owner, sales.
Instead of the perfect feed, I post content that I find interesting and relatable.
If right now, you are raising your hand and saying yes to all this, I’m so glad. If you are ready to ditch the perfect feed, let me share a few more tips with you. After years of trying to be perfect, you may find it doesn’t come as easily!
First, Post that iPhone photo. Although I love a pretty picture as much as the next person, you’ve got a powerful camera in your hands so use it. Don’t rely on professional photographs for every post or worse, use it as an excuse to not show up. Your followers want to see some of the real. They won’t care if the lighting isn’t perfect or the composition isn’t noteworthy.
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Second, share your hobby. Quarantine has turned me into a full-on plant mom and if you follow me on Instagram, there is a good chance that you have joined me on that journey.
I’m always sharing videos of my house plants, the latest find at my local nursery, and how I decorate my home. I even let my followers vote on paint and decor! It’s a fun way to connect with each other, especially during what was a difficult year for so many of us.
When you share your hobbies with your followers, you might just find that many of them have similar interests. Not to mention, it’s easy to share what you already love to do.
My third quick tip when it comes to ditching the curation is to just forget the grid. For way too long, marketing gurus tricked us into obsessing over our Instagram grid. Remember the puzzle feeds? Scheduling all of your posts in advance so that your grid looks cohesive is not only exhausting, it’s unnecessary.
If you are still trying to make your grid the perfect balance of color, texture, content, do yourself a favor and ditch that strategy. Not only does nobody care, but I’m also sure there are times you’ve missed an opportunity to post something in real-time so that you don’t mess up a scheduled, curated post and that’s a shame.
It’s those moments of reality between the photos that connect with your audience the most. I’m a fan of scheduling your content, but give yourself permission to post when you feel most inspired, regardless if the photo is from an old branding session or an iPhone photo of your cat.
Stay Away From Fads
And speaking of not posting what you feel like you “should be” posting, Don’t follow fads. I know how easy it is to follow down a rabbit hole on Instagram where you end up comparing what you see other people doing with what you do.
I am well aware of the pang of jealousy when someone you follow launches a great ad campaign or posts a series of stunning new graphics. It can be tempting to jump on board and follow the trends. I don’t blame you.
Although Instagram is still my favorite social media marketing tool, I don’t love how it’s becoming a place of “sameness”. Everyone posts the same graphics and even follow the same color palette.
If you really want to build a brand and business that lasts, you need to resist the temptation to follow the latest marketing fad.
Are you racking your brain trying to figure out how to stand out from the crowd? Be more of you and less what’s in style right now. Remember, trends come and then they go. Stay loyal to your voice and brand. You will stand out to the right people.
Speaking of standing out, this next strategy, strategy number four, is a little controversial.
I actually WANT you to keep it a little controversial.
It’s a big noisy world out there so be loud, be bold, be straightforward. Despite what you might be thinking right now, we all have controversial opinions and ideas and I encourage you to share what you think in an unfiltered way. Don’t be shy. If you want to stand out, don’t sugar coat your ideas. Bold statements and actions get noticed. No one, and I mean no one, remembers vanilla.
So, what kinds of things can you be controversial about? I use Instagram to speak my mind on a range of tops from silly to more serious ones. Every time I take a stand and speak my truth, especially when it’s not just popular opinion, I deepen my connection with the followers who truly resonate with me and my message.
I also seem to attract new followers because those who resonate with me spread the word.
Here’s the thing, you are a thought leader in your industry. Your audience is waiting for you to show up and lead.
Share your perspective.
Share your biggest and brightest ideas.
There’s no doubt that controversial and unpopular opinions get noticed and ultimately, don’t you want to market your business in a way that not only attracts people who share your values but also repels the ones who don’t? I know that’s what I want.
The 70/30 Rule
The last Instagram strategy I want to share with you for 2021 is my very own 70/30 rule. Even if you are doing everything else right, you can quickly burn out from Instagram if you spend all your time selling. Remember earlier when I talked about ditching the curation? The same principles apply.
Instead of every Instagram post or story being a sales pitch, why not adapt my 70/30 rule which means that 70% of your content should be entertainment, with 30% of your content being a commercial talking about your business and services. Think of your platform as your favorite TV Show. You get 70% of the story you tuned in for and 30% of the time you watch the ads. Having a formula, or at the very least a guideline, frees you from being in sales mode all the time.
Although it might take some getting used to, this formula frees you from being in sales mode all the time. It makes room for you to share content that helps accelerate the know-like trust factor in your marketing too. Remember earlier when I talked about sharing your hobbies? Your followers love to connect to that side of you and when they do, they will buy from you.
Let's recap those Instagram marketing trends for 2021, shall we?
So there you have it. If you are like me and love the idea of showing up on just one platform well, instead of spreading yourself too thin trying to do “all the things” every day, I hope you have found this episode helpful. Just as a quick recap, here are my 5 Instagram trends for 2021.
First, send more voice notes and video DM’s. Seriously, if you haven’t tried this yet I have no doubt you’ll be hooked.
Second, I’m giving you permission to DITCH the curation. Forget about the grid and share more iPhone photos and behind the scenes. Overly curated is over.
My third Instagram strategy for 2021 is to ditch the fads. You are not going to stand out and book ideal clients if you are posting the same graphics – in the same colors – as your competitors.
This brings me to my fourth tip – if you want to stand out, don’t be afraid to share more of your most controversial opinions. It will attract the right people and repel the wrong ones.
Last, but certainly not least, if you are wondering how to execute the first four strategies, use my 70/30 rule. 70% of what you share should be your show, your hobbies, your behind-the-scenes fun and 30% of what you share should be commercials about your business where you sell. By not selling all the time, you are leaving space to be inspired which will make connections with your ideal clients a lot easier.
Before I let you go, if all of this ideal client talk has you spinning, I want to invite you to sign up for The Client Cocktail. Want to know why I think most businesses fail? They don’t know who they are talking to. Inside this training, you’ll learn my 4 part formula for finding those ideal clients that you really want to work with.
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