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How to Develop an Effective Instagram Strategy

Semrush’s research found that Instagram is the seventh most visited website globally in 2022, with 2.9 billion monthly visits. Moreover, it comes in fourth as the most used social platform after Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp. Stats from Instagram’s research (2021) suggest that 90 per cent of Instagram users follow at least a single business account. 

The platform sees on average 0.83 per cent engagement rate on each business account post, and Instagram’s survey results show that 63 per cent of the surveyed agree that Instagram helps create important connections with brands, which means the tool is good for community-building.

Given this data, Instagram must not be ignored as a social media marketing tool. Here are some basics for developing an effective Instagram strategy:


SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely — goals help concretely determine what you wish to achieve on Instagram. Wording it aloud helps: “We wish to increase sales by 10 per cent (or grow loyalty by 5 per cent) in a year.” While increased sales and loyalty are some popular goals, others can be generating awareness, conducting customer research, community-building, and inducing trials.

Target Audience

A target audience is made up of consumers who share certain characteristics, such as demographics, interests, and/or display certain behaviours. While setting up an Instagram business account, it is necessary to define your target audience clearly. 

For example, a fashion brand for young women could state its target audience as: “Women in their 20s and 30s looking to make the right professional impression in the workplace without breaking the bank.” 

Audience research through social listening helps in finding the keywords and matters of concern for your audience. Research into social media channels that your competitors are active on. Using tools such as BuzzSumo allows you to understand the keywords, hashtags, and content relevant to your industry.


Creating the right content is crucial. First, it is necessary to jot down a content plan that helps you reach the initial goals. Using all the tools on Instagram is also important: Stories, Reels, carousel posts, IGTV videos, and Marketplace can be used together to develop an effective content strategy. It is important to make use of trending content themes as well as the popular audio for background music on Reels and videos. Setting up an editorial calendar with scheduling apps allows for posting on a regular basis.

Gaining Followers and Customers

One of the most significant aspects of any social medium is community building — gaining followers and keeping them engaged. One way to do that is by following accounts, particularly of influencers, who are interested in the sort of content relevant to your industry. 

Following isn’t enough — holding amicable conversations is equally crucial. Exhorting products to engaged and loyal followers is one way to increase sales on Instagram — the rest of the work is done by followers who recommend products to others in their networks, resulting in a ripple effect.

Arslan Ahmed | Contributing Writer

Spring 2024

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