How to Use Instagram for Business: Powerful Growth Hacks for Digital Agencies
Wondering how to use Instagram for business? Instagram is a great platform to generate leads for your agency but there’s lots to consider. What brand message do you want to portray about your digital agency? Does your Instafeed deliver on that?
Watch the video below to supercharge your Instagram and transform your profile from a 20-year-old Trabant car into a super-fast Porsche! (OK, these are German cars, so pick your own favourite if you like!) You’ll learn how to:
- Apply powerful Instagram growth hacks for digital agencies
- Stand out from your competition to get noticed by your dream clients
- Develop a content production process to help you implement what you learn
- Transform your Instagram account from just ok to a well-oiled branding and leads generation machine for your digital agency
These tips are all easy to implement and they’re proven techniques – my Wunderstars coaching clients have all seen results from using them, and you will too!
You might have the same problem as my clients: like many digital agencies, they excel at marketing their clients’ businesses, but struggle to talk about themselves.
It’s a challenge to translate this into an engagement-driving Instagram strategy that delivers high-quality leads, but the good news is, you’re in the right place!
I know you might be thinking right now you’re too busy with client work to make time for this, so I’m going to help you over that obstacle with my time-saving shortcuts and a super doable content creation process that will get your Instagram account from zero to hero in no time. Sounds wunderbar, right?
Common Instagram Mistakes Among Digital Agencies
Let me tell you the biggest mistakes I see digital agencies make on Instagram, because you need to know what not to do:
1. A distinct lack of personality by not showing what makes your agency different.
2. Your feed might be beautifully designed, but your content doesn’t hook in the audience at all – 0% engagement for all that effort.
3. You produce content for your peers rather than your clients.
4. You don’t maximise the latest features that drive Instagram growth.
5. Sporadic posting and not enough content variety. Just pictures, pictures, pictures. It’s like driving your Porsche in first gear and still expecting super-fast speed.
So, how do you tackle these mistakes?
Plan for Instagram Success to Increase Your Engagement
You need an Instagram plan of action to stand out and get noticed by your dream clients, whether you’ve got a team or you’re a solopreneur.
Ask yourself: what’s your goal for Instagram? If you’re clear on your why and set specific goals, you’re more likely to take action. Small actions lead to big change, as my good friend Lee Jackson always says.
Identify how you can stand out to your dream clients and bring alive your agency culture. Your culture should be a source of inspiration and point of difference.
For example, if you love coming up with new ideas or you’re a complete tech geek – use that on Instagram to be less boring! What do you want your audience to get from your account? Give them a reason to return to it time and time again.
Pretty, well-designed pictures won’t cut the mustard for this – you have to offer value and intrigue and entertain. Instagram has evolved and you need to treat it like the exciting business marketing tool it is for your agency.
What if you struggle with making time for planning?
How do you make your client projects so successful? Is it a thorough brief, time for planning and a solid process? If you want to excel on Instagram, treat it like a client project, with a plan, goals and realistic implementation time.
Many digital agency accounts I’ve come across have close to 0 engagement. They might have pretty graphics, but because their content is rather boring it gets no engagement. But you can fix this. Spend time exploring upfront:
- What do you know about your audience? What are their hopes, aspirations and challenges?
- Where are they on Insta right now – identify the most successful accounts in your niche – what works for them?
- What hashtags do they follow? Again, take a note of what other influencers and competitors in your space are using as hashtags, copy them.
- What content does your audience like? Try to use the same for your account. I’d imagine this includes videos, carousel and Reels – are you using them enough?
What do your dream clients want to achieve, and how can your agency help them?
You need to be really intentional about getting your audience to engage. In your Stories, use engagement driving stickers such as polls and questions. In your captions ask easy questions, encourage people to DM you.
WunderTip for Digital Agencies: Use one or more of these post ideas to easily hook in your audience and allow you to ditch boring on your feed:
1. A day in the life of a team member, with a surprising or cute twist – like showing their favourite pet/book/cocktail.
2. Before and after pictures of a recent branding project, together with the client reaction.
3. A carousel post with quick wins for your dream client they can action – e.g. 6 steps to SEO success.
4. An entertaining Reel which shows clips from your team members tapping into seasons or social media awareness days (favourite Easter egg, enjoying Pizza or showing their pets).
5. Turn your most successful blogs into a Guide or Carousel post.
6. Go live regularly using the brand-new Live Rooms feature: go live with clients, team members and industry influencers.
And here are 6 CTAs which will boost your engagement:
1. Double tap if you agree.
2. Post an emoji if …
3. In one word, tell us how you feel about …
4. Which options A, B or C would you choose?
5. Need more tips like these, DM us and we’ll send you our free checklist.
6. Describe your day in 3 emojis ⬇
Engaging Instagram accounts are all about successfully combining education, inspiration and entertainment. So let your personality and agency culture shine through to attract your dream clients!!
WunderTip for Digital Agencies: Don’t forget to make time to reach out to your dream clients on Instagram, the ones you’d really enjoy working with. To build relationships, read their posts and leave genuine comments that are relevant to the caption text.
Start conversations, listen and learn and when it’s appropriate, send a DM to deepen relationships.
Agorapulse is a super popular social media management tool for digital agencies. It makes it easy to reply to all of your comments and to keep track of your most engaged fans those you want to nurture relationships with. You can get a free trial here.
You need to take Instagram growth shortcuts to help you explode your account.
I bet you love using the latest apps and digital marketing tools to grow your agency, so tap into the same sense of curiosity and try out all the latest features as soon as they come out, and see how you can use them for your own content.
The algorithm favours new features, and you’ll get rewarded with more engagement and reach. At the time of writing this post, Reels was launched 6 months ago and it’s still favoured by Instagram. This vlog explains more.
Instagram growth hacks for digital agencies:
- You don’t need to go all Hollywood to make amazing Reels – hop over to TikTok to find inspiration for your agency
- Live Rooms has recently launched, so use it to get more reach – Instagram is sure to push it as a brand-new feature
- Growth shortcut: promote your Instagram on your website, blogs, in your newsletters and email signatures and across other social media channels
- Do your hashtag research: I’ve seen agencies successfully creating their own lists using Google sheets or using paid for tools like Flick.tech to save time
- You can also set up a promotion of your post to see which were the top performing hashtags. Once you have them, turn off the promotion
Don’t miss the important hashtag research step, otherwise it’s like going on a treasure hunt for your dream clients without using a map to guide you! Identifying the right hashtags will make a huge difference in your growth.
Transform Your Instagram Content
Your Instagram feed is your digital shop window, or like your agency’s best landing page and homepage all in one. And first impressions count!
Consider the image you want to portray for your agency. Does that tally with the image your Instagram is projecting? When was the last time you checked what kind of posts worked for you last year? Use this insight to shape your content ideas for growth.
Some Wunderbar Content Ideas for Digital Agencies
- What makes your agency different from your competitors – tell engaging stories across your content to show this
- How can you make yourself as the agency owner and your team more relatable and memorable – what makes you great, what makes you human?
- Share your journey, successes and learning – it works! People buy from people
- Show how you make your clients lives easier
- What is it like to work with you?
- How can you tap into humour and digital marketing news to create sharable educational and entertaining posts?
*Don’t write your content with your peers in mind!*
You want to build a community of dream clients – they want to see if you’d be fun to work with, or if you’ve got the creative spark they’re looking for. Stuck for ideas? Download my ‘30 content ideas for digital agency owners’ guide
Ideal Instagram Frequency for Digital Agencies
When agencies want to get better Instagram results, I often get asked about the ideal posting frequency. Be realistic with what you can manage and be consistent so your audience knows what to expect, ideally this is what you want to achieve:
- 1 or 2 stories a day
- Post 3 x a week
- Go live once a week: unboxing, digital media hacks, surprising stats, interview a client or influencer
- 3 – 5 Reels
If like me, you can’t commit to that, consider outsourcing your Instagram. This vlog shows you how to do this.
Instagram Production Process for Digital Agencies
Get your team involved in making it all happen. Prepare an Instagram plan together – if you involve your team from the outset, they’re more likely to enjoy the project. Together as a team consider:
- What are your marketing objectives for Instagram (this could include: raising brand awareness, generating leads, becoming known for a niche or inspiring potential recruits).
- What are your specific goals: what does success look like for your agency?
- How can you capture your audience’s attention?
- Remind yourself, what makes you different as an agency?
- What accounts do you like and what you dislike, this will shape your own approach?
- Assign roles for content creation, engagement and reviewing of results.
Once you have done the planning work, it’s time to be organised with your implementation. Try this process I created for one of my Wunderstar clients. It worked a treat!
- Week 1: Meet to brainstorm and agree ideas for the month ahead
- Week 2&3: Allow time for Instagram content creation, writing of captions design and scheduling
- Week 4: Review what has worked, get inspiration from other successful accounts
- Week 5: Meet for the next ideas brainstorm
In addition, talk about your own marketing during every team meeting and offer incentives for sticking to this new process. To check whether ideas are on brand, just encourage them to consider this about each idea:
Are you happy for your dream clients to hear this about you? If yes, post it. If not, bin the idea.
If it’s just you, and you can’t outsource right now, adjust the frequency of posting to something which is achievable to you. For example, why not book in three 45-minute slots a month to get your Instagram done, in addition to 15 minutes a day for engaging with others.
- If you’re ready to get more leads from your social media, subscribe to my YouTube channel where I share tips for digital agency owner every 2nd Monday.
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