95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram daily. Every time you publish a post you are competing with them.
Competition intensified last year since the launch of Instagram’s new algorithm which is akin to Facebook’s edge rank. It determines the position posts in the newsfeed based on the engagement they receive. The more likes and comments your posts receive, the higher they will appear in the newsfeed and this will spur engagement further.
If you want to get the most engagement, traffic and sales from Instagram you need to optimise your posts for perfection before publishing. Everything from the image to the caption should be impeccable.
Hence, I have written this guide to create the perfect Instagram post…
Choose a goal:
Before you create an Instagram post the first thing you must do is choose a goal. Decide what you want the post to achieve i.e. get engagement, increase traffic, generate sales, etc. You can also dive deeper and be even more specific on the goal, like focusing on only getting more comments (when trying to generate engagement).
A single post can be perfect to achieve only one primary goal. It can help achieve other secondary goals, but the primary goal should always be given most importance to. The secondary goal should merely compliment the primary goal.
Once you have a goal in mind creating the image, writing the caption and adding all the other elements to your post will be easy. Also, your post will help you better execute your overall social media strategy.
Create the perfect image:
The image is probably the most important part of the post as it occupies the most space. Also as Instagram is mainly a visual network most of its users will be visual learners who will be drawn to the image first. Hence, you should spend the most time on creating the right image.
The image you choose should depend on the goal. If you want to drive traffic you need to use an image that describes the page the post leads to, for engagement you need to share something entertaining or useful, for sales you need to share a product photo and so on.
An example of an Instagram brand page that always tries to achieve only one primary goal from its images is Hustle Grind Co.
In the above post you can see that they are only trying to achieve one goal from that image, a double tap/like (they ask for it with overlay text). They probably won’t get much traffic or sales from this post, but they will get maximum engagement.
While with the image in the above post, Hustle Grind Co. aren’t looking to get engagement, but maximum traffic as they place a call to action (overlay text) on the image that asks people to visit their website.
The image got lesser engagement than most of the other posts published around the same time because more people must have clicked on the link and moved away from the Instagram page.
This way always think of one goal and craft an image that will help achieve it.
If you want to get even stronger results, try and limit the number of dominant colours in the image to 1 as a report by Curalate that analysed 8,000,000 posts found that these type of images get 17% more likes than those with multiple dominant colours.
The report also found that blueish images, images with a lot of background space, low saturation, high lightness and high amounts of texture get more likes.
Write the perfect Instagram caption:
The image does the job of attracting attention and getting the initial message across. But the caption plays a crucial role in describing the image. Even if you have overlay text on the image it is important to include a description as there is only so much text you can add to the image. You can continue where the image leaves off in the caption.
Again, think of your goal before writing the caption. If your goal is to gain traffic describe the page they need to visit and how it is going to benefit them and place a call to action in the bio and ask people to click on it and visit it. If you want a like ask for it and if you want a comment ask a question. Feel free to add in emojis as posts that contain them get 47.7% more interactions.
After you describe everything make sure you add plenty of hashtags to the post as posts with 11 or more hashtags get the most interactions.
If you are sharing something popular and general, you can use frequently used hashtags.
Here are the 100 best Instagram hashtags for Likes put together by Oberlo. They conducted research and found them. They’re effective when you are posting something to reach a large audience.
But if you are sharing something specific you should conduct your own research to find extremely relevant hashtags. You can use Instagram search or a hashtag tool like Keyhole for this.
After that you should tag in a location if necessary and schedule your Instagram post.
An example of a well written caption for an Instagram post is mariahpcoz’s. As you can see in the above image she is promoting a webinar. Her goal is to get traffic and subscribers. Therefore, in the caption she quickly describes how people can click on the link in the profile and sign up. She also uses plenty of hashtags like #webinar, #entrepreneur, #biz and #freelance that are relevant to the topic of the post.
Schedule your Instagram post:
Timing is an important part of crafting the perfect Instagram post. If you schedule it at your best time you will gain the strongest results for your goal.
If you have already published a lot of posts, you can use an Instagram analytics tool to find the best time to post your updates.
But if you haven’t published much in the past I recommend you to post between 10 PM and 3 AM Eastern Time as a study found that these times work best.
Keep scheduling your most important posts to go out in between times. After you publish 50 to 100 posts you can use an analytics tool to find your perfect time to post.
Now create and schedule your perfect Instagram post:
Follow the above process and you will begin seeing the highest levels of engagement, traffic and sales from every Instagram post you publish. Always start with the goal. Your posts will do best when there is only one primary goal. After that choose an image and write a caption that will help achieve your goal. Once you’re happy with everything you can schedule it at your best time.
What steps do you take to create the perfect Instagram goal? Did I miss out on anything important? Please leave your comments below.