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Table of Contents

Week 1

Introduction

Day 1:
Define Your Content Categories

Day 2:
Create Content for Trending Hashtags and Holidays

Day 3:
Jump on Instagram Trends

Day 4:
Encourage User Generated Content

Day 5:
Feature Your Company Events

Day 6:
Keep Copy Short

Day 7:
Don’t Just Rely on Stock Photos

Week 2

Day 8:
Make Sure Your Design or Image has a Focal Point

Day 9:
Obey the Rule of Thirds

Day 10:
Create White Space with Borders

Day 11:
Explore Multiple Ways to Create Contrast

Day 12:
Go for Balance

Day 13:
Treat Text Like Art

Day 14:
Pair Fonts Intentionally

Day 15:
Keep it Simple

Week 3

Day 16:
Create a Cohesive Feed

Day 17:
Choose Colors Intentionally

Day 18:
Slow the Scroll with Graphic Animations

Day 19:
Publish a Video Slideshow to Your Feed

Day 20:
Design Videos for Sound-Off

Day 21:
Use the Best Hashtags

Day 22:
Designate a Branded Hashtag

Day 23:
Host an Instagram Contest

Week 4

Day 24:
Quote Influencers You Admire

Day 25:
Let Guests Takeover

Day 26:
Play Around with Instagram Stories

Day 27:
Instagram Live

Day 28:
Try Out Boomerang

Day 29:
Dig Into Your Instagram Insights

Day 30:
Promote Your Best Instagram Posts for more reach

Conclusion:
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Introduction to the Guide

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networks out there - and with good reason! Businesses and individuals alike love connecting with each other through this image-dedicated platform, by sharing inspiring images and videos with their communities.

80% of Instagram users follow a business, and 60% actually use Instagram to learn about a product or service. In fact, there are currently over 800 million monthly Instagram users. How's that for a potential audience for your business?!

It's important to keep that audience engaged and loyal to your brand, and to do this it's a good idea to vary your content. That's why HubSpot, Iconosquare and Adobe Spark have joined forces to bring you this 30 Days Instagram Guide.

This guide will provide you with ideas, tips, and free templates for a full month of Instagramming - from single images to creating a theme for your feed, we’ve got your Instagram content creation needs covered.

Day 1

Define Your Content Categories

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Let’s start off simple on day one by sitting down to define the types of content you’d like to share with your audience for maximum engagement.

  1. Lifestyle and Aspirational Imagery

    Some brands evoke a lifestyle with aspirational imagery, thus putting their service or product in the same category.

  2. Humor

    Others use memes, humor, or offer helpful tips in order to win over their audiences.

  3. Don't Be Too Promotional

    While ads can be effective on the platform, 80-90% of your posts should add value, not promotion.

The most compelling brands on Instagram post content that speaks to their target audience’s interests, challenges, and experiences instead of simply selling to them.

To figure out what kind of content is right for your brand, define topics that are related, but tangential, to your main value prop. Then establish content pillars or categories that will guide your daily posts.

Some questions to ask yourself in order to define your content pillars:

  • How do I want my followers to feel?  
  • Who is posting to this account? Can one person be the voice of your brand?
  • What is my target audience interested in?
  • If my brand was a person, what would they be interested in?

Once you’ve decided on the topics you’re ready to communicate to your audience, you could try putting them into a cycle so you can always keep an eye on what’s up next in your posting strategy. Try out something like this if you’re unsure:

Day 2

Create Content for Trending Hashtags and Holidays

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Now that you’ve defined your content pillars and set them out nicely into a cycle, you’ll have a rough idea of how you’re going to be engaging with your Instagram community. The next step is to create an Instagram calendar of social media holidays and trending hashtags you want to recognize on the platform.

A great way to get noticed on Instagram is to appear on the Explore section of the app. You can do that by using the right hashtags at the right time.

  1. Using Hashtags

    These hashtags are called trending hashtags because they temporarily shoot to the top of the list of most used hashtags. Generally holidays, like Tarte Cosmetics’ post on #fourthofjuly, will become trending hashtags, so be sure to pick up on them for an engagement boost! Pro-Tip: Check the Spark Post app for more templates for major holidays and social media days!

But watch out! Always make sure the holidays and events you’re associating your brand with are relevant and will interest your audience. Don’t go celebrating Thanksgiving on Instagram if you’re a European company!

Learn more: What you need to know about hashtags.

Day 3

Jump on Instagram Trends

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#ThrowbackThursday (#tbt), #WisdomWednesday and #MotivationMonday are just a few of the most well known and loved trending Instagram hashtags. Brands and individuals can tag onto these trends to keep their communities interested and engaged throughout the year.

What’s more, if you use days of the week hashtags like the ones mentioned above, you can use them in a cycle and your audience will come to expect them and even look out for them if you’re doing a good job! Keep your eye out for popular hashtag trends which your business can relate to and be sure to use those hashtags in your captions for an engagement boost!

  1. Instagram Trends

    Check out this fun post by Moo with the #happyfriday tag

Day 4

Encourage User Generated Content


User Generated Content (UGC) is a way of getting customers to produce their own content in conjunction with your brand. UGC on Instagram often takes the form of Instagram contests or hashtag competitions, where brands encourage users to create their own posts following their guidelines.

  1. Starbucks UGC

    Encourage users to pose with your brand, like in the Dunkin’ Donuts example below, to try out UGC. You can repost the best photos submitted and earn more popularity by mentioning your customers.

But what if you don’t have any UGC at your disposal? Encourage your followers to generate content for your business by hosting contests and giveaways in return for images, or you could simply offer shoutouts on your Instagram page. If your product isn’t a physical object which can easily feature in a photo or selfie (like an item of clothing or a food product), you can always ask your followers for different content, based on a particular hashtag for example, then re-use those images in your Instagram feed.

And guess what? User Generated Content actually generates higher engagement than brand content on social.

Day 5

Add a Human Face to Your Company

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No matter what industry your business is in, there is always value in humanizing your company and making it feel accessible and real to your social media following. Feature the people in your organization, sharing photos from events, or celebrating milestones the way any Instagram user would. Showing the faces of your team members, sharing employee stories, and showcasing your brand helping the community is a great way to help your followers feel closer to your company.

  1. You may be thinking: “I’m working so hard to create a stylish and refined Instagram feed, do I really need to post this kind of content as well?” How well will it mesh with the more professional content I’m posting?

  2. The answer to this problem is simple: Instagram Stories! Ephemeral content is the way to go if you don’t want to share company news and team related content to your traditional Instagram feed. Check out the section on Stories further on in this guide to learn more about using them.

Day 6

Keep Copy Short

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You have a fraction of a second to to stop thumbs from scrolling past your content, so don’t make your images do too much work. The key is to grab attention with your image so people are more likely to read your supporting caption. As a rule, snappy, concise messaging works best on social media. Think calls to action, slogans and powerful, emotional language within your images that compels people to stop scrolling.

  1. Bold minimalist compositions are popular on social media right now. Think about what you want your takeaway to be and get rid of anything that distracts from the message. When users are used to scrolling through a feed of interesting content, you only have a few seconds to generate interest. Check out this great example from Buffer on the left.

Day 7

Resist Generic Imagery

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Stock imagery can be a lifesaver, especially if you’re not a pro photographer. But make sure you’re not sharing the same old generic images everyone else is. Luckily there are several interesting and original image sources available.

Fun fact: the image above was actually snapped by an Adobe Spark team member on vacation. It’s one of Spark’s most popular Instagram posts and the design has been remixed over 4,000 times, proving original imagery wins.

  1. Taking photos of your own products set up in their natural environment will inspire your followers and help them to imagine themselves buying them and owning them - that’s what we all want, after all! Adding a little personality into your company’s Instagram feed is what will set you apart from the crowd and give you an identity on the platform. Plus, let’s face it, your followers will get bored with seeing stock images all the time!

  2. Mix up your content formats by trying out the carousel or video format for example, which will help to diversify your feed and make it more interesting to new followers. Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to show your brand’s true colors!

Day 8

Make Sure Your Design or Image Has a Focal Point

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Every great design has a focal point, and your Instagram posts should be no different! Having a clear focal point supports message hierarchy and could help users linger on your image. The key is making sure your image has one central focus. Like a paragraph or a sentence, an image should do just one thing. Create balanced imagery even if you’re combining multiple images, text, or shapes by making sure the elements relate to one another. A good way to establish balance is to make sure the text elements align either along the sides or are centered with each other. In Spark Post, you know you have good alignment when a dotted yellow line appears, indicating where your text lines up in relation to other elements in the design.

Take the event advertisement template above as an example. It packs all the essential information in one small place, but the title of the event is the focal point. The bold color and slightly askew shape makes sure that they eye lands on the most important piece of informations first.  

Day 9

Obey the Rule of Thirds

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While there are always exceptions to the rule, this classic photography principle is behind some of the best pictures  out there, and is a guiding force for both beginning and seasoned photographers. Execute the rule of thirds by imagining a 9-part grid in your frame and aligning the interesting parts of your image along the intersections. Adjusting the focal point in one third of the image will produce a more interesting shot.
  1. The same rule applies to design as well. You can accomplish the rule of thirds by breaking your graphic up into three parts horizontally and vertically and placing your most important information where two of the sections intersect, like the quote image above.

Day 10

Create White Space with Borders

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A white border can help your content stand out in the Instagram feed, especially if the image is bright and colorful. In fact, some users solely post photos with white borders to give their own feed an unusual, airy feel.

 

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Borders help ensure that elements in your design have room to breathe: an important aspect to consider if you want to avoid a crowded-looking design. Make a photo pop by adding a border in Spark Post to give your Instagram feed some white space. All you have to do is modify the margin of your design in the ‘Layout’ section of Spark Post, and everything else adjusts automatically for a great effect.

 

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Day 11

Explore Multiple Ways to Create Contrast

 



Contrast is what makes designs readable. Creating contrast doesn’t just refer to choosing colors on opposite sides of the color wheel. Establish contrast with light, shapes, fonts, scale, white space and more. Contrast is important because it blends style and function. It’s what helps make your design both pleasing to look at and easy to interpret.

 

 

 

Play around with filters and the editing suite on the Instagram app. These editing tools don't get a lot of publicity, but they're really nifty and simple to use for great results.  Adjust brightness, warmth, contrast, color and so much more with Instagram's tools, so try them out on your next Instagram post!



 

The three design templates above explore contrast in various ways. Can you spot them?

  1. The photograph on the left uses exposed sunlight to create contrast between the bright focal center and the trees surrounding it. This kind of photographic contrast is an excellent example of how photos can have contrast without adjusted light levels on photo editing software.

  2. To the right, you can see another example of photographic contrast. The lines within the terraced farm create contrast and texture in the image even though the colors within the image are fairly similar.

Day 12

Go for Balance

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Before you post anything to Instagram, ask yourself ‘would I stop scrolling if I saw this in my feed?’ We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: visually appealing imagery is one of the most, if not the most, important boxes to have checked. Of course, there’s more to creating the perfect image than meets the eye, and the best way to make sure you’re getting it right is to aim for balance.

Balance can refer to both the photo elements and text that make up an image. A balanced design has a clear hierarchy in terms of message, created by aligning text elements so that they relate to each other in a symmetrical way. The first thing anyone will notice about your Instagram post is whether all the elements fit together correctly. If the balance is off, you won’t get your intended message across, and you could end up with a crowded, messy feed.

A good way to establish balance is to make sure the text elements align either along the sides or are centered with each other. In Spark Post, you know you have good alignment when a dotted yellow line appears, indicating where your text lines up in relation to other elements in the design.

The above template is good example of a balanced design. Even though it combines multiple images, the consistent background color unified under bold type keeps it from being too busy. When creating collages, combine imagery that shares common elements like color, shape, or subject matter.

For more tips on how to create a balanced design, head over to the Adobe Spark blog and check out these 8 basic design principles to help you create better graphics.

Day 13

Treat Text Like Art

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Take your design and its message to the next level by thinking of text as the main focal point. Instead of simply slapping text onto an image, play with text as an art component. One way to do this is to use text cut-outs, which fill the font with the image, color, or pattern you designate as the background image.

  1. To do this in Spark Post, tap through the options under the Shape category. The option indicated with the “abc” placed in the square will apply your selected background image within the borders of your text. There are also various cut outs offered in the app that allow you to apply a number of different shapes to your design. Aim to pair complimentary colors and styles together, and avoid any patterns or backgrounds which could overwhelm or compromise the legibility of your text. Take a look at the example to the right for the end result. Want more help with text and font choices? Check out this blog post.

Day 14

Pair Fonts Intentionally

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Some font pairings are just meant to be. They work together to establish hierarchy or support the overall tone of the design through their own visual personalities. For instance, you might pair a bold header font like Raleway Heavy with a lighter typeface like Lato Light, or you might create contrast by using a decorative font for the title with a more modern or cleaner font for the secondary copy. The fonts you use also say something about your brand. The above font combination is great for bold, adventurous, and modern brands, while something more decorative could speak to a younger or more playful brand personality. Adobe Spark categorizes fonts by mood, such as bold, elegant, or decorative so you can easily pick fonts that will support your copy’s message.

A good general rule of thumb is to reserve decorative fonts for headers or short amounts of text. They can be hard to read in large blocks, while san serif fonts provide a clean look perfect for body text.

If you’re working with a header and subheader for, say, a hero image at the beginning of your blog post, you’ll want to make sure the fonts you use complement each other and strike the same tone. Check out other font pairings to learn what fonts can say about you!

Day 15

Keep it Simple

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When it comes to your Instagram feed, less is more. We’ve found that clean, simple designs, like the one above, perform the best, especially since bold minimalism is so popular right now.  

You don’t want to overcrowd your images with lots of competing elements, as this will result in a chaotic and overwhelming feed. Incorporate negative space (the space in and around the subject of an image) into your photos for a sharp, clean look. Making room for negative space is a particularly useful approach for brands aiming to showcase products, as there are very few elements to distract attention away from the items themselves. That’s not to say you can’t be creative though - in fact, when you’re forced to be selective and pick out only the best and most beautiful details for your post, you have to think creatively!

Here are a few tips for sprucing up your Instagram.

Day 16

Create a Cohesive Feed

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The most popular accounts maintain a consistent look and feel in their imagery, which can mean visual consistency or in the tone they strike. Popular accounts tend to use just one filter, or post images that contain a consistent color palette. While you don’t want to be monotonous, an easy way to create cohesion is to use a consistent filter or post images that share a common color palette. Think about your grid of nine and try posting images that share some of the same colors or elements to strike a powerful mood and aesthetic.

  1. @canarygrey was created in 2010 by photographer and creative director, Wing Ta. Wing specialises in creating visual content for editorial, lifestyle and sartorial brands. Her Instagram feed is a striking, well-balanced celebration of contemporary minimalist design.

  2. @maggieontherocks is the brainchild of knitwear designer and stylist Patricia Gutiérrez, and is a treasure trove for everyone who appreciates fashion as an artform. Clean lines, texture and a soft color palette are the defining features of this beautifully curated feed.

  3. Feeling hungry? @kraut_kopf, the Instagram of Berlin-based food photographers and stylists Susann Probst & Yannic Schon, is guaranteed to make your mouth water! They use dark, rich tones and play with light and shadow to create a sensual, atmospheric feed.

Day 17

Choose Colors Intentionally

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Spark Post takes the guesswork out of picking colors thanks to its intuitive palette tool. The app automatically extracts shades from your background photo to create a custom, complementary palette as shown in the template above. When choosing your font colors,  cycle through the suggested palettes to easily find a combination you like.

When it comes to picking your brand colors, a simple way of starting to think about it is to pick two main complementary colors and one pop or call-to-action color. You can use Spark Post and some of your favorite photos to begin your brand color exploration.

Learn more: What Every Brand Should Know About Color

Day 18

Slow the Scroll with Graphic Animations

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With so much content on Instagram competing for attention, animating your posts is an easy and effective way to catch the eye of your audience. Shooting and editing a video can require some planning, but creating an animated text post is extremely quick and easy: no speaking in front of a camera required! In Spark Post for iOS, use the animation option to add simple movements like fade, zoom, pan, and slide to your design. Save it as a video to your camera roll and upload to Instagram natively.

Day 19

Publish a Video Slideshow to Your Feed

  1. Video is quickly becoming the best way of connecting with millennials on social.

    Another easy way to create video in minutes is to combine still images in Adobe Spark Video and turn your photo album into moving stories. In the example above, a a photographer and PR manager teases a photo shoot with a slideshow video. As you can see, the applied animations create a flow between the frames and make a slideshow that looks beautiful and professional with very little effort. Simply add images to slides, pick a theme, and music and Spark Video does the rest for you.

You can also just as easily add video clips to your Spark Video. Add clips saved to your camera roll or desktop and use Spark’s easy trimmer to select the key moment you want to play. Build your video slide by slide and point by point to create a powerful multimedia story that combines narration, text, images, video, and icons.

Day 20

Design Videos for Sound-Off

Videos on Instagram start with the sound off unless a user taps the video. As such it’s important to design your videos to work with and without sound. Use text overlays in Spark Video to get your message across when the sound is off, and check that your video makes sense. Is your message clear? Does the video still bring value to the audience?
  1. Just take a look at what ASOS did to promote their ‘Fashion Week’, in which they debuted seven new-season trends featured on the platform. Bold text over a bright pink background, which cuts to models showing off the latest looks, results in an eye-catching video that works a charm – without sound (and they also make the most of those graphic animations we mentioned before!).

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Day 21

Use the Best Hashtags

  1. Hashtags are an essential part of a successful Instagram strategy. After all, they’re the tool that makes it possible for your posts to be referenced in the platform’s search engine and get your business noticed. Using Iconosquare, you can easily track different hashtags to determine which are the most popular. For a deeper understanding of the success of specific hashtags on Instagram, Iconosquare enables you to browse the hashtag’s likes and comments history, see how fast it’s growing, and analyze the content associated with it.

  2. However, bear in mind that using the most popular hashtags will mean you’re competing with many other brands and influencers using that same hashtag. To set your posts apart, choose a relatively popular hashtag that really reflects your post and hones in on your target audience – this is more likely to result in a high level of engagement on your post.

To find out which hashtags will put your business on the radar of your target audience, you should also take a look at similar businesses and the hashtags they’re already using. But we’ll discuss how you can do this in a bit more detail later on...

Day 22

Designate a Branded Hashtag

Choosing the right hashtags for your individual posts will definitely give you an advantage, but to take your hashtag game to the next level, you’ll need to choose a branded hashtag. A branded hashtag is one which you will use across the majority of your social posts and encourage customers to use as well. It’s a great way to gather your community in one place online, listen to what people are saying about you, and spread brand awareness through your network.
  1. To get an idea of the branded hashtag in action: Calvin Klein created one of the most well known branded hashtags, #MyCalvins, which has been used over 500,000 times by the brand, influencers, and the Instagram community since it was devised in early 2014.

You’ll want to keep your hashtag consistent through the entire lifespan of your business to avoid fragmenting your audience, so it’s important to put some time and effort into coming up with a good one. Need some inspiration? Take a look at these 5 tips for coming up with a winning brand hashtag.

Day 23

Host an Instagram Contest

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Whether your goal is to generate mentions, grow your follower base or increase the amount of UGC associated with your brand, an Instagram contest is a great way to engage your target audience. Who doesn’t want to win a prize  just by posting a photo or using a hashtag?

  1. Before you get started, check out similar contests that your competitors are running to generate some ideas. What kind of imagery are they using? How are they promoting their contest? (Instagram Stories is a great way to kick one off, such as with the template above!) You’ll also need to carefully plan your contest and consider the details, such as how long your contest will run, what the theme will be, and how you will pick a winner at the end. There’s more to hosting a successful contest than simply asking the Instagram community to like your posts, but the payoff can be big and gain you a lot of coverage as well as many more loyal followers. Just take a look at Marc Jacobs’ #CastMeMarc campaign to see how successful Instagram contests can be.

Day 24

Quote Influencers You Admire

 

Influencer marketing on Instagram has become huge in recent years, and social media personalities are increasingly overtaking traditional celebrities to the top of ‘most influential’ lists. An endorsement from an Instagram influencer who is aligned with your brand values can increase consumer trust and lend your voice authority. It can also create a buzz around your brand and have a direct impact on the success of your business.

Obviously, getting the most famous influencers to collaborate directly is no easy feat. One way to create a connection between your brand and the influencers you admire is to pay homage to them in the form of a quote. Sharing a relevant sound-bite from a respected influencer in your field will help you to cultivate your brand image, position your business, and show your target audience what you’re about. If you’re doing it right, your followers will most likely already be following the influencers you quote – or at the very least, they’ll share the same values and ideas you’re promoting.

Use the quote template above to easily create inspirational quotes for your feed in minutes! Or, looking for tips on how to best work with influencers? We've got a guide for you.

  1. One creative use of quotes we’ve seen is from Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls organization. @amypoehlersmartgirls marks the birthdays of influential women on their Instagram with an inspirational quote.

  2. It works because it uses the platform as its audience does (to mark milestones and offer birthday shout outs) while still educating its target audience about role models.

    Ready to give picture quotes a try? Check out HubSpot’s helpful guide to creating the perfect picture quotes for Instagram.

Day 25

Let Guests Takeover

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Having a guest takeover your Instagram, whether they’re creating Instagram posts or sharing live Stories, is a smart move for many reasons. By introducing a fresh face and a fresh take on your content, you can reach a new audience, boost your brand awareness, and inspire your community.

There are different types of guests you could invite for a takeover, depending on your goals. Do you want to collaborate with an influencer or expert to promote a product? Or do you want to give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your company culture? If it’s the former, seek out influencers in your industry who are well aligned with your brand and have a decent sized following. If you’re aiming for the latter, hand over your Instagram account to a colleague, who can share some insight into who they are and what it is that they love about working for the company.

  1. Another approach is to invite your customers or fans to contribute. This kind of takeover is a great way to show your community that you value them and their opinions. It also allows you to build a pool of UGC for the future, and generate what all brands aspire to – social proof.

  2. @visitfaroeislands run regular takeovers, inviting professional photographers to capture the beauty of the islands and share their photos and experiences with over 130k followers. The above images were snapped by the talented @evolumina.

But, before you entrust your Instagram account to your guest, there are a few things you need to consider.

  • How long will the takeover run for? Keep in mind that a live video takeover will be fairly short, whereas if you’re inviting a guest to post to your feed, they’ll need at least a few days to make a real impact.
  • How will you measure the success of the takeover? It could be by number of views and follower growth, or by number of reach, likes and mentions. Make sure your goals are clearly defined and that your campaign is tailored to get you the best possible results.
  • Will you be using a branded hashtag? It’s a good idea to decide on a branded hashtag for all of your takeovers if you’re planning on doing them regularly, as well as a specific hashtag for each particular takeover to generate interest beforehand, and to make all the related content accessible in one place.

Day 26

Have Fun with Instagram Stories

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Unlike posts to your Instagram page, Instagram Stories last for 24 hours and users see them by clicking on the avatars at the top of their feed. Instagram Stories offer a fleeting sneak-peek ‘backstage’: for example, into the company culture and the people who are part of it, or the work and care that goes into your product.

  1. Stories have a less-curated, more personal feel than traditional feed posts, which makes them the best format to create a deeper connection with your followers and really inspire brand loyalty. Your followers will appreciate seeing the human rather than the corporate side of your business, so don’t worry about spending hours creating the ‘perfect’ Story. You can also use Instagram Stories to promote a sale offer or an exclusive giveaway to your audience – this is a great way to reward your most engaged followers.

Although it can seem like extra effort to select and edit content for Stories in addition to the posts you share in your feed, creating graphics for Instagram Stories is actually really easy. To get started, all you need to do is select the Instagram Stories size in Spark Post and create your graphics one at a time (don’t forget to keep it short; IG Stories move fast!). You can also apply an animation filter like slide-in, pan, zoom, or dissolve to instantly turn the content into a video.

Day 27

Instagram Live

day27 template.png

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Instagram Live permits you to share real time videos with your followers on Instagram, via Instagram Stories. Whereas Stories are saved for 24 hours and can be rewatched, once you’ve finished broadcasting a live video, it disappears forever. The ephemerality of live video allows you to share spontaneous, unedited moments with your audience and showcase your personality – so just go with the flow and have fun with it!

  1. One of the main benefits of live Stories are that they offer more flexibility in regards to the content you’re sharing. Your feed should be polished and considered, and your Stories visually-engaging, but the success of your live stories will depend more on the value your content gives to the viewers. Hold Q&A sessions, share company updates, offer a helpful tutorial, or run a takeover – these are all ways to give back to your community and connect with your audience on a deeper level. If you can add a sprinkling of humour into whatever you’re doing, you can’t go wrong (and even if you do, it doesn’t matter!).

Day 28

Try Out Boomerang

Whilst we’re on the topic of being spontaneous and having fun, why not create a boomerang to show off your products or simply to grab the attention of your audience? If you’re not yet familiar with Boomerang, the app “takes a burst of photos and stitches them together into a high-quality mini video that plays forward and backward.” Essentially, it’s a cross between a video and a GIF which allows you to play around with visual effects to create snappy, entertaining posts that stand out in your feed.
  1. Let’s say you own a cafe or restaurant and want to create a boomerang post to draw attention to your business. You could create a boomerang of a willing barista making a coffee – you’ll see the coffee pour into the cup, and then the motion will be reversed.

    If it sounds simple, it’s because it is! The most simple movements or actions are the ones which work the best with Boomerang, and are actually the most successful.

Day 29

Dig into your Instagram Insights

“Paying attention to your insights from tools like Iconosquare & IG Insights will help you have more success on Instagram. Knowing when your target audience is actively on Instagram helps you stay top of mind & get the attention of those you are meant to serve & do biz with.”

Sue B Zimmerman – Instagram Expert & Business Coach


If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it! Having access to insights is essential to growing and developing your Instagram, but it can be difficult to know what you should be looking out for. If you’re just getting started, the two most important key metrics to focus on are reach and engagement. Instagram’s Native Insights allow you to check how your recent posts have performed in terms of likes and video views, but if you really want to tailor your strategy for the best possible results, you’re going to need to dig a little deeper...
  1. Measuring other KPIs such as follower growth and hashtag performance can help you make informed decisions about your approach. For example, you can track your follower growth using Iconosquare to discover when you gained (and lost) and the most followers, and refer back to your posts for that period to analyze patterns. Did you use a particular type of caption or filter on these posts? Or were you were running a contest or takeover? Whatever the pattern that crops up, you can reproduce this again and again for continued success, and avoid the things that caused your numbers to slump.

  2. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to see what your top competitors were doing on Instagram, all in one place? Well, actually, you can! With Iconosquare’s ‘Competitors’ feature, you can see what your competitors are posting, when they post, and how often. You can also see which of their posts have received the most likes and comments, which will help you understand your target audience and the type of content which resonates with them.

  3. You can also track the performance of hashtags other brands and influencers are using before you apply them yourself. As we mentioned earlier, using the best hashtags means you can target potential customers more directly and get your content in front of the right people, which is guaranteed to boost your engagement and follower numbers. Give it a go!

Day 30

Promote Your Best Instagram Posts for More Reach

If you’re keeping up with your metrics, you’ll have a pretty good idea what works and what doesn’t with your Instagram community. This includes having a clear view of your all-time best performing posts. The real result comes from what you choose to do with this engaging content. Why not be clever and reuse these images to promote your brand via Instagram Ads?

  1. You can either create an ad campaign via Facebook Ads Manager, or directly from within the Instagram app by tapping ‘Promote’. You’ll need to have activated the Business Profile option in your settings to have the possibility to promote your existing Instagram posts. From there, you simply select an objective, choose a CTA button for your ad, select your audience, budget and campaign duration, and you’re good to go.

You can now also advertise in Instagram Stories if you have a Business Profile. Learn how to promote your Stories here!

Learn all there is to know about advertising on Instagram with this complete guide.

Conclusion

So there you have it! You now have 30 whole days of experimenting with Instagram to get the best possible results. Now, integrate your Instagram strategy with the rest of your marketing efforts with HubSpot’s all-in-one marketing platform. Get a demo of the product today.