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Building your Instagram Strategy with UGC

It may take a while to build an Instagram strategy that works, but with UGC and Cohley, we know that the diversity in imagery in your Instagram marketing will be worth it. Read on to see how we do it!
Parker Dietz
August 31, 2022
April 11, 2024


Why use Instagram for marketing?

The importance of technology has influenced the growth of social media, and boom, content marketing was born. So what is content marketing? Content marketing is a type of marketing that utilizes developing content on online platforms to catch the attention of specific audiences. This form of marketing is extremely effective because it helps the brand build a stronger, more trustworthy, and personable relationship with their customers or potential customers. But how do you know which platform is right for your brand?

There are usually multiple right answers, let's take a look specifically at Instagram. Instagram for marketing is a great platform for increasing brand awareness and conversions, and it also provides the user with a diverse range of content creation options such as stories, posts, IGTV, reels and guides. Because Instagram is a visual application, it is often used for influencer marketing or to show off a specific product. According to Shopify, nearly 11% of US social media users shop on Instagram, and 81% of social media users turn to Instagram to research new products and services. So what's holding you back? At Cohley, we can help you make the most out of marketing on Instagram.

Define your goals and audience

To get the most out of content marketing, it is crucial to have clear goals and know your audience. Goals can help you identify what you want your brand to accomplish through marketing. Goals also encourage you to consider where you want your brand to be in the future. Long-term goals can be broken down into smaller and more specific milestones and actions to achieve daily, weekly, and monthly.

Once your brand and marketing goals are defined, it is imperative to find your audience. It is often easier to identify your audience once you have considered your own identity as a brand first. A good way to get to know your own brand, and therefore your audience, is outlining a brand persona. A brand persona is a list of "personality traits" that your brand attributes, and oftentimes, so does your target audience. Become well acquainted with the type of people that your ideal audience is by scrolling through your own social media, absorbing what they post, like, comment, and share.

Build your content calendar

To keep yourself on track with your goals, you should consider building a content calendar. Your content calendar is the roadmap for meeting these goals. It will keep you organized and on top of your marketing plan. Additionally, your content planner will help facilitate collaboration, stay on budget and on schedule, measure performance, keep things convenient, create relevant content, and avoid SEO problems.

Invest in high-quality UGC

We believe that high-quality user-generated content is the most important part of online marketing. At Cohley, we can help you bring your vision to life by engaging customers with premium UGC and developing content that elevates your brand. Something we value is creating content that stands out, which on social - where fingers are scrolling at a rapid pace - is crucial. Our personalized content is authentic, high-quality, and unique to you. Using Instagram for marketing can be a lot to juggle, which is where we come in. With Cohley, you can produce hundreds of assets that are ready to use in 5 weeks across all channels.

Start advertising

It's time to begin advertising. First and foremost, you should what your options are when it comes to marketing on Instagram. There are five formats Instagram offers for marketing.

  • Photo ads - a photo + copy
  • Video ads - a video + copy
  • Carousel ads - select up to 10 photos to show processes, multiple products, etc.
  • Collection ads - interaction with the products, as well as a direct link to your website
  • Story ads - interrupt users' stories with a sponsored story

Once you choose which ad-type is best for you, it is time to get posting! At Cohley, our recommended ad format are video ads. Due to their attention-grabbing feature, video ads with slight movement outperform static images, specifically regarding engagement.

When you are using a new ad for the first time, it is a good idea to try out A/B testing. A/B testing is creating two forms of the same ad (altering messaging, imagery, post-copy, content type etc.), and seeing which one performs better.

A key aspect of content marketing is tracking impressions (how many people see your advertisement), engagement (how many people interact with your advertisement), and traffic (how many people visit your website via your advertisement). These three forms of measurement will give you the feedback you need to understand if your ads are performing well, and if they are playing the role they need to be in regarding to achieve your brand's goals.

Encourage reviews

Customer reviews are an amazing facet of content marketing. According to Qualtrics, 91% of 12-34 year-olds trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. In that same study, they found that consumers are willing to spend 31% more on a brand with positive reviews. But because Instagram doesn't have a direct review feature, how should you ensure that positive customer reviews are being seen by Instagram users?

There are a few ways you could go about this. We recommend the following:

  • Post screenshots of customer reviews on posts and stories.
  • Engage with customer reviews in your captions and comments.
  • Use influencer marketing to have content creators review your products live.
  • Use Instagram's Highlight Reels to link reviews in your profile.

Build new content specifically for Instagram

Because every social media channel is different in nature- and social media is a completely different ballpark than traditional advertising- you should be curating new content specifically for Instagram. If you follow the steps we listed above, figuring out what new content your brand needs should come naturally through your brand persona, goals, and research.

If you need more advice on your brand's Instagram strategy, read more from Cohley here.

Our other favorite tips

We hope by now, you feel that you have a better grasp on how to approach marketing on Instagram. For a few more pointers to lead you down a road of success, keep on reading!

Publish using all methods

We encourage marketers to try publishing their content using every method Instagram offers. This includes reels, stories, and highlights. Doing this increases the visibility of the ad, as well as the possibility of engagement and traffic.

Set up a "Shop"

One of Instagram's newer features is Instagram Shop through Shopify. This allows users to purchase products directly through the Instagram app, rather than redirected users to an external website. We recommend company owners set up their own shop via Instagram, making it easier for customers to purchase your products.

Track your Progress and Adjust

When all is said and done, be sure to measure your progress and the performance of your ads. Have you met any of your goals and/or milestones? If so, readjust and create new checkpoints to keep pushing forward to your long-term goals.

With all of that information, we hope that you have a better gauge of how to strategically use Instagram for marketing. If you are looking for a guide on your content marketing journey, book a consultation with Cohley. And with that, go get posting!

Parker Dietz
Head of Content
With a wealth of knowledge about competitors and pricing, Parker is all about exploring the best way to communicate Cohley's benefits. Outside of work, Parker enjoys poorly playing guitar at parties, watching every Adam Sandler movie ever made, and eating Arabic food.