April 18, 2022 Content Chat Recap: How To Use Instagram for Content Marketing

A #ContentChat header image featuring an array of flowers with a box overlay. The box has text that says today's topic is how to use Instagram for content marketing, with guest Sue. B.

Most B2B brand marketing teams prioritize Facebook and LinkedIn for reaching and engaging with their communities through social media. Instagram, however, can also be an effective channel to humanize your brand and drive engagement through video and photo content—you just need to understand the site’s unique features and how to blend them to maximize your success.

In this #ContentChat recap, Sue B. Zimmerman, Instagram expert and business coach, joins the community to explain how to use Instagram for content marketing. Read through the below recap to learn:

  • How to find and use the best hashtags for Instagram
  • Why Instagram Reels are a valuable content marketing opportunity
  • How to avoid the common Instagram content marketing mistakes

Q1: What are the key features and ways to share content through Instagram that content marketers should know about?

There are four main ways to create content on Instagram: feed, stories, live, and reels.

A1a Instagram is a village and there are now 4 neighborhoods to create content – Feed, Stories, Live, Reels #ContentChat 👀 > https://t.co/osMgEVrWFU

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

I LOVE thinking about Instagram this way. Each of these features is pretty unique. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) April 18, 2022

The channel thrives on photo and video storytelling. Mix all four post types to drive engagement and increase the likelihood you’ll reach your target audience.

A1: We talked a bit about this last week in a Twitter Space but photo storytelling.#ContentChat

— Sweepsify (@Sweepsify_) April 18, 2022

A1: All of them! Posts, stories, reels, and live. A combination of the four will often drive higher engagement. #ContentChat

— Social hour (@socialhour_com) April 18, 2022

A1
-Stories(Heighlight them)
Reels
IGTV
Posts
Use hashtags to increase reach#contentchat

— Amna Aslam (@amnaaslam20) April 18, 2022

Instagram Reels can be especially effective to boost your reach.

A1: Instagram is a great way to start and grow a community! Also, Reels are where it’s at! The reach you can get with Reels has a lot of potential ~Julie #ContentChat

— Nimble (@Nimble) April 18, 2022

A1 Instagram has 4 features for sharing content
Video and photo posts (the Feed)
Reels
Stories
Live
From personal experience, Reels have been the most viewed and engaged with content over everything else I’ve made
-Alyx#contentchat https://t.co/Vl6EebX9Oo

— Charlie & Alyx – Charlie Appel Agency (@ColfaxInsurance) April 18, 2022

Our kitten’s Reels have done *so well*. Because who can resist floor in action? #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) April 18, 2022

I’ve seen my homesteading related (and cooking especially) related Reels regularly getting over 1000 views, which is HUGE visibility compared to what I normally see on the Feed
And who can resist kittens?!
-Alyx#ContentChat

— Charlie & Alyx – Charlie Appel Agency (@ColfaxInsurance) April 18, 2022

Instagram direct messages (DMs) are a valuable way to build a relationship with your followers.

A1b Instagram DM is my favorite feature where you can get more intimate w/ your followers by using the VM + DM video feature > wanna see it in action send me a DM mention #ContentChat https://t.co/H8lgURTzmN

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

And Instagram guides are an area of opportunity for everyone.

A1c Instagram guides are underutilized and can be a great resource bc they have their own unique URL https://t.co/6D1duToLu1 #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

I’m intrigued! Can anyone post a guide or is this a limited access feature? #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) April 18, 2022

Anyone can post a guide … I have a step by step video on YouTube showing you how > https://t.co/cCfUeB3g1T

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

Q2: How does Instagram’s feed algorithm work?

Instagram’s feed algorithms confuse marketers because the brand does not explain how its algorithms work (and often changes them).

A2: I don’t even think Instagram employees could answer that question at this point 😭 However I did hear something about short reels with lots of text getting shot up to the top? 🧐 ~Julie #ContentChat

— Nimble (@Nimble) April 18, 2022

A2 Who even knows anymore??
I know if you engage with several posts on one person’s page you’ll see more of their content in the future and video is really getting pushed in the visibility department
-Alyx#ContentChat

— Charlie & Alyx – Charlie Appel Agency (@ColfaxInsurance) April 18, 2022

A2 Like this? logb(xy)=logb(x)+logb(y) 🤣#contentchat https://t.co/Om9VXiYBj3

— HAGGLETHIS.COM 🇺🇦 (@hagglethis) April 18, 2022

According to Sue, Instagram has unique algorithms for each site component.

A2a Instagram uses various algorithms, processes, and classifiers to deliver content to the Feed. Each part of the app uses its own unique algorithm #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

Feed algorithms sort through five user actions, which Sue explains here:

A2b In the Feed, the algorithm sorts through 5 user actions: how likely they are to spend a few seconds on a post, comment on it, like it, save it, or click the profile photo #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

A2c How quickly your post is getting likes, shares, comments, and saves #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

A2d The quantity and content of posts you’ve interacted with, the algorithm determines what kind of other posts you might be interested in seeing #contentchat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

So many elements to take into consideration when it comes to gaining visibility on #Instagram. It’s not just about amassing followers (which is good!)#ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) April 18, 2022

It’s always abt being relevant to your audience and you have to know your audience to know what is relevant 🙂

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

You can earn considerable organic reach on Instagram, especially with daily Live content.

Q2Q: Someone recently told me that organic is no longer worth it? Is it true? #ContentChat

— Sweepsify (@Sweepsify_) April 18, 2022

We get organic reach daily. One of our best tactics is going live daily

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

Stay engaged with your communities to boost your content reach.

A2: It is important to stay engaged. Responding to comments, DMs, and tags can help your content get featured more often. I have also noticed a prioritization of Reels in the feed. Use trending sounds and tags to increase the likelihood of being found organically. #ContentChat

— Social hour (@socialhour_com) April 18, 2022

Q3: Should content marketers use hashtags on Instagram? If so, how many hashtags are appropriate?

You can include up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram post caption.

A3c Hashtags on Instagram create an opportunity to be a part of a conversation, connect with a brand, or follow an event on Instagram you can use up to 30 a post.

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

But we recommend using three to six hashtags per post.

A3
Hashtags are most powerful insta feature.30 are recomended.But Evachen said 5/8 are good number to use.#contentchat

— Amna Aslam (@amnaaslam20) April 18, 2022

A3: yes they absolutely should use hashtags! Adding too many could water down their effectiveness, apparently around 6 is the optimal amount. ~Julie #ContentChat

— Nimble (@Nimble) April 18, 2022

Good question. I don’t like to use more than three hashtags, unless the post is satire #ContentChat

— HAGGLETHIS.COM 🇺🇦 (@hagglethis) April 18, 2022

Add your top three hashtags to your Instagram page description.

Also, are in-line, end of your text, or first comment the best place(s) for your hashtags? #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) April 18, 2022

Description is where we put the top 3 we want to dominate and comments the rest – we were testing 5-7

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

This interview from Sue explains how hashtags help views on Instagram.

A3b Do Hashtag Help Views? Here’s what Sue B.and the Head of Instagram @mosseri has to say > https://t.co/UlXyDqik6g #contentchat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

Check out Sue’s YouTube playlist to learn more about hashtags:

A3a Type “Learn Hashtags” in my DM to get our YouTube playlist all abt Hashtags > https://t.co/H8lgURTzmN #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

OK, that’s awesome! Do you have a specific app you use for that, or just fast typing fingers? 🙂 #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) April 18, 2022

We use Hashtag Slayer you Get a FREE MONTH trial of with code “SBZ” https://t.co/pQjGjEg7xb

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

Remember that using the best hashtags won’t matter if your content isn’t relevant to your audience.

I think the most powerful, important feature is your content – hashtags don’t matter if your content isn’t relevant #contentchat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

Q4: How can you find the best hashtags to use on Instagram?

Use hashtags that reflect the overlap between your brand and product and your community’s challenges and interests.

A4a Use hashtags on Instagram that are relevant to your business, your brand, and your community. #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

Hashtags are powerful features to increase reach.
Content is king,no doubt#contentchat

— Amna Aslam (@amnaaslam20) April 18, 2022

Conduct social listening to see what your community is talking about and their most commonly used hashtags.

A4: Find where the conversation is at.#ContentChat

— Sweepsify (@Sweepsify_) April 18, 2022

Use a mix of popular and niche hashtags to measure what works for your content.

A4: Looking up which hashtags have the most usage. Chances are the ones with the most related posts aren’t a good option because your post will likely get buried really quickly. Instead, I like to use more specific variations of that hashtag with less posts! ~Julie #ContentChat

— Nimble (@Nimble) April 18, 2022

A4
Mix the hashtags relevant to your business and posts.
I mix high,low and medium volume hashtags.#contentchat

— Amna Aslam (@amnaaslam20) April 18, 2022

Sue has a few additional resources to help you find the best hashtags:

Search #suebhappyhacks on your mobile devise and then tap on REELS – you will see our hashtag hub with all our hack #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

Search #stealmypostideasbz on mobile and tap into REELS and see our hashtag hub for POST 💡 #contentchat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

Type LEARN HASHTAGS in my DM to get our hashtag playlist with 5 videos > https://t.co/H8lgURTzmN #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

A4b We use Hashtag Slayer you Get a FREE MONTH trial with code “SBZ” https://t.co/pQjGjEg7xb #contentchat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

Q5: What are Instagram Reels? Why should we use them, and what are your top tips for using Reels for content marketing?

Reels are short videos or a series of images with graphics and text. They are incredibly popular on the channel and can earn considerable reach.

A5a Reels are short, entertaining videos on Instagram where you can express your creativity and bring your brand to life #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

A5: Reels are videos (sometimes made from images + fun graphics and text) and they are dominating Instagram feed engagement these days. #ContentChat https://t.co/QaZF0YGl2l

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) April 18, 2022

A5
Short fotm of videos.Insta introduce them as Tiktok reels replacement.
Make fun and educative reels to grab audience attention.#contentchat

— Amna Aslam (@amnaaslam20) April 18, 2022

A5: Use your most engaging/promising videos as Reels. They’re short videos that are usually highly edited and get a lot of reach. ~Julie #ContentChat

— Nimble (@Nimble) April 18, 2022

Reels can include informative, how-go content, a behind-the-scenes look at your brand, or purely fun content meant to humanize your brand.

A5: Share a mix of informative and fun/trending content. A report from @Wibbitz shows that 80% of participants want how-to guides in video content form and 66% want footage from behind the scenes. Whatever you are marketing make sure you keep this in mind! #ContentChat

— Social hour (@socialhour_com) April 18, 2022

Sue shares her top Instagram Reels tips here:

A5b Create Reels to get more reach, exposure and an increased opportunity to get discovered in Explore #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

A5c Reels top tip – Create Creative Original Content #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

A5d Reels top tip – Include On-screen Text and Closed Captions #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

A5e Reels top tip – Avoid the TikTok Watermark #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

A5f Reels top tip – Hop on Audio Trends Fast #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

Q6: What mistakes do brands often make when sharing content through Instagram?

Common content marketing mistakes on Instagram include posting the exact same content across all social media channels…

A6: Believe it or not, I STILL see some brands sharing the exact same content at the same time across all their social channels.

Instagram is its own unique audience with its own expectations. #ContentChat https://t.co/OQHdqMUgoX

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) April 18, 2022

Lacking consistency…

A6: Lack of consistency is the biggest one. Instagram is a channel where you really need to be present. I’m not present enough on my own channel, and I’ve seen the negative impact. #ContentChat 😊

— Anthony Gaenzle (@AnthonyGaenzle) April 18, 2022

Not creating relevant content…

A6b Biggest Instagram Mistake – not creating content relevant #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

Failing to use video and connecting intimately with your audience…

A6c Biggest Instagram Mistake – not getting on video and connecting intimately with audience #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

Neglecting SEO…

A6a Biggest Instagram Mistake – NO SEO – learn how here > https://t.co/6D1duToLu1

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

There’s no escaping SEO in #contenmarketing — no matter what channel! 😉 #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) April 18, 2022

And not analyzing your results and experimenting with new content styles.

A6
Sharing content without anylzing,experimenting and audience research.#contentchat

— Amna Aslam (@amnaaslam20) April 18, 2022

Q7: How can brands be successful on Instagram? Are there any exemplary brand pages we should check out?

Sue shares her top three tips for being successful on Instagram:

A7a Have a memorable, consistent look + feel #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

A7b The Riches are in the Niches – go deep in your content and stay hyper-focused #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

A7c Don’t post and ghost – Engage with your audience to nurture relationships #ContentChat

— Sue B. The Instagram Expert📲 (@SueBZimmerman) April 18, 2022

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