Instagram is ripe for digital health. With its unique emphasis on narrative and lifestyle, it can help you communicate how your product can solve problems or fill needs.
What’s more, it can also drive more traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, boost sales, and (best of all) create a non-salesy line of communication between you and your target customers.
However, many of you may be wondering if your health tech audience is even on Instagram. It’s pointless to invest in an Instagram strategy if no one’s even listening.
So even if you don’t know how to use Instagram yet, here’s what you need to know about digital health marketing, Instagram audiences, and the power of connection through this channel.
Is my audience even on Instagram?
Despite the fact that Instagram thrives on interaction between users and their audience, there are some segments of health tech that may not benefit from this platform. That’s why before launching an Instagram campaign, you need to take these steps.
First of all, define who your ideal customer is. Recently, I revealed some of my best strategies for narrowing down this particular buyer persona (you can read it here or get the video training series here). Suffice it to say, your ICP will knowledge base to discover if your buyer is on Instagram.
Next, you’ll want to research if your ideal customer is online. If so, what are they saying? Who do they interact with, and what do they care about?
Beyond that, you need to know who’s generating conversation in your industry and how they do it. Consider what platforms they use to disperse their message and how your ICPs interact with these thought leaders. The answers will guide you to the channels you should consider.
If you’ve done the above three steps, you should have enough information to either keep Instagram or move on to better channels for your audience. Now you’re ready to rock your Instagram strategy.
7 “must-haves” for effective Instagram strategies
What makes the difference between a mediocre Instagram presence and a strategy that’ll blow your mind? Look no further! I’ve compiled a list of my top tips for raising brand awareness through Instagram.
1. Craft your brand’s core message
Instagram marketing relies on a commitment to your core messaging that’s also enhanced with compelling content and visuals. So I have to ask, do you know your core message? If not, this important piece needs to be in place before you post any content on Instagram.
As was already mentioned, this social media channel really flourishes with stories. That’s why Instagram is a great place to share your brand story. That being said, your posts should be very customer-centric by helping them see how you can help them solve their biggest pain points.
In addition, make sure your bio and profile picture also reflect your core message. Nothing’s more confusing to a customer than a health tech profile that doesn’t visually resonate with digital health.
2. Create content that your audience cares about
If your customers are like me (and everyone else), they’ll unfollow people who don’t value what they value. That’s why you should be posting meaningful and useful content that customers care about.
Here’s the skinny on your audience – they don’t really care about you. What do they want to hear? They want to know how you can get them to their promised land (as opposed to how clients can help you get to your promised land).
In addition, consider drawing more people into the conversation by posting user generated content. If you want an example of companies that have nailed this, take a look at the profiles of GoPro or Ancestry.com.
You also need content that correlates with your company goals. In other words, what are you trying to accomplish through Instagram content? (Hint: it shouldn’t just be entertainment.) Are you trying to increase sales? Are you trying to direct more traffic to your website? Whatever it is, spell it out, and follow through.
3. Extend your reach through hashtags
Before I get into best practices, here’s a few disclaimers. For starters, avoid over-crowded hashtags. They tend to distract readers from the point you’re trying to make.
In addition, five to eleven hashtags per post work best on Instagram. Much more than this and your post begins to look spammy.
When appropriate, use branded hashtags. These tags should be simple, memorable, and sometimes fun. In addition to making your information easier to find, it also can help you gather customer-generated content for reposts.
4. Capture high quality images
Whether you have an on-site photographer or whether you need to hire one, Instagram success requires consistent high quality images. Again because narrative is so important on this platform, you get a chance to tell your brand’s story through sequential images.
Plus, customers get a chance to see your products in action. Sure, SaaS products are sometimes difficult to capture visually, but that simply means that you’ll need to think outside the box to create visual materials.
5. Call to action
Though you’re not on Instagram to be salesly, you should include CTAs as a common courtesy. In other words, customers want to know what to do next.
Well-written action statements encourage your followers to engage with your brand. Here are some great ways to invite user engagement:
Ask a question
Ask them for input on a topic
Invite them to tag a friend
Ask them to to tag you in their photos
6. Calculate the optimal publish time
Sound nerdy? Even if it is, you’ll get the best ROI if you study your audience. Ideally, you should be publishing your content when target customers are the most active on Instagram.
Here’s why this matters. If your content doesn’t get enough likes, Instagram’s algorithms will assume that the post isn’t that great. As a result, you’ll get fewer views, less interest, and decreased ROI.
There are two primary ways to find the best publishing time. You can either gather analytics through an app to establish the optimal time, or you can analyze when your competitors routinely post. Both of these give you insight about your viewers’ most active times on Instagram.
7. Connect! Be social!
The whole point of Instagram is to be socially active because it’s a social media platform. This means that when people comment on your posts, they typically want to hear back from you.
So engage with your followers via comments, private messages, and Instagram stories. Let them know that the brand represents real people who experience the joys and challenges of life just like they do.
As and added bonus, Instagram gives people a chance to ask you questions about your product or thought leadership. Interaction like this is invaluable and can give you a chance to directly promote your product or service. In addition, by listening to potential clients, you’ll better know how you can help them get to their promised land.
Ready to create your full digital health content marketing strategy? Download our training series here:
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WHO IS WHITNEY?
Whitney is a consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help life-saving, life-changing technology break through the noise and achieve mass user adoption. Learn more about her here.
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