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The Perfect Instagram Marketing Strategy For 2022

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POSTED April 25, 2022 BY Elise Darma

If coming up with the perfect Instagram marketing strategy for 2022 has you feeling like you’re fumbling around in the dark, you’re in the right spot…

Woman searching outside in the dark with a flashlight

I’ll share a secret with you… a LOT of business owners are feeling overwhelmed nowadays (and wondering if they need to be pumping out videos 24/7).

So take a deep breath with me, and let’s break down:

  • What’s happening with the Instagram platform as a whole
  • What the “video-focused” shift means for business owners
  • What I’m focusing on as an Instagram marketer
  • What features you can use to generate even more revenue for your business

Prefer video instead?

Check out my video HERE 👆

Think Like The Instagram Algorithm

This first tip is mindset related, and oh so relevant.

The foundation of my Instagram marketing strategy for 2022 is simple: Understanding what the algorithm wants.

Instagram is an algorithm, just like TikTok is an algorithm, and YouTube is an algorithm. They are designed to push out content that keeps people on the platform longer.

So take a good long look at your content with these questions:

  • Does your content keep people in the app longer?
  • Are people reading your caption?
  • Are they rewatching your video over and over again?
  • Is your content so high-value that people are saving it and coming back to it (therefore spending more time in the app)?
  • Does your content foster social connection?
  • Does it make people want to comment or DM you?

With those questions on your mind, let’s dive into the SECOND part of my Instagram strategy…

Experiment with Instagram Reels

You were waiting for this one, right?

There’s no way around it: we are seeing Reels help Instagram accounts grow like never before. We’ve had Reels since the summer of 2020, and Instagram is only continuing to push them out.

In fact, if you look at your Explore page right now, you’ll see that Reels take up a large part of the ‘reel’ estate.

No pun intended.

Actually. Yes, it was. 😉

So just like I’ve been teaching for years, your content should fit into three value buckets

  • One: is your content inspiring? Does it make someone wanna watch it again because they feel all those good feelings?
  • Two: is your content entertaining? Does it make someone laugh? Do they wanna share it with their friend or their mom?
  • Three: is your content educational? Does it teach them something new? So much so that they save your content or they share it or they screenshot it?

…and Reels are no different!

2022 is the year to start experimenting! Try a Reel that’s more inspiring, try one that’s more entertaining, and try one that’s more educational.

See what resonates with your audience, and when something starts to take off, continue that trend.

In fact, that’s a mistake that I’ve made in the last 18 months.

(And I covered all of my Instagram Reel mistakes in this video right here!) ☝🏼

Reels are a key part of my marketing strategy because they are amazing for visibility (meaning getting new eyeballs onto my content, my profile, and therefore my business).

Why does it work that way?

When you publish a Reel, your current followers see it. And if they respond well to it (meaning they’re engaging, sharing, and spending more time on it), the algorithm is gonna take note of that and share your Reel with even more people… people who aren’t following you yet!

That’s when you get onto people’s Explore pages.

Fresh new faces who already love you, all because of short-form video! Cool, right?

That brings me into the third part of my Instagram strategy…

How To Get Followers From Instagram Reels

This is where everything gets more REEL (get it?)

Views on a Reel are one thing, but how do we turn that traffic into followers who are eager to hear what we have to offer?

My #1 favorite way to engage with my current or new followers is through Instagram Stories. That’s how I make sure we’re building a connection or relationship.

Now, I’ll admit my Story views vary greatly. There are some days where they get a couple hundred views and other days where it can go up to 8,000 views!

You might be surprised to hear that based on the size of my account, but whenever my stories get 8,000 views or 800 views, I just take it as data.

When numbers are low, it tells me that the content I’m sharing in my Stories is not really resonating with my current followers, so I gotta step things up a bit.

And what that usually means is that I’m sharing too much promotional content in my Stories.

When this happens, I shake things up! I share something more personal or something that’s really fun and easy to engage with.

For example, I got my nails done, and even though they were already done, I still posted a picture to my Instagram Stories and asked people, what do you think yay or nay?

Instagram Story showing colorful nails with a poll asking for opinion

It didn’t really matter if people liked them or not, but that story got seen by so many more people than my average views because people were engaging.

So think about incorporating more personal things (whatever you feel comfortable sharing) beyond just whatever your business is offering. Your Instagram Stories are perfect for sharing the behind-the-scenes aspect of your life.

Remember, people do business with people so don’t be afraid to be human and share that side of yourself in your Stories.

Okay, let’s quickly recap:

  1. Reels help you get visibility in front of new people
  2. Then Stories help you engage with your current audience

Now, how do you drive sales?

That brings me to the next part of my Instagram marketing strategy for 2022…

Making Sales Using Instagram Direct Messages

Do not neglect this feature!

Direct Messages (DMs) are definitely a feature you’ll want to cash in on in 2022. 💰

I consistently use my stories and the captions in my posts to drive people over to my DMs so we can create a more personal relationship.

And then my team (who’s behind the scenes helping me manage and reply to my DMs) can help them there too!

So that might mean we have a student messaging us and they’re having a problem accessing their product.

Or we might have someone who’s trying to buy the product or they’ve one more question and they just need a little bit help in order to get there.

Either way, we’re there to support them.

I’ll say this again: the DMs are where the sales are at.

If you’re putting in a ton of effort into making content, getting visibility, and getting new followers, do not neglect the DMs. That is where the results are of your content efforts: the sales.

Which brings me to an Instagram feature I really don’t enjoy talking about… but it’s necessary.

Using Hashtags On Instagram in 2022

People stress about this way more than they need to.

Since I started as an Instagram educator, back in 2016, hashtags seem to be the number one headache for people.

And honestly, they’re a headache for me too, because there are so many questions about them.

The truth is, people stress about hashtags way more than they need to.

My hashtag strategy has more or less stayed the same since 2016, but I want to mention hashtags in this video because they drive me nuts!

There are rumors out there saying you should only post three hashtags, or you should only post five to eight targeted hashtags. And you should definitely not post 30 hashtags because that is spammy.

Look, I’m all about experimenting. In fact, I use my account to experiment all the time! So I tried it out… and guess what? By using fewer hashtags, I didn’t really see a difference in terms of my reach, engagement, or views.

To confirm, I turned to an expert in my industry: Later.

And after analyzing all kinds of accounts, they found out that content that used between 20 to 30 hashtags performed the best.

…which is what I’ve been saying all along!

So for me, I use anywhere between 20 to 30 hashtags in every single post. And, I share my hashtags in my caption and not in the first comment.

That, my friend, is my hashtag strategy in a nutshell!

For more on hashtags and how I quickly and easily find them, check out this video right here. 👇🏼

Okay, moving on to the sixth part of my Instagram marketing strategy for 2022…

How To Leverage The Instagram Story Link Sticker

Swipe up! I mean… tap here…

What the link sticker did was make sure that anyone could share links in their Stories. You no longer needed to have ten thousand followers in order to use what was then the ‘Swipe up’ feature.

So yes, you can share links in your Stories today, right now!

The only thing is about the link sticker is that, statistically, it’s known to decrease your engagement (and that might be related to my Story engagement problem and when it’s really low).

The reason makes sense: when you’re using the links sticker in your Stories, you’re driving people off of the Instagram app and therefore people are not gonna continue watching your Stories.

They’re not gonna reply and they’re not going to engage.

In fact, Hootsuite tested out this theory and they found that Stories that had a link sticker had three times less reach than Stories that did not have a link sticker.

So if you’re battling low engagement, especially when it comes to your Stories, it might be worth experimenting by not using the link sticker. Try coming up with ways to have people engage with your Story that doesn’t involve sending them away and out of the app.

For example, instead of dropping the link, you can simply share a Story that asks people to reply to the Story if they want the link.

If they reply to your Story, that’s gonna create a private DM thread between the two of you and you can share the link in the DMs with them that way.

Win-win!

Okay, I know it feels like we’ve covered a lot, but really the big features we’ve talked about are Reels, Stories, and DMs.

Now I’m gonna throw one more feature your way, and this is gonna be a big part of my strategy this year…

When To Go LIVE On Instagram

This feature got a few fun new refreshes!

Now, hear me out. I know that going live isn’t the sexiest, newest feature, but things have changed quite a bit here in this realm…

You can now schedule your lives in advance and you can connect that scheduled live to one of your posts that live in your feed.

The benefit to this is that people can tap your post to get a reminder of when you go Live. And then, when your Live is done, that reminder still lives in your post and they can tap that bell to see a replay.

Demo showing a click on a bell icon from an Instagram post and bringing up information about a scheduled Instagram live

I’ve tried this feature out for myself and I have to say, it’s pretty slick. And it inspired me to want to add even more Lives into my Instagram marketing strategy for 2022!

Typically I only go Lives when I’m launching, but because of this feature, I can now schedule in advance and really give people a good heads up.

I’m excited to hop on more and just answer questions, give free value outside of my launches, and just connect with my audience even more.

Okay, I have two more BONUS features to chat about with you (one of which I’ve ~really~ got my eye on)…

Using Collabs To Grow Your Instagram Account

The new feature that’s already making waves

Now, this might be because of my introverted nature, but I have actually not used Collabs yet. I know I need to reach out to people and use this feature because it can be super powerful!

What Collabs allows you and another account to do, is to share posted content.

So, your followers are used to seeing your content, right? But imagine you post something that actually connects to another account. Maybe this is an account in your industry and you both agree to promote each other, or maybe you have a separate account for your business and you want to cross-promote the content for both accounts.

Collabs are a great way to collaborate with another existing account, whether it’s yours or someone else’s, and sort of share the reach that you both have.

Together you can both be more powerful than separate.

Man smiling saying "this is fun to do together"

Are you ready for the last feature I’m excited to use on Instagram in 2022?

NEW: Instagram Subscriptions

I don’t have this feature yet, but it certainly has caught my eye

Subscriptions is a way for creators to offer exclusive content that’s locked and it’s only available to people who pay to access that content.

Creators can set the monthly price to whatever they want, and according to Instagram, they can offer special benefits to their subscribers.

Ooh, sounds mysterious, right?

It reminds me of Patreon, which is a subscription platform that a lot of YouTubers use to offer exclusive content to their top, most engaged subscribers (or the ones who are willing to pay for it). So this new feature might be Instagram’s play at YouTube, who knows, we’ll see how it plays out.

But for us as business owners, I’m excited to see if this rolls out for everyone! Think about what it’d be like to monetize your Instagram content. Your most engaged followers will get exclusive first access to your best content. 🎁

This way, Instagram becomes yet another revenue stream for your business.

Now it’s still early days with this feature and I’ve already got a few ideas of how we business owners can really leverage it, so don’t miss any of my future blogs or videos on my YouTube channel.


Ready to Monetize Your Instagram Followers?

Now, if you like this kind of content, of just focusing on the features of Instagram that give you the most bang for your buck, you’re going to wanna take my free Instagram workshop.

This is where I go deeper into my entire strategy on how you can do less, but sell more on Instagram.

Join the Elise Darma free workshop

In this ~co-working~ style workshop, we’ll check off:

  • What your best Instagram strategy is – even if you’re new in business or are just starting to use Instagram for your business (PLUS, we’ll give your profile and bio a total makeover)
  • What your current season of business is and which features you should focus on to get the most results for your efforts
  • How to navigate making Reels for your business, especially if you feel silly pointing or dancing on camera (PLUS, we’ll generate 80 content ideas for your next posts – yes, 80!)
  • Future-proofing your account for inevitable changes that are coming to Instagram (including an evergreen formula that’ll never go out of style)

Join me at this FREE workshop now ⬇️

POSTED April 25, 2022 BY Elise Darma
Hi, I’m Elise Darma!

I traded my 9-5 office cardigan for
that 7-figure entrepreneur life. But
I’m no overnight success. I’ve
experienced burnout, overwhelm
and ghosting Instagram for the
entire month of February 2019. I’m
probably the laziest Instagram
marketer you know, but if you want
to know how to sell more by doing
less – you’re in the right place.

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elise Darma An extroverted introvert

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