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How To Create A Marketing Strategy On Instagram That Actually Works

Ever wondered what the heck you’re even supposed to post on Instagram to get people to buy your offers?

Spoiler alert: it’s a lot more than just pretty pictures and catchy captions.

It’s an Instagram marketing strategy!

A marketing strategy for Instagram will take you from posting with confusion to posting with confidence fast.

What’s A Marketing Strategy For Instagram?

Your marketing strategy is your plan behind everything you do on Instagram. It’s how you go about reaching your potential clients and converting them.

Every single image you post to your Instagram feed must align with your BIG picture goals so you can convert your audience to raving fans and make more SALES for your business.

Because that’s how you create an Instagram marketing strategy that actually works!

“But how do I know what to post?”

“When to post?”

“And how do I get people to actually buy from me?”

Slow your roll! We gotchu covered.

Today, we’re going over how to start marketing on Instagram with the nitty-gritty details of posting images to your feed. Like, how to:

  • write your captions

  • call your audience to action

  • select your images

  • curate your feed

  • schedule your posts

So, grab a comfy blanket and get cozy because you’re in for a juicy blog post on creating a marketing strategy for Instagram that actually works.

How To Write Your Captions

Your captions are a BIG part of your marketing strategy for Instagram. If done right.... your Instagram captions will boost your engagement, increase your following, and most importantly, help you actually sell your offers.

“So, what’s the marketing strategy here?”

To start, everything you write for Instagram needs to be in alignment with and lead into your paid product or service. But you never want to overwhelm your audience with offers or come off as spammy.

That’s you need to serve your audience before you ever try to sell to them.

The rule of thumb we follow is the 80/20 rule, meaning 80% of the time you should be providing your audience with value, and only doing promotions 20% of the time.

So, for example, if you post 5 days a week, 4 posts per week should be providing value, and 1 post per week should be talking about the product or service that you have to offer. (And don’t worry, we’re going more in-depth on Instagram posting schedules later in this blog post.)

“But what does it mean to provide my audience with value?”

There are three easy ways to add value to your posts for your marketing strategy on Instagram:

1. Education

Educate your audience on something they can put into action right away for a quick win!

2. Entertainment

Entertain your audience with a personal and humorous story.

3. Empowerment

Empower your audience to take action against a struggle they’ve been having.

“Okay…. but how do I come up with the actual ideas for that?”

Great question! So, here are more questions to help you trigger some ideas:

  • What’s the #1 question you get asked? (And what’s the answer?)

  • What’s your ideal client most afraid of? (And how can you get them past that fear?)

  • What are you currently watching/listening to/reading? (And how could it be helpful or inspiring to your audience?)

And remember, it’s totally okay (and even encouraged!) to talk about what you do and what you offer on repeat. Because you’ll be leaving money on the table if ya don’t!

On average, people need to see or hear something 7 times before they’ll take action.

You’re not annoying your audience. And there will always people in your audience who are seeing your “repeated” content for the very first time.

How To Call Your Audience To Action

Nearly all the captions that you write should have a call to action or CTA. This is where you literally invite your ideal clients to take action.

But they don’t have to be BIG actions. In fact, we encourage you to encourage your audience to take lots of SMALL actions, such as:

  • Double tap if you agree

  • Comment below and let me know

  • Save this to refer back to

  • Share this post to your stories

By getting your audience in the habit of regularly taking smaller actions, you’ll build trust and make it wayyy easier for them to say “OMG yes!” to your big calls to action, like clicking your link in bio and actually buying your offers.

How To Select Your Images

Once you have your captions ready, it’s time to select your images! And there are three main types of images you can use for your marketing strategy on Instagram:

1. Photographs

Obviously, you could post a photo of pretty much anything. But unless you're posting a photo that was:

  • taken or created by you

  • taken by a photographer who specifically gave you the okay to not give them credit when posting their work...

Then you should always, always, always be sure to tag the original photographer or creator in the caption of your post.

Don’t just tag them in the photo and call it a day! Most people don’t check the image tags and honestly, it just looks really sketchy. So, clearly and visibly give credit where credit’s due in the caption of your post.

Now that we got that crucial piece of info out of the way, let’s talk about you. Specifically, posting photos of YOU on your Instagram feed.

We know it might feel weird at first…. but posting pictures of your beautiful smiling face is the easiest (and best!) way to let your ideal clients get to know you and build business relationships.

2. Graphics

These days, graphics are super easy (and free!) to create using websites like Canva. Just be sure to stick to your brand colors and fonts. This will help you to increase recognizability and create cohesion in your feed.


Not every single piece of content that goes in your feed needs to be original. That’s where reposts come in. But as we mentioned earlier, you must credit the creator in your caption! And getting permission from them is pretty important, too.

We highly recommend that you take the time to comment or DM the creator before reposting to tell them how much you love their work, and ask if it’s okay for you to repost it (with credit, of course).

How To Curate Your Feed

When someone new visits your Instagram profile, your feed should capture their attention. This is a big part of how your marketing strategy for Instagram will attract your dreamboat clients! And the best way to do that is to curate your feed.

Curating your Instagram feed means that when you select an image to go with your caption, you keep the aesthetic of your feed as a whole in mind.

On that note, let’s go over four of the main ways you can organize your feed for your marketing strategy on Instagram:

1. Thoughtfully Randomized

A thoughtfully randomized Instagram feed features multiple types of images but doesn’t necessarily follow a specific pattern like those listed below. But what does it mean to be thoughtfully random…. and not just random?

This is where your editing style comes into play. Using similar editing styles will help tie your photos together, especially if your photos contain different lighting, colors, or subjects.

2. Checkerboard

A checkerboard Instagram feed alternates between contrasting types of posts. This could be between two different colors or two different image types (like graphics and photographs).

It’s an easy way to ensure your feed always appears pleasing to the eye, too.

3. Mostly Graphics

A mostly graphics Instagram feed is just what it sounds like—it’s mostly graphics. This kind of Instagram feed can easily feel cohesive, as you’ll have greater control over colors and white space.

4. Outside The Box

An outside-the-box Instagram feed is literally outside the box! Also known as a puzzle feed, this type of grid layout shows up as a seamless image on your Instagram profile page. However, be mindful that you’ll need to post in threes to keep it that way.

If you go with an outside-the-box Instagram feed, you’ll also need to make sure each individual image is appealing on its own as a post. Luckily, we just taught ya how to write some pretty compelling captions to help with that.

How (& When) To Post Your Content

The key to a marketing strategy for Instagram that actually works is being realistic about what you can and can’t commit to when it comes to your posting schedule.

Your content should be as consistent as possible because the Instagram algorithm rewards consistency! So, choose a schedule that works for you! And then stick to it.

It’s easy to stick to a schedule when you use a tool to literally schedule out your posts. Our secret weapon? Planoly. This is the app we use for our Instagram page, as well as all of our clients, to batch and schedule posts ahead of time.

We love Planoly because you can arrange your images, save your captions and hashtag sets, add in location tags, and schedule almost everything to post automatically! Plus, Planoly literally tells you when to post on Instagram based on your audience’s most active times of each day.

Of course, this is all just the beginning because there’s only so much we can fit in one blog post. (That’s why digital downloads like The Instagram Playbook exist.)

A marketing strategy for Instagram also includes your brand pillars, engagement, researching those hashtags, and posting other types of content, such as videos, IG Lives, Reels, and Stories.

But before those overwhelming I-don't-know-if-I-can-do-this thoughts start swirling around in your head.... here’s our final pro-tip for today’s blog:

Set boundaries.

In other words, don’t let running your Instagram account become a second full-time job. (Social media managers exist for a reason!)

Buuuut if you want to keep doing it all yourself…. click here to learn more about how to sell out your offers on Instagram even without a massive audience.

And if you want someone else to take care of allll the things (or even just some of the things) for you…. click here to learn more about social media management services.

Either way, we gotchu. ;)


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