How to Create Compelling Content and Grow Your Instagram

April 20, 2020
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We’ve been spending a lot of time at Create & Cultivate HQ discussing how we can best show up for and support our community during this uncertain time. Community is at our core, and connecting with others through one-of-a-kind experiences is what we love to do. While the world has changed, our mission has not. We’re committed to helping women create and cultivate the career of their dreams, which is why we’re proud to announce our new Ask an Expert series. We’re hosting discussions with experts, mentors, and influencers daily at 9 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm PST on Instagram Live to cure your craving for community and bring you the expert advice you’ve come to know and love from C&C. Follow Create & Cultivate on Instagram, check out our Ask an Expert highlight reel for the latest schedule, and hit the countdown to get a reminder so you don’t miss out!

With engagement on social up 30% since social isolation started, now might just be the perfect time to be growing your Instagram or finally figuring out wtf to do with TikTok. But in the midst of a crisis, creating good (and respectful) content can feel really difficult. In comes, Rachel Zeilic, VP of Influencer Marketing at WhoWhatWear, to answer all your questions.

Wondering what to post, when to post, what to pay for, or if TikTok is the right move for your brand? Rachel drops lots of advice on our IG LIVE on how to navigate social media in the midst of COVID-19. Tune into this Ask An Expert to make sure you don’t miss a single tip. We bet you’re already scrolling through Instagram, might as well scroll with purpose and grow your brand.

We Want Your (Respectful) Content

“Don’t make any assumptions. Don’t say, Now that we’re all working from home, because that isn’t true for a lot of people.”

“There really is a space for audiences to turning to influencers for comfort for information for distraction, they have a lot of time on their hands right now and time is a precious commodity so let’s serve them.”

“Stay away from anything that is like ‘this is a must-have’ because, if it’s not groceries or masks, it isn’t a must-have.”

“Some things that are performing really well right now is comfy chic, working from home outfits, beauty routines, anything affordable, people are still interested in spring trends, and they also want some escapism.”

“Now is also a time to give things away for free. Even if you’re a brand who could be doing well giving some at-home DIY recipes, people will really appreciate that and remember that when commerce opens up again. More than ever they will remember the brands who stepped up and are giving to the community.”

“This is the first time really in a long time where influencers’ lifestyles are really close to their followers’ lifestyles. They aren’t jetting around the world or wearing designer outfits. So this is a really great time for influencers to connect with their followers in a really relatable way.”

Get On TikTok

“TikTok is not like Snapchat or other platforms where they were popular but there was never really brand integration. TikTok is really different, the way it’s built is really engineered to be successful for brand campaigns. Particularly one feature, the hashtag challenges. That is incredible for creating UGC (user-generated content). To me UGC is gold. If your customer loves you so much that they are creating content, they aren’t an influencer, they aren’t getting paid, if they love the product so much they are creating content that is gold.”

 “I think working with TikTok and ‘TikTokers’ absolutely should be part of your campaign given that the demographic aligns, it is a predominantly Gen Z audience. Also the KPIs of the campaign, you need to understand that currently TikTokers or influencers can’t link out anywhere, so if you’re expecting to see immediate sell-through from your campaign, TikTok is not the place to do it. But its great of awareness, you can reach massive audiences.”

“With regards to brands starting their own accounts on TikTok, it really depends if you can do it in a way that’s native to the platform. It’s really not going to work if you’re using the same kind of content you use on Instagram and other platforms. You should only be investing your time into growing a brand account on TikTok if you can do it in the way that is organic to TikTok.”

“The longer you wait, the harder it is to grow.”

Embrace Pay-to-Play

“Yes, it is a pay-to-play world. That being said, relationships and organic strategy are important to stretch your dollars.”

“It’s worth spending a little money on a consultant who can help you know how to spend your social budget.”

“Influencers assets on paid social perform so much better than campaign assets.” 

“A lot of influencers have dropped their pricing or are more flexible on pricing right now.”

“Paid social pricing is down right now as well. You can make your budget stretch so much further right now.”

Insta Tips & Tricks

“We’ve been saying to influencers, Instead of getting a picture and then thinking, ‘Ugh what is my caption going to be?,’ why don’t you write the caption first and tell a story and then reverse that and think of an image that can convey that story?’ I don’t think they all have to be long, and they shouldn’t be long if you don’t have something to say. But every brand has a story to tell and every influencer has a story to tell and I think that can be great. It’s like micro-blogging.”

Tools to try:

“You should post as often as you can while creating quality content and without seeing a dip in engagement rate. The more you post the more your engagement will be spread out.”

About The Expert: Rachel Zeilic is an O.G. in influencer marketing, starting way back in 2007. She is currently the VP of influencer marketing at WhoWhatWear, running influencer campaigns for everyone from Walmart to Gucci. Before that she was creative Director of Majorelle at Revolve, and before that she founded two labels, Stylestalker and The Jetset Diaries.

Tune in daily at 9 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm PST, for new installments of Ask an Expert

Follow Create & Cultivate on Instagram, check out our Ask an Expert highlight reel for the schedule, and hit the countdown to get a reminder so you don’t miss out. See you there!

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