I like chess.
Yep, as in the game with the pieces and the squares and the nerdyness.
My dad taught me how to play when I was young and I have enjoyed the game ever since.
I was never that good, and I play very rarely these days, but I still find it a fascinating game.
One of the many fascinating aspects of chess, is that you can see all of your opponent's pieces, all of the time. Which, when you think about it, is rather strange.
Their defensive structures, their attack setups; their entire strategy is right there in front of you. You can see every move they make.
So how can they beat you?
Instagram is the same.
The biggest and best performing accounts in your industry are right there, ready for the viewing. Arranged and laid out by hashtag for ease of search.
The tactics, the ideas, the strategy. All right there.
So what are you waiting for?
Let's examine an Instagram account that I think is excellent and we can learn from.
Coconut Bowls - Eye Candy
No prizes for guessing the game this biz is in, they sells bowls made from coconuts.
At the writing of this article, they are up to three hundred and eighty three thousand followers on Instagram.
The question of whether these followers are real or bought definitely needs to be considered before diving in. For the number of followers they have, their engagement is rather low.
Let's assume for the purposes of this article that all their followers are legitimate (doubtful).
On a side note, buying followers is a serious waste of time and cash; they don't buy your products or book your service or tell their friends about you, so what the heck is the point?
Anyway, let's take a look.
Three main points I want to focus on;
1. Quality vs Cost
This is a fifteen dollar bowl.
In the grand scheme of things, that's relatively affordable. But the quality of imagery makes it feel like a luxury item, from a high class brand. It's just a bowl. Or is it?
I see this problem all the time; small businesses not investing enough in the photography and imagery and design of their products and services for presentation.
We are visual creatures, and the effect of a stunning image or video cannot be underestimated.
2. Influencers / User generated content
A large percentage of the Coconut Bowls content looks to be influencer and user generated content. Influencer marketing is copping some heat lately which I think is overblown but that's a discussion for another time.
Paying/sponsoring famous people to feature product is a time honoured method, and these Instagram stars are the stars of today commanding tens, hundreds, sometimes even millions of followers.
3. It's just a shell
Finally, and I think this is the key to their success, Coconut Bowls have identified that the product itself should not be the focus for their content.
Think about that for a second.
The main product they sell, heck the name of the entire business, takes a back seat in almost all of the content.
They are not telling us how durable the bowls are, they are not talking about how they are made, they are not posting pics with writing all over them telling us about their free shipping.
They are creating content that people want in their feed.
That's the real game of any sort of content marketing, to create content that a user may even pay for.
And like chess, the Instagram pieces are all there, for anyone to see.