With more than one billion global users who spend 30 minutes on average every day, Instagram is arguably one of the most accessible and influential digital platforms out there. Not just that, out of the billion-plus users, 500 million access their accounts on a daily basis.
While the platform was initially established as a medium to share photos and snippets of everyday life, it has evolved into a thriving marketing domain that has helped numerous businesses come to prominence. So much so that, marketers have started to dedicate an entire team solely for promoting their business on Instagram.
But as impressive and beneficial as marketing on this digital platform is, Instagram is immensely crowded with leading nutrition professionals who have a tight grip on their followers. It can become very difficult for your young and infant practice to attract a good follower base who can be converted into clients.
However, it is not impossible. We have devised this amazing guide that will help you create the best Instagram marketing strategy for your nutrition business.
But before getting into that, let’s understand how marketing on Instagram can benefit your nutrition practice.
Benefits of Instagram marketing
Increases your practice’s reach
Being the second most visited social media platform, after Facebook, Instagram allows you access to a gigantic mass of potential clients whom you can easily reach out to. You can attract people from all across the world and keep them updated on your prospective services.
Helps you create a personality of your practice
Instagram allows you to create a holistic persona of your practice, which can foster a more personal connection with the audience. From personal achievements to helpful nutrition tips, you can engage with your clients in a more productive manner which attracts them to your practice.
Increases your visibility
While social media is a densely competitive market where everyone is trying to propagate their practice, with the right tactics and strategy, you can really shine out. A good Instagram marketing strategy can increase your visibility in the industry and make it easier for you to attract potential clients. Even using hashtags on your posts can considerably increase your visibility on search engines.
Makes it easier to interact & engage with your customers
Instagram gives you an opportunity to interact with your followers on a daily basis. Not only daily, but you can also interact with them on an hourly basis. You can post interesting and valuable content on your page which can become a good medium of communication. Furthermore, you can also message your followers personally and convert them into paying clients.
It is one of the best mediums for digital advertising
In 2020, Instagram brought in $20 billion revenue just from ads, which is almost a quarter of Facebook’s overall revenue in 2019. This just draws the magnitude of how much businesses rely on Instagram ads. It is one of the best methods to attract your target audience’s attention and allow them to convert into clients.
How to create an Instagram business account
To garner the most out of Instagram, you should shift from a private account to a business account. Having a business account allows you to tap into various features and tools that can help you improve your marketing strategy which we will discuss later in the guide.
Here is how you can create your business account:
Step 1: Create your Instagram account/ Sign in to your account
You will have to create a new account using your Phone number or email address. Make sure that you use your business email and phone number so that it doesn’t mix up with your personal account. If you already have an account, then sign in to your account.
Step 2: Enter your account details and username
The next step is to enter your Full Name and other information which are necessary to create your profile. You will also have to choose a username which is a unique name for your profile.
Note: Make sure you choose a name that is related to your practice and can be easily memorized by your target audience.
Step 3: Go to settings and choose “Professional Account”
Once you have set up your account, you then need to go to the setting which will be at the top right corner of your screen. Tap on the ‘Account’ option that is available on the list. Once you get to the account page, you will see a button that says ‘Switch to Professional Account’ on the bottom of the screen. Tap on that.
Then, it will ask you to choose a category for your business. Choose Health/Beauty or Beauty/Cosmetic/Personal care, depending on your practice. Once selected, tap on ‘Done’ which will be present at the bottom of the page.
Whom to target with your marketing strategy
To create a productive Instagram marketing strategy, it is very important to define whom you are targeting. It will help you optimize your efforts and get the best results. Here are two ways in which you can define your target audience.
Niche down your audience
One of the major prerequisites for a successful marketing strategy is to niche down your audience. By picking a niche, you can target smaller and precise demographics which gives your practice the potential to secure clients easily. This is because you will have to face fewer competitors, which can be really beneficial in this dynamic market.
Furthermore, niching down your audience allows you to present yourself as a go-to expert for a specific issue your target client might be dealing with. They will prefer to get guidance from someone who offers solutions for their precise problems rather than someone who gives general nutrition advice. This will also help you gain the trust and confidence of your ideal client base.
For example, Tallene is a PCOS dietitian who specifically concentrates on weight loss solutions for women dealing with cyst problems. She has also created an online platform, called ‘The Cysterhood’ where women can learn to thrive with PCOS and lose weight.
Having defined a very specific niche, she quickly became popular amongst women looking for solutions to their cyst problems. Within 2 years, she has fostered more than 300k followers who revere her content.
Create an ICP
When it comes to defining your ideal client, creating an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) can play a major role in creating that framework. An ICP can be defined as a detailed outline of your practice’s ideal clientele which can help you construct your marketing and sales strategy.
It is constructed by defining specific characteristics and requirements of individuals who are looking for services that you provide. Creating an ICP can be heavily beneficial for your Instagram strategy because it can provide you with a glimpse into their deepest needs and help you create content that can actually connect with them.
To create your practice’s ICP you need to follow these three steps:
- Make a list of your best clients
- Find out common attributes amongst them
- Create an outline of challenges that they face
What kind of content to post
Now that we have defined our ideal audience base, it’s time to concentrate on how to optimize your content and make it engaging for your audience. Here are a few useful steps that can help you with that.
Create a story/ deliver your story
Rather than posting unnecessary facts and making heavy sales pitches, try to convey your story with the help of posts. It prevents your practice from becoming just another faceless corporation and creates a connection with your potential clients. Showing your face and your unique story gives a human touch to your practice, which is essential while establishing a nutrition practice.
Your posts should reflect on the vision and mission of your practice, which your target audience can relate with. They should also paint a picture of how you can help your clients so that they know what to expect.
Sometimes, when you yourself have dealt with a major healthcare issue, showing your journey of recovery and hacks that you implemented can add to your credibility. It also shows your clients that you can fully empathize with their problems and help them find the best solutions.
Being a former athlete who struggled to find purpose after retiring from sports, Katie Spada fuels former athletes with her posts to discover life after sports.
You should also use Instagram Stories to give snippets of your everyday life and share behind the scenes of your professional life. Statistics have shown that 58% of people have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing them on Stories.
To get a deeper understanding of how putting your story out can help you attract clients, here is an interesting podcast between Libby Rothschild, a leading marketing consultant for nutritionists and dietitians, and Amy Gianotti, who has inspired numerous women with her life story.
Use video-based content
While Instagram is a visual-based social media platform, videos especially work better than simple images. Video-based content gets the most engagement from viewers on Instagram and becomes a reliable medium to increase your organic leads. Furthermore, people tend to retain information much more easily if it is delivered through a video.
In Instagram, video-based content is divided into two parts: Reels & IGTV. Reels are used to making small videos that have a maximum limit of one minute. Leading marketing strategists heavily concentrate on creating engaging Reels, as they provide you with the highest visibility rate.
Whereas, IGTV allows you to post extended videos and provide more in-depth content. The videos can range from 15 seconds to 10 minutes. You can upload tutorials, recipes, and many other kinds of videos to engage with your clients.
Bonnie Roney’s account is an apt example to show how videos can be used to interact with your target audience. She creates some of the most engaging Reels and IGTV videos that provide crisp content to her viewers and simple nutrition hacks. She also uses Reels to creatively debunk misconceived notions about diet.
Don’t make your content seem robotic
Your posts shouldn’t seem like they were generated by a robot. Having a very formal tonality to your post can make them seem auto-generated and impersonal.
Try to inculcate a personal touch into your posts and make them seem conversational. Lighthearted texts with appropriate emojis tend to perform better on Instagram. Keep your texts concise and to the point.
Even while replying to comments or direct messages (DMs), make sure that your text is personalized and addresses each query of the person.
Furthermore, having a monotonous design of your posts can also make your account seem a little robotic. Hence, you should bring innovative designs and formats to each post.
Show your face as much as you can
When your clients are collaborating with your practice, they are counting on you to help them combat their healthcare problems. Hence, you need to portray yourself as a credible and reliable individual.
To improve your credibility, you should show yourself as much as possible. Put images of yourself in your day-to-day life to show how you have enriched your life with the help of diet. Libby Rothschild emphasizes putting your face on your posts with her hashtag #Showyourself which has encouraged various nutrition professionals to come forward and put their face on each and every post.
Conduct Live sessions and conferences
Another great way to show yourself and interact with your target audience is by conducting Instagram Lives. It is an excellent feature that allows you to share content in real-time and provide live footage of any activity that you are performing. You can stream live seminars and coaching sessions that can be accessed by all your followers and participate virtually from anywhere. Furthermore, it also allows your viewers to interact with you via messages during the live session.
Instagram Lives also provides a feature to collaborate with other people and conduct simultaneous sessions with them. For example, you want to have a seminar on PCOS and you want to interact with a PCOS expert. You can invite the particular expert to join in your live session and provide real-time feedback.
It is an excellent medium to present yourself as a thought leader and provide free coaching sessions to a massive audience. You can provide important life hacks which can increase your credibility and encourage your viewers to collaborate with you.
The right consistency of posting
While posting is very important, there also needs to be consistency in how much you post and how frequently you post. You should diligently post every day and keep communicating with your viewers. It allows them to recollect your brand and remember you when they need your services. It also helps you to foster a deeper connection with them.
Hence, you should aim to constantly share tidbits and snippets of your life through stories and make one post per day.
Not only the amount but there also needs to be consistency in your tonality. Try out a few posts and evaluate which kind of posts get the highest amount of engagement, meaning where viewers like, share, or comment the most.
The major problem that your target audience is facing is trying to inculcate a healthier lifestyle. They want to eat fresh and nutrition-packed meals that don’t have a hefty price tag.
Hence, to attract their attention, you should publish recipes on how to cook nutritious meals at home. This way, you will be providing them with an immediate solution to a major lifestyle problem which will help you win their trust.
It isn’t just about the reach and popularity of Instagram that makes it such an amazing place to market your nutrition business. This ingenious platform also helps you track, analyze, and revise your marketing strategy to make it more profitable. And this can be achieved by an amazing feature called Instagram Insights.
Specially constructed for business accounts, Instagram Insights allows you to analyze various aspects of your account which allows you to get an insight into what your target audience likes and dislikes.
Here are a few major elements that Instagram Insights helps you analyze:
- Follower Tracking: How many followers you gained or lost in a predefined period
- Engagement: How many people reacted (liked, shared, commented) to your posts
- Reach: How many accounts your post reach out to
- Impressions: How many times each post of yours was seen
- Top Posts: Which posts, Reels, IGTV, and Stories have generated the most reach and engagement
By analyzing these aspects, you can revise and evolve your marketing strategy to make sure that your Instagram account helps you attract new customers.
Hacks to make a successful Instagram marketing strategy
Here are some tested and foolproof hacks that can help you make a rewarding Instagram marketing strategy:
Follow your competitors
One of the best ways to understand what your audience wants is by following your competitors who are performing well and have a huge follower base. It can help you analyze which kind of content performs well with your target audience and which doesn’t.
In certain cases, even collaborating with your competitors can come in handy. It allows you to tap into their client base and lure them with the help of your unique services. It also adds credibility to your practice if you are a newcomer and allows you to get a good boost.
Use Instagram ads
Instagram ads are the best way to promote your business on social media platforms, period. While they typically cost more than Facebook ads, the return on investment is definitely worth it. They can provide you with a reach of over 1.2 billion users and 87% of users have reportedly turned to the business page after ads.
There are various ways in which you can advertise your practice, which includes:
- Story ads
- Image ads
- Video ads
- Carousel ads
- IGTV ads
- Reel ads
Instagram ads provide you with a unique opportunity to engage with your target audience, where they naturally encourage them to opt for your services. It provides innovative ways to break the monotonous nature of advertising and show the versatility of your practice.
Hashtags are your key instruments to increase your practice’s visibility on social media platforms. They are like keywords that your ideal target audience is searching for and use to find relevant content. Hence, it is important that you add the right hashtags to your posts which makes it easier for your potential customers to find them.
As we discussed Libby Rothschild’s hashtag #Showyourface, you should also use such hashtags that help you connect with the virtual communities of nutrition professionals. Not only will it help you attract an audience of your peers, but it will also add credibility to your practice.
To choose the ideal hashtag for your posts, search for related keywords on the search bar and it will show you the popular hashtags and their frequency. This way, you select hashtags that are getting more traction and save yourself from using vague hashtags.
Furthermore, you should also consider creating your own hashtags that are individual to your practice. It can become a great tool for publicity and increasing the retention value of your posts.
Engage with your followers
While it is important to deliver valuable content with each post, don’t make your page seem like a monologue. You will lose your followers’ attention and interest if there is only one-way communication.
Hence, you should try to make your page a little more interactive, so that your followers can feel that their queries and needs are heard. Some of the best methods to ensure that are:
- Conducting weekly ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions where your followers can post their questions
- Conduct polls and surveys on stories
- Run contests where followers are supposed to comment or share on your posts
- Publish posts that ask for feedback on your services
Not only does it make your followers feel heard, but it also increases the credibility of your practice and portrays you as reliable nutrition professional. If they feel that you take their inputs into account, they will feel assured that you will be able to provide a more satisfying service.
Post at the right time
While there is no wrong time to post, but did you know that posting at certain time-frames can increase your post’s engagement? Studies have shown that the best time to post your content is at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m depending on the time zone of your target audience. This is because they fall during lunchtime and the end of a workday, respectively when people are most likely to browse their social media.
Focus on the followers you have
Rather than chasing after increasing your followers, you should focus on the followers you have and aim to serve them in the best way possible. It is better to have a small but engaged community, rather than a massive community where there is no engagement.
The main purpose of your Instagram marketing is to convert your followers into paying customers. Hence, you should try to nurture and motivate the followers you have so that they can become valuable customers.
Be confident and don’t become a victim of imposter syndrome
It is not necessary that you have to copy marketers and influencers who have huge followings. While their glamorous and picture-perfect posts seem very appealing, the visual appeal is not what your ideal target audience is looking for. They are looking for a person whom they can relate to and follow.
Try to reflect your individuality through your posts and just be yourself. You don’t need to have make-up on or look glamorous for your posts. Your posts could be as simple as you waking up and showing your morning routine. Concentrate on the quality of your content and be confident.
One of the most traditional and effective marketing strategies is to share freebies. People love free stuff and they will hardly miss out on opportunities where they can get free nutrition guidance.
Clara Norfleet shares free workout routines that allow her followers to concentrate on full-body enhancement and have rewarding workouts from their homes.
Another interesting method that nutrition professionals employ is to provide free counseling sessions or nutrition guides in exchange for a subscription or email address. This allows you to expand your email list for marketing & get more clients.
The Bottom Line
While Instagram is a tough space to navigate, if you conquer it, it can be the best platform to promote your nutrition practice. From its impeccable reach to strong conversion potential, a well-incorporated Instagram marketing plan can become the sole engine for all your marketing and promotional needs.
By considering these useful tips and hacks for Instagram marketing, you can create a compelling strategy that will help you sky-rocket your private practice. It will help you promote your nutrition business the right way and make sure that you never lose your valuable followers.