One of the more frustrating things about Instagram is that you spend all this time creating the perfect image to post, and within a few hours (or if you’re lucky, a few days), it’s basically run it’s course. Then you’ve got to come up with another perfect image.
It’s the reason I like to refer to Instagram as a hungry beast (it always wants to be fed), as opposed to a platform like Pinterest (or even your blog, if it’s written to rank in search), where content can recirculate for years.
Of course, Instagram is still a fantastic place to find new customers and deepen connections with current and future customers, which is why I spend a significant amount of time creating content for my Instagram feed. (And why you probably do as well!)
And since no one wants to see the content they’ve worked so hard on feel so irrelevant after such a short time, it’s important to think about ways to get even more mileage out of every image you create for Instagram.
Here are four of my favorite strategies:
1. Cross post to other social media.
I know this one seems incredibly obvious, but I also know not everyone is doing it. The easiest thing to do is check the little buttons when you post on Instagram so that your content is also sent to Facebook and Twitter. This is great, because with the share button on Facebook and the retweet option on Twitter, there’s a chance for your content to go even further.
One thing to keep in mind is that, while your images will appear as intended on Facebook (since Facebook owns Instagram), posting this way to Twitter will only share your text and a link to the post on Instagram. If you’d like your actual images to appear on Twitter (which is great because it gives your tweet more visual weight), you can use a service like IFTTT.
2. Use your Instagram images on your blog.
I’m a huge advocate of reposting your Instagram content to your blog. (I even made it an exercise in my blogging class on Creative Live.) The reason for this is simple: you don’t own all that content you work so hard to create on Instagram. (Of course, you own the copyright for the content, but what I mean is that if Instagram decided to shut down tomorrow, all your content would cease to exist on the Internet.)
By using the images you create for Instagram on your blog, you’re making sure they’re stored safely on a property you own. Not to mention the fact that posting them on your blog is better for SEO, gives you a steady stream of blog content, and lets you include links in your descriptions with clear calls to action.
If writing long blog posts isn’t your thing, you can simply share Instagram images on your blog with just a little bit of text (like I did in this post). If you do write longer blog content, you can use images you’ve created for Instagram to illustrate a post. (Like I did with the post you’re reading now!)
3. Pin it to Pinterest (from your blog or website).
If you’ve hung around me at all, you know that I’m pretty much in love with Pinterest as a marketing tool. That’s because Pinterest isn’t a true social media platform. (Spoiler alert, it’s actually a search engine.) And what that means is when you understand how Pinterest works, you can get your images to recirculate on the site for years. (Even if you’re not active on Pinterest.) It’s the opposite of Instagram in terms of content lifespan.
That said, I don’t recommend pinning your images directly from Instagram. (Even though that’s now pretty easy to do.) The reason for this is that a viral pin can send you hundreds of clicks a day, and it’s much better to send those clicks to your own website than to Instagram. (Where you don’t have any control.)
The easiest way to do this is by posting your Instagram images to your blog, then pinning them from there. But if you don’t have a blog (or can’t find a way to turn an Instagram image into a blog post) you can pretty much put your images anywhere on your website and pin from there. (Currently, I’m experimenting with taking an IG image that features one particular product, uploading that image to a product page in my online store, and then pinning from there.)
4. Repost your images on Instagram.
When it comes to your best images on Instagram, there’s no shame in posting them multiple times. (I mentioned in a previous post that two of my top nine images on Instagram last year were literally the same selfie, and I think I’ve posted this image of the berry bowl to my Instagram at least six different times.)
The trick to reposting images on Instagram is simply to make sure that enough time has lapsed so that someone scrolling through your feed probably won’t even realize they’ve seen a certain image more than once.
When you’re reposting an image, there’s certainly nothing wrong with calling out that you’ve shared that particular image before, but it’s not necessary. If an old image fits your current mood, there’s no reason not to just use it again.
It’s easy to let content creation for Instagram take up huge chunks of time, but by reusing old images you can certainly cut down on your work load. (The same is true of not being afraid to post images that you’ve created for other spaces – like Facebook, your blog, or even your online store – on Instagram, so that they get more mileage.)
And once you start getting more creative about the ways you can repurpose the content you create for Instagram so that it has a longer lifespan, you’ll find it’s much more worthwhile taking the time to create those perfect Instagram images in the first place!