This is a very severe time for many business owners, brands and influencers. Some businesses have closed and won’t get back after everything is over. Some are luckier and only have to put things on hold.

If you’re trying to overcome these challenging times and are still afloat, you may be wondering how to tailor your Instagram marketing strategy, which content to post on Instagram and which captions to write. And these are right questions because people are using Instagram more than ever, but things you should post on social media might be different now.

So how to manage Instagram during this time?

Instagram marketing tools during coronavirus outbreak

COVID-19 crisis and social distancing changed habits of creators, influencers and brands and made them tailor their marketing strategy. Here are some tools you can use to adapt to the new corona realities.

Real-time marketing

Coronavirus makes businesses and regular people experience hard times, maybe which is why everyone wants to read about and respond to nearly every news focused on the disease. So use it. It’s not even necessary to put the word ‘coronavirus’ right in your captions or marketing materials, some slight sign such as a face mask, gloves, or a house will do the job and draw required attention.

For example, the software development company 4K Download uses the recognisable signs on their products’ logos.

Jaci Marie shares a nice matcha recipe with her followers

But remember that this topic is still controversial, and if you don’t put this right, negative comments and critics are inevitable.

You also should track trending Instagram hashtags to stay on top of new challenges and trends.

Discounts and free products

Now it’s the wrong time to be greedy; you should help people, instead. And the best way to do so is to give — give discounts, promo codes, coupons, or even products and services for free.

Marvel Comics, for instance, are granting free access to their best comics for two months. Within the two-month time, you can download Marvel top comics for free.

Another example is Pornhub. Initially, they gave the Premium access to Italians when they got locked down due to the coronavirus, but now everyone can get access after registering on the website and creating an account.

If you have budget and resources to do so, you can also start offering the products that are in high demand at the moment, such as face masks, sanitisers, disposable gloves or anti-bacterial wipes.

Leverage influencer marketing

The new reality is harsh for influencers, too. Especially those whose work is based on travel, sponsored trips, attending events, and making content outside home. Primarily, these are fashion and travel bloggers.

Then why not help each other? According to the recent Influence Central report, influencers see significant growth in their impressions and engagement, which means people scroll social media a lot. However, influencers don’t get new partnership enquiries and face income drops. So find a relevant influencer for your business and outreach them.

Speaking of the metrics you should check, these are an influencer’s engagement rate, reach, audience quality and reputation. Still, there is a metric that you can’t assess until you start partnering with a blogger, and this is the trust of an influencer’s audience.

Considering that during the pandemic influencers create content they are not used to creating, pay attention to what blogger posts. For instance, if this is a fashion influencer whose content compiled street style looks or shots from fashion shows’ runways, now their grid is pivoting to something different. They’re unable to walk on the city’s streets and create the same old polished posts now. Keep that in mind before outreaching.

Use target ads

Clearly, now you need to save money for rent, wages, and other costs. But if you stop running ads, how will you attract new customers? The trick here is to change your ads a bit so that they look on point under the circumstances — include fewer images and videos that showcase kissing, hugging, holding hands or touching.

Host live events

If you had an event scheduled that has been cancelled — why not go virtual? Platforms like Zoom, Skype or HouseParty let you invite guests to live stream content.

If you haven’t scheduled an event or are postponing it, think about how you can engage your audience through a virtual meeting.

Instagram content amid COVID-19

Your content on social media is what you message to your audience, your values and your opinion. That’s why now, more than ever, your message should be clear, sincere and insightful.

Be sincere and transparent

COVID-19, social distancing and issues we’re now having is our new reality. So talk about it, don’t try to pretend that nothing is happening. You can acknowledge it by sharing health tips, a relevant, inspiring or motivational quote, your plans, or just wishing well on your followers and their families.

If your business is being affected in one way or another by the current situation, be transparent and honest with your audience. If you want, you can get personal, even.

Things you can write in your caption:

  • Update your followers on the situation in your country of residence;
  • Tell them what you’re doing differently;
  • What you are doing in your own personal or business life to take precautions;
  • Tell your audience about your new routine.

You can share your #workfromhomelife. The trends on Instagram right now are to share a photo of your desk or office set-up at home and yourself wearing a pillow as a dress (even if you’re a man).

Be helpful

Share some insights, tips, cooking recipes, useful resources and apps, health advice, life hacks and anything else that your imagination lets you.

Be an example

Things we see today are our new normal, so it’s better to adapt and show it than be ignorant and pretend like nothing is going on.

Show in your Instagram post or stories how you are taking care of yourself and others around you. From cooking to cleaning, exercising at home, dancing or sharing fun photos of your cat or dog. Or you can share tips on personal hygiene, record yourself washing your hands (or washing your kiddos hands), work-from-home life, your self-care routine and what you do for your mental health, or just a selfie of yourself wearing a mask.

Adjust your captions

Content planning significantly streamlines your Instagram content strategy. So even if you have already planned captions for your posts without tailoring them to the new reality, re-write them to sound on point in the current state.

Besides, you can change the descriptions of your products to fit the situation. Think of how your product/service can be helpful for people right now and what problem you help people solve.

And don’t forget you’re not talking to an algorithm; you’re talking to people! So don’t be afraid to start conversations with your followers.

Be entertaining

People use social media not only to get the latest news or useful insights but to keep themselves entertained. To keep things less serious, you can include memes into your content strategy.

Feel like you want to lighten things up? You can share memes related to the situation or create your own memes that fit with your business/industry. Some apps to help you make memes are Mematic, Meme Generator, and Memedroid.

Instagram marketing amid COVID-19: key takeaways

  • Tailor the whole Instagram marketing strategy: use real-time marketing, leverage influencer marketing, and offer more discounts.
  • When outreaching influencers, remember that they’re forced to change their content making habits, too. You need to consider this and do not expect a familiar approach from them.
  • Don’t tighten budgets for targeted ads. Leverage them while your competitors are afraid to use them, instead. This will help you increase reach and attract more leads.
  • Adapt your content to the current reality, don’t act like nothing is going on. Add some insights, transparency and humour to your posts and stories.

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