Ravle: Case Study for Instagram Content Strategy
I was recently connected with Syracuse University’s Hendricks Chapel to create and run a workshop on content creation and marketing strategy for Instagram.
Often when I sit down to talk about content marketing and strategy, I’m asked to teach content creation. I suppose it never occurred to me that people outside of the realm of “content” — or perhaps marketing — would think the “creation” and “strategy” are one in the same. After all, the word “content” is present in both terms, and you need content in order to have something to market. Plus, the goal is the same: tell a story with and through your content.
Creating content isn’t just about creating the image, post or project — it’s about telling a story. And, the key to telling a good story is creating some sort of emotional connection with your target audience. You want to both show and tell your story, leading your audience to your intended goal. You know, ”calls to action” (CTAs) such as “buy this thing,” or “sign-up now” or “join our community.”
Unsure of the participants skill levels, we figured a content creation demo would be a great idea. What’s more, the focus would be “how to create content on your smartphone.” Many people still don’t have personal computers, DSLR cameras or editing programs, but many people have cellphones. (In fact, a recent report published by Quartz shows the number of phone plans outnumbers world population.)
More interested in focusing on content marketing and strategy, I thought it would be great to pull in some content creators who could also lead a demo. Enter Tay Lotte, co-founder of Ravle, Inc. After working with Tay to create the first video in series called “Endeavor” on student entrepreneurs, I knew she’d be the perfect content creator for the workshop. Tay pulled in Katie Reahl, the company’s social media strategist, and I got to work on the presentation.
Ravle focuses on both B2B and B2C content; the company provides travel videos and trip content through widget integration with travel websites, while enticing travel filmmakers to become part of their growing online community. They’re a great case study in content creation and marketing tailored per platform, per audience, with a strong emphasis on Instagram.
For the presentation, I ended up creating a multimedia teardown of Ravle’s online platforms in order to show how each component works together to create a cohesive content marketing strategy.
I placed a large focus on platforms, understanding which works best for your business based on your company’s target audience. Every business has a target audience, and social media platforms are no exception; Instagram, for example, captures the Gen Z audience, whereas Facebook’s average user is roughly 25-34 —Millennial territory.
In order to target your audience, it’s important to understand the target audience of the platforms you use. By understanding these tools, you can tailor your content for different audience demographics on each platform.
Ravle, for example, has a different follower demographic, and different amount of followers, on Facebook versus Instagram. Based on Ravle’s primary target audience, they currently put more emphasis on Instagram. In the future, they will start to create content specific to Facebook, using information based on platform demographics. Tay pays attention to brand messaging, which varies based on platform, such as their social media versus their website:
Ravle’s Instagram bio reads, “A community of bucket list-crushing travel filmmakers and photographers inspiring you to travel with custom itineraries,” focusing on the individual. Ravle’s website reads, “Convert travelers of tomorrow by sharing the inspiring stories of travelers today. Keep your website relevant by sharing some of the most beautiful video and photography content that is already being created by top travel videographers in your destination…” They write “convert travelers,” which refers to their customer audience, such as their Instagram followers.
The Instagram is B2C — the business speaks directly to the individual user — while the website is catered to other businesses, or “B2B.” Ravle even boasts its own hashtag so others can easily tag and search for them within the Instagram app.
The 35-slide presentation (thorough but digestible, I assure you) wraps-up with some examples of scheduling apps to help keep your posts constant and consistent, such as Later, Hootsuite or Content Studio. Plus, some slides on hashtags, captions, and tagging versus @linking. Yes, my biggest social media pet peeve — something I never thought I’d say — is the idea that using the “@” symbol to turn a word into a functioning link is the same as “tagging.” Nope, these are two completely different things.
When you type the “@” beside an Instagram user’s handle, their name will link to their Instagram profile. However, you can also “Edit” and “Tag” an account by tapping on the image and entering the user’s handle. By using this tagging method, the image will also appear on the user’s Instagram channel, increasing your visibility and reach.
I’m looking forward to working with Hendricks Chapel to help people in the Syracuse community use digital tools to help them grow. I’m also really excited to have Tay and Katie as part of this; I know I’ll learn a lot by seeing their work in action!