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An Inside Look at CMI’s Instagram Posting Strategy and Top Pics of 2016


In a smartphone-centric world, everyone is a potential content creator. Yes, you need to have a good eye for composing a beautiful photo or capturing engaging video. But fortunately, mobile devices allow marketers the ability to grab moments unique to their brands with ease and at little cost.

Visual content is a powerful way to attract attention in a noisy social world. And it’s no secret that Instagram is a mighty social network. With over 500 million active monthly users, Instagram provides a tremendous opportunity to share with your audience a complete view of your brand. 

.@Instagram provides an opportunity to share w/ your audience a complete view of your brand says @moninaw. Click To Tweet

At the Content Marketing Institute, our Instagram approach is simple — we aim to give our audience a glimpse into the personal side of CMI and our community with original content. Our main goal is to engage with our audience, but we occasionally use Instagram to let followers know of special events and promotions.

This past year, I hit my second anniversary with CMI. In that time, we are fortunate to have grown our Instagram presence by nearly 600%. By using relevant hashtags (i.e., #contentmarketing and #CMWorld) to increase awareness and attract other followers, we have the opportunity to connect with our Instagram community as well as promote (Repost) some of their content to our followers.

For a look into what works best for us, here are CMI’s top 10 Instagram pics of 2016 based on number of “likes.”

Content Marketing World

Instagram gives us at CMI a chance to offer a peek into our yearly event, Content Marketing World. These #CMWorld pictures give followers a chance to see what’s happening at parties and during sessions. We’re able to maintain a connection with community members that are unable to attend the event, while also creating memories for those that are in attendance.

Content strikes back with @joepulizzi and #CMWorld!

A photo posted by Content Marketing Institute (@cmicontent) on

Mark Hamill joins @joepulizzi to close out #CMWorld 2016.

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Things are now rolling at #CMWorld thanks to @ajhuisman and Bert Van Loon.

A photo posted by Content Marketing Institute (@cmicontent) on

Rand Fishkin always attracts a crowd at #CMWorld!

A photo posted by Content Marketing Institute (@cmicontent) on

Behind the scenes

We’re a big family at CMI. We work hard and we play harder. We’ve also learned that our audience enjoys connecting with us on a personal level. Whether we’re rooting for our favorite team or hitting the pavement, we’ve seen the benefits of giving followers a candid look into our daily lives. In this photo, founder Joe Pulizzi is hanging out with Cleveland-area students.

Joe’s toughest audience yet: 8th graders

A photo posted by Content Marketing Institute (@cmicontent) on

User-generated content

We use Instagram to turn our audience into brand evangelists. Through the #CMWorld hashtag we aggregate some of our favorite photos and videos, and share them with our followers. Not only do we initiate engagement with our fans, but we are introduced to their networks as well.

Use @Instagram to turn your audience into brand evangelists says @moninaw. #socialmedia Click To Tweet

Cheers to the weekend! #CMWorld ・・・ ?: @social123_inc ?: @ioninteractive

A video posted by Content Marketing Institute (@cmicontent) on


Quotes are an easy way for brands to inspire audiences. We find they work well to inspire followers or offer advice. Meaningful quotes can not only support your company’s purpose, but they can also grow the ethos of your brand.

Use meaningful quotes to support your company’s purpose & grow the ethos of your brand says @moninaw. Click To Tweet

Good marketers follow best practices. Great marketers craft their own. – @jayzo #CMWorld

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A photo posted by Content Marketing Institute (@cmicontent) on

No content should ever have a dead end. – Matt Heinz #CMWorld . . . graphic recording by @justjohnine

A photo posted by Content Marketing Institute (@cmicontent) on

Is there something you would like to see featured on our Instagram account? What brands dominating Instagram should we follow for inspiration? Let us know in the comments.

Join the CMI community on social media. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute