How can we use the hero’s journey to win on social media? 

Instagram can be your go-to tool to build an audience and give a sense of culture to your brand, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s how to tell your brand story and captivate your audience with great posts.

So, here’s the secret with social media & content marketing. Follow an 80 / 20 rule.

80% of posts are about your customers.

This includes:  

    • What their problem is and how it makes them feel.
    • Your One-line statement or elevator pitch.
    • Testimonials or case studies of your customers, focusing on how happy they are now.
    • Speaking or teaching.
    • Posts about the “Villain,” or the common enemy of your customers. What is the root problem that’s stopping your customers from getting what they want? What should they just not have to deal with?
    • Posts about their transformation: what will life be like once the problem is solved? Why will it be great?




















As a rule of thumb, you can ALWAYS follow the StoryBrand 7-Part framework to write content. You can follow the steps inside a single post, or you can focus your posts on each of the 7 stages. For example:

  • Jan 1: The hero + what they want
  • Jan 2: The external and internal problem
  • Jan 3: The philosophical problem
  • Jan 4: The Villain
  • Jan 5: The Guide’s empathy and authority
  • Jan 6: The plan
  • Jan 7: The Call to Action (and/or transitional CTA)
  • Jan 8: Promises
  • Jan 9: Benefits 
  • Jan 10: Your customer’s success
  • Jan 11: Your customer’s potential failures, or the failure they could finally avoid. 
  • Jan 12: Your customer’s transformation or paradigm shift.

Note: You don’t necessarily need to post every day, but you get the idea.

In order to keep your audience intrigued and sharing your content, you will want to include posts from the following two categories as well…

10% of posts are about your story.

This is the content that shows who you are and why you care.

  • What happened in your life that relates to your customer’s problems?
  • What are you learning that could help them?
  • What do you want your customer to know or believe about themselves?

This content will cross the digital barrier and help them trust you. After all, we go to Instagram to see what other people are doing, right? Show them how cool your life is now that you’re solving their problems.

10% of posts are fun content… or, “This could be my bff” content.

Content from other brands or influencers that suits your audiences tastes will help them feel like they know you beyond the ridged lines of business. Look for content that is:

  • Funny or endearing for your audience. For moms, it’s cute babies and funny things kids say. For athletes, it’s underdog stories and play bloopers. For entrepreneurs, it’s encouraging mindset posts or morning routine spoofs.
  • Or content that is just plain cool, like images from the James Webb telescope or wow headlines/re-shares that align with your brand.

Think quotes, products, articles, and videos that will relate to your audience and pump them up. This is the content they will share and repost because it makes their day.

Great, now you can write awesome posts and plan content.  But what about the technical stuff?

For business accounts, dig into your Instagram analytics tools. Look for the best times of the day and week to post, and the posts with the most engagement.
For more easy-to-read analytics: Union Metrics Instagram reporting. This tool will help you see what hashtags and post types get the best response from your audience. The more you can cater your posts to the types of content your audience likes, the better. 

…And design?

This is a full-on rabbit hole. Instagram design can take over your life if you don’t follow the golden design rules:

1. Make a grid of 9 images that suit the style of your brand.

2. Upload that grid to a grid planning tool (Preview, Planoly or Later work!).

3. Plan 3 posts at a time next to your starter grid. This will help you continue your branded theme.

Design  Resources

  1. Grid Planning Planoly has a great scheduling and visual grid planning tool, as well as helpful blog posts on Instagram optimization. Here’s one I like How to Plan Your Grid 
  2. Grid Layouts Also, you can use visual planning templates like in Preview’s 9 types of Instagram layouts article. 


  • BONUS: Here’s a great article on branding through Instagram Story usage: IG Story Branding Examples from top accounts.
  • BETTER BONUS: Save the Instagram posts that grab your attention in a Collection called “Marketing Ideas.” That way you can see patterns in the kinds of posts that get your attention.
  • BEST BONUS: Ask one of your ideal clients to screenshot the posts they have saved, or to tell you the posts you have that they like. Also Follow hashtags about your competitor brands or ideal client brands. Your customer knows best!