Instagram is steadily turning out to be one of the most popular and engaging social media apps. With over 8 million registered business accounts, it has become a proven social media platform for marketing and brand building. About 80 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every day by its huge, active user base that you, as a business, can tap into.
It’s worth noting that nearly 60% of Instagram users fall in 18-19 age group. This is a highly valuable demographic for businesses that are trying to build a viable audience. Which also makes Instagram extremely competitive. But with a well-planned marketing strategy and a firm brand identity, your business can get the right kind of exposure.
In the following article, we will be looking into a few Instagram marketing tips that will help you get real world results.
Instagram Marketing Tip #1: Switch to an Instagram Business Profile
Before you embark on your Instagram marketing journey, make sure to an Instagram Business Account.
Here are some of the obvious benefits of making the switch to a business profile:
– Besides visiting your website, your followers can click on the contact button to get in touch with you.
– You get access to Instagram’s analytics tools called Insights where you can see stats such as impressions and reach for your content.
– You can easily create and publish Instagram ads without depending on Facebook’s advertising tools.
– You increase the chances of your content getting seen by your followers in their news feeds.
Making the switch seem like a simple step, but it will make a world a of difference to your marketing.
Instagram Marketing Tip #2: Leverage Sponsored Ads
According to eMarketer, companies using Instagram advertising are on the rise and the number of advertisers is set surpass popular social media platforms such as Twitter in the year 2017.
This just goes on to show that Instagram advertising is here to stay. And as a business, you should try to leverage it to reach out to your target audience in a cost-efficient manner.
Besides the fact that Instagram has a 700 million strong user base, here are a few more strong reasons for you to consider advertising on it.
1. Since Instagram and Facebook are connected, you can use your Facebook advertising experience to target your audience better on Instagram.
2. Right from creating ads to budgeting, manage everything about your Instagram ads in the Facebook ad manager.
3. The ads are engaging and non-intrusive, which can help you get a better a conversion rate at a low cost.
4. The creative freedom to use both, images and videos, when promoting your product or service.
5. The ads are hard to miss because they occupy the full mobile device screen.
6. The ability to conduct A/B split tests on your ad creative from within the platform using the Facebook Instagram ad editor, and in the process increase the chances of getting a better return on investment.
Instagram Marketing Tip #3: Partner with Targeted Influencers
If you want to reach out to your potential customers on Instagram, you should consider leveraging influencers who have already done the hard work of building an audience. With more and more people buying products and services based on the content of their Instagram feed, it only make sense to partner with the right influencers to get your brand in front of them.
Instagram influencers are power users who have a large and loyal follower base that trusts their recommendations. However, in order to make your influencer marketing campaign successful on Instagram, it is important that you choose to partner with only those influencers who have a highly relevantaudience to your product.
Here’s an example of HP using an influencer to promote a contest they were running:
Forget about making short term gains and direct sales from your campaign. Instead, focus on building a long term marketing strategy with the help of influencers in your niche. Your aim should be to build strong brand awareness with an audience that is likely to do business with you.
Instagram Marketing Tip #4: Cross-Promote on Other Social Media Channels
One of the most effective ways to increase your reach is to promote your Instagram on other social media platforms. You may already have a fans/followers on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc who know you and trust you. So why not invite them to follow you on Instagram as well?
By focusing on cross-promoting you will be able to generate more exposure to your Instagram content, improve your brand image and bring down the cost of creating new content.
Here’s an example of cross promotion by personal injury law firm Marcus & Mack:
Depending on your social media goals, you can cross-promote across on other social media accounts in different ways. Here are some ideas:
● Automatically post your Instagram content on other accounts with tools such as Hootsuite.
● Promote your Instagram-only video content on Facebook or LinkedIn and drive traffic back.
● Spread the word about your Instagram contests using relevant social accounts to grow your follower count.
When done effectively, this strategy can help you grow your Instagram marketing one step at a time.
Instagram Marketing Tip #5: Track the Right Metrics
Knowing your Instagram performance is the first step to improving it. When you know what you’re doing and have measurable results to play with, you instantly have more clarity plus efficiency. But it’s important that you track the right metrics in order to get the most out of your efforts. These include:
1. Follower Growth Rate
The number of followers you have may be considered a vanity metric. However, the growth rate is not. By keeping an eye on the growth rate of your followers you will see how your content or posting frequency is making a difference.
2. Engagement Rate
Measuring engagement, which includes likes and comments, will give you a better idea of how you should be changing things and what steps to take. You want to find out the average engagement percentage of both, your total followers and per post to get a clearer understanding.
3. URL Clickthrough Rate
The URL clickthrough tracking on Instagram is limited to the link in your Instagram bio. Knowing how many people are clicking through to your URL and possibly converting is crucial.
By monitoring the above metrics along with other metrics such as growth of hashtags, hashtag interaction, etc. will help you market your business more effectively on Instagram. If you do not know how to track these metrics, consider using a Instagram advertising service.
Instagram Marketing Tip #6: Use Hashtags Strategically
Every social media marketer knows the value of hashtags and the role they play. But the key to finding success with them on Instagram is to use them strategically. This way you’ll be able to get more people to see your content, connect to your brand and improve the overall reach.
There are two main types of Instagram hashtags that you need to focus to get the most out of them:
1. Brand or Campaign Specific Hashtags
You create these hashtags to promote your business on Instagram. A brand hashtag is usually your company name/slogan and a campaign hashtag for the marketing campaigns you run. Either way, make sure your hashtags are unique, catchy and easy to remember.
2. Content Hashtags
These hashtags are used within your content and a relevant to it. While they aren’t popular, using them can help your content get found by your target audience. These hashtags may look simple but they are essential so that more and more people are able to discover it. But see to it that you don’t overload your posts with a ton of hashtags.
Instagram Marketing Tip #7: Create a Strong Business Bio
When you create an effective business bio, it makes a noticeable difference to how you get noticed by others. Your Instagram bio should clearly explain what your business does, the type personality it has and get people to take action.
Make sure the following parts of your bio are taken care of:
● Profile Photo: The photo that you use should be relevant to your brand or company.
● Username and Name: Choose the right username and name for your Instagram account because both are searchable.
● Bio: You only have 150 characters to make the right impression with the content in your bio, so spend some time writing a great bio.
● Website: The site that you link to from your bio should not be put there the heck of it. Make sure you place your best link to place in the bio.
● Call-to-Action Buttons: With an Instagram business account, you have the option to insert additional call to action links such as call, email, etc. Take advantage of this feature and use the right call to action.
Spending some time to craft a quality business bio will go a long way and make a difference to your Instagram marketing efforts.
Instagram Marketing Tip #8: Have a Firm Instagram Content Strategy
A solid content strategy is crucial for success with Instagram marketing. Because without useful and relevant content, you will have a hard time grabbing the attention of your target audience. Knowing beforehand what type of content you will post gives you the much needed direction.
If you want to grow more awareness about your products, you would be inclined towards posting more photos and videos that are “product-centric”. If not about the product, you may want to showcase the company culture and give followers a behind the scenes look.
Depending on what you want to achieve from your business on Instagram, you can even focus on having a mixture of content created in-house and user-generated content.
Instagram Marketing Tip #9: Create Content in Advance
A challenge that many businesses face with Instagram marketing is posting consistently. However, consistency is integral if you want to see real-world results. One way to combat this problem is do some additional planning and create your content at least one month in advance. There are a few things or steps to keep in mind when doing so:
1. Know What’s Coming
In order to plan your content in advance you have to know the coming month and the events surrounding it. Right from the content you would posting to your blog to any special product promotions, you should have clarity about what’s coming. This way you’d be able to craft content without going wrong.
2. Take Care of the Editing
Once you’re done creating your media for Instagram including images and video, make sure to edit them. This way you don’t have to work on any last minute editing when you have to actually post the content.
3. Schedule it Out
Use one of the many scheduling tools out there to schedule your Instagram posts. You don’t have to schedule every post except the ones you feel are ready to go.
By doing the preparation in advance allows you to work on other important aspects of your Instagram marketing.
Instagram Marketing Tip #10: Turn Your Instagram into a Sales Funnel
Can you sell products via Instagram? Of course you can. The social platform is a great place to take your brand to the next level and sell more. However, selling on Instagram is different. For instance, if you’re not using the paid posts feature, you won’t be able to add an external link to your Instagram posts.
Making sales via Instagram is about taking the tried and tested approach. Which is to focus on building a strong brand image with the help of your Instagram profile. You can do this by:
Be Regularly Active
When marketing on Instagram, it is important that you add your Instagram activities to your daily routine. A lot of marketers may argue that you don’t have to post to your Instagram every single day. Which is absolutely fine. However, you do have to remain active by logging into your Instagram account regularly, interacting with content from your feed, follow other relevant experts and comment on photos/videos.
By being active on a regular basis, you increase the chances of getting your profile noticed by the right people. This may not make a big difference, but in the long run you will find that your consistent activity has positively contributed to your growth on Instagram.
Move Beyond Product Photos
While there is nothing wrong in posting pictures about your product, you should put a limit to hosting product related content to your Instagram account. Your Instagram has to appear natural and aesthetic – even if you are running a business.
Regardless of the type of business you are running, your Instagram profile can have photographs that reflect your company’s beliefs and ideologies. The content your post can help your followers understand your vision and what you seek to achieve or give them. For instance, you could post quotes that are inspirational in nature, which people like to share on Instagram. This automatically increases the engagement of your content and gets your brand the needed attention.
Post Pictures with Real People
When you are running a product oriented business, you have the opportunity to show your products interacting with real people. For example, if you are selling handbags, you can have women in your photographs using or admiring your handbags.
People on Instagram are attracted to photograph that look natural and organic. By involving people into your photographs, you make your product look more authentic. You also help your followers understand what your product looks or feels like in person. Last but not the least, you don’t need to have access to professional models to take such pictures. You can showcase regular people using your products and it would still work.
Instagram Marketing Tip #11: Run Instagram Contests
Instagram can work great as a marketing channel for your business but it is necessary that you engage with your target audience in a meaningful manner. One simple yet proven way to do this is to run an Instagram contest or giveaway.
While there is a definite learning curve when it comes to running a successful Instagram contest, it’s not rocket science. When done right, you can benefit from them in more than one way. You can not only increase your followers but also give your product or brand the exposure it needs.
The good thing about Instagram is that it doesn’t have any limitations when it comes to running such promotions. In other words, you are only limited by your imagination. Here are three popular types of contest that you can run on Instagram.
Like contests require the users to simply like your photo to qualify for the competition and get a chance to win. Since the user does not have to do much to enter the contest, it helps in increasing the engagement and get a better response. Also, when you run a contest where you are simply aiming to get more likes, things naturally get easier.
This contest is similar to running a like contest. The only difference being, people need to comment on a photo or video to enter. This type of contest works really well when you are looking for some targeted feedback and at the same time want to increase engagement on your post.
If you are active on Instagram, you should know that a photo challenge contest is a highly popular form of contest. Interested users have to post a certain type of photo on their personal Instagram account and use a hashtag you designate. Now, the reason this contest works so well is because it helps you get more exposure through your hashtag.
Instagram Marketing Tip #12: Create Instagram Stories
Sharing authentic content on Instagram is important if you want people to take notice of you. One way to do this is to use Instagram stories, a feature that is similar to Snapchat. By posting these “disappearing” videos and photos, you are able to connect to a wider audience.
Instagram stories are a great way to keep your followers engaged and give them great content. Previously, Instagram was just about posting photographs. Now, it has become more interactive.
But the question is, why would you want to put in the effort to create content when it vanishes in 24 hours? The answer is simple: it encourages people to share more of your content with others. It’s a simple way to get more people to take notice of your brand.
When compared to Instagram photos, Instagram stories or easier to create. Because all you need is a good idea and not much preparation to get your creative media in front of your target audience.
Also, Instagram stories are not as widely seen as photos/videos, which means you can test out new ideas that you are not sure about without running the risk of exposing your content to a lot of people.
Instagram Marketing Tip #13: Build an Engaged Instagram Community
As a business owner, it’s crucial that you focus on creating an engaged following on Instagram. If your followers aren’t excited or eager to interact with your content, you won’t see a favorable return on your time investment. Let’s see what you can do to build an engaged Instagram community.
Know Your Followers
If you don’t know who your audience is, you will not know how to serve them better. Even if you manage to post great photographs and videos, you won’t find success unless your content is seen by your target audience. This is why you need to put an extra effort to learn more about your audience and the kind of content they like so that you can post more of it. Remember, the more effort you put into understanding and studying your Instagram followers, the better results you will see from your marketing efforts.
Ask More Questions
Asking questions to your followers works great for increasing engagement. The reason being simple, people like to feel valued and heard. More specifically, they want you to see their opinions as important. By asking the right questions you create a more engaging community. It could be as simple as asking your followers about their day or what their immediate future plans are. Or you could simply take a photograph of your new office space and ask you followers for their opinions. The point is, you have to interact with them and get them to talk with you. Give your Instagram marketing a human touch. Initially you may not get the kind of response you are looking for, but gradually you will see more and more people replying back.
Stand Out from the Rest
Instagram is dominated by brands and small businesses that are trying to market themselves. This is why it is important that you set yourself apart from the competition. If you are a travel blogger, maybe you could share a travel tip that is you unique to you. Sharing your experience or knowledge that is not available with anybody else is a great way to stand out from the rest. You could share simple tips every day to connect to your audience. The more knowledgeable and information oriented your Instagram yes, the easier it will be for you add value to the lives of your followers.