With millions of users all over the world, Instagram has proven itself to be one of the most popular and influential social media platforms of our time. As more and more people are discovering new products and services on the app, it’s critical for your business to promote itself where many of your potential customers are already looking.
In this article, we’ll go over the basics of Instagram marketing and explore how you can make the most of this social network.
What Is Instagram Marketing?
Instagram marketing is the process of promoting your business through the free Instagram app. This strategy can include publishing various high-quality types of content, paid advertising (also known as sponsored posts), and general social media management techniques.
Why use Instagram for your marketing goals?
Using Instagram for business marketing is important because it provides brands like yours an opportunity to promote your products and services to millions of users. Not only can you reach large, new audiences through Instagram, you can also increase brand visibility, build strong customer relationships, yield higher engagement, and generate more sales and revenue for your business.
It’s important to emphasize that Instagram is steadily turning out to be one of the most popular and engaging social media apps. With over 25 million registered business accounts, it has become a proven social media platform for marketing and brand building. About 100 million photos and videos 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 31% of Instagram users fall in the 18-24 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 and boost your Instagram presence.
Instagram Marketing Tips
#1: Switch to an Instagram Business Profile
Before you embark on your Instagram marketing journey, make sure to create 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/CTA button to get in touch with you.
– You get access to Instagram 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 in your followers’ feeds.
Making the switch seems like a simple step, but it will make a world of difference to your marketing.
#2: Leverage Sponsored Posts/Ads
Companies using Instagram advertising are on the rise and the number of monthly advertisers now is over 2 million. Here are some statistics you need to know:
There are more than 200 million users who visit their Instagram profile everyday.
50% of these users click explore page monthly
Instagram posts that have a location get 79% more engagement
Out of 10 hashtags used in Instagram posts, 7 of them are branded
60% of users state that they find new products on Instagram while 70% of frequent shoppers go to this platform to discover new products to try
This just goes 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 over 1 billion strong user base, here are a few more strong reasons for you to consider advertising on it.
- Since Instagram and Facebook are connected, you can use your Facebook advertising experience to target your audience better on Instagram.
- Right from creating ads to budgeting, manage everything about your Instagram ads in the Facebook ad manager.
- The ads are engaging and non-intrusive, which can help you get a better conversion rate at a low cost.
- The creative freedom to use both, images and videos, when promoting your product or service.
- The ads are hard to miss because they occupy the full mobile device screen.
- 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.
3: Partner with Targeted Influencers
If you want to reach out to your potential customers and gain new followers 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 makes sense to partner with the right influencers to get your brand in front of them. This is especially beneficial for ecommerce businesses.
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 relevant audience aligned with 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.
#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 fans/followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. who know 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:
#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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 an Instagram advertising service.
#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 within your Instagram captions. 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:
- 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.
- Content Hashtags
These hashtags are used within your content and are 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.
#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 of 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.
#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.
#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:
- 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 post 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.
- Take Care of the Editing
Once you’re done creating your media for Instagram including images, short video clips or IGTV, 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.
- 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.
Doing the preparation in advance allows you to work on other important aspects of your Instagram marketing.
#10: Turn Your Instagram into a Sales Funnel
Can you sell products via Instagram? Of course you can. The social media 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, following other relevant experts and comment on photos/videos.
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 unique to you coupled with fun emojis. 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 is, the easier it will be for you to add value to the lives of your followers.