Don’t quite understand how Instagram marketing works? Don’t worry. It’s not just you.
Most people just see Instagram as an online photo album for selfies and snapshots. Nothing more. But the truth is, Instagram is more than just that. This social media platform is a goldmine for both businesses and consumers. And if you’re looking for a smarter way to do advertising, Instagram is one of the best ways for you to promote your products and services without looking pushy.
The problem is, it can be a real struggle to grow your organic reach on Instagram, especially if you’re just starting on this platform. But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll let you in on five industry-tested Instagram marketing strategies so you could start promoting your business on the platform today.
Tip # 1: Define your Instagram marketing goals
Before you even start thinking of what kind of content you should be posting to your feed, you should first think of your big ‘Why’. Why are you putting your business on Instagram? Is it to generate leads? Is it to build a community? Is it to promote brand awareness? Is it for social selling?
Asking these questions is crucial because your answer will help you determine your content strategy. So, how much ROI you make from your Instagram campaign will ultimately boil down on how clear-cut your goals are for the campaign.
For example, if you are on Instagram to do social selling, then your content should mainly feature your products or services. It should be engaging enough so your target audience would want to check them out.
If you are more interested in using Instagram to build relationships with your customers, you should be making it a point to post content that would loop them in on promotions and communicate with them on the platform.
There are tons of things that you can do to make your content on Instagram appeal to your target audience, but again, you have to first figure out your main purpose for building an account. Once you’re solid on your goals, you can start conceptualizing your strategy.
Tip # 2: Optimize your Instagram profile
After you’ve established your goals for creating an Instagram account, the next thing you need to do is make sure that your profile is optimized for engagement. In other words, you need to make sure that you’ve ticked all the right boxes and filled all the necessary information when you created your account.
First off, you need to make sure that you’ve switched to a business profile on Instagram. This allows you to highlight your company website, along with your contact information and location, on your Instagram bio. Another key advantage of having a business profile is that you have access to data analytics which can help you fine-tune your marketing strategy on the platform based on your followers’ activity on Instagram.
Second, you need to make sure that you have optimized your bio and hashtags. Your bio is basically where you get to jam in all that your brand represents in just 150 characters. Now, why does this matter? Because this is practically one of the first things that people will see when they check out your Instagram profile. How you present your brand in your bio will send out either a positive or a negative message to others, so you have to be mindful of what you put in there.
A compelling bio has the following key elements:
- Relevant hashtags – Hashtags function as a call-to-action to encourage your customers to tag your brand to their posts. So, make sure that you come up with a hashtag that’s related to your business.
- Relevant links – Remember, this is the only place on Instagram where your links are clickable, so use this spot to feature links to your promotions or your website.
Third, you have to choose an Instagram-worthy profile picture. You don’t have to cram your profile photo with too many elements. Minimalist photos are considered trendy these days, so try to come up with one for your profile.
Some businesses only use the first letter of their brand for their photo, while others manage to fit their entire brand name. If you want to fit your brand name in your profile photo, just make sure that it’s clean and legible.
Tip # 3: Create content that counts
Now, this is where you need all your creative juices. With so many Instagram profiles vying for your customers’ attention, it can be challenging to come up with content that your customers will love. Fortunately, there is a fail-proof strategy you can employ when creating content—amazing visuals. After all, that is exactly what Instagram is known for.
People are naturally drawn to beautiful things, photos included. So if you want your posts to reel in likes and comments, then make sure to only post great content a.k.a. eye-popping snapshots. And we’re not just talking about snapshots of scrumptious food or beautiful places. Memes and image macros are also a great way to encourage customer engagement, as well as people-centric photos. And don’t forget, sharing snapshots from happy customers is also a great way to prove that your products and services are legit.
It’s not just all photos, though. These days, video content is gaining more and more popularity, so if you haven’t tried incorporating videos to your feed yet, then you better try it now. You don’t have to come up with a TV commercial for your video to be considered Instagram-worthy. All you need is a smartphone that takes great shots and videos and a dose of creativity. Even a timelapse, when done right, can be a great addition to your feed.
Last but not the least, integrate Instagram Stories to your marketing strategy! Posting on Stories puts your brand in front of your users. Unlike Instagram posts which may or may not be seen by your followers because of Instagram’s algorithm, Stories are very much visible to all your followers. And because Instagram Stories are set to disappear after 24 hours, users are more likely to check out what’s on Instagram Stories (which includes your post) for fear of missing out.
Tip # 4: Maximize post engagement
If you want your post to reach the most number of Instagram users, you need to remember that timing is everything. Some brands post daily, others post several times each week. Whatever the case, you need to keep in mind not to sacrifice the quality of your posts for the sake of quantity. Also, you need to be aware of when you should be posting, and this is where Instagram Analytics comes in handy. Instagram Analytics shows when most of your followers are on the app so you’ll know when the best time to publish content is. Don’t worry, you don’t have to publish real-time. You only need to pick out an app where you could schedule your posts, and you’re good to go.
Another thing you should keep in mind for post engagement is your caption. Instagram allows you up to 2,000+ characters for your caption, so make sure to make the most out of it. Your captions matter and they play a huge part in making your post visible to your target audience, so here’s what you should be including:
- A call-to-action – This can be a simple, “Check out the link in our bio.”
- A hint of personality – Emojis are a great way to add a human touch to your marketing post
- Hashtags – Five hashtags at most
Lastly, you can try to cross-post from other social networks. This means you can post the same content you’re posting on Instagram to your other social networking accounts. This will save you time and energy as you don’t have to craft up unique content for each platform every single time.
Tip # 5: Think long-term
When planning out your content on Instagram, remember to think long-term. You cannot expect to have a huge following overnight, no matter how brilliant your caption and bio may be, or how eye-popping your visuals are. It takes effort and consistency to build a substantial following on this social media platform, so make sure that when you plan content, you’re thinking long-term.
And lastly, don’t forget to promote your Instagram profile wherever and whenever you can! On your packaging, in your email signature, on your other social networking sites. The more you make yourself discoverable, the more visible you will become to your target audience and the more chances you have of making it big on Instagram.
Tip # 6: Track Your Followers
You’ll also want to pay attention to these 5 key metrics to track the success of driving traffic from your Instagram account to your website. By watching the behavior of your users after they leave your Instagram account you can learn how best to convert your followers into sales. You’ll want to pay attention to how much time they spend on your website, where they land and where they exit, the bounce rate, and how many are return visitors.