Instagram started its journey as a social platform for sharing photos. But it has come a long way, with millions of active users and a large number of influencers today. As a result, businesses and brands visualize it as a goldmine of opportunities. You can use it for connecting with the audience and extending your reach beyond imagination. If you have the right plan, you can even utilize it as a branding tool for your business.
This is, however, easier said than done. You need to come up with the right kind of content and posts to keep the audience engaged. The idea is to use ones that are relevant to the current followers and have the potential of bringing new ones. If you are not sure about the right way to do it, we can help. Here are some powerful Instagram marketing tips that you can use to get the best results.
Have well-defined goals to start with
Even before you come up with a strategy, have clear and well-defined goals. Specifically speaking, you should know why you want to invest in building a presence on Instagram. Is it with the objective of generation of leads for your business? Or would you be more interested in building a community? Are you keen on using this platform for creating brand awareness? Your goal should be clear because it will determine the direction of your strategy.
It will also decide the type of content you need to post on the platform. For example, product posts will be ideal if you are focused on social selling. You need to create ones that showcase the products and encourage the followers to check them out. Similarly, you can ask for consumer feedback on products and hold contests if you aim to build a community. Yet another approach is to regularly connect and interact with followers if you want to build relationships and create brand awareness.
Switch to a Business Profile
The next critical step to start with Instagram marketing is by having a business profile that defines your brand. This is easy as you have the option of switching the current profile to a business account. Click on “Switch to Business Profile” in the account settings and you are good to go. A business profile gives you several advantages. Once you have it, you can create and publish Instagram ads easily, without having to use Facebook’s advertising tools.
Also, followers can connect with you by simply clicking on your contact button. A business profile provides access to Insights, the powerful analytics tools offered by the platform. You can use them to see the stats about the reach and impressions of the posts. These can be of help for tracing metrics and understanding the audience.
Optimize the profile for engagement
Just having a business profile is half the work done. You also need to optimize it for boosting engagement with the followers. Work on creative elements such as your bio and hashtags. A brand bio is important because it defines you and creates the first impression on the followers. You need to craft a compelling one that highlights your offerings and motivates the followers to stay engaged.
The purpose of having a hashtag is to get the followers to tag your brand. They play a key role in engagement as they act as CTAs to encourage customer stories and photos. Besides your bio and hashtags, you also need to have a great profile picture for your brand. Make sure that it is a high-resolution image with a creative that catches the eye.
Create amazing content that your customers will love
Once you have the basics covered, everything boils down to content. It is actually the element that drives engagement and action from the followers. As a rule of thumb, follow the followers and understand what they expect to read. Replicate the same in your posts, whether they are images, videos or Instagram stories. Knowing your audience is as good as winning the game and it can be surprisingly easy.
Kevin Buckley from Falcon Digital Marketing explains that most Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 34, meaning that you should be using Instagram advertising if your target market falls in that age gap. So you already have a head start as you know the demographics of your audience. You can come up with a creative mix of eye-popping imagery, people-centric photos, engaging videos and interesting Instagram stories for them. Just play around with memes and image macros and you get a mix that your audience would love!
Be regular to be visible
Having engaging content posts to share on Instagram will not be enough. You also have to do it consistently to be visible to your followers. Unless you are regular with your schedule, your brand may get lost among the host of competitors out there. At the same time, random posts without a strategy will also not get you desired results.
Start by planning the right timing and frequency for your posts because these factors can impact the engagement rates. Brands usually post on a daily basis. Pay attention to the quality of posts because it is as important as numbers. Every post needs to have a unique caption to make it more engaging and discoverable. Ideally, a caption should have hashtags and a Call To Action.
Partner with influencers
Content does play a major role in enhancing your reach across Instagram but you cannot solely depend on it. Partnering with influencers can skyrocket the results of your campaign. This is because these industry leaders have a massive following which you cannot connect with on your own. Another advantage of influencer collaboration is that it gets you credibility for your brand. People tend to trust these authoritative figures when they make purchase decisions.
Though influencer collaboration gets you amazing results, it is not as simple as it sounds. You have to look for the right industry influencer to start with. The idea is to onboard one whose following coincides with your target audience. Besides relevance, you also need to prioritize the authenticity of the influencer. There are plenty of fake ones out there and partnering with them can do more harm than good.
Promote for the long term
Instagram marketing is much beyond posting regularly and connecting with your followers. You need to take a long term approach by integrating it within your overall marketing plan. The idea is to focus on holistic growth and evolution rather than just social selling and greater reach. Feature your Instagram on the business website with social buttons and feed so that visitors know that you are present on this channel.
Another smart idea is to promote your Instagram via email. You can do this as a direct announcement or by including your branded hashtag in the email signature. Being consistent is another factor that contributes to your brand’s growth across this channel. Stay connected with the followers and respond to them. The more you interact with them, the better and more lasting will be your relationships. Another critical aspect of a long term strategy is to keep a close eye on analytics. Follow them up and tweak your strategies to cover the weak areas.
These tips and practices can go a long way in making your Instagram marketing strategy successful. There are several free Instagram tools that you can use to empower your strategy. Above all, show the followers how much they matter to you because your ultimate aim is to build lasting relationships with them.