With over 800 million monthly users, more than 60 million photos posted daily, and 1.6 billion “likes” given, Instagram has grown to be the ultimate platform for sharing photos and connecting with people. It is very clear that Instagram is not just for personal use anymore, it has evolved to become a platform that allows brands to humanize their content, recruit new talent, showcase products, and inspire their audience.
Regardless of what kind of work you do whether it be e-commerce, education, or media and publishing, having a presence on Instagram is very important. If you really want to stay ahead of the game in your market, you need to know the platform’s A-Zs. Including what kind of content works better for your company, how to create an Instagram story strategy, how to track your metrics and KPIs among other things. This guide will help you understand the essentials that go into Instagram Marketing and how you can create a great marketing strategy.
To check out the complete history of social media including Instagram, check it out here.
Before we dive into how to market your business through Instagram Marketing, it is important to understand some basic things like:
Table of Contents:
- How to create a business account
- The different types of Instagram posts
- Instagram Analytics
- Instagram Market Strategies
How to create a business account
It is important to understand that Instagram focuses and is intended for content that is current. So, in order to stay relevant to your audience, you need to keep your profile up-to-date. You may already have a personal account and it is possible to switch that account into a business one. In order for you to have a business account, you need to have a Facebook business page as well. You are probably wondering; why do I need to have a business account? I can just update my posts to make them look more professional. Well, once you have identified your profile as a business profile, you can use the Business Tools feature to allow users to contact you easier, it also provides you with in-depth insights, and it allows you to promote your content. Instagram will connect the relevant information from your Facebook business page and you can edit it if you choose. From here, make sure that you don’t change your privacy to private because you obviously want users to see your posts and follow your business. You can also obviously change any settings like receiving comments and adding other Instagram accounts.
Types of posts
It is important to understand the posts that already exist on the platform and from there; you can decide which posts fit with your aesthetic.
The most common type of posts on Instagram is obviously the image post. The thing you need to remember before you post any photo for your business is to make sure that you share a variety of photos. It shows that your brand is diverse and will engage your followers better because at the end of the day, they are looking for genuine posts, not just advertisements that they can find on Google.
2) Behind-the-Scenes Posts
These type of posts allow users to get a glimpse of a part of your business that people don’t generally get to see.
3) Educational Posts
These posts generally offer a how-to or creating something like a recipe. These can either be photos or videos that are presented to include instructions that are quick and easy to follow.
4) Influencer Posts
When it comes to Instagram, you’ve got posts and then you have Influencer posts. While your posts might reach your audience, regardless of the amount and demographic, Influencer posts are the type of posts you want to have to reach a larger audience because it uses the fame of a celebrity or a well-known public figure to promote your brand.
5) Motivational Posts
Just like those posters you see in any office that tries to create motivation, these type of posts are trying to do that in a more subtle way. It comes a visual with a quote or uplifting text, its main goal is to encourage your audience and show your brand values. These posts are used less often because too many, if you remember Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother, can look a bit insane and cheesy.
6) User-Generated Content
While most posts are considered to be interactive, UGCs are ones that contain posts from your fans’ and followers’ and it comes under “word of mouth” marketing. Sharing their posts using your brand hashtag is a great way of UGC, but remember that since it is not your original post, you need to credit the original one so that you don’t get reported because in this case, bad publicity can be bad for business.
There are over 25 million business profiles that exist in the world at the moment and over 200 million users that visit them daily. That is why Instagram Analytics are very important so that you can see who is viewing your profile, seeing your ads, checking on how your posts and stories are performing, and what values your account is producing. It is important to evaluate your analytics often because they really do give good insight into whether you are:
- · Targeting the wrong audience
- · Posting too frequently or not frequent enough
- · Bringing in the wrong audience to your profile
- · Ignoring messages that could lead to future partnerships
- · Posting at non-ideal times for your audience
- · Missing opportunities for brand engagements in comments and stories
Now that you know about the basics of Instagram Analytics, let us focus on marketing strategies that you can use to optimize your business profile and have it work in your favor.
Instagram Marketing Strategies
Instagram Marketing Strategies can be broken up into different elements that work together to make the perfect marketing plan. To market your company on this platform, you can focus on:
- 1) The product itself
- 2) The content about the product
- 3) How to post through Instagram stories & Instagram Live
- 4) Hashtags/Comments
- 5) Partnership & Influencer Marketing
- 6) Driving sales through Instagram
1) The Product Itself
Regardless of what the product or service might be, you want there to be hype for it right? Human nature has shown that people are quite intrigued about something that they have gotten a teaser for. So, before you launch your product, you can use the opportunity to create a teaser for your product to draw your audience in and show how you are preparing it to enter the market. Once the product is up, you can use your profile to showcase your product, but don’t forget about your Instagram story and make it catchy so that people will “swipe up” for more information.
Another thing about human nature is they are more likely to “click” on something or be attracted to something that is shown more than once or repeated because it enters their mind and they will remember it. So, in order for more people to be attracted to a product, try posting in more than once. Maybe use different types of posts to draw people in, but don’t post the same product too regularly because it doesn’t show variety in your brand.
2) Content – why it’s so important in Instagram marketing?
You have the product, now you need to figure what to put where. You can categorize your content by; promotional, audience-engaging, organic, etc. You need to find a good balance of the products and posts you are putting up. Which means that you need to diversify the type of content that you are publishing with value packed content that is engaging to your target audience because they will get bored if they see the same thing over again. As mentioned before, users are constantly on Instagram, so if you want to be seen to your target audience and the world, you need to update your content quite regularly so that your audience can see you on their newsfeed frequently. To show that you are professional and truly believe that your business will do well on any platform, you should add high-quality photos and videos to your post and stories. Invest in some equipment or even use your phone camera to post your content. As mentioned before, it is good to diversify the content you post. Posting product photos, showing your products in action, and using user-generated content “reposts” are a great way to change it up. Always keep people on their toes and interested.
Check out how to optimize your Instagram captions HERE
3) Instagram stories and Instagram Live
This strategy ties into content because you are not only trying to post on your page, but to stay relevant you need to try and find things to put onto your Instagram story and try and work in Instagram Live so that you can communicate with your followers. Try and update your story as often as you can and engage with people through that and let them be intrigued to use the “swipe up” feature and comment through Instagram Live. Also, make sure that you highlight any new/featured products on your story as well as your page because people might see it more frequently on their stories.
4) Hashtags and Comments
It is no longer the weird symbol that you see on your phone, it plays such a huge part to your Instagram success. It is important to find the right hashtags to help boost engagement on your posts because it will show up high on the feeds of your followers and will be a part of your potential customers’ Explore feeds. When your account starts getting some traction, you should consider creating a branded hashtag so that people can use it when they repost something related to your brand. This gives you the ability to find user-generated content to build brand awareness and also ties into “word of mouth” marketing.
Another way to bring in brand awareness is simply by commenting on posts created by local or product/brand-related accounts. You can find posts by using a hashtag that you have used before, it can help you connect with potential local customers and other companies that are within your industry. One important point of creating a business is to hopefully get repeat business, in order to do that you can try creating personal relationships with both potential and existing clients by responding to comments because it shows that you are willing to change things that may not have worked and also connect with your audience.
5) Partnerships and Influencer Marketing
One of the biggest trends that is a very big part of social media is the increase in the number of collaborations between brands. Once you have gotten some traction for your brand, you should consider partnering up with other brands whose target market resembles your own and from there you may be able to drive quite a bit of business with that relationship.
You can collaborate in all aspects, but another way to have a great give-and-take relationship in the partnership is to run a contest or giveaway together. You can put together a great prize package that features both brand’s products and it will help both your audiences. You will find that both of your brands will get more fans and you are generating interest for each others’ products.
And here we go.
We have all heard about them, some want to be them, etc. The influencer. There are so many people that have made a career out of this, Instagram influencer marketing may have declined a little bit, but it is still a major part of marketing for the platform. If you really want exposure into our target market, try reaching out to an influential Instagram figure that falls within your industry and see if they could create a sponsored post that highlights your product/service. An important thing to remember is that you want to find an influencer that falls into your audience and preferably look for one that has a good combination of a genuine relationship with their followers and also has a big social media influence.
Also, do not forget about the local businesses around the area. Don’t fly too close to the sun just yet! Identify accounts that are around your area that have a large following and see if they will review your product or visit your business and from there see if they will post on social media.
For more information about influencer marketing, click HERE.
6) Driving sales through Instagram
Now that you have done your promoting and driven in your ideal target audience, you need to figure out how to keep your customers and start making sales. You can drive sales for your business by creating ads for your products that links to your online store. You can post photos with descriptions or a call-to-action in the caption and urge your customers (gently) to buy. To maximize your chance for a sale, you can considering adding things like a limited-time offer or discount to your ads. Human nature also shows that if it is a product that they are interested in, they wouldn’t want to miss out on something that what that is provided at a lower price. Make sure that your website or landing page is optimized and also highlights the offer.
A great place to start if you are trying to grow your account is by talking to your existing customers. You can get customers to follow you on Instagram by telling them that they can get a discount if they do follow you. Create a popup or landing page for your website and they can get their discount.
Another way to bring sales through Instagram is by making your feed shoppable. You can do this by using monetization tools that will link your product photos directly to your landing page.
For more ways to increase engagement to your Instagram page; check out this link.
Once you have implemented these tips into your marketing strategy, you can use Instagram Analytics and other metric measures to figure out what works and what doesn’t. From there you can edit and change anything that doesn’t benefit your strategy. One way or another, Instagram and social media platforms are here to stay and it is the best way to market a brand. So hopefully this guide has provided some ideas on how to add on to your marketing strategy and get your business up and running.