There is no doubt about it businesses need to be tapping into Instagram to reach potential customers. Instagram has a monthly user count of 800 million making it the ideal place for connecting with new people, promoting products, and reaching a wider audience segment. If you haven’t already created an account for your business on Instagram, now is the time to do so.
With that being said, let’s dive into this post featuring expert marketing tips that can help turn your product or service into a highly recognized brand in no time!
1) Switch to a Business Profile
Before diving into your marketing plan, it is important that you switch your current account over to an Instagram Business Account. This account brings various benefits:
- Your followers will be able to interact with you directly by clicking the contact button.
- You can create and publish Instagram advertisements without the requirement of Facebook’s advertising tools.
- A business profile also provides early access to Instagram Insights for gaining knowledge on important stats as well as the reach of the posts.
How to Switch to Business Account:
- Tap the profile icon to access your profile
- Tap the three lines on the top right of the screen
- Tap the Settings button at the bottom right of the screen
- Tap Switch to Business Profile, then Continue
- Here you can link your newly made Instagram Business profile to your Facebook Business page (which is something we recommend if you would like to run ads from the Business Manager in the future).
- Add your contact information this way your followers will have more ways to connect with you, directly from your profile.
2) Use Instagram’s Free Tools
Instagram offers its users a variety of free tools which allow you to monitor engagements, impressions and so on. They also break down demographics by: gender, active hours, age and location. Businesses can also gain insights on specific posts for a particular day or week to understand the amount of impressions earned.
3) See What Your Competitors Are Doing
If you are on the lookout for inspiration to shape your future posts, then you can take a look at your competitor pages. However, it is necessary to maintain originality here and thus you should refrain from blatantly copying their ideas. Rather, you can conduct detailed research on the type of posts they are sharing and their specific timings. eBay for example follows up each of its Instagram post with a brief description of the image concept. You can enhance the overall look and feel of your posts by including the right caption which can help get the message across.
4) Post New Product Teasers
Create excitement for new products by creating product teasers. Here is a great example by GILT man.
See this great example by Starbucks. What we like about teasers is you can post them for any type of industry you are in and the key here is to not be too pushy. These teasers generate interest and engagement in an authentic way.
5) Create Sponsored Posts
The best thing about Instagram ads is that you can actually control the amount of money you wish to spend on individual posts by allocating an ad budget. Brands can target their audience easily in this way. Previously, only users following a particular account could view the sponsored posts. But now, the sponsored posts can be distributed across the feed of your targeted audience, whether or not they follow you.
6) Use IG Stories
Instagram Stories allow users to showcase multiple images and videos in a slideshow format and over a time limit of 24 hours. This serves as a great tool in the arsenal of Instagram marketers who can easily create a narrative by displaying multiple images in a string. Stories sit at the top of the user feed and they can easily scroll through the ones they like the most. But to make your story standout, you need to add in something extra rather than offering the same old Instagram content. It also pays more if you can dedicate a proper introduction, body and conclusion to your Stories. You can also be slightly informal with the same to showcase the human side of your brand.
7) Find IG Partners (Influencers) to Increase Reach
Influencers are increasingly being used to strengthen the digital marketing strategy of aspiring businesses. These influencers already have a large audience and it’s easier for them to spread word about a particular product or service. The general public also has a tendency of relying on their favorite influencers for their recommendations and this is the opportunity which marketers can take advantage of. But the key here is to partner with the right kind of influencer who can market your product without seeming too fake.
If you are trying to cater to the beauty industry, then you can easily pair up with beauty and lifestyle influencers to promote your products in an authentic manner. You can also partner with beauty bloggers for instagram takeovers which also boosts engagement.
8) Post User Generated Content
Want to create some authenticity in your feed? Opt for reposting user generated content (with permission of course!) Your followers will be ecstatic to have a shout-out and it’s a win-win for all. World renowned cosmetics brand MAC recently posted a photo shared by a user with adequate credits and by adding the hashtag #regram.
If you post an image created by one of your users, be sure to tag them to share the love.
9) Ditch Automation Tools
Growing your fan-base in Instagram should be more about creating organic relationships rather than simply increasing the numbers. This is why you need to bring in a personal touch to the whole episode and dedicate time for finding the right category of users who might be interested in a particular hashtag. You can also start and engage with your potential costumers by liking or commenting to their posts.
10) Harness the Power of Video
While photos can fill your daily requirement, you can also post videos celebrating major milestones, key holidays, new products or announcements. Create a your free account at Magisto and edit you first professional video in a matter of minutes.
11) Create an Interactive Hashtag for Your Brand
A branded hashtag serves as free advertising for your company and can help you in creating instant engagement. Red Bull managed to capture the interest of targeted consumers with their popular hashtag #itgivesyouwings. Customers can easily search for related content by simply typing in the hashtag and even use it to post user-generated content and by tagging your company. You can browse through all the available content under a particular hashtag and repost the ones you see fit.
12) Post at the Right Time
There is a difference between posting naturally and bombarding your followers with content. Over posting can actually turn off your existing followers if their news feed gets filled up with only your brands posts. The key here is to post consistently so that your content pops up regularly in the feed of your target customers. You can try and attain the same by posting on peak hours and days when most of your followers are online. While Wednesdays and Sundays are considered to be the worst days to share an Instagram post, Thursdays and Mondays are the best.
You can check out Instagram’s free insights tool to find out the hours when most of your followers are active. Go to settings -> Insights -> Audience and find out what is your audience’s favorite hours and days. You can also see your audience’s gender segmentation, here is an example:
(In addition, be sure to check out our article here: best hours to post on social media)
Once you have gained a clear understanding of the best times to share content, you can take the help of various tools to go live or schedule your posts. Ideally you should post a maximum of twice daily. But if you are tempted to share more content, then you can opt for a slideshow format using Instagram’s carousel album feature.
13) Integrate Ads into Landing Pages
Starting with a landing page ad can serve you well if you are confused about the type of ad you should create. This can drive sales if you are able to correctly link showcased products to different ecommerce websites. It also makes it possible to add a click-through link and CTA with Instagram ads which cannot be done with other post types. You can even offer limited time discounts for increasing your sale quantum. The main aim here should be to design all of your posts and activities in such a way which makes your audience believe that now is the right time to act rather than waiting for later.
14) Use Relevant Hashtags
These can be either generic or specific in nature and essentially become an integral part of growing your audience. But while choosing a hashtag, you should refrain from overdoing it as that might come off as spammy to some.
15) Track Your Results
Just following the marketing strategies won’t be enough if you fail to gauge where you actually stand at the end of the day. See how your posts performed compared to your previous posts that have similar characteristics. You can also take a look at your competitor’s Instagram posts and see if you can find things that are working well for them.
16) Create Engagement Based Content
You should always keep an ultimate goal or KPI in mind while designing any content strategy. Want to increase followers? Then you need to be consistent, and share more posts and provide credibility. Want to draw engagement? Ask questions, create graphics that get people commenting, or encourage them to tag their friends. But before posting any piece of content, think to yourself – would I be interested in this?
17) Use DM’s
The DM feature of Instagram can be used effectively for enhancing your overall engagement without coming off as spammy. Before shooting a DM at your prospective customers, you need to learn something specific about them and to personalize your message. The one size fits all rule simple doesn’t work in the world of Instagram and it is bound to get you blocked.
Rather, you should try and develop a solid rapport with your clients so that they become sure about your authenticity and provide a positive response. Tagging them later on in thank you post apart from the DM platform can make them feel valued so that they keep on coming back time and again with more product or service requests.
18) Opt for Themed Content
Following specific themes is a great way to increase engagement. National X day for instance is extremely trendy. Hellllo who doesn’t love #NationalTacoDay content? While posting themed content on Instagram it can help you focus on difference cross sections of your audience. One month try hosting a giveaway and the next try hosting a vastly different Q & A session. But while coming up with the themes, be sure to unleash your creativity in a way that is in sync with your industry.
19) Engage with Your Crowd (Answer Comments)
You can build and strengthen the relationship with followers by answering their DM’s, story replies, and comments on your posts. Here you should try and personalize things to the maximum possible extent to keep it distinguished from automated and bot generated messages. It might become difficult to keep tabs on the whole thing from your smartphone.
To make things easier, you can rely on different tools which help with audience listening directly from your browser.
20) Always Include a Call to Action
A good CTA can drive potential customers to visit your website, download content and even execute a purchase decision. Instagram allows users to insert just one link in their bio. You should take advantage of this opportunity as you won’t be able to link to the image itself, or in the comments or captions. Smart marketers can often be seen using the words ‘link in bio.’ They accumulate all the information under one roof which can be individually accessed after clicking on the parent link.
You can also create a post that include a call to action, see the example bellow that includes both
- A call to cation in the image/video – “Register to vote today“
- The caption section includes a call to action – “Check your voter registration status in the link in our bio.“
- We have a detailed guide on how to write your perfect Instagram bio , its a must read article
21) Test a Chain Campaign
Chain campaign creates a partnership between 5-6 big accounts where each one shares a picture which gets introduced once again by the next channel with adequate texts. The best thing about this type of campaign? All the channels can benefit while helping one another.
22) Find Influencers in Your Niche
If you want to make the most out of influencer marketing, then you should allow them to add their own personal touch to your product or service. By letting them user their own voice and personality you can ensure the success of your campaign. In the end customers will feel that the influencers are really sharing their favorite products rather than reading out from a script. Pro tip: offer a broad set of guidelines to the influencers so that they can design the content in their unique way.
23) Run an Instagram Contest With a Unique Hashtag
You can easily build more interaction with your target audience by holding a simple contest. Followers love responding to questions and polls organized by their favorite influencers and celebs. Quotes such as “Share a time when” and “Caption this image” can provide your target audience with a chance of showcasing their true creativity while receiving the best possible responses. Using unique hashtags for each competition also helps keeps track of responses easily.
24) Get Creative with Your Links and Hashtags
Some users can be seen using up to 30 hashtags coupled with a single Instagram post. But rather than running blindly behind quantity, you should try and focus more on quality. The tags used need to be relevant to your particular brand and also needs to bring along an element of surprise. For best results, you should include just a few tags in the primary post and follow it up with additional hashtags in the comments section.
25) Make Your Feed Shoppable
Different monetization tools can help you make your Instagram feed readily shoppable and generating revenue at the same. These tools actually create a page by replicating your feed and even allow people to gain specific information about products by simply clicking on them. This is extremely beneficial for companies which sale multiple products as they can provide individual links to their products under the bio which acts like the hub of all the products and links.
Instagram has become a vital part of our lives with 60 million plus photos shared and 1.6 billion likes given daily. Coupled with the right kind of strategy, you can easily create an influential brand and secure more followers while retaining the old ones. Just follow the tips above and get ready to make the most out of this digital bandwagon!