Instagram marketing is as old as Instagram itself. Since this social network took off, people have been using it to promote their products, business, themselves, or what they do in some form. Businesses kickstart their campaigns using posts, stories, and now, IGTV, Live video, ambassadors and influencers, and everything in between.
Why should you be on Instagram?
It seems like nowadays, everyone – or their mom – is on the social network. With all the features and connections you could make on Instagram, the possibilities are endless. You wouldn’t virtually need to use other social networks as you can access direct messaging, posts, stories, live video, and long-form content right within the platform itself.
You may have noticed an increase in the presence of different brands on Instagram as well. But with all the hype involved, is Instagram worth their time, and should your business also be on the network?
The answer is a solid “yes,” and this is why:
- There are at least one billion active monthly users on Instagram, and more than 500 million daily Instagram stories.
- Only in the US, Instagram houses 130 million users.
- Instagram is the second most used network after Facebook, Snapchat being the third. Users browse the network for an average of 53 minutes every day.
- There are more than 25 million active business profiles on Instagram.
- 90% of Instagram users are following at least one business account, and Instagram has allegedly helped 83% of users find new products and services.
Clearly, Instagram isn’t just for personal use anymore. Either for you or your dog, Instagram has turned into a global platform that helps brands put a face to their name, recruit new resources, showcase products, and inspire their followers.
Furthermore, Instagram users aren’t just active. They’re quite engaged – about 60% of Instagram’s active users visit the platform daily, and 21% allegedly check it weekly.
Instagram can also help you grow your brand awareness and showcase new products. 80% of Instagram users said they had made a purchase based on something they discovered on the network. Instagram allows you to promote your brand more authentically and genuinely, without hard-selling your products.
How should you start marketing on Instagram?
Now that you have made up your mind about promoting your brand on Instagram – which, by the way, is a smart decision itself – you should figure out how to do it. That’s where our guide comes in.
1- Make your frigging business account.
Figure 2. Business account, aka. Professional account.
If you haven’t switched to a business account yet, you should. Although there are benefits to having a personal account (more on that later), if you want to drive your sales and gain insight into your traffic, you should make the switch.
Here are the main advantages of each type of account and why you should choose either of them.
Address and Location info in bio
Higher organic audience reach
Connect multiple Facebook pages and profiles
2- Consistency is key.
Your followers should know what to expect from your account, so try to be consistent with everything about it. Post on a determined schedule. Always post relevant content. Be consistent with the colors you use. Have your own way, but define your style.
3- Make them trust you.
The reason why Instagram has been so successful is that people trust authentic and friendly reviews rather than hard-sold products. Try to relate with your audience, get light-hearted, and forge emotional connections.
Make it funny, mysterious, deep, or challenging. The choice is yours to make.
4- Mention your brand.
If you have a personal account, don’t hesitate to tag your business account or your brand in your bio, posts, and stories. Self-promotion could be very practical if done correctly.
5- Familiarize yourself with the Instagram recommendation algorithm.
There are several factors that Instagram uses to recommend content to their users. Getting to know them will be helpful to develop your strategies even better.
- Interest: This is how much Instagram predicts you will like a post, based on your previously browsed and liked the content.
- Recency: This is directly related to the timestamp of the post. The newer it is, the more likely it will be recommended.
- Relationship: This refers to how close the original creator of the content is to you and how much you interacted with them. The more intimate they are, the closer they will appear to the top of your feed.
Try to build genuine connections and like and comment on other posts. Look up your brand hashtags with other common relevant hashtags; find other accounts related to your content, and interact with them. DM – but don’t spam! – these accounts; don’t hesitate to ask for collaboration and follow-backs.
6- Look at your predecessors
Research bigger companies in your field. It helps to see what they have achieved and follow in their footsteps. Please take a look at their content, especially the ones that get the most engagement. Think about how you can offer your audience the same values to gain real, targeted Instagram followers.
7- Make your store, “Instagrammable.”
If you own a physical store outside of Instagram or you are marketing a physical product, take photos, videos, Stories; make it desirable. Make it “Instagrammable.”
What you should post on Instagram?
There is more to Instagram than it is being acknowledged for. You can use it for more than just posting cute cat videos. It’s also a great way to engage your Knowledge Commerce clients through images, hashtags, and videos.
You could use Instagram for many purposes, so there are many kinds of content you can create. You could post a photo or video on Instagram about:
- Teaching something
There is always something to let people know about, so you can use that to your benefit. Whether it’s fun facts or hot tips, you can always find a topic you’re interested in and willing to do research about.
Cross-promote your content among different platforms and encourage user engagement. You could use Instagram’s features to your benefit, i.e., Instagram Stories has many interactive features such as polls, quizzes, questions, clickable tags and mentions, and even music. They lead the user to interact with the story, increasing exposure, and authentic connection.
- Product Updates!
If you are marketing a product, especially software, announce your product updates and important changes as well as significant milestones of your business on Instagram. Not many users read their e-mails nowadays.
- Thought leadership and inspiration posts
If you are mainly looking for a platform to share your insight with the public and probably receive feedback, Instagram can provide that. You could share your loyalty with a certain school of philosophy or a certain religion, or even a sports team; you decide.
You could then share inspiring photos and quotes from esteemed people to gain relatability. Returning followers are always the ones who connect with your brand on a more personal level.
- Visualize numbers and data
If you have valuable statistics to share with your followers, it might get lost in the plethora of words of a blog post or an e-mail. Instead, you could fit your information in a neatly designed Carousel post on Instagram. It is more attractive, more prominent, and easier to assess.
- Use humor
Do not underestimate the power of a smile. People always like what makes them laugh. Humor leads them to relate to you more. “This brand gets me,” is what they say in their heads.
Perhaps post a joke, a meme, or even a #WokeUpLikeThis selfie to make your followers’ day a little brighter.
Set up Instagram hashtag contests and fitting prizes. These contests drive users to engage with your content more actively. The prize could be a free product sample, super-secret discount code, or a shout-out. Whatever it is, ensure it is provided adequately.
By the end of this blog post, you should have already learned the basics of Instagram marketing and what it comprises. Of course, none of these marketing tips alone could guarantee an increase in follower count or exposure, although a combination of all the tips provided and regular activity will definitely boost your visibility, encourage authentic connection, and drive your sales.
Don’t forget to check and utilize your Instagram statistics when you switch to a Business account.
We hope this article comes in handy when you’re looking for a basic Instagram marketing guide.