Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, as it allows users, including businesses, to show what they are talking about in a visual matter. Not surprisingly, this has been a huge success with the eye-catching consumer group we have become. There are more than 400 million Instagram users worldwide, and of those users, 60% are active daily. The Instagram platform looks straightforward but for you to get the full effect of your marketing efforts it is important to use all the features offered. How do you get started, and how can you make your content stand out from the millions of other photos and videos posted daily? These are two questions that we will consider in this article.
As a marketer, you may feel that you already have too many social networks. Why add another one like Instagram to the mix? Only photo feed, right? Not well. In fact, Instagram has quickly grown into one of the most popular platforms out there, and is obviously one of the most promising businesses, depending on your industry. Here are a few basic reasons why you should use Instagram as a marketing tool for your business:
- Instagram puts visual content first.
- Instagram is too small.
- Character limits are not an object.
A complete profile is the best way to let others know who you are, what you are doing and / or what you are going to do. Before digging deeper into the Instagram value, let’s discuss what your full profile should contain.
Important features of Instagram profile
Your Instagram profile acts as your homepage within the platform. It is important to make sure that your profile is complete and has the right information for your fans to look for, so that they can decide if you are the type of company they want to view as next or not. The first thing you need to focus on is establishing the right profile picture for your company. And, like most business accounts, your logo is very appropriate here.
You also have the opportunity to provide a brief history of letting fans and followers know more about your company image, what you have contributed and what you stand for. Consider adding a short but descriptive sentence to your products or services, your company tag and your hashtags with the company logo if you must have (suggest: should) You will have another section within your profile to link to your company website where users can easily find more information if they want to do so. .
Speaking of links, unlike other social networks, Instagram does not allow links to be included in all posts. Instead, users get only one link, and that’s what’s embedded within their profile. There is a way around this, though. Most businesses use this one link to drive traffic back to their homepage or to specific pieces of content. How? Whenever you publish a new piece of content online or just want to bring more awareness to a particular web page, for example, you can share the right photo or video, update the URL to your profile and use the call to action within your caption to let your fans know where to click.
Set clear goals and objectives
Whether you’re new to the Instagram platform or are already established and looking for ways to expand your presence, it’s always important to start with clear goals in mind. Creating goals will help you define a strategy and create content that will increase your chances of achieving those goals. Here are some common objectives for which business strives to market via Instagram:
- Displaying products and/or services
- Community building
- Increasing product reliability
- Advertising potential buyers
- Increasing product awareness
- Demonstrating company culture and traditions
- Sharing company news and updates
It’s best to choose several terms for your Instagram strategy, and many of the above can work collaboratively.
Build your content pillars
The basis of any communication strategy is built on content. Every business, regardless of size, industry or location has a lot of content that can be shared across Instagram. Need some encouragement? Check out Saturday night’s feed or Oreo’s feed on Instagram. These are two good examples of brands that are making good use of Instagram to their advantage. Possible content pillars include (but certainly not limited to):
- After the action scenes
- User-created content
- Product demos
- Customer news
- Features of a team member
- Taking a team member
Success on Instagram depends on more than just posting a few good photos or videos, however. It is also necessary to have a clear vision, a clear visual style, the knowledge of your target audience, and, ultimately, consistency. With these things combined, Instagram has the potential to bring great results to your business.
Set your style guidelines
Since Instagram is such a visual platform, style guidelines are needed. After all, consistency is key (as we used to predict). Style guides can include everything from actual design and post-editing to hashtags that will go with them. Consider each of the following to help you create a “theme” type with your account logo:
- Color palette
Use hashtags and search more
Although the hashtag is based on Twitter, it is also popular, if not, popular on Instagram. Hashtags allow Instagrammers to discover new content and accounts to follow, and serve as a way to bring jokes and compliance to their posts. Like Twitter and other platforms, there is a good line when it comes to using hashtags, as they can be extremely “sellers”. While the Instagram audience accepts more hashtags for each post rather than Twitter, you still want to make sure they are relevant to the post and not overdo it. To avoid adding too many hashtags to actual captions, you can “hide” hashtags in the comment section within the post, and reap the full benefits. Stay tuned to trendy hashtags so you can incorporate them into your posts and reach a larger audience. If possible, create a hashtag or two that are relevant to your product and improve this for your content and encourage fans to do the same. A great way to get visibility with hashtags made by the company through Instagram contests, which we will discuss further.
Make art with your own captions
Include captions of all your posts, both photos and videos, to make it more inviting and give users a description of what they’re watching. You do not want to be crowded into this place, because a photo or video is ultimately the one that attracts the most people, but it can be lazy if some kind of copy doesn’t go with them. This is also a great opportunity to attract user engagement. Engage your fans by asking open-ended questions when they are more inclined to comment. For example, ask consumers what they think of your recently launched product or encourage them to open their minds about a particular topic. The right-hand captions can generate more engagement, which is ideal for the Instagram algorithm that controls their “like” category or help you gather useful feedback that can be used to achieve your business goals.
Accept user-created content
Your Instagram followers themselves can work to provide a wealth of content to use. Using user-created content can help your brand build strong pillars for your content strategy and encourage an engaged audience by encouraging fans to share their collaborations with your company’s offerings. Most importantly, however, this type of content is generally considered to be authentic and less stressful, often leading to greater ROI (with very little investment).
Geotagging is a new feature that is actually equivalent to “logging” into space. Geotag as much as possible and encourage your customers to Geotag their site and if it relates to your product. In this case, you can think of Instagram as a free flyer to promote your event. This allows you to not only bring offline events but also bring offline events online.
Hold Instagram contests
Competitions are another great way to get buyers to share your company page and quickly increase your size to an audience you may not have at first. There are many types of Instagram contests and there are actually no limits to what you can and cannot do. Make art! Here are three popular types:
- Contests such as winning or commenting to win: These types of contests simply ask users to like or comment on posts (usually answering a question or tagging friends) to enter. This is an easy and unnecessary way to get fans involved.
- Competitions created by Hashtag users: A user-generated hashtag contest involves a specific hashtag (IE #CompanyNameTurnsTwo or #MyCompanyNameStory) and invites participants to share content and promote their hashtag in their captions.
- Repost Contests: The repost contest asks participants to re-post a previously posted photo or video from their user account (a third-party application is required to do so) to share their page with their potential subscribers.
Come up with a creative plan and stick to it. You want all your posts to be different but to have the same feel. This will help your fans create a clear vision and image of what your company is and what it stands for. You should determine the frequency of your posts when creating your content strategy in the first place, although this will need to be changed as you analyze your efforts and increase your presence. You want to make sure and post regularly so that your fans know you are there but not too strong with your account. Stay balanced, consistent, and on time.
Track your efforts
Tracking your efforts and performance is essential to any marketing strategy, and social media is affected. Doing so allows you to understand what content your audience finds relevant and appealing, allowing you to step in and apply your strategy as you go along. Do your research to keep improving your efforts. Read and understand more about your target audience on Instagram. See “what they like”, rewrite and comment. This will help you compile an idea of what they want in terms of content and allow you to display a company image that will appeal to them, too.
Make your fans feel important
Be confident and show appreciation to your fans. If someone follows you, don’t be afraid to follow back. It shows that you are interested in the interest they have taken from you and that you have a similar interest in your customers. The same method can be used with likes and comments. Encourage users to “open post notifications” on your specific account. Consider creating posts that promote this, or asking users to take action on your profile history. By doing so, they will receive an app notification each time you publish new content, which will further promote established “relationships”.
Instagram serves as a visual news board to reveal to your customers. As you progress with your plan, you will begin to recognize styles and what types of content will help you achieve your goals. It’s never easy to build a loyal following on any channel, but with the right approach and a little effort, you’ll find the right approach for your product. If you follow these guidelines and use Instagram wisely, it can have a huge impact on your image, brand awareness, access to and savings of your business.