Of the 1 billion people using Instagram each month, 80% follow at least one business and 60% say they use the platform to discover new products. Instagram is the place to be for social media marketing.
Especially for brands that lend themselves to pretty visuals. The best brands on Instagram have a consistent aesthetic through their feed.
They post high-quality images. And they post on a regular basis. Once you’ve got these bases covered, it’s time to roll out the Instagram marketing big guns.
Here Are 9 Powerful Instagram Marketing Tips:
1. Set up A Business Account
Personal Instagram accounts and business Instagram accounts have very different capabilities. Set up a business account by editing your existing profile. It’s really easy to do!
You can then access Instagram Insights. This gives you info on the demographics of your followers, including their age, gender and location. It gives you statistics on impressions and engagement. And it tells you which of your posts perform the best.
With this information, you can hone your content and improve your stats. Which means more effective Instagram marketing going forward.
2. Interact with Followers
It might seem simple, but interacting with your followers is one of the most important Instagram marketing strategies out there.
People use Instagram because it’s a community. Followers are able to get up close to the people and brands they like.
So when someone comments on a post, reply to them. If they ask a question, offer a response. Aim to build a community around your brand. Don’t just aim to drive sales.
3. Partner with Influencers
The hard sell doesn’t tend to work with Instagram’s millennial user base. So partnering with influencers is a great way to promote your products in a more subtle way.
Influencers have thousands of followers and are able to create their own content around your product or event. Because they are “real people” who hold such sway with their followers, their content can generate huge engagement. When choosing an influencer to partner with, make sure their followers and your target market are one and the same. Be prepared to pay for their content. And trust their creative direction. Influencers are often experienced content creators with a keen understanding of what works for their followers.
4. Create Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories appear in a header above the usual news feed of images. They’re in a really prominent place and they’re really engaging.
Anything you upload to your story runs as a slideshow and is available for 24 hours before expiring. This makes content feel immediate and exciting.
Content for your story can be less professionally produced than content that stays on your feed. And it doesn’t have to fit with the feed aesthetic in quite the same way. You can upload informal videos or captioned photos or Boomerang mini videos. You can also boost engagement by including easy-to-create polls. And (if you have a verified account or over 10,000 followers) include a “Swipe Up” link to send your followers to a webpage related to your story content.
5. Competitions and Giveaways
Competitions and product giveaways are a great way to engage your followers. And to achieve a marketing goal. Do you want to build your following? Or get new email subscribers? Or get people to sign up to your app? Ask followers to share, comment or sign up in order to enter your competition.
6. Showcase User Generated Content
When you’ve built up a bit of an Instagram following, encourage users to post their own images related to your products or brand. They just need to tag you or use an interactive brand hashtag (more on this later).
You can then track down these images and use them yourself. Upload the very best images to your regular feed. And put less professional images into your stories. (Always credit the original poster and get their permission first.)
User-generated content makes content creation much easier. You’ve got a load of images to use without having to take your own photos. It also gives an air of authenticity, which is always a winner with millennials and younger followers. And by showcasing your followers, you’re encouraging others to engage and post their own images in the hope of being featured too.
7. Use Hashtags
Hashtags allow users to find Instagram content related to the same theme. They’re a way to categorise your posts so users (and the Instagram algorithm) can discover them more easily.
Find hashtags related to your brand and products by searching through competitor and industry influencer posts. Then add relevant hashtags to your captions. Around nine is considered optimum.
You can also create your own interactive hashtag based around your brand name or a slogan. Followers can post their own content and use the tag, giving you free advertising in the process. Other users can then see all content related to that hashtag (and your brand) in the one place. And you have an easy way to track down reusable content too.
8. Create Shoppable Posts
Instagram has made it easier than ever to get followers that bit further down the sales funnel. Now they can look at products in your Instagram feed and click to instantly shop them on your website. Once you’ve enabled your account with the shop function you can add tags to your product photos. Followers can learn more about products and see your related items without even leaving Instagram. Then when they’re ready to part with their cash, it’s just one more click to the product page on your website.
9. Create Sponsored Ads
As with all the big social media networks, throwing a little cash at Instagram will boost your profile. You can select a budget and your target audience. Then promote a post to a much larger audience. This allows you to reach even users who aren’t currently following you.
There are so many Instagram marketing opportunities available to brands. Whatever time or budget you have available, spend a little on improving your Instagram game. It’s a seriously impressive marketing tool, allowing you to get your brand out there, engage with potential customers and even sell your products.
Do you have any Instagram marketing tips? What has worked for you and your brand?
Header image from Darlings of Chelsea