In early 2017, Instagram boasted 600 million accounts with 300 million active daily users. The platform continues to grow. The platform continues to grow with an estimated worth of over $50 billion!
If you own a business, you know the value of a website. You understand Facebook. But are you familiar with Instagram? Instagram marketing is another powerful tool in the social media toolbox. Don’t be left out by not owning an account.
Read on to learn more about one of the best advertising platforms for launching your products.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a social media platform meant for sharing photos and videos on mobile devices. Like Facebook, the user has a newsfeed. An engaged user scrolls through his newsfeed in search of content.
Content can be found passively be scrolling or actively by searching.
Users may see Instagram on the desktop but can only post on a mobile device such as an iPhone or Android.
When you post content to your account, it will be shown in your profile. Users who follow your account can see your photo or video as they scroll their newsfeed.
Instagram marketing is a great way to find new customers and contacts.
Instagram is a visual marketing tool that relies on great photos that appeal to your target audience.
Instagram marketing is much more than posting photos on your Instagram profile. Like any other type of marketing, there are strategies that work and those that don’t.
Social media marketing is here to stay, so it’s important to get educated.
Don’t think you can post any photos to your account and gain customers. Instagram marketing requires engagement from your followers.
You need to learn how to find those followers and get them to engage with likes, comments, and profile visits.
Don’t Forget Your Profile!
First, download the app and set up your account. Be sure and make it a business account.
Decide on your Instagram handle – that’s the name of your account. For most people, that’s the easiest part, but not always. It’s best if you can name your account with your company name.
If your name is your brand, then name the account after yourself.
Fill out your entire profile. This is important. The graphic in the corner of your profile is small, so it needs to be uncomplicated and easy to identify.
If this is a company account, use the company logo. If you’re the brand, then use an easy-to-see photo of yourself.
Think of your Instagram profile as an online magazine about your audience’s hopes, dreams, and fears. Who is your ideal client and what are you selling them?
Identify the solution to your customer’s problem and mention it in the profile.
Don’t forget to include a link to your website in your Instagram profile!
Develop a Brand Strategy
To engage in Instagram marketing, develop a strong brand strategy. This is vital to your success. If your product has specific colors, create a strategy around that color profile.
See your photos in harmony with the photos that surround it. Aim for a specific aesthetic that’s in line with your company style. Stick to that aesthetic.
Satisfy your followers’ expectations.
Know Your Hashtags
What’s a hashtag?
It’s the pound (#) sign before a word. On Instagram, the words after the hashtag are categories. People search categories to find specific types of photos or products.
Hashtags are how people find you!
If you post photos without hashtags, you limit your account growth.
Hashtags are vital to Instagram marketing. If you try to post more than 30 hashtags, the comment won’t post, so keep it to 30 or less.
Use as many relevant hashtags as you can. This requires some research, but it’s worth it!
For instance, if you’re a photographer, use #photographer in your posts. Then dig deeper and find hashtags that are relevant to your exact business, such as #weddingphotographer.
Quality, Quality, Quality
Your followers will expect a certain quality from your account. If you fail to deliver, your followers will unfollow you. It’s more important to have quality than quantity. However, you need to post on a consistent basis.
You don’t have to post 10 photos a day, but you should post at least one. If you can post two or three that’s great. But, don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
Stick to a Publishing Schedule
Instagram marketing is similar to other types of social media marketing. Consistency is good.
It’s best to stick to a regular publishing schedule.
If you have your photos ready to go, but you find it’s tough to stick to a schedule, try an app like Hootsuite. Hootsuite helps with scheduling posts.
Don’t Forget Instastories
At the top of your home feed, you’ll see small round profiles under the word “Stories.” This is a great way to get people to come to your page.
The stories are always at the top of the feed, so creating stories on a regular basis, means your followers will see your brand or company right at the top when they go to their homepage.
Make sure you learn how to use stories and post to them on a daily basis if possible.
Follow, Like, and Comment
Don’t forget to spend some time on Instagram! Be a member of the community by following other accounts. Follow accounts that follow you – it’s called “follow back.”
Take time to scroll through your Instagram feed and like and comment on photos. This helps with engagement.
Run a Contest
Contests are a great way to help build a following. Host a photo contest and give a prize for the best entry. Be sure and hashtag #contest and other relevant hashtags.
Advertise the contest on your other social media accounts, like Facebook. Once you have a winner and award the prize, be sure and post a photo of the winner.
Don’t Be Afraid to Regram Content
If you have great content, you’ll find others sharing it by reposting.
If someone reposts your content, be sure and share their post on your account too. This brings additional users to your account.
Regramming is done manually by taking a screenshot, or through a third-party app.
If you find original content that you think would be a great addition to your feed, ask if you can repost it.
A simple question in the comments usually does the trick, “Hey, great shot! Would you mind if we repost?” It’s a good idea to get permission.
If you take a screenshot and post to your account, be sure and give credit to the photographer and the account where you got the content. Also be sure and tag the person or account.
Share Tagged Posts
Sometimes other users tag you in a post. If the tagged photo is in line with your brand, be sure and share the tagged photo to your account. As with regramming, be sure and give credit to the person who originally posted the photo.
You can tag other accounts in your photos as well. This practice also brings additional followers to your account.
Rewarding your followers is a great way to keep people checking your account.
Do you provide a product? Offer a discount coupon or a discount code for your website. A weekly or monthly reward is a great way to keep people coming back for more.
Know Your Analytics
When it comes to Instagram marketing, don’t let analytics scare you. It’s important that you understand your followers, and Instagram analytics are a great help.
Go to your profile and tap on the bars in the upper right-hand corner next to your account name.
This brings up an area called “Insights.” You’ll see how many followers you have and how many posts you’ve put on your profile.
Scroll down to see helpful information. Instagram shows the number of impressions by day. Swipe to the left on the impressions section to see your reach. Swipe again to see the number of profile views by day.
Swipe one more time and you’ll see how many people have clicked through to your website!
Continuing down the screen, you’ll see what percentage of your followers are male and female. You’ll also see what age group most of your followers are in and what city they’re from.
Under the “Followers” section of your insights, click on the “See More” link. This breaks down your insights further.
You can look at each day of the week to see what hours your followers are on Instagram. This takes your Instagram marketing to a new level because you can target the exact hours your followers are using the app.
Click on “days” to see what day most of your users are engaging. Be sure and check the insights on a regular basis to make sure you’re publishing schedule makes sense.
You’re Ready to Tackle Instagram Marketing!
It may seem complicated, but your business needs Instagram and other social media platforms as part of your marketing strategy.
Instagram continues to grow. Ignore it at your peril. If you don’t have an Instagram account, get one today!
Get working on your photos and content ideas so you don’t get left behind.
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