With over 700 million monthly active users on Instagram, today’s businesses are presented with a huge opportunity to market their products and services to a more targeted and interested audience without spending a fortune on paid advertising. Instagram users are shoppers, and shoppers usually turn to social media for references. Social media has been proven to influence purchase decisions.
To stay on top of the game, your company must have a solid social media marketing strategy. If your business has not taken Instagram marketing into consideration, it is time to do so. Instagram marketing is incredibly beneficial to your business. This post covers everything you need to know about Instagram marketing for businesses.
You need to set up an Instagram account for your business, if you have not gotten around to it. Here are ways to optimise your business’ Instagram profile:
Be consistent with your usernames. Your Instagram username should match the usernames of your profiles on other social media platforms to help with discoverability.
Your description is very personal to your brand. The content in the bio section should reflect your business and show your followers what your business is about. Most businesses tend to include their brand slogan/tagline, or a brief description of the business.
- Profile photo
Your Instagram profile photo is one of the most important elements of your Instagram profile. It is also the best way to showcase your branding on Instagram. Your profile photo can be your company’s logo, or mascot. This should also match your other profile photos so that users can instantly recognise your brand.
Unfortunately, Instagram does not allow you to add links to the individual posts. Instead, you get to add one link in your profile. Businesses normally use this link to drive traffic back to their homepage. This link can also be used to drive traffic from Instagram to certain landing pages.
- Following people
To jumpstart your business’ Instagram presence, you will want to follow some Instagram users. This may include industry influencers, customers or anyone relevant to your brand. It is important that you know exactly who you are trying to target. You can also make your presence known by commenting on photos and following users who participate in discussions.
Add your Instagram handle to your web properties and other social media platforms for cross-promotion. You can send a couple of messages asking your existing followers on other platforms to also follow you on Instagram.
Creating A Content Strategy
Once your Instagram profile is sorted, it’s time to start creating and posting content.
Content is the heart of Instagram. Therefore, content should be at the core of your marketing strategy. It is good to have a clear vision for the type of content you intend to put out.
- Build your content pillars.
Every business has a wealth of content opportunities to share on Instagram. Examples of content pillars are:
– behind the scenes content
– user generated content
– product demonstrations or showcase
– educational content
– culture focused
– fun or light-hearted content
– customer testimonials
– lifestyle photos
– introduction/ get to know the team
You can then formulate ideas for your key content pillars. It is also important to put out content that is consistent, relevant, and of quality.
- Offer Promotions.
In addition to creating content, you can utilise Instagram to offer special promotions, exclusive announcements to followers, and bonuses. Users tend to follow Instagram accounts that offer perks and giveaways.
- Promote Events.
Instagram’s geo-tagging tool is actually very effective. You can use this tool to promote events by sharing the location and inviting followers who are near the area. Not only that, you can also Instagram at an industry event’s backstage. It offers exclusive content to your followers as they get to see it first.
Increase Your Following
The next thing you should focus on is how to reach a larger Instagram following. You need a strategy to get people to see your content and start following you.
The use of hashtags can help widen your discoverability. They also increase the shelf-life of your Instagram posts. If you do not know which hashtags to include, you can research popular and relevant hashtags using data analysis apps. You could even create your own hashtag, and encourage your followers to include it on their own photos. This builds engagement, and thus increases the number of followers you have.
- Instagram Ambassadors
You can create a team of ambassadors who share your products or services with their followers. Most consumers make purchases based on influencers’ reviews on social media. The more people sharing your brand, the more opportunities you have to convince customers to buy.
- Share Photos
You can also share your followers’ content that are relevant to your brand on your profile. Users feel honoured when a brand mentions them. These user-generated photos provide real-life lifestyle photos that can influence customer’s buying decision.
Build and Boost Engagement
To convert your followers into loyal paying customers, you need to build engagement with your followers. Here are some ways to do it:
– compose inviting captions
– hold contests
– respond to notifications
– shout out to followers
With Instagram marketing, you need to keep attracting new customers. The only way to optimise your Instagram and maintain growth is to analyse your success, research your audience, and repeat the content that works. It is also important to post content on a consistent schedule. You can utilise scheduling apps to avoid wasting time. Lastly, set realistic goals for Instagram engagement so you can track your growth.
As you progress with your Instagram marketing strategy, you will notice the trends and types of content that can help reach your goals. It is never easy to build a loyal, engaged following, but with the right approach and sufficient experimenting, you will find a great fit for your brand.