These days, if your company isn’t on Instagram, you’d better have a good excuse. It’s time to get an account if you sell some kind of physical product, whether you have stores, or if you want people to know your brand.
The social network is too popular to disregard. It’s in your buyers’ pockets-via their cameras-everywhere they go.
Instagram is now a part of our lives. And this is important for many companies.
Yours might be one of them.
Which means you ought to have a marketing plan for Instagram.
And this has got to be good.
— If you’re relatively new to Instagram, check out our detailed Instagram Marketing Guide for Beginners.
We’ve put together these 8 tips to get more out of Instagram to get you started. If you’re brand new or have been using the ‘Gram for years, there are tons of useful knowledge you can find.
- Comprise the audience
Whatever ads you make, that is critical. You may be producing the world’s finest Instagram material, but if it doesn’t appeal to your target customer, what’s the point?
Take the time to figure out who your target audience is, and think about who you want them to be. If you’re marketing with Instagram, you need to know whether they’re potential customers, or can help you develop your brand in a way.
And how can you get to know your audience more?
Seek Tips on Instagram
In an earlier post we spoke about Facebook Perspectives. Facebook owns Instagram, and has launched a related service to support picture network users.
The platform offers some insightful insights (hence the name) into the people who follow your account and communicate with it. Including:
Impressions: How many times you have seen your content
Reach: Total number of single accounts viewing a piece of content
Website clicks: How many clicks a connection has earned in your business profile
Activities for fans: How often your fans are on Instagram everyday
App views: How much you have seen your video content
Savings: How many users have your posts saved
Insights also provide demographic details, so you can see where your fans, their age and gender come from.
You will get a lot of information about your current Instagram audience with this. So what if you are trying to attract new followers?
Using a hearing aid
Social listening shows you engaging in social media discussions. That encompasses Instagram. A strong listening tool will tell you what people on Instagram are thinking about your brand or industry.
You need to learn what makes them tick if you’re trying to cater to new Instagram users. Instagram track for keywords which matter to you. That may mean hashtags produced by you or your rivals, or other words that directly apply to your industry.
Look for images and types of content that have proven popular, and suggest creating similar content.
is crucial is that you know well what Instagram users are reacting to, so you can build winning content yourself. That allows social communication tools such as Mention a must-have marketing app on Instagram.
- Speak to, not to, them
Social media marketing is no reason for spamming your followers with merely sales content. Trying to communicate as much as possible with followers is vitally necessary.
As one thing, it makes the company feel more individual, and less corporate. Also, the easier it is for new users to find it the more users share and comment on your posts. Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes content with higher interaction, and as many posts as possible you want to appear.
Here are some perfect ways to encourage contact.
You are working hard to build your following and you want to keep it around. That means showing gratitude while they themselves are posting great material. And when you prove that you are listening to your audience and want their input, you create a stronger brand identity.
The Swiss watchmaker SEVENFRIDAY is a prime example. They are asking fans to share pictures of them wearing their SEVENFRIDAY watches on vacation or in their cars, showing the product in motion. The effect is a large selection of pictures from their biggest fans for free marketing.
SEVENFRIDAY also places these pictures in their online shop, to give potential buyers inspiration.
Such user-generated content is a strong endorsement for potential purchasers. People are more likely to buy themselves when they see people buying the stuff.
Note: Don’t be afraid, with credit, to repost photos of your followers. “Regramming” demonstrates you are listening, and allows you to attract some of your audience. They will appreciate the support and in the future, they can continue to share your product with their followers.
The easiest way to get the audience to engage is to ask them for it. And one of the easiest ways of doing so is by competitions. People love the ability to answer and a bit of healthy competition goes a long way.
Easy contests on Instagram include:
“This image captioned”
“Think of a time when …”
“Tell us how you feel about that picture”
Ask the audience for their imagination and ensure the best answers are shared.
Make sure you use a special hashtag for each competition to keep track of responses quickly. And talk about hashtags …
- Using correct Hashtags
Hashtags help you to find content more easily by “organizing and categorizing images and video content” They’re a easy way of marking the material to make it easier for others to find.
We vary from the popular – as of 2017 # love is the most used hashtag – to the very, very unique one. And on Instagram, they’re so common that they’ve become practically mandatory. You need to use the hashtags if you want people to find your stuff.
Here are a few best practices on hashtags:
Don’t overdo it: Five hashtags are better than 25 hashtags.
Remove overused tags: It is as good as pointless to add # love or # instagood.
Don’t spam: keeping the picture important to them.
From there, when you select hashtags for your posts you have two key options:
They are hashtags which may be used by anybody, depending on the quality of an image. “# Sunset” comes to mind just as “# food” and “# wine” do. But, honestly, these examples are so specific that it might be difficult to consider using them.
Seek seeking niche hashtags within your industry instead. This improves the chances of bringing the content to the target audience.
A quick Google search will bring you lists of niche hashtags by industry. For starters, Postplanner has a nice list, just like Soldsie does.
If you want to be more innovative see what hashtags your current followers are using. That is a more insightful way to find the best people to cater to.
If you are launching a campaign on Instagram, a branded hashtag is a must. This refers to races, shouts by influencer (keep reading), or releases of new items.
Branded hashtags are tags which apply only to your brand. They could be your brand name, a product or person’s name or something exclusive you’ve created for your campaign.
SEVENFRIDAY, for example, used “# SEVENFRIDAYTOUR” to track conversations and exchanged photos as they traveled across the United Kingdom in an Airstream trailer from 1969:
Branded hashtags are much easier to track, since they are used to talking about your own brand almost always. Throughout a campaign track the scope of the hashtags to help determine if the campaign was a success.
It also helps you to compare many strategies to each other, to see which approach has been more successful. When one hashtag got twice as many mentions as the other, then the winner was that campaign!
- Where s to copy
A new survey showed the best time to post on Instagram was between 7-9pm. So that’s quick-just post all of your pictures!
When that sounds too easy, that is because it is so. You can’t depend on just a few surveys – when those others are, the audience doesn’t automatically get engaged. Instead, seek to find the best times for your target audience to write, because you know they pay attention.
To do so, you’ll want a social listening app that tracks communication with Instagram. These track your Instagram posts, then tell you which ones do the best according to date and time.
If you’re not ready for this, here are some of the team’s Instagram marketing tips at Later:
Shoot for non-work hours (lunch and evenings)
If you are a B2C client, weeksends; probably not for B2B
Wednesdays and Thursdays look perfect for engagement
In general, 3-4pm is the worst time for interaction
Ultimately it will take some testing to find out what works best for you. To arrive at an optimal posting schedule for your page, track your posts – and your competitors’.
- Build beautiful visuals
For the social media marketing, publishing great content is always important. What makes them engage with your brand is what makes them come back for more.
It can include exchanging connections on other social networks, writing informative articles and initiating conversations. It starts and ends with pictures on Instagram. It built the whole network to allow people to share their images.
It is especially true if you sell the goods online. According to one report, 93 per cent of buying process decisions are focused on visual appearance. So good photographs are vitally important.
Why do you make your Instagram content more appealing, besides taking excellent photos?
Pick a theme
The best Instagram accounts tend to have a theme or sound that underlies it. Beyond just your goods, you need something that encourages or intrigues followers. Under Armour, for example, uses the “# IWILL” hashtag, and the tweets almost always refer to the actual overcoming of obstacles.
Whatever your particular niche, try finding your Instagram account with an overall theme.
Shift theme and subject matter
You can’t just post pictures of your goods as we have mentioned, and hope that people will buy them. Your fans are expected to turn easily, so you are unlikely to draw new ones.
Instead, you want the material you post to vary, to keep your followers satisfied and interested.
Here are 6 forms of content that work well to give you some ideas, courtesy of AdEspresso:
User Produced Content (UGC)
Sneak look behind the scenes
DIY projects and innovative problem solving approaches (use of your products)
Contenu influencer (more on this soon)
Contests and rewards
Quote images are always popular as well, and they don’t even require an original photo. Put an interesting quote on a nice background, and users will be happy to share.
Use tools to help
We’re not just tech geniuses. And the good thing is you don’t have to be so. Nathan Chan, CEO of Foundr Magazine recommends that you rely on the multitude of apps out there to help you post better photos.
To beautify their posts Foundr uses Wordswag, Phonto, and Typorama. Other common choices include Piktochart and Canva.
Here’s a nice list of 13 tools that will help you create better content for your images.
- Add Calls to Effect
Call-to-action (CTAs) inform users what they want to do. Here’s an example: You need to be specific about whether you want users to download content, visit your website or purchase. A strong CTA has been asking them what to do next
That can be slightly tricky on Instagram. The network makes only one link-the one in your bio. And you can’t insert links in captions of photos, comments or the image itself. And how can you create a CTA, without a link?
Smart marketers have come up with a few strategies:
We’re probably all a little sick to see this, but if you just have one button to spare, you’ve got to get users to press it. The easiest way is to tell them where more details can be found-the connection in your bio:
Given that you can’t put a connection in the picture, provide users with all the other details they need. What should they buy, where can they buy it and why (what’s the benefit) would they purchase it?
Promo codes are perfect because you can easily track them. Each time anyone purchases with your Instagram code, you know the source of the sale. And while the connection can not be monitored as easily, you will still know where the buyer came from.
Want Where to Comment
On Facebook and Twitter, too, the strategy works well. Conduct a short survey with your followers and let them vote using either “like” or “comment.” It’s a easy way to increase your profile interaction and it doesn’t take much effort.
Alternatively, in the comments section, you may ask the users to pick “A” or “B.” If you sell shoes, get their favorite color selected by your followers. When you’re a College, let them pick their favorite basketball team jersey.
Make it interesting, and spark interest. Perhaps most of all, help your followers do exactly what they need to do. If you need them to share your content, show them how. If you want to buy them, make them simple and straightforward.
- Say tales
If you are an Instagram user, you’re probably familiar with the feature Stories. It sits at the top of the follower’s feed and lets them see several posts from the same user in a row.
That is a great gift for marketers. You don’t have to try to express your whole message in a single picture, you can string together many to tell a story.
Which is story?
Stories differ in a couple key ways from your usual Instagram posts:
Those photos flow in a slideshow from one to the next
Every image is deleted 24 hours later
There are no captions since the pictures are full-screen
Can’t see comments from other users
And you needn’t think about trying to appear higher in feeds from your fans. All Stories are located at the top of the list, so users can swipe through to find the ones they want.
Few Best Practices
Stories may help brands convey a certain personality, or add a narrative to their goods. Followers see the pictures in the order they want them to be. That makes them, well, tales!
Here are a few tips for first class stories: deliver something else: Don’t just string your regular Instagram posts together. Show sneak peeks or glimpses of “day in life” to make the content feel different.
Focus on the narrative: Seek to give a beginning, middle, and end to Tales. Place a human, location, or product in, pique the interest of the consumer, then knock them out with a CTA killer.
Be informal: Stories often appear to be more casual than other Instagram material, and less polished. That doesn’t mean they could look rough-far from it-but here you can demonstrate the human side of your brand.
Attempt a takeover: Let a young member of staff take care of the day’s account and create their own narrative. And, if you have strong contacts, better still is a well-known influencer.
If you’re fortunate enough to have your account checked, you can even add links to Tales. This makes for great CTAs, where you only need to swipe up to go to your tab.
Take advantage of this opportunity to work out a different content style. Balance your timeline images carefully composed with more off-the-cuff content on Story. For longer, this variety keeps your users paying attention, and hopefully sharing with their friends.
Time to dive into Marketing Instagram
Those were 8 great tips – and far too many words – to make your brand work better with Instagram. Now it is time for them to be put to use.
If you want just the highlights, grab our cheatsheet. It has all these tricks, without getting in the way of all those pesky terms.
Get it, print it out and share it wide and far!