If your business is not on Instagram today, you should have a good reason. If you’re selling physical products, doing business, or want people to recognize your brand, it’s time to open an account.
The social network is too popular to ignore. It’s in the hands of your buyers – via their phones – wherever they are.
Instagram is now part of our lives. This is crucial for many companies.
You could be one of them. That means you need an Instagram marketing strategy and it has to be good.
To get you started, we’ve put together these 8 tips to help you get more out of Instagram. Regardless of whether you’re brand new or have been using the gram for years, you’ll find plenty of valuable information.
You do not have time for the full post? Download our 8 keys as a checklist!
And now for tip number 1!
1. Understand your audience
This is important, no matter what marketing you produce. You may create the most beautiful Instagram content in the world. But if he does not talk to your target customer, what is it?
Take time to find out who your existing audience is and think about who you want to be. Since you use Instagram for marketing, you need to consider whether they are potential buyers or whether you can build your brand in some way.
So how can you learn more about your audience?
Try Instagram Insights:
We talked about Facebook Insights in an earlier post. Facebook owns Instagram and they have introduced a similar tool to help users of the image network.
The tool provides some interesting insights (hence the name) into the people who follow your account and interact with it. These include:
Impressions: How often was your content viewed?
Reach: Total number of unique accounts that have content displayed
Website clicks: How many clicks did the link get in your company profile?
Follower Activity: How often are your followers on Instagram every day
Video views: How often was your video content viewed?
Saves: How many people have your posts saved Insights also includes demographic information so you can see where your followers come from, how old they are, and what gender they have.
This will give you lots of information about your existing Instagram audience. But what if you want to attract new followers?
Use a hearing aid
Social Listening shows you conversations in social media. That includes Instagram. A good listening tool tells you on Instagram what people are saying about your brand or industry.
If you’re trying to attract new Instagram users, you need to know why they’re ticking. Monitor Instagram for keywords that are important to you. This may mean that you or your competitors have created hashtags or other terms that are specific to your industry.
Look for images and content styles that have proven popular, and consider creating similar content.
What’s important is that you know what Instagram users are good at, so you can produce profitable content yourself. This makes social-listening tools like Mention an indispensable Instagram marketing software.
2. Talk to them, not to them
Social media marketing is no excuse to only spam your followers with sales material. It is important that you try to reach as many followers as possible.
On the one hand, your company feels more human and less entrepreneurial. The more users share and comment on your content, the easier it is for new users to find it. Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes more engaging content and you want to appear in as many feeds as possible.
Here are some great ways to encourage interaction.
Share her pictures
You work hard to build your following, and you want to keep it. This means showing appreciation when they publish great content themselves. And if you prove that you listen to your audience and want their feedback, you can create a better image for your brand.A good example is the Swiss watchmaker SEVENFRIDAY. They ask the fans to share photos of them wearing their SEVENFRIDAY watches on holiday or in the car to show the product in action. The result is a huge collection of free marketing pictures of their biggest fans.seven friday-surf user-generated-content.jpg-largeSEVENFRIDAY even places these images in its online store to inspire potential buyers.
User-generated content like this is a strong endorsement for future buyers. When they see that other people love your products, they are more likely to buy themselves.
Note: Do not be afraid to republish your followers’ pictures with credits. “Reprogramming” shows that you are listening and helps to promote some of your listeners to others. You will appreciate the help and may share your product with followers in the future.
The best way to get interaction from your audience is to ask. And one of the easiest ways to do that is through contests. People love the opportunity to respond, and a little healthy competition adds a lot.
Easy Instagram contests include:
“Caption” “Share a time in which …” “Tell us how you feel about this picture.”
Ask your audience about their creativity and make sure you share the best answers.
Make sure you use a unique hashtag for each contest to easily track the answers. Speaking of hashtags …
This post is long. Just take the checklist!
3. Use relevant hashtags
Hashtags allow you to “organize and categorize images and video content” to make it easier to find content. They provide an easy way to tag your content to make it easier for others to find it.
They range from generic drugs – #love has been the most widely used hashtag since 2017 – to very, very specific. And they are so popular on Instagram that they are essentially compulsory. If you want users to find your content, you’ll need to use hashtags.
Here are some tried and tested hashtag methods:
Do not overdo it: Five targeted hashtags are better than 25 random ones.
Avoid Overused Tags: Adding #love or #instagood is next to no good.
No spam: Keep it relevant to the image.
From there, you have two main options when selecting hashtags for your posts:
These are hashtags that anyone can use, depending on the content of an image. “#Sunset” comes to mind, as well as “#food” and “#wine”. But honestly, these examples are so broad that it can be difficult to be noticed with them.
Instead, try to find niche hashtags in your industry. This increases your chances of winning the ideal audience for your content.
A quick Google search brings you lists of niche hashtags by industry. Postplaner has a nice list, for example Soldsie.
If you want to be more creative, see which hashtags your existing followers use. This is a smarter way to find the right people.
When you start an Instagram campaign, a brand hashtag is a must. This applies to competitions, influencer shoutouts (read more) or new product launches.
Branded hashtags are specific tags that apply only to your brand. This may be your brand name, the name of a product or person, or something special that you have created for your campaign.
For example, SEVENFRIDAY used “#SEVENFRIDAYTOUR” to track conversations and split images as they traveled through Britain in 1969 in an Airstream trailer:
Brand hashtags are much easier to track as they are almost always used to talk about your own brand. Track the reach of your hashtags during a campaign to see if the campaign was successful.
In this way, you can also compare multiple campaigns to see which strategy was more effective. If one hashtag received twice as many mentions as the other, this campaign was the winner!
4. Know when to post
A recent survey found that the best time to post on Instagram is between 7pm and 9pm. It’s easy – just post all your photos!will mention smith instagram marketing
If that seems too easy, it’s because it’s so. Not only can you rely on a few votes – your audience is not necessarily engaged when it comes to those others. Instead, try to find the best post times for your target audience if you know they are attentive.
To do this, you’ll need a social listening tool that monitors Instagram’s engagement. These record your Instagram posts and tell you which ones perform best based on the date and time.If you’re not ready yet, here are some Instagram marketing tips from the Later team:
Going for free hours (lunch and dinner)
Weekends if you are a B2C company; probably not for B2B
On Wednesdays and Thursdays it seems to be best to get engaged
3-4pm is generally the worst for the engagement
In the end, a little research is needed to figure out what works best for you. Monitor your posts – and those of your competitors – for an optimal booking plan for your account.
5. Create beautiful graphics
Posting great content is always critical to social media marketing. It’s what makes them engage in your brand and keeps coming back to do more.
In other social networks, this can mean sharing links, posting interesting articles, and starting conversations. On Instagram it starts and ends with pictures. The entire network was created so people can share their photos.
This is especially true if you sell products online. According to one study, 93% of purchase decisions are based on visual appearance. Good pictures are so crucial.
How can you not only make great photos, but also make your Instagram content more attractive?
Choose a theme:
The best Instagram accounts usually have a specific theme or tone. You need something that inspires or intrigues your followers, and not just your products.
For example, Under Armor uses the hashtag #IWILL, and its posts almost always refer to the physical overcoming of obstacles.
The followers of Under Armor get inspirational messages and get some branded ads from time to time.
Regardless of your niche, try to find a common theme for your Instagram account.
Change the style and theme
As mentioned earlier, you can not just share photos of your products and hope that customers will buy them. Your followers shut down quickly and you’re unlikely to win new ones.
Instead, you want to vary the type of content you share to keep your followers happy and interested.
To give you some ideas, here are 6 content types that work well courtesy of AdEspresso:
User-generated content (UGC)
Look behind the scenes
DIY projects and creative solutions (with your products)
Influencer Content (more soon)
Competitions and freebies
Quotes are also always popular and do not even require an original photo. Put an interesting quote on a nice background, and users will like to share.
Help with tools
Not all of us are design geniuses. And the good news is that you do not have to. Nathan Chan, Foundr Magazine’s CEO, recommends relying on the variety of apps that help you publish better pictures.
Foundr beautifies his posts with Wordswag, Phonto and Typorama. Other popular options are Canva and Piktochart.
Here is a nice list of 13 tools that help you create better image content.
6. Add calls-to-action
Call-to-action (CTAs) tell the user what to do. Here is an example:
Regardless of whether users should download content, visit or buy your website, you need to be aware of it. A good CTA will tell you what to do next.
On Instagram, this can be a bit tricky. The network allows only one link – the one in your biography. So you can not insert links into captions, comments or the image itself. And how can you create a CTA without a link?
Smart marketers have developed some strategies:
“Link in bio”
We’re all probably tired of seeing it, but if you have just one link, you’ll have to get users to click on it. The easiest way is to tell them where to find more information – the link in your biography:
Since you can not insert a link into the image, give the users all the additional information they need. What can they buy, where can they buy it and why should they (what’s the benefit)?
Promo codes are perfect because you can easily track them. Whenever someone buys with your Instagram code, you know the source of the sale. Although you can not track the link so easily, you still know where the buyer came from.
Like vs comment
This strategy also works on Facebook and Twitter. Conduct a quick poll with your followers and have them either “like” or “comment.” This is a simple way to increase engagement for your profile and does not require much effort.
Alternatively, you can ask users to choose “A” or “B” in the comments section. When selling shoes, let your followers choose their favorite color. If you are a university, let them choose their favorite uniform for the basketball team.
Make it fun and arouse interest. Most importantly, help followers to do what you expect them to do. Show them how to share your content. If you want them to buy, make it clear and easy.
7. Tell stories
If you’re an Instagram user, you already know the Stories feature. It’s at the top of the follower’s feed, displaying multiple posts in a row by the same user.
For marketers, this is a wonderful gift. You do not have to try to convey your entire message in a single image, you can string together several to tell a story.
What are stories?
Stories differ in some ways from your usual Instagram posts:
These pictures flow in a slide show from one to the next
Each picture is deleted after 24 hours
Since the pictures are displayed in full screen mode, there are no subtitles
Other users can not see any comments
And you do not have to worry about showing up in the feeds of your followers. All the stories are at the top of the app, and users can scroll through them to find the ones they like.
Some best practices
Stories can help brands show personality, or they can narrate their products. Followers see your pictures in the order you want. That makes them stories!
Here are a few tips for first-class stories:
Offer something else: Do not just merge your usual Instagram content. Show brief glimpses or glimpses of the “day in the life” to make this content feel special.
Focus on the narrative: Try to give the stories a beginning, a middle and an end. Introduce a person, place, or product, draw the user’s attention, and then hit them with a killer CTA.
Being Informal: Stories tend to be more intimate and less tidy than other Instagram content. That does not mean that they can look rude – quite the contrary – but you can show the human side of your brand here.
Try a takeover: Have a talented employee take over the day’s account and create their own story. Or, if you have good connections, a well-known influencer is even better.
If you’re lucky enough to have a verified account, you can even add links to stories. This provides great CTAs where the user just has to swipe up to get to your website.
Take this opportunity to create a different kind of content. Combine your carefully composed Ti