By now, we all know that the best social media strategies are ones that have consistent follower growth, engagement, and likes/clicks. And Instagram is one of the best...
Instagram marketing takes time, but it's well worth it because Instagram has turned out to be one of the most popular social media apps, one that consists of users that are highly engaged. Which means it's the perfect platform for marketing AND to build your brand because the huge user base is quite active. As business or brand, it makes a lot of sense to tap into it. However, this also means that Instagram is can be somewhat competitive when it comes down to it. But with a well-planned marketing strategy, your business has the ability to get the right kind of exposure.
By now you've probably figured out that we are huge fans of Instagram. And for good reason! With over 300 million active monthly users, Instagram is seriously the best app for any type of brand or business (bloggers too!). But all those users means that you have to approach marketing in a different way than you would with other social media platforms. Most importantly, you NEED to create an engaged community. This step is crucial for business owners and brands alike. After all, your followers can become your biggest supporters and future clients. It's time to get your Instagram community engaged and excited about what YOU have to offer. Below are ten tips that will do just that...
INSTAGRAM MARKETING TIPS THAT GET RESULTS
Step 1: Switch To A Business Profile
Yes, Instagram has business profiles! There are a lot of benefits to having one too.
- Like with a personal account, followers can visit your website through your Instagram profile. But with a business account, they can click on the contact button in order to get in touch with you.
- Get access to Instagram's analytics tool: Insights. You can see statistics like impressions and reach for your content.
- You can easily create and publish Instagram ads WITHOUT Facebook's advertising tools.
- You'll increase the chances of your content being seen by your followers in their news feeds.
The switch might seem like a simple step, but it really makes a world of difference in terms of marketing for your brand or business. We'll touch on what your bio should contain towards the end of the article.
Step 2: Study Your Followers
You really need to know who your audience is. It makes marketing a lot easier. It also doesn't hurt to find out how to gain Instagram followers fast. When you do, you won't waste your time and effort on posts or captions that fall flat to your followers. It's important that your efforts resonate with them. Beautiful photos and witty captions won't do you any good if your audience doesn't care about it. One of the best tools is to know more official stats about your followers.
Iconosquare can help. It gives you information on when your audience is most active, which photos are most liked, and what your audience comments on the most. These types of statistics can help you tell if there's a disconnect between you and your followers in regards to what or when you post something.
Step 3: Have a Firm Content Strategy
A solid content strategy is crucial to the success of your Instagram marketing efforts. Because without useful and relevant content, you'll have a hard time getting the attention of your target audience. Therefore you need to know beforehand what type of content you will post in order to send it in the right direction.
For example, if you want to grow more awareness about your products, your posts should lean towards a more product-based approach. If it isn't about the product, you might showcase the culture of your brand and give followers a behind the scenes look at how things operate. You can even focus on having a mixture of content created in-house and user-generated content. Yes, content is important, but it's also necessary to brand your Instagram.
Step 4: Partner With Targeted Influences
Now that you know your followers, it's a good idea to seek out influencers that are synonymous with your target audience. If you want to reach your potential customers, you really need to consider leveraging influencers who have already done the hard work and have built their audience. Here's why: people will buy products and services based on the content of their Instagram feed. Therefore it only makes sense to partner with the right influencers to get your brand seen.
So what exactly is an Instagram influencer? They are users who have a large and loyal follower base that trusts their recommendations. However, in order to make your influencer marketing campaign successful, you have to choose to partner with influencers who have a highly relevant audience.
Ultimately, it's best to forget about short-term gains and direct sales for your campaign. Instead, you need to focus your efforts on a long-term marketing strategy with the help of influencers within your niche. Most of all, you really need to build strong brand awareness with an audience. Consequently with one that is likely to do business with you. Luckily, it isn't that hard to advertise your business on Instagram.
Step 5: Ask Your Followers Questions
People love it when you value their thoughts and opinions. Since the best way to create an engaged community is to ENGAGE with them, you need to ask questions! So ask your followers how their day is. Take a photo of what you're working on and ask for their opinions. Ask them anything in order to get them to talk. It might feel awkward at first but just try it. You might be surprised with the results.
For example, if you travel anywhere ask your followers if they've ever been there and what recommendations they have for you. This works great for smaller brands and bloggers as well. This one is a total win-win because you get to hear about fun places to explore and get your Instagram followers engaged with you.
Although, you need to remember this important aspect. If your followers take the time to connect with you, you need to connect with THEM too. If people ask you a question about something on Instagram, you need to answer them back. Chat with everyone if you can. This shows that you care about them and appreciate their support. Think of it this way, if someone asked you a question in real life, would you ignore them? Hopefully, your answer is no. The same rules apply to social media. If you're interested, not too long ago, we shared six killer ways to engage with your Instagram's audience.
Step 6: Track the Right Metrics
Really the first step to improving your Instagram marketing is to know how it performs. Once you know what you're doing and have measurable results, you can boost your efficiency. But it's important that you track the right metrics in order to get the most of your efforts.
1. Follower Growth Rate. The number of followers you have might be considered a vanity metric. However, the growth rate isn't. You really need to keep an eye on the growth rate in order to see how your content or posting frequency makes a difference.
2. Engagement Rate. You need to measure your engagement rate - that includes likes and comments. When you measure these types of engagement, it will give you a better idea of how you should change things (if any) and what steps to take. Your goal is to find out the average engagement percentage for the total amount of followers and the number of likes per post.
3. URL Click-through Rates. The URL click-through tracking on Instagram is linked to your Instagram bio. Therefore it's crucial to know how many of those people actually click through to your URL. Why? Because it all leads to conversion.
Whenever you monitor the above metrics, along with other metrics like the growth of hashtags and hashtag interaction, it can help you market your business more effectively.
Step 7: Find Something That Sets You Apart
There are a million blogs and twice as many brands out there. All of which are already on Instagram. So you really need to set yourself apart from the rest. And most importantly, you need to offer something of value to your audience. Let's say you're a food blogger, maybe you can share a super quick dinner recipe, one that you normally wouldn't share on your blog. The goal is to give your audience a reason to return to your account again and again. You also need to be consistent and knowledgeable on Instagram. This type of approach leads to success and attracts an audience that is 100% interested in what you have to say.
Sometimes it can be little hard to figure out what that "special something" is. In that case, you should try to be more specific. It's difficult to find what makes you unique if you think in really broad terms. Think about ONE thing you can do and put all of your focus into it.
Step 8: Be Quick With the Hashtags
A few Instagram updates ago, you were able to be incredibly strategic with your hashtags. Your photos would post to the grid of that hashtag whenever you added the tag. This made it possible to add the same hashtags to your photos over and over. Which brought new eyes and new followers to your account. Now, you really only have one chance to get your photo noticed before it gets lost. Therefore you have to be fast with your hashtags. The goal is to be seen live by people who tag the exact same thing.
All of those different hashtags can be a pain to remember. Especially when you have exact ones for specific photos. Over time you'll notice which hashtags work and which ones don't. It's a good idea to keep a note on your phone with all of your hashtags broken down for each type of photo. That way you can easily copy and paste them into a comment without having to retype and remember each time you post an image.
For example, you could have a set of hashtags that are perfect for all of your lifestyle photos, one for food, or one for fashion. Whatever it is that you post, make sure your hashtags perfectly complement that photo. You don't want to make the mistake of using hashtags that aren't relevant to the photo you're posting. Using the right hashtag means that it will generate more likes. But more on that in a second...
Just remember that the first few seconds after you post your photo are the most important time to bring in new years. Otherwise, the photo gets lost.
Step 9: Use Hashtag Strategically
Every social media marketer knows the value of hashtags and the huge role they play in being seen. But as I mentioned earlier, you need to make sure you use relevant hashtags. The key to success on Instagram is to you use them strategically. This way you'll get more people to see your content, connect to your brand, and improve the overall reach. Outside of the everyday hashtags (like #simpleliving, #foodie, #fromwhereistand, #finditliveit, #welltraveled, etc), there are two main types of Instagram hashtags that you need to focus on in order to get the most of your hashtags:
- Brand or Campaign Specific Hashtags - These are created to promote YOUR business on Instagram and no one else's. A brand hashtag is typically your company name or slogan and a campaign hashtag for the campaigns you run. Either way, make sure your hashtags are unique, catchy and easy to remember. You also want to make sure it isn't already in use.
- Content Hashtags - You use these with content that is relevant to the photos you post. They are a great way to help your target audience find your content. These hashtags might look simple, but they are essential for more and more people to discover you. Just make sure that you don't overload your posts with a ton of hashtags.
Step 10: Create A Strong Bio
When you create a killer bio, it makes a huge difference in how you get noticed by others. Your Instagram bio should clearly explain what you do and get people to take action. I'm sure that most of you already have an awesome bio, but it doesn't hurt to check-in on it every once in awhile. Especially if you have a new Instagram Business account (which we suggest you do). Make sure the following parts of your bio are taken care of:
- Profile photo - the photo you use should be relevant to your brand or company.
- Username - choose the right username for your Instagram, it's searchable and matters more than you might think. Usernames that are easy to remember or spell win over the complicated ones.
- Website - the site you link to from your bio should not be random. It should be a link that will lead users to more information.
- Call-to-action buttons - With an Instagram Business account, you have the option to use an additional call-to-action link such as call, email, etc. Take advantage of this feature and use the right call-to-action for your brand or business.
Whatever you do, take some time to craft a quality business bio. Because honestly, it really will make a difference.
We hope these tips help you with your Instagram marketing journey. Now we'd like to hear from you! What has helped you create a more engaged Instagram following? Will you be using any of these tips? Let us know in the comments below, so we can discuss.