There are over 8 million business profiles on Instagram, making the app a hub for brands. Instagram marketing is a necessity, not only because it is a useful tool for many businesses, but also because it is growing more popular and being used by an array of people from a wide list of demographics.
However, with all the noise and competition on Instagram, it is difficult to stand out. This is why we highly recommend an Instagram marketing strategy, one that will help you reach your business objectives.
Here are 10 Instagram marketing tips that can be used to form a strategy that will work:
Switch to Business Profile
First and foremost, make sure that you have an Instagram Business Account. This is an easy switch to make if you have a current profile. Head to your settings and click on “Switch to Business Profile" to get started.
There are several advantages to switching to a business profile, such as users being able to contact you easily with a contact button. Rather than having to have someone contact your business through the website, they can now contact you via Instagram.
If you are investing in advertising, you will be happy to know that with a business profile, you can create and publish Instagram ads without needing to use Facebook's advertising tool. In addition, you can access Instagram analytics tool called Insights, and look at stats regarding the impressions and reach of your posts.
Use Free Instagram Tools
Instagram offers numerous free tools such as Insights. Through Insights, you can view statistics like impressions, engagement data, and more. You can also receive a breakdown of your followers demographics, including information such as age, gender, location and most active hours.
Your insights are not simply generalized, they can be broken down for the week to show you how many impressions you earned for that time period, and what your top posts were. These free tools have the ability to help you understand how your users are engaging with the content that you publish. Ultimately, this gives you the upper hand by allowing you to adjust your consent to boost your engagement.
Post Product Teasers
Nowadays, you can post product teasers and sell more products than ever before. Instagram is a great place to advertise, without annoying your users as easily or scaring them off by being too pushy. If you are too pushy, you will lose followers. However, product teasers are a great way to talk about your product and add hype without it looking like you are trying too hard. For example, Starbucks teases their audience by announcing seasonal drinks with sharp imagery and without trying to force people to buy them. This can work in almost every industry!
Create Sponsored Ads
Instagram ads are now a common form of advertising. The best part is, you can control how much you want to spend on them by setting an ad budget. It allows you to showcase one sponsored ad or multiple ads with the carousel feature. Before sponsored posts, only users who were following your account could see your updates and photos. Now, brands can promote their photos to anyone that fits their target audience.
Keep in mind that there are many forms of sponsored ads that you can post, such as:
- Carousel/Dynamic Ads
Use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories will help you generate leads, because they differ from regular Instagram posts. They come in a slideshow format, similar to Snapchat. They are only live for 24 hours, but can be saved to any of your devices and reused at a later date. Rather than appearing in the news feed, Instagram Stories appear in a small area above it.
The benefits of Instagram Stories are truly endless. Your business can have Stories that are displayed at the top of follower timelines where users already look daily, allowing them to notice your brand and increase the likelihood of interacting. Many brands are using Instagram to capture behind-the-scenes insider posts that may not be as high-quality regular posts.
There are many types of features you can use when publishing content to your Instagram Stories, such as photos, short video, rewind video, live video, or Boomerangs. Tools such as Canva or InVideo are useful to create beautiful images and videos for your stories.
Most importantly, you can tag other accounts in your Stories, making it great for collaborating with another brand or influencer.
Partner with Influencers
Influencer marketing is something to take advantage of, if you aren't already. If you want to reach prospective customers on Instagram, the fastest way to do that is through influencers. They already have a large following and a loyal audience, making it easy for them to promote a product or service. People trust influencers more than they trust brands, and if you partner with the right influencer, you can get your brand out in front of the right users.
There are also long-term benefits when it comes to influencers. If you build a relationship with each influencer, you will build lasting brand awareness with a new audience. Keep in mind, your existing customers might not be influencers, but you can use their posts to influencer people to buy your product or service simply by collecting user-generated content.
Collect User-Generated Content
Many brands are turning to user-generated content when they do not want to do any of the hard work. It is smart, and effective. You have an engaged audience, whether it is a few hundred people our thousands of people. You can leverage your existing audience in order to generate more useful content for you, and your followers will probably enjoy user-generated content even more than they enjoy yours because it is authentic.
If you are going to take advantage of user-generated content let them know that you’ll tag them in your post if you choose their photo to re-gram, then they’ll have an incentive to post user-generated content on a consistent basis. That way it’s a win-win for you and your customers!
Interactive Branding Hashtag
Perhaps you are looking to create engagement. Interactive hashtags are a great way to do it, and it allows you to promote user-generated content. Users will post content that uses your hashtag, and then you can easily search through the images and choose which one you might want to re-post. If you’re looking to create instant engagement, interactive hashtags are the way to go!
Post at the Correct Times
You do NOT want to turn off your existing followers, and force them to unfollow you due to annoyance. If all they see if your brand on their news feed, they will likely unfollow you as fast as possible. However, you do want to post on a regular basis in order to stay in their news feed regularly. We highly recommend only posting during peak days and hours.
According to SimplyMeasured, the worst days to post on Instagram are Wednesdays and Sundays, while Mondays and Thursdays are the best days to post. And according to research from CoSchedule, the best times of day to post are between 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM, as well as 2:00 AM.
Track the Right Metrics
In order to improve your Instagram performance (which is the goal) you need to know how well your page and posts are performing (or underperforming). Begin by tracking your follower growth rate. The total amount of followers you have is commonly seen as a vanity metric, but your follower growth rate isn’t. This allows you to see how the kind of content you're posting (or your posting frequency) is affecting your follower count. You can use tools such as Influencer Dashboard to track your follower growth rate.
Next, measure your engagement rating, which will include likes and comments. Determine the average engagement percentage of your total followers, as well as the average engagement rate of each post, in order to get a clear picture of how your page is performing.
If you have a smaller following, you should have a higher engagement rating. Last but not least, you should track your URL click-through rate. If you do not already have a link to our website in your Instagram bio, add one ASAP.