Instagram has over a billion active users who log in every month.
To put that in perspective, every seventh person you meet has visited Instagram at least once in the last 30 days! With this kind of reach, the social media platform has become an oasis for marketers.
Case studies show that every 4 in 5 Instagram users follow a brand account. This means that, as a brand, it’s important for you to hop on the Instagram bandwagon. In this article, we will go through exactly what instagram is and some key ideas to help you propel your business to success.
Skip ahead to:
- What is Instagram marketing?
- Why is Instagram marketing important for your business?
- 10 Instagram ideas that can propel your business to success
What is Instagram marketing?
Simply put, Instagram marketing uses the various features of the platform to improve sales and create brand awareness. The features include posts, stories, ads, reels, and more. Brands typically engage with their audience using Q&A, fun facts, testimonials, and behind-the-scenes content.
With time, Instagram has established itself as an excellent digital marketing medium for businesses. In fact, Facebook’s research suggests that your brand’s credibility the moment you create an Instagram account.
Why is Instagram marketing important for your business?
We’ll give you not one but three reasons why you need to focus on Instagram marketing more than ever.
It relies on visual content
The average social media user spends 33 minutes on Facebook and 29 minutes on Instagram. Is Facebook the clear winner? No, there’s a difference between the two platforms.
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Unlike Facebook, there’s no room for typing up long posts on Instagram. It means that users end up consuming more content in the form of visual content on Instagram.
Studies suggest that your engagement rates could see a 650% rise by simply adding a visual component to any post.
It allows creative storytelling
Instagram’s features like reels, stories, and IGTV are known to evoke an emotional response from users. You can give shout-outs, create interactive videos, and run contests to spread the word about your brand.
When you switch to a business account, Instagram lets you access a range of premium features.
You can add CTAs to your posts, and there are options that let users shop without going out of the platform. There is also an ads manager that gives you excellent insights into your users. This makes it an excellent blend of storytelling and marketing.
You can beat your competition
Instagram is a platform that lets garage start-ups give established business owners a run for their money. All they need to do is showcase their talent and connect with the right audience.
Likely, your competitors are already making strides on the platform. This makes it even more important to start using Instagram. Getting a grip on Instagram is relatively easy. Moreover, it lets you dedicate your efforts towards a specific demographic of users.
Now that we have a solid case for adopting Instagram as an advertising platform let’s look at some ideas for your brand.
10 Instagram ideas that can propel your business to success
There are millions of Instagrammers conducting billions of marketing experiments on the platform. Of them all, we have handpicked the most effective ones for your brand.
Here are ten ideas to step up your Instagram game.
1. Engage with the audience
The long-term goal for your Instagram page should not be merely increasing followers. Your audience has to interact with the content you share actively. The industry term for this is engagement.
Keep a tab on what’s trending and post relevant content. Find out all the appropriate hashtags and use them in your posts. Share saveable content for your visitors (anything useful that your audience might want to revisit later).
Most importantly, explicitly ask them to comment, share, or like your posts. These steps will help you score more social media brownie points.
2. Tell stories
Yes, we’re talking about the revolutionary stories feature on Instagram.
Stories can be easily consumed and stay on top of users’ minds. The best part is it’s a discoverable feature, so any potential customer who’s not a follower will also be able to find them.
Use Instagram stories to give insights into your brand. Launch your latest products, feature testimonials, and show your human side. Thanks to the questions sticker, you can get instant feedback and conduct surveys in real-time.
Keep the conversation going since posting at least five stories a day will boost your retention rate by at least 70%.
3. Analyze constantly
We can’t stress enough the importance of analysis. You could post a lot of content and hope for the best, but that wouldn’t be an effective strategy.
Prepare an analysis framework. Find out which Instagram advertising metrics are important for your brand. Track these numbers constantly and look for areas of improvement. For instance, if you have a high number of impressions and significantly less engagement, it means your Instagram posts have to be more interesting.
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Ensure that the analyses you perform are in sync with the marketing goals and the overall business objective.
4. Curate an engaging bio
Many businesses overlook the bio section on Instagram.
It’s the first thing that catches people’s attention when they visit your profile. So, use the opportunity to make an excellent first impression.
Talk about your business in the bio and use enough keywords while you’re at it. Research for ideal hashtags and use the ones that align better with your brand. You can add only one website link in the bio. Ideally, it should be your website’s homepage or a landing page that can increase conversions.
Strike a balance between the details, your website info, and hashtags because your bio can’t be more than 150 characters.
5. Leverage the power of influencer marketing
They’re called influencers because of their popularity and ability to influence buying decisions. Even small brands with limited reach can use influencers to boost sales.
All you need to do is partner up with influencers who are relevant to your industry. There should be a good overlap between your target demography and their followers. Else, there would be no impact on your bottom line figures. There’s a reason why you won’t see fashion influencers promoting a B2B software or a real estate product.
Lastly, maintain a good rapport with your brand’s influencers. A lasting relationship will produce better results than a one-off post.
6. Cross-platform promotions
Unlike other marketing channels like emails, website ads, or display banners, social media marketing lets you make a lasting impression. So, why don’t you bring your target audience to Instagram?
Whether you’re doing a Facebook Live session or sending an email campaign, add links to your Instagram page everywhere. Once you’re in their Instagram feed, you can make efforts to convert them into paying customers.
7. Promote audience generated content
Social proof is the latest one among the favorite tools of content marketing professionals.
While influencer or in-house marketing is great, people love to hear what other users or subscribers say. Ask for reviews, videos, or pictures of your product or service from users and repost them on your profile or stories.
It’s a win-win situation. Your brand loyalists would love to be featured on your Instagram, and you can gain more traction. A few brands like GoPro rely entirely on user-generated content.
8. Use the paid marketing options
Instagram ads are powerful because they give more control to advertisers. You can set a fixed budget and target users who are not your followers.
Remember, it’s very easy for users to scroll away from ads on their Instagram feed. Your ad content needs to grab the attention of prospective customers. Ensure that your copy is catchy and concise.
Sponsored content can be posted in the form of photos, video ads, and stories. There is a carousel ads feature that lets you add multiple posts in a single sponsored post. Instagram also enables you to convert your well-performing regular content into sponsored content. This allows you to advertise tried and tested material.
9. Follow a posting schedule
You need to post regularly to leave an impression in your audience’s minds.
There’s a reason why social media is filled with Throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday posts. They are opportunities to streamline content and push them on the platform regularly.
Find out the best time slots of the week to post, create a content calendar, and stick to it religiously. Obviously, you can post whenever there is a special occasion, but ensure that you’re not missing out on the regular posts.
At the same time, over-posting will kill the excitement, and the engagement numbers might start dropping. A strict calendar will ensure that you don’t exceed the audience’s content appetite.
10. Use tools to optimize processes
You don’t have to sit in front of a computer until the wee hours to wish Happy New Year. Some tools let you schedule your posts.
Similarly, you don’t need spreadsheet skills to analyze your traffic or Photoshop skills to edit pictures. All of them can be handled easily if you use the right software.
They automate repetitive tasks and have user-friendly interfaces to help you make the most of Instagram.
Instagram is an excellent tool for small business owners to get themselves out there. The benefits of Instagram increase as your brand grows. Follow the best practices for social media marketing consistently to witness the results over time.
Read on for a quick recap of everything we covered in this article:
- Instagram has a billion users, and most of the users follow brand accounts
- You can tap the full potential of Instagram by using its features like reels, posts, and stories
- Its visual storytelling format and ease of use makes it a go-to platform for marketers
- Engage with your audience through influencers, user-generated content, and sponsored content
- Have an engaging bio and use your brand voice to tell stories
- Analyze your posts and keep a tab on the metrics regularly
- Use schedulers and other tools that can help you save time and improve your marketing strategy
Are you looking for some social media inspiration? Here’s an article where we cover four brands that are making waves on Instagram with their content.