In today’s media-driven world, having an Instagram Marketing strategy is crucial for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Instagram is constantly changing, so staying on top of new features and strategies is important for establishing a social media brand presence.
With 500 million daily active users, it can seem impossible to stand out, however, with these tips and tricks you’ll be able to create a successful Instagram Marketing Strategy like a pro in no time.
The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing for Business
Knowing your audience and the goals for your brand
If you haven’t already, first make sure your account is set up as a business profile to easily monitor insights and identify your current audience’s demographics.
Instagram business accounts provide data to show you how your posts perform. This will help you recognize which posts are resonating with your audience and which ones are not. Then you can take this information and pivot from your original Instagram marketing strategy if necessary.
If you’re looking to generate new leads, drive sales, or connect with like-minded people, knowing your audience and overall brand goals is important. Instagram business accounts’ insights detail the gender, age, and locations by cities and countries and when your followers are most active. This information will help you better reach your specific brand goals.
Next, write out your goals for the account and figure out specific ways to achieve them. This may include expanding your audience, which we’ll uncover tips on how to do later in this article. No matter your goals, remember to keep them realistic, relevant, attainable, and most importantly measurable.
Using a quality Instagram growth service
Gaining an organic following quickly can be a struggle. Thankfully, Instagram growth services will help you gain more followers in your niche without attracting bot accounts.
Instead of paying for a set number of followers, organic Instagram growth services use a ‘liking method’ to help facilitate the growth of real Instagram followers. It allows clients to filter the accounts targeted to ignore specific accounts and ensure the users targeted fit your business’ niche.
In order to grow your business, having a legitimate social presence is key. Save your time for other aspects of your business and leave the Instagram account growth to the professionals.
Instagram growth services have helped eCommerce businesses like Original Grain gain up to 150k followers and create a large audience they market to and drive to their website for purchases. Since doing so they’ve driven 15% of their online sales from Instagram each month.
Creating a content calendar
Gone are the days of posting randomly on Instagram with no thought behind each post.
A content calendar is a tool that will help your business grow, make your life easier, and allow you to keep track of how your posts are performing. Using a content calendar to plan posts ahead of time allows your brand to create a continual flow of content that will keep your aesthetic consistent and help you implement your Instagram Marketing Strategy successfully.
Applications like Sprout Social, Coschedule, Hootsuite, and Later, to name a few, are incredible tools to ease the process of creating a content calendar. These are especially helpful for businesses like marketing agencies that run multiple accounts and need everything in one place.
Using a social media content calendar from one of these applications will ensure you never miss important dates and stick to a consistent posting schedule. When you know of national holidays that coincide with your brand goals ahead of time, you can create premium content to distribute on all social channels.
Tapping into analytics, reporting, and insights
The above applications not only help with planning content but make viewing analytics and reporting a breeze. If you’re running a business Instagram account it’s crucial to understand what these numbers mean and be able to report them to other people within your business, or when making a custom report for your clients.
Instagram business accounts allow you to see insights like follows, reach, impressions, and profile visits. These metrics are vital for future content creation because they tell you how your followers are receiving your content. The biggest misconception of these is the difference between reach and impressions.
Reach is the total number of people who see your content. Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed, no matter if users click on it or not.
In the past, traditional advertisers had a more difficult time tracking ROI from their campaigns. With social media analytics and insights, businesses can easily see if their Instagram marketing strategy is effective.
With these tools, you can adjust your strategy and see if post times, target audience, or if content types are affecting your engagement.
Optimizing your brand aesthetic
Your brand is your number one selling tool. You can easily attract or drive away customers based on your brand’s aesthetics aka the look, feel, and memorability factor of your content.
To ensure your brand aesthetic stays consistent you must create content that matches your theme and only post user-generated content that enhances your profile.
Building a consistent Instagram theme for your feed can be overwhelming, but the good part is you don’t have to be a professional photographer or graphic designer to develop an aesthetic feed.
Identify your color palette and apply these to your graphics or photos. Using a preset filter or sticking with a consistent editing style will give your feed that cohesive look. Take inspiration from competitors and other accounts in your niche, but also don’t be afraid to make your mark and stand out. Followers will be attracted to your unique ideas and posts.
Collaborating with other brands or influencers
Collaborating with other brands and influencers are great outlets to supplement content for your calendar. Influencers and other brands can help you reach a new audience to raise awareness and promote your brand, product, or service.
The first step to collaborating with influencers is research. Finding influencers in your niche isn’t hard, but ensuring they align with your brand values, have a real engaged audience, and fit in your budget will be more of a challenge.
Take your established goals and find influencers you believe will align with these goals. Next, reach out to the influencer outlining your proposed campaign and in what capacity they can contribute to this campaign. This can range from content creation to posting about your product or giving their followers a discount code.
When pitching to other brands and influencers to create content for your business, make sure to include guidelines to ensure your brand aesthetic isn’t lost in their creative process.
These guidelines can be as structured as you want, but it’s important to work with other creatives who will create content that enhances your brand and resonates with their audience.
Taking advantage of video content
Instagram has been a visual platform from the start. Now more than ever videos are outperforming images in terms of engagement and results.
Instagram gives creators the opportunity to post videos via stories, IGTV and in feed; all valuable outlets to reach your audience.
Instagram videos allow you up to 60 seconds to get your brand’s message across. Stories are a casual way to show followers the day to day of your business or for influencers to do “story take-overs” and show how they use your product.
The most recent addition to Instagram’s video offerings is IGTV. Although not a YouTube replacement for many creators, this outlet allows you to reuse popular videos you’ve posted on YouTube and Facebook or create new ones specifically for the Instagram platform. The most recent update to IGTV is the ability to upload videos vertically, this has made it convenient and easy for Youtubers to upload their videos on Youtube and IGTV. Many influencers are also using IGTV to share content that would be too long for stories.
Accounts now have the option to add IGTV video previews to their feed for maximum exposure. IGTV provides businesses with an opportunity to create engaging video content with a new mobile audience.
Creating a hashtag strategy
Twitter may have invented the hashtag, but in order to boost engagement on Instagram, you’ll need to implement a hashtag strategy.
Instagram hashtags not only help categorize your content but are also an effective way to reach new users and increase engagement on stories and posts. High engagement on your posts will likely translate to more customers for your business which is the end goal here.
Applications with analytic tracking abilities and Instagram insights allow you to measure your hashtag performance.
To ensure your strategy benefits your business account, a few runs of trial and error will first need to take place. Do the research and find hashtags in your niche or popular ones used by leaders in your industry that aren’t overused by millions of people already. If a hashtag already has millions of posts attached to it, yours will likely get lost in the shuffle.
Once you’ve found between twenty and thirty to use add them to your post caption or in the comments. As mentioned before you will need to play around with the hashtags and use different combinations on each post to attract new users and engagement.
Instagram recently added the ability to add hashtags to stories which is an extremely underused feature. Like regular posts, a hashtag in a story is searchable and will direct new followers to your page.
Pro tip: Instagram allows ten hashtags to be added to each story.
There are many types of hashtags, and understanding the purpose of each is key for developing an effective hashtag strategy for your overall Instagram marketing strategy.
- Branded Hashtag. This hashtag is created specifically for your business. It can be as simple as your company name or a tagline related to your brand.
- Community Hashtag. This type of hashtag connects like-minded users. You can create your own to bring your community together or search your favorite accounts, or those in your network to see what communities they are apart of.
- Campaign Hashtags. This short term hashtag is created to represent a specific campaign like a product launch, partnership, or season. Many times these hashtags are distributed to influencers to add to sponsored posts.
Utilizing your Instagram Bio
Utilizing your Instagram Bio is a crucial part of creating a successful Instagram marketing strategy.
An Instagram bio is the first impression users see when they visit your profile, and you want to make it a good one! Create an interesting and eye-catching bio that’s unique and doesn’t mimic formats of other popular accounts.
The most successful bios showcase the brand’s personality, the purpose of the account, and a wow factor that convinces other users to follow it. Make sure to include your name, contact information, and impressive skills to stand out amongst the millions of accounts on Instagram.
An easy way to give your bio color and personality is to tastefully use Emojis. These Emojis should make sense and represent your brand, not overwhelm the bio.
Instagram is strict on the clickables in your bio, so maximizing the one link allowed is crucial. If you’re looking to link multiple websites at once, and don’t want to constantly be swapping them out, create a Linktree account for easy access to your links. Linktree is free and allows you to house all the content you need to direct your followers too.
Social media marketing cannot be an afterthought in your overall marketing strategy.
Consumers today are easily influenced by social media to make purchasing decisions. Without a strong presence on Instagram, you’re doing more harm to your business than good.
With this guide to creating a successful Instagram marketing strategy, you’ll be on your way to elevating your Instagram presence, which in return will boost business.
Guest author: Rafaella Aguiar is the Marketing Manager at Kicksta. She specializes in content and social media marketing. You can find more daily marketing tips from her at @kicksta.co.