Once upon a time, the concept of social media was just a way for people to share their interests and become virtual friends online. Jump forward to today, and it’s a multi-billion dollar industry that is a requirement for pretty much every business and brand in the world.
With more social media platforms than ever before, it’s important to make sure you are focusing the right amount of time, money, and effort on each – but also making sure to spend the most of your time on the bigger networks.
This is especially true with Instagram, as it’s one of the most heavily used platforms on both desktop and mobile devices around the world. And when you factor into the equation that it’s run and owned by Facebook, there’s a really good chance that it will be around for quite a while.
With all of this in mind, no matter what you are using Instagram for, it’s important to make sure your profile is always working for you, and your content is grabbing the attention of new audiences daily.
To make sure all of your efforts are getting the best ROI possible, be sure to run through our list of seven great ways to make your Instagram profile and content pop!
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing for Small Business
1. Bring static photos to life with amazing animation
You know how the saying goes… “a picture is worth a thousand words” — but what if you could make that same picture worth millions of words and even more interactive and engaging than most of the other visual content being added to IG every second?
That’s exactly what is possible with Lightricks’s Motionleap app (formerly known as Pixaloop), which uses AI to bring images to life in a matter of seconds.
It’s one thing to tell you about how something works, and it’s another to see it in action. In fact, I’m sure we didn’t even need to highlight what’s possible through the power of this application, and the visual below would likely grab your attention right away.
The power of this application lies in its amazing customization and settings. Pick one of your favorite still photos, then bring it to life by selecting different areas to freeze or add motion to, while also having full control over speed, looping, and more.
2. Everyone loves a good quote
When’s the last time you went on Instagram and scrolled through your content and didn’t see motivational and inspirational quotes being liked and shared by your friends and family?
Quotes work extremely well on social media, but especially well on Insta. This is mostly due to the fact that everyone likes to ‘like’ a good quote, and if you place it over a celebrity picture (of whoever said it) or with a nice stock photo, people are going to like it even more.
Another important thing to mention is that quotes don’t need to be from famous athletes and well-known entrepreneurs. They can also be just random quotes that you or anyone comes up with… and when you add them to the perfect IG photo update, then it becomes even more powerful.
Finding the perfect photo is one thing. Having the perfect quote to go with it is another. To help in this process, Shutterfly has a list of great quotes that can be used for any type of photo, update, product, or service you can think of.
No matter what you are using IG for, be sure to mix things up in your social feed by adding some fun and inspirational quotes to your posts. And when you do, don’t forget to write the quote in your text area, while also using some quote-related hashtags.
3. Take advantage of trending hashtags
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but hashtags are still one of the most important factors when trying to go viral or increasing your reach on Instagram.
Any while top trending hashtags might seem like a good idea to go after super generic and popular trending hashtags like “motivation”, “hustle” or “blessed”, it’s the lower and middle range hashtags that are more relevant.
The reason for this is that they are less saturated, more targeted to specific audiences, and it’s a lot easier to rank and trend for these hashtags versus any of the main ones that will likely get buried in the hashtag search results.
Also, don’t forget to mix things up. Change what hashtags you are using and try to mix in some of the latest trending topics and small niche markets that might be more focused on your brand or whatever you might be offering.
4. Leverage social media marketing and influencers
We’ve already touched on the importance of using great visuals, hashtags, and quotes within your content. Now, let’s also discuss the power of influencer marketing and how to leverage it within your own social media efforts.
A perfect example of this can be seen with Gary Vaynerchuk. His content is pretty much everywhere – but it’s also being recreated and shared by others as well. This is especially true for anyone that got to take a picture with Gary, interview him, or even get interviewed on his own show or podcast.
A perfect example of this can be seen with @ReezyResells, who did an interview (and video) with Gary Vee. As a result of this, Reezy can continually reference, tag, and share this content all the time — while likely reaching new fans and followers of @GaryVee each and every time — thus, also growing his own brand and social following.
The good news is, there are millions of influencers out there, in a wide range of large and small niche markets. And if you’d like to start tapping into such opportunities like these, just take a look at some of the many IG influencers you can start tagging and creating content around.
5. Run an Instagram audit and clean up your follower count
With more than a billion active users on Instagram, it’s important to know what your real follower counts and engagement numbers are. After all, are all of those celebrities with millions upon millions of followers really as impactful as we think? Probably not…
One way to get a better idea of the status and health of your IG profile and account is to run an Instagram Audit. By doing so, you can discover the real stats of your social profile, while also getting a much clearer picture of your account impressions, follower quality, and more.
Best of all, it’s free to use and you can also search on random celebrities or your brand competitors!
And if you are wondering if an IG audit is worth your time, just check out the screenshot above. Notice how the @TheRock has over 215M million followers, but only has .035% engagement.
This is a quick way to see how many of your followers might be real, bots or simply not interested in the type of content you are posting. The more you know about your audience, the better the content you can create.
6. Schedule your visual content like a pro
One of the biggest hurdles when trying to find success with social media, is trying to come up with all of the time it requires to post content, engage and grow your brand.
Thankfully, more and more social media scheduling tools are coming out all the time. And even more exciting, is that they aren’t just for Instagram. You can start scheduling out your content on the likes of Twitter and Facebook as well (depending on what solution you end up using).
The benefit here is that you can spend more time focusing on your content creation efforts, and then scheduling out your pictures and posts for several days, weeks, and months in advance.
Many of these scheduling solutions can also provide detailed reports on impressions, clicks, and engagement – which further helps in the understanding of what type of content works best, and when it’s best to post new content to your accounts.
7. Create a visually pleasing landing page for your IG profile
Let’s face it, one of the most precious components of Instagram is that one single link that can be posted to your profile account. It’s really the only area on your profile where someone can click to be led away from the IG platform.
This means, whatever you are linking too… it better be worth it!
While most users on Instagram won’t know the basics of marketing or what a landing page is, it is quite simple for them to set one up through the use of linktr.ee.
The way it works is quite simple. You can sign up for a free account with linktree, and then you will be given a URL for your profile page. From here, you can then create links to other outbound site properties all from one simple landing page.
The benefit here is that you can have your IG profile link now display an attractive landing page to all of your followers without the need to create a site of your own. There is also a premium version of the application, which allows for improved link tracking stats and landing page customization.
How to get the most out of your Instagram efforts
At any given time, millions of people are actively scrolling through billions of status updates, images, short videos, and more. How many of them are actually getting the attention they deserve? How many are getting likes and shared amongst others?
With so many users on one platform, it’s all about knowing how to create the best content for your audience, and delivering it in a way that makes people stop scrolling. By implementing each of the winning examples, solutions and recommendations above, you should see much better engagement numbers from your Instagram content creation and marketing efforts.
Guest author: Zac Johnson is a world-renowned blogger and entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience in the online marketing space and has helped his readers generate millions of dollars online. He shares his story and guidance at ZacJohnson.com