Instagram is one of the top social platforms targeted by marketers and brands given that it has 1.974 billion users across the world. That is a growth of about 23 percent since 2020 showing the platform has reaped benefits related to coronavirus lockdowns. Compared to Facebook, Instagram generates 4x more interaction.
The platform makes for a great photo-sharing network when you want to integrate things like infographics and general media in your advertising and promotional campaigns. It is time to set up shop and integrate it into your branding strategy if not yet.
However, many people are still unable to develop a convincing social profile and campaign on Instagram. This article shows you exactly how to.
1. Understand Instagram’s impact on the customer journey
80 percent of users on Instagram use the platform to decide whether to buy or not. Quite a number will decide to buy when browsing the app. Influencer marketing is the strongest influencer for those who are yet to decide whether to buy an item or not. Ads are the second. Second, Instagram is very popular with the millennials who love the art of sharing images and videos. To make your Instagram more effective, concentrate on strategies that help content become more discoverable.
2. Using Hashtags
Hashtags are one of the best ways of identifying and grouping topics in categories on Instagram. Although it is crowded with spam these days, it allows people to post and follow matters they are most concerned about. Companies use it all the time to reach a new audience with new products and to increase publicity.
Nevertheless, engagement wanes after six or more hashtags. Therefore, keep it lower. Engagement shows the degree of involvement in your content by the audience. It includes the likes, comments, and re-shares. The high engagement generated on this platform is due to its being a visual platform. The best way as a brand is to use a combination of different types of engagement media – photos, videos, live videos, stories, and the IGTV app. It offers greater opportunity for creativity and allows you to engage with different customers at all levels – some like videos because they do not have much time to read. Some like photos while others just text.
Note it is not always the tweet with most hashtags that wins for a brand, but one that cultivates brand goals and motives. Using hashtags with huge volumes could see them drowned out by the huge volume of tweets out there. Actually, stay away from general hashtags as much as you can.
3. Use Sponsored and Influencer Content
Influencers earn more viewership and readership for the simple reason they have a huge following. People want to know what they are up to, for instance. Brands use them in their marketing strategies to gain attention, announce new products, etc.
Ads are also increasing in popularity on Instagram and given the large volume of daily engaged users, it is helpful to launch ad campaigns on the network. The use of the #ad hashtag, for instance, has been reporting massive growth over the years.
4. Use Instagram Stories
Instagram stories disappear after 24 hours after you post. People have been sharing more on Instagram after this feature was launched in 2016. The feature is used by more than 500 million accounts daily. A third of this usage comes from businesses. It allows brands and individuals to increase the visibility of their content while not keeping them on their profile for a long time.
With this feature, you can reveal your behind-the-scenes videos to entertain your audience and increase publicity. Brands also use them to cross-promote content on other channels, induce conversation with their followers, create FAQs, and tell the story of their brands. Others use the feature to share tips with their clients or clients-to-be. Branded stories are a great way to explain your products and services.
5. Develop your Business Profile
A business profile means you have the contact information added. The information to add includes a phone number and address. This option is not available on the individual profile. It helps users interested in following your brand to do so. This is in addition to providing basic information to allow them to contact you.
This profile also allows you to access Instagram analytics, which provides additional data and information on your impressions and reach per post. Hence you can understand deeper and decide on issues such as what type of content to post for your audience. This is regardless of the niche you are in.
6. Build a Strong Community on Instagram
There is only little to do without a strong and expansive community for your brand on Instagram. It doesn’t matter what kind and how great the content is shared. Do not waste money on fake likes or engagement tactics because they won’t help the brand. You will only have them sitting on the profile. Further, fake and spammy promotional tactics will hurt your growth more than they will help it. This does not mean there aren’t legitimate folks selling genuine Instagram marketing tricks.
Good brands build strong communities through conversational marketing. This strategy is proved to be a highly effective retargeting strategy. It works well to align with brand organic growth on the Internet. This is for those brands looking for long-term survival in the market. Organic growth also helps you to reduce the marketing and promotional budget as it grows because it stays. Otherwise, you would need to spend thousands of dollars on daily promotional tactics that last only for a few hours.
That said, invest resources in gaining those likes, comments, and re-shares on matters that involve the brand. Make sure real customers can re-share posts for continued publicity beyond your profile. You can also leverage automation to boost conversational marketing. For instance, instant replies can be set for all incoming DMs. This helps if your brand has a massive following. It helps you reduce marketing costs.
Bio: Mike Khorev is a senior SEO strategist at Nine Peaks Media, a B2B SEO agency that helps SaaS, software, IT and technology companies rank on the first page of Google with effective content marketing strategies. Nine Peaks offers performance-based inbound marketing, conversion rate optimization and search engine marketing services.