The social media platform, Instagram has a massive audience base of 1.16 billion people, and allows influencers and brands gain such a dramatic reach, what’s even more astonishing is the growth in potential reach has increased substantially by 76 million in just the last quarter.
Before you even begin with the planning of your marketing campaign, your Instagram account should be ready and optimized. For businesses, you must have an Instagram Business or Creator account. There are considerable benefits to choosing a business account over a personal account, as business accounts provide you with Instagram insights, ads, shopping, primary as well as secondary inbox, and a call to action button on your profile amongst other benefits.
Creator account has its own perks tailored for content creators and influencers, but for the majority of marketers, a business account is what you require. If you already have a business account, consider following tips for marketing on Instagram.
Be clear about your goals
Social media platforms are tools for an end, and in order to utilize them to their maximum potential, you must know what you wish to get out of them or attempt to build. Marketing on Instagram can have different meanings individual to individual, as everyone has their own requirements that best fit their situation, such as building an online presence for a business, getting new leads or conversion, raising brand awareness, selling products directly with help of the app, establishing a brand as an industry leader.
Dreaming aimlessly will get you nowhere, you must know where your strategies should take you by the end, otherwise you’re unlikely to reach your goals.
Know your target audience
Conducting research on who your target audience is can help figuring out who you can reach out to while you are developing a strategy for marketing on Instagram. Take note of following points while developing you Instagram marketing strategy:
- U.S. is the largest Instagram market.
- Most active users on the platform are between the age of 18 to 29.
- More urban residents utilize the platform in comparison to suburban residents.
This doesn’t mean you should only attempt to connect with individuals living in urban areas in their 20s. Rather, you should define a target audience that can relate with your content. This will also be extremely useful while deciding on a target audience for Instagram ads.
Make sure that your profile is up to date
Your Instagram bio should be able to impress visiting users, and that too in just 150 characters or less. Try to convey your brand personality and convince visitors why should they follow your Instagram account. Which is kind of a lot to ask from a bio limited to 150 characters.
Luckily, you can also utilize other fields available on the platform to inform visitors what your account is all about and make it easier for other users to find your account, other fields can include:
- Name, it has a 30-character limit and is included in searches.
- Instagram username, it also has a 30-character limit and is similarly included in searches.
- A link to your website: a clickable URL that you can include and change as many times as you want.
- Category: A feature that informs visitors what your profile is all about without using up bio characters.
- Contact information: Inform visitors where and how they can reach out to you.
- CTA: call to action buttons allow visitors to directly interact with you from your user profile.
Pick a relevant profile picture
The resolution of an Instagram profile photo is 110 x 110 pixels, cropped to a circle with a pixel diameter of the same, but is stored at a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels. Hence, you should pick a picture that is large enough to look great even if Instagram makes some changes to how profile pictures are displayed.
Brands and organizations should pick a profile picture that showcases your logo, this helps in building credibility and allows other users to identify at a glance who you are.
If your logo is shaped in a square, you can zoom out to ensure that the entire logo is visible within the circle.
Create content that is visually appealing
Instagram is a social media platform that focuses on visual elements such as videos and images, so your posts should look aesthetically pleasing. You don’t necessarily have to be a professional photographer or require professional equipment, but your images and videos should be well-lit, sharp, in focus, and well composed at least.
If you are posting content other than normal pictures such as animation or infographic, ensure that they are clear, crisp, eye-catching and easy to read.
And even more importantly, your content should be visually compelling, pictures that look nice are fine, but if they don’t excite or increase engagement, they’re going to be helpful in increasing your follower count.
If you are unsure of what you can post, check out some of the below mentioned ideas:\
- Quote and images with text: Play around with the text to create interesting content with no additional picture required.
- Pictures of behind the scenes: Give your visitors a look at your manufacturing process, office or of the storefront.
- Informative posts: Instructing individuals how to reach goals is one of the best ways to reach a bigger audience.
- Regrams and UGC: user generated content is by nature compelling and authentic.
- Videos: The limit on video length on the platform is 1 minute. However, you can post longer videos on IGTV.
Brands can utilize IGTV to showcase their products or services, the previews of actual posts are also available in the news feed, allowing your followers to know whenever new content is posted.
It is important to remember that posting content keeps users engaged and can help reach a broader audience, if users are enjoying your content enough to share the posts with their contacts or on stories. In short, focus on building content to market for your brand on the platform, make sure your content is worth sharing with other users, and not just one quick tap for like.
Decide on an aesthetic for your brand on the platform
After deciding on the kind of content you’re going to be posting on the platform, you have to choose how they are going to appear as the choice of color used in the post can influence the decision of the viewers with regards to brand recognition and buying decisions. Your posts on your Instagram feed should appear in a consistent style, through which your audience and fans can easily recognize posts by your brand in their feeds.
Having a consistent look, color scheme as well as feel in your posts can help deliver great results.
A method to achieve such consistency is to utilize preset templates for whichever software you are comfortable with. You can also check out whether your favorite content creator sells their presets for you to customize and make them your own.
Write a caption that is relevant to post and helps increase engagement
Although Instagram is a social media platform that primarily focuses on visual elements such as pictures and videos, this does not mean you can neglect other elements of a post such as captions. Captions on a post can be just as important as the look of a post. The limit on captions on Instagram is up to 2,200 characters, this allows you to post from a detailed story to a quick introduction. It is also important to note that only the initial two lines appear in the post feed, you have to tap on it to read the rest of the caption.
Since, users only scan through the lines instead of thoroughly reading them, it is important that you convey all the important details in those initial two lines.
Ideal length for captions on Instagram can vary depending on the type of post, caption on organic posts can be from 138 to 150 characters long, and on ad posts, the length of the caption should not be more than 125 characters.
If you wish any other message to convey to the audience viewing your post, you can include that in the captions. However, ensure that the extra message is worth it.
For Instance, Content posted by National Geographic is a perfect example of long story telling on Instagram posts, if your content is of similar quality, go right ahead and write long captions.
In short, your caption should be informative, entertaining, relevant, on-brand and compelling.
Add Hashtags wisely
Including hashtags to your post is a great way to increase your discoverability and visibility. You can include up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram post. However, in reality, you probably won’t even need that many.
Adding 5 to 9 hashtags on each post is more than sufficient. Adding any more hashtags than this could seem like hashtag stuffing, which is a spamming tactic that turns potential followers. To get the most benefit out of it, add tags that are relevant to your post, or niche. In addition, don’t encourage hashtags that promote follow for a follow, or like for like.
Instagram is a go to social media platform for sharing visual media, and with an audience base of 1.16 billion users. Follow the above-mentioned tips to effectively market on the platform.