Instagram may have started as a photo-sharing app but over the years it has evolved into something much greater. It is no longer just a photo-sharing app it is now considered to be the most important marketing platform, brands use the many advantages of this platform to target prospective customers.
Back when it started in 2010 Instagram was just another platform where users could share pictures, nothing too special just like every other platform at that time. And now it has left the common club and is now the most important social media marketing platform that is filled with brands, content creators, influencers, and marketers.
Why Instagram marketing?
Since Instagram is the most popular platform at present it has the biggest user base. As of April 2019, Instagram had over a billion active monthly users. Now due to its wide user base, no brand or marketer could resist the opportunity. If it’s wide isn’t a reason good enough for you to start marketing on Instagram here are some statistics to change your mind.
- On average Instagram has over 2 million monthly advertisers with 25 million business accounts and counting.
- More than 40% of Instagram’s active monthly users use the platform to discover and research new businesses and brands.
- Half of Instagram users use Instagram to follow their liked brand on the platform.
- The average of daily posts on this platform is over 95 million.
Now that you are aware of the many ways Instagram can be useful to the world of marketing it is now time to take a look at ways you can use it well.
This article gives you an in-depth guide on Instagram marketing and all the relevant topics linked to it.
Set up a business account on Instagram
The first step to marketing is to set up a business account. There are two types of account types you can operate on Instagram: a personal account and a business account. The names of the account types are self-explanatory, if your goal is to use Instagram as a medium of marketing and a way to establish your business, switching your account to a business profile is the way to go. Also, a business profile comes with its own set of benefits and advantages.
With a business account, you can add links to your stories and also create shoppable content.
How to set up a business account
To create a successful business page you need to first have an active Facebook page. Simply click on the “create” tab on the top right corner and select the “page” option. The next step is to select the “brand or business” option and click on it to get a business Facebook page. Fill in an appropriate and unique business name and select your business category to get started. Now that you are all set on Facebook you are ready to head over to Instagram. go over to the account settings on your Instagram profiles and click on “switch to business account”.
Make sure that your profile is not set to a “private” profile if so turn it to a “public” profile. Through a public profile, every Instagram user will be able to access your profile which is what you as a marketer and business wish to achieve.
Optimize your profile
So you have created a business account, what next? Well, the next step is to optimize your account. Your Instagram profile is like the blurb of a book. Before buying a book, readers tend to read the blurb to get a context about the book, and depending on it they either buy or reject the book. Similarly, your Instagram profile acts as a blurb, depending on your profile, users will either be attracted to your content or will simply scroll away. Plus you have a very short period to attract customers and so to make a good first impression you need to optimize your Instagram profile to the best of your abilities.
Here are some tips you can follow to optimize your Instagram profile:
- Choose a profile name that is unique and represents your brand accurately.
- Come with an interesting bio that intrigues and captivates your viewers and compels them to check out your profile.
- If you have a website make sure you link it in your bio. To avoid a cluttered look in your bio go for a short and trackable URL.
- Create your brand hashtag and promote it in your bio.
- A good, high-quality, and brand-related profile picture is the next step to optimization.
- Decide on a color palette or brand aesthetic for your posts and stick to it.
Get the most out of all Instagram content formats
There is more to Instagram content formats than the basic posts that you can leverage for your benefit. Instagram offers its users various fun content formats to connect with their viewers each with its unique use and advantage. Do not limit yourself to standard posts, try experimenting with different types of format to engage your audience better.
There is a variety of content you can create with Instagram stories. Stories are the best way to stay at the very top of your viewer’s feed and unlike posts, you do not need to worry about when to publish stories that can be posted at any time. You can promote a giveaway or contest on your stories, you can also use the “ask a question” feature on your stories to engage better with your audience. There are many ways you can play with the story feature, create quizzes and polls, showcase your achievements, post stories with shoppable links, etc, etc.
Instagram highlights are similar to Instagram stories the difference being that highlights are not temporary and stay on your profile at all times. The format of both these features is identical, the only difference being the position of the display. Stories are displayed in your follower’s feed whereas highlights are displayed on your profile. You can use this feature to announce new product launches, showcase product collections, answer commonly asked questions, display hacks, discount codes, customer reviews, and a lot more.
IGTV was the most awaited feature at the time of its launch. IGTVs allow you to post longer videos of up to 60 minutes duration. The maximum length for an Instagram video is 60 seconds and for stories, it is 15 seconds which is not at all-sufficient. IGTV is a great way to provide information to your customers. You can answer all sorts of questions and queries that are frequently asked by your customers. You can create tutorials, provide success stories and provide any longer information that is not compatible with stories and posts.
Live is a very useful feature via live you can engage with your viewers in real-time. The best way to use this feature is by engaging in live Q&A sessions or AMA sessions. Viewers can comment on your live session and also ask questions which you answer in real-time. Another great way to leverage this feature is by inviting guests to feature in your videos.
Methods to improve your marketing and boost your campaigns
Use relevant hashtags
Most brands and businesses fail to recognize the benefits of hashtags. Using relevant hashtags with your posts and content can give a much-needed boost to your marketing efforts. Hashtags help your post in reaching the relevant audience and thus increases your content reach. In a recent study, it was concluded that using a minimum of 9 hashtags increased the engagement rates of that post considerably. However, do not go overboard with hashtags using a maximum of 10 hashtags per post.
Collaborate with influencers
Instagram is crawling with influencers and no marketing guide is complete without them. Influencers are those users on Instagram who have a massive presence on the followers in addition to tons of followers on the platform. Search for influencers that are relevant to your niche and work with them to promote your brand.
Create unique content
Instagram is a very competitive platform and so you can no longer be basic. You need to create content that is unique and is liked by your followers. Try creating different types of content using the various features that Instagram has to offer. Use high-quality images to create visually appealing posts. It is also very important to know when to post, the right time can have the biggest impact on your post reach.
Amongst the many benefits of a business account on Instagram, one is the built-in insights feature. This feature provides you with the basic data on performance metrics. Using this feature you can understand your posts reach engagement, view your audience demographics, and can also know your overall Instagram accounts performance.
There you have everything you need to know about Instagram marketing in 2021. To grow a business on any social media platform requires consistency and patience. These tips and tricks related to Instagram marketing will serve as a guide to a better social media marketing strategy.