Businesses use many platforms to have an active social media presence. They need to create a social media marketing strategy and operate the business social accounts in a thoughtful, measurable way.
Instagram is one of the top marketing platforms for brands, advertisers, and consumers. It is exploding and crossed 1 billion active users per month now.
As we have already transitioned into the year 2020, those who have an Instagram account but not able to grow their business then this is the perfect opportunity to fire-up their Instagram marketing strategy.
In this article, we have listed the top 20 tips that will help to improve your Instagram marketing strategy
1. Optimize Your Instagram Bio
Users first see your bio when they land on your profile. So your profile creates the first impression of your brand and is the backbone of your Instagram presence.
Describe in a concise way who you are, what you offer and why they should care you. Build your bio such that users will engage and compel to take action. Add relevant URL below your bio where you want to drive traffic.
2. Choose the Right Profile Photo
After seeing your Instagram profile photo, people draw a conclusion about you and your brand. So choose a photo of yourself that communicates who you are and what you do. Your profile photo must be of high-quality, not pixelated and looks good on any device.
The standard format for your Instagram profile photo is 110 x 110 pixels for mobile and 180 x 180 pixels for the web.
3. Define Your Goals for Instagram
Social media platforms are tools. To use these tools effectively, the first thing you need to do is set your goals. So think about your business goals on Instagram. Why are you on Instagram? What do you want to build? Based on your goal marketing strategy will change. So set goals like this:
- Maximize engagement on your posts
- Increase traffic to your website
- Generate more sales and revenue
- Increase podcast downloads
4. Define Your Target Audience
After setting your goal, determine your target audience you want to reach on Instagram. Do little research and see which accounts your ideal audience is following. What kind of posts is resonating with them? The more you understand about their Instagram usage, the better you can create your strategy. Follow these points to define your target audience:
- Know your audience demographics and pain points
- Research your competitors and check their followers
- Check who is engaging with hashtags related to your industry
5. Create a Unique Value Proposition
Craft your unique value proposition. The value proposition of your Instagram account means what you are going to do so your target audience start following you. That way you can portray your brand on Instagram?
Answers of the below questions will help you to understand who you are targeting and how you can position yourself.
- What does your product or service offer?
- What is the difference in your account from others?
- Why your offering is valuable for your audience?
- Whether you address your buyers’ pain points in your offer.
6. Grow Your Instagram Follower Base
Growing your followers is always a key part of your Instagram marketing strategy. Having more followers means you can reach more people. The more people you reach the more you can convert into customers and hence generate revenue.
But growing followers takes time and demands consistent effort. Follow these tactics to get more Instagram followers:
- Ensure that you fill your profile bio and describe who you are and what you do.
- Update your existing customers about your profile on Instagram.
- Encourage others to share your content and also promote your Instagram on other channels
- Start posting high-quality contents before engaging with people
- Follow your business-related accounts and interact with their content
7. Create Visually Compelling Content
Instagram is a no. 1 platform for sharing visuals and videos. So your post must contain photos that are sharp, well-lit, well-composed and in focus at a minimum.
Be creative, pump your ideas and take different photos and post it. But if your photos don’t speak a story or attract viewers then it will not solve your marketing purpose on Instagram.
Use these tips for creating compelling visual content:
- Show behind the scenes images and videos of your business to engage and show company culture.
- Play with texts to create visually compelling content in the absence of photos.
- Include product tutorials video to showcase followers how they can use your products.
- Educating followers on how to achieve a goal will provide value to the viewer
8. Post Content on a Regular Basis
To keep your account active post content on a regular basis. This will keep your brand fresh in the minds of followers. If you have lots of content don’t flood users’ timeline, instead, add it to your Instagram story.
Content posting time on Instagram is also crucial. Big brands post 1.5 times each day on average during office hours. Follow this timing and post content accordingly. This will increase your audience base.
9. Don’t be to “Selsey”
Post content on a regular basis but posting too much content for promoting products will annoy your followers and end up having the opposite effect of what you are looking for.
So don’t offend your followers and avoid too many promotional posts. Also keep yourself away from religion, politics, and race.
10. Incorporate Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to increase your content visibility. Hashtags aggregate your posts from a wide variety of users into a single fee. That’s why they use of hashtags is critical for business profiles on Instagram.
Instagram allows 30 hashtags per caption but doesn’t use this much else it will be overwhelming for the audience and make your captions hard to read. Experts suggest using 11 hashtags per caption. Also, use hashtags that are relevant to your industry or business or niche. Thus prepare an Instagram marketing strategy to make the best use of hashtags.
11. Leverage Instagram Stories
Stories are a key part of Instagram marketing strategy as it allows brands to connect, impact, and engage their audience in a few seconds. Businesses post stories on Instagram that disappear within 24 hours. So use stories to build relationships or engage with followers. These are the best ways to use Instagram stories for business:
- Host a poll on your Instagram story to increase audience engagement and excitement for your next launch.
- Host a series of content snippets on your Instagram stories with a theme to engage users and push older content.
- Use stickers, Gifs, mentions, captions, hashtags, filters, and emotions to make your story more attractive and engaging.
12. Expand Your Reach with Instagram Ads
Strategies like location tagging, running contests, and working with influencers don’t always expose your brand within your target market but running Instagram ads is the surest way to get your content in front of your targeted audience.
Like Facebook, Instagram also provides splitting the ads as per people’s likes, interests, buying behavior, and interactions. Use appropriate ad formats from story ads, photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and collection ads and optimize your leads and conversions.
13. Use Shoppable Posts
Shoppable posts increase the chance of connecting with your current and prospective customers to buy something. Thus it increases conversions.
For e-commerce companies, shoppable posts are the new frontier on Instagram. So take advantage of shoppable posts and sell products directly through the Instagram platform.
500 million people use Instagram daily. So there is a high chance that your target market falls into this category. You can tag the products in shoppable posts. This saves consumers time, they need to only click on the tag then they will be redirected to the website.
14. Go Live on Instagram
Instagram has a live broadcast feature available for more than a year now. You can go live on Instagram and connect with your users in real-time, interact with them and get their feedback. You respond to their comments and acknowledge the users. This way you can increase engagement metrics.
You have endless possibilities to connect with users through live broadcasts. So it’s up to you how you use it to expose your brand to a new audience, increase your followers, and ultimately drive more sales.
15. Partner with Instagram Influencers
This is a sure-fire way to reach a new audience. Influencers are knowledgeable and have built a strong level of trust with their followers. So when they promote your product or service, followers show interest and buy your product.
Different types of influencers are there like celebrities, Macro and Micro-influencers. Influencers will charge only a few hundred dollars or so for a post.
This is a cost-effective marketing strategy so based on your budget look for the right influencer, build a relationship with him and then approach with a partnership proposal for promoting your brand.
16. Run Contests on Instagram
Running contest or sweepstakes on Instagram is useful for engaging or increasing your followers. You can partner with another brand or an influencer or run a contest on your own. Some contests can greatly help you in creating user-generated content.
If your recent engagement is low then you can run a contest that encourages your followers to engage with a particular post (or set of posts). This will not only make sure that your followers see your recent content. But by liking your post they will give a message to the algorithm that they want to see more of your content.
17. Engage with Your Audience
When you post content and your audience likes it or post a comment, you need to respond to your followers on Instagram. Your response to comments on your post will give the followers a feeling of personal.
Followers appreciate your effort and show interest in good service. Also, you find out the popular niche in your industry, and follow them, like it and comment on your posts. If someone tags your post, check for the opportunity to engage with him.
18. Provide Coupons and Discounts
Instagram is a great place to attract customers for buying your products or investing your services by offering a good deal. You can share discount coupons on Instagram
- You can present your coupon code in an attractive form of graphics like GIFs and videos.
- You can do this in the form of a storytelling video.
- You can also offer individual discounts to people reaching out to you via message.
- You can announce flash sales, or provide coupons if you are having a bigger promotion.
19. Leverage User-Generated Content
Consistently publishing fresh and relevant content is tough. With the new Instagram algorithm, it is more important to keep the relevance and frequency of your posts high. In such cases, user-generated content is the best bet for Instagram marketers. It not only engages your audience but maintains the regular flow of content to post.
These are the ways you can leverage user-generated content to your advantage:
- Request your audience to tag your brand or use the hashtag so you can get featured on your Instagram feed.
- Reward your existing users by featuring their pictures using your product on your Instagram feed.
- Repost user-generated content relevant to your industry and give credit to original creators of the posts.
20. Post The Same Product More Than Once
If you post a product once and forget it that will not work. People usually don’t show interest in buy when they see the product for the first time. So to generate interest in users you have to repost more than once.
Sprout social has studied and found that more than 60% of people need to see something on social media between two and four times before they buy it. Though you have to publish the same post again but be creative that will increase the chances of people buying the product.
It’s clear that having an active presence in many social channels enables your businesses to grow exponentially. Social media influences consumers purchasing decisions and people invest in your product or services.
Instagram has shown massive growth so use this platform to increase your engagement. If your Instagram marketing strategy needs improvement, now is the right time to make it happen, you can refer Instagram marketing guide.
Put in place these tips to boost your Instagram presence and succeed in your business
Atul is Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting. He has over 22 years of experience in marketing, across corporates as well as SME,start-ups. Over the last 5 years, he has gained significant expertise and has helped several companies drive growth leveraging digital marketing