In the fast-paced ecommerce business world, staying ahead in marketing tactics is not just an…
Instagram Marketing is the way to go regarding high conversion and engagement.
If not, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms; from September 2017 to June 2018, its user base shot up from 800 million to 1 billion in less than a year.
For this topic to make sense, you can also read The Fastest Way To Optimize Your Instagram Profile For Growth, a series of Instagram hacks and postsposts.
In roughly nine months, the number of marketers on Instagram increased by nearly 7%, compared to Facebook’s growth of only 0.5% and Twitter’s of 0.37%.
These stats show that Instagram has enormously impacted how people and businesses interact daily.
Instagram is positioning itself as a critical source of communication, Ecommerce, learning, and entertainment.
But, a big challenge exists for brands that want to jump into the Instagram marketing movement.
Many need help figuring out where to begin. Sifting through all the disjointed tips and resources can be downright intimidating.
Well, count this post as a good riddance.
The article will explain the dos and don’ts of Instagram marketing clearly and actionably.
Instagram Marketing The highlights;
- Definition and an overview of Instagram marketing
- Setting up an Instagram business profile
- Tapping on Instagram features to build a powerful marketing strategy
- Growing your following and profit from your efforts.
- Tracking your performance using Instagram insights
- The cool apps to help you
Table of Contents
- What is Instagram Marketing?
- Instagram Algorithm
- Examples of Instagram Marketing
- Setting Up an Instagram Business Profile.
- Powerful Instagram Features for Businesses.
- Instagram Hashtags.
- Instagram Stories.
- If you approach Instagram marketing with a growth mindset, it will become more straightforward, more lucrative, and more fun if you tick the right boxes.
What is Instagram Marketing?
Instagram marketing is a form of social media marketing in which brands use the Instagram platform to promote their businesses. As one of the most popular sales channels, Instagram offers a variety of ways for businesses to reap its benefits.
Instagram marketing involves using Instagram to promote a brand. It can help brands Increase brand awareness, Grow their audience, Boost sales, and generate leads.
The term ”promote their businesses” is broad. Still, Instagram marketing involves several tactics and strategies to accomplish all kinds of business objectives.
When looking at the different ways to use Instagram for marketing, you can split the promotion of business activity
into two:*Paid tactics such as advertising and influencer marketing
*Unpaid right strategies like creating organic content such as Instagram stories, posts, comments, and engaging the users’ feedback.
Typical business objectives range from selling your products/services, building relationships with potential clients and other brands, getting more followers & engagement, to generally boosting brands’ reputation.
An algorithm is a widely misunderstood term. You need not be an Instagram algorithm master; a basic understanding can help you realize your goals faster.
While some marketers view the Instagram algorithm as a cardinal enemy, it is the opposite. Likelgorithm- is to deng, algorithm. Its goal is to provide entertaining and relevant content to each user.
The algorithm carefully studies its users’ activities and behaviors and then uses that data to make informed guesses about what the users want to see in the future. If your content passes the ”test,” you are teed up for success.
The takeaway is that you should always focus on creating quality content that benefits your audience. So, there is no content for making something, no spammy comments or posts. Be dedicated, strategic, and thoughtful while constantly querying your audience and how you can serve them through your efforts.
Examples of Instagram Marketing
1. Organic Content
Organic content is suitable for describing any unpaid content you post, such as videos, photos, and stories. These posts should be at the center of your Instagram marketing strategy because it becomes much easier to make sales if you can keep your audience interested organically.
2. Instagram Ads.
Unlike organic content, Instagram ads are a more direct approach to Instagram marketing for generating complex cold sales. You can run a long list of ads, including shoppable posts, story ads, video ads, image ads, and carousel ads.
Video & Image Ads
As you may have guessed, a video ad refers to the features of a video, and an image ad features an image. These ads appear in users’ feeds similarly to how organic posts from other users do.
The Ads include a call-to-action button that urges users to take a specific action, such as:
- Contact us
- Shop now
- Book now
- Watch more
- Listen now
- Learn more
- Send message
Carousel ads work like organic posts with more than one video or image. They appear in users’ feeds and other posts, letting you display up to 10 videos and impressions per post. What’s brilliant is that each item has a unique link leading users to it.
It can work correctly with a dropshipping store, for instance, highlight a few sales and lead potential clients to your site to shop.
Story Ads are among the best ways to sell on Instagram, and they are immersive, full-screen units that enable your brand to infuse creativity, making the Ads more appealing to your audience.
The Story Ads burst between Instagram Stories from the accounts people follow. Story Ads can deliver a positive experience to potential clients. Also, they feature a tiny ‘Sponsored’ tag at the top right and a call-to-action (CTA) at the bottom.
A report by Kenshoo reveals that image ads still retain the top spot as the most popular Instagram ad format and that story ads are rapidly growing in popularity.
The findings also pointed out that advertisers’ share spend on Story Ads doubled year-over-year, ending in the 2nd quarter of 2019 from 9% to 18%.
To generate income with Story Ads, run campaigns that promote your services or products and add a CTA at the bottom to encourage potential customers to buy.
Of course, you will have an option in Ads to publish as a video or an image. Whatever you choose, ensure your ad story is attention-grabbing to snag the users who swipe fast through their content.
Instagram has a great feature called Instagram Shopping that allows people to shop without leaving the app. The feature’s core functionality is that it lets businesses tag products in their Instagram content, and when potential clients click on the tagged items, they are led to the item’s page on the brand’s site.
Say you sell beauty accessories and post a picture of a model wearing some of your products. Potential clients can click to view and buy the items directly in the app.
Once approved as a seller, you can sell products through Stories and posts. If you want to step things up, you can create an Instagram shop, though you’ll need a connected Facebook business account.
If all these are new to you, read Guide to Instagram Shopping. It delves deep into how the feature works, integrating it into your Instagram marketing strategy and increasing your visibility on the photo-sharing app.
3. Influencer Marketing
Among the most popular forms of social media marketing today is Influencer Marketing. Instagram Influencers are persons who have grown an organic, dedicated following based on their content niche, and influencers exist on pretty much every, if not all, social media you can think.
Finding the right influencers that match your brand can significantly boost overall brand recognition, followers, and sales. Therefore, the key is to find the right influencers.
Partnering with other brands to cross-promote contests and giveaways is another common form of influencer marketing. It is a wrap for the gist of the various types of Instagram marketing can take.
The next order of business is the juicy parts, and the first up is the dos and don’ts of setting up a profile.
Setting Up an Instagram Business Profile.
You need to confirm that you have a proper business profile. A business profile is more credible in the eyes of your audience than a regular personal profile. It is imperative to have a business profile to reap the benefits of features like Instagram Insights and Ads.
Instagram Marketing How to Create an Instagram Business Profile.
You need 2-things to create an Instagram Business Profile.
1. An Instagram account could be your existing personal account or a new one created for this purpose. Creating a new handle with your business’s name for brand recognition is better.
2. A Facebook page for your business. Instagram is needed for verification purposes.
And an overview of how to make an Instagram Business profile entails:
1. log in to Instagram with your business handle on your phone.
2. Tap the icon at the bottom right corner. The screen expands to show another menu. Tap ‘Settings’ at the bottom right corner.
3. On the setting page, scroll down till you find ‘Switch to Business Profile.’
4. Instagram then prompts you to connect the account to your Facebook Business page and edit your public contact info: location, email address, and phone number. Do not add private info given; this will be available on your profile publicly.
What Makes a Good Instagram Business Profile?
When optimizing your Instagram profile, you must remain consistent with your brand. That is to say, use the same images, fonts, and colors as your other platforms, such as your social media accounts and website. This makes it easy to promote your business clearly and recognizably.
Your profile photo and bio are 2-main elements of your profile. For pictures, using your business logo to help with brand recognition is best. For your Instagram bio, the following few tips can ensure that it gets some attention:
1. Make it customer-centered, not your business. Explain the benefit that you are offering. Instead of saying something business-oriented, like posting amazing travel photos- say It is a big world; explore through the lens of our photographers.
2. You can use your bio to promote a significant event or content on offer, like say you encourage users to join your 101 courses for starting their first online business.
3. Encourage users to engage with your brand. For example, you can ask your followers to share their style in an Instagram post with a branded hashtag; in exchange, the business features some of these posts on their account.
4. Put a link for users to explore. The link on your bio should lead users to experience your brand, whether it links to your site, piece of content, or a specific sale or content aggregation tool like LikeShop or Linktree listing. If your URL is long or unsightly, consider using a Bitly shortened URL.
5. Use emojis. Emojis are super trendy. They are a quick, visual way to get your point across.
You can use the 150 characters in many ways to build a stronger relationship with your audience through your Instagram profile.
Powerful Instagram Features for Businesses.
Instagram hosts plenty of cool features that can aid boost your Instagram marketing strategy help connect users-enriching relationships.
Hashtags are ubiquitous everywhere on the internet. If you apply them to your marketing strategy, Instagram hashtags are clear-cut signals to users, and your posts are relevant to what they are looking for.
Some users search for content based on hashtags alone. Include the associated hashtag if your post is related to a trending topic. This may help you reach users who are genuinely interested in what you have to say.
To find trending hashtags, search directly in the Instagram search bar and scope out content posted by others.
Tools like the Keyword Tool generate hashtags based on your keywords. Several agencies provide free results, but more extensive lists require a paid upgrade.
Also, it is a smart move to create a branded hashtag and use it frequently. The hashtag may include the name of a particular campaign, event, promotion, or company name.
Stories are an excellent addition to your Instagram marketing strategy, as they allow you to post things that are more timely or only partially warrant a standard post or in-depth article.
As of January 2019, 500 million people use Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories are a more exciting and brief way to share with your following. They are only 15 seconds long, disappear after 24 hours, and are not listed on your main profile or feed.
There are a few ways you could use your Instagram Stories:
*Answer popular questions about your company individually or within your company’s niche
*Show ”Behind the scene” content to give your audience a sneak preview of how you do things.
*Promote your content, like a new ebook, infographic, or blog.
*Have a ”takeover” where one of your employees could be an influencer and post their content for a day
*Ask your following for feedback about your company or poll them on a popular topic
*Host a giveaway or contest, asking your audience to create a post/story that tags your handle or branded hashtags.
Say, for instance, you run Men’s clothing brand; you can have a creative ”Welcome Back from the Weekender” series that you run every Monday, and it features a compilation of Stories that doubles up as a fun news-style show.
Be mindful of your Instagram story dimensions so your images or videos do not look distorted to your viewers.
As the name suggests, Instagram Live lets you engage with your audience in a real-time ”live broadcast” format. This feature can be helpful, especially if you are attending an event or discussing any timely or urgent subject.
The exciting thing about Instagram Live is that your story is shown first in your followers’ feeds, and when they open the app, they get a notification that it is happening. But as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. Only use Instagram Live if you have genuine content to share, lest you push users away for wasting their time.
While the short story lasts 15 seconds, IGTV caters to long-form videos, from 10 minutes to an hour, for accounts with a massive following.
IGTV lets users search for videos that interest them. It also makes suggestions based on users’ past behavior or activity- IGTVV helps ensure that audiences connect with content they will like.
If you are a newbie, something other than IGTv may suit your needs or objectives. However, if you produce long videos or are a media company, IGTV can be a valuable tool for conveying your message and engaging the audience.
Creating an Effective Instagram Marketing Strategy.
Instagram marketing strategy works best with set objectives and individually chosen tactics that gradually build toward the goal. It would help if you tracked your progress to tweak your plan as needed.
Identify Goals and objectives.
Your set goals and objectives are the crux pillars of your marketing plan. For goal setting, follow the SMART acronym:
*Specific: Give exact figures instead of vague goals
*Measurable: Goals have to be trackable and measurable using insights and analytics.
*Attainable: Be realistic.
*Relevance: Remain aligned with your business, industry, and outlook
*Time bond: Set a timeframe to accomplish the goal.
Instead of saying, ”I want more followers to try something like this,” I aim to gain 200 authentic followers in three months.
Instead of ”, I want more sales” try ”My goal is to earn $700 in revenue from Instagram Ads sales next month.”
And rather than saying, ”I want more engaged followers,” try ” My goal is to grow my engagement rate by 2% in 6 months.”
Once you have a set goal, flesh out your Instagram content strategy.
Build Your Instagram Content Strategy.
There are several posting options for building an Instagram content strategy. The choice of the right ones is mainly based on knowing your audience.
It would help if you had insights into your audiences’ key demographics. What entices and entertains them? What do they like to see, do, or experience? How do brands generate trust and motivate audiences to make a purchase?
You may not have the answers right away, which is normal.
It is a learning curve that you will master over time. In the process, you will realize that by becoming laser-focused, you can improve the performance of your Instagram marketing strategy by understanding your audience and what makes them tick.
The pointers to building a strong Instagram content strategy are as follows:
*Ensure every post aligns with your branding and aesthetic.
Maintain a consistent vibe. For instance, if your brand is high-fashion women’s accessories, ensure that all your images are high-quality and conjure feelings of elegance and sophistication. If your brand is funny or quirky, Instagram is the platform to let your true colors shine.
Your audience loves memes and animals, so you may incorporate these regularly into your strategy.
*Valuable Intel from friends and enemies
Spying on what other companies are doing can be enormously helpful if you are starting. Check out top-performing posts, leaders in specific niches, your biggest competitors, and the most broadly popular accounts on the platform.
Conducting competitive research can tip you off to vital trends, little-known tricks, Instagram hacks, and best practices that can take your business to the next level.
*Creating a social media content calendar,
A social media content calendar helps you stay organized and on top of your Instagram content strategy, ensuring consistency and cohesion.
Start by writing all the posts for the next month, scheduling at least 4-posts per week. If you are having a challenge filling in all the spots or looking for inspiration, you can use the free templates that follow common post styles and popular posts from other brands.
If you can afford to part with a few bucks, buy full packs that feature several templates with consistent visual themes, such as an Instagram commerce pack.
To remain on top of things, you can employ tools like Buffer or Later to schedule automatic publishing for your posts.
*Using Instagram Insights to track your performance
Instagram Insights is a free tool available for every business profile. It provides a valuable look at key performance metrics of your account, like how engaged users are or how much attention posts get.
Instagram Insights highlights demographic data on your followers, providing better intelligence on finding your target audience on Instagram. Though the built-in tool is not comprehensive, it is fantastic for beginners.
Growing Your Instagram Following.
Though some excellent techniques can help you gain more followers if you already have a well-known brand, several fantastic Instagram marketing tactics also work if you start from scratch.
The following are some of the methods you can implement to grow your Instagram:
1. Host a Giveaway with Another Business
Working with another business to host a giveaway or a contest can spike your following.
The concept works if you and your partner have similar client profiles; you request that every person who enters the competition ”likes” the post and takes some subsequent action, such as tagging or following.
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2. Repost Other Companies’ Content
Sharing other brands’ content on your account may help you gain a considerable following. This is an innovative and natural way to increase your followers because when you promote other brands’ content in your posts, the other businesses will likely reciprocate.
In some instances, other businesses will follow back and promote your brand. Even more crucial is that their following may notice your profile. You can use apps like Repost for Instagram or do it manually.
The app yields better results as it lets you quickly pick the accounts you want to repost. Additionally, Repost for Instagram automatically tags the original profile, giving it credit for the content.
3. Instagram Shoutouts
Giving and receiving Instagram shoutouts is the other version of the reposting strategy. For example, ask another business in your industry to post your content, and you post theirs in return.
Various methods of giving and receiving shoutouts exist. One involves your brand asking users of its products to shout out about the development and use a branded hashtag in the description of their post.
And you regularly return the favor by sharing some of your product’s most enticing branded hashtag posts from your users.
It is a brilliant marketing strategy whose benefits trickle down to both the and its partners, who experience a significant uptick in credibility and following. The key is finding the right partners who are open to mutual exchange.
4. Allow an Influencer Takeover.
This tact involves connecting your business to an influential person in your industry. The ripple effect is your brand’s exposure to the influencer’s following as they announce the takeover days leading up to it.
You should sign up to influencer marketing platforms to find relevant businesses and individuals to partner with. The online tools automate the discovery, vetting, and reporting processes, allowing us to focus more on planning takeovers and building influencer relationships.
5. Captions That Move Audience
Ordinarily, people scroll through their Instagram feeds while trudging through a mundane daily routine or when they are bored. By creating intriguing Instagram captions, you can attract and engage these audiences.
If an image video is about a product, a caption is the place to describe it. Use emojis to explain why people should care.
Posts with strong captions shape your brand’s personality and story. Craft a caption that encourages engagement and makes people realize they need what you offer.
The strategies should offer a simple and effective way to increase your follower count. However, the results can take time to trickle in if you are starting from scratch with no one knows you yet,
Being a newbie ought not to deter you, and to hit the ground running, you may need to check out strategies on ”how to gain followers on Instagram.”
The Best Instagram Apps for 2020: Instagram Marketing
Although Instagram offers a wide range of tools and filters, sometimes you need something extra to differentiate yourself from other brands in your feed. The good news is that plenty of apps can help you do just that.
The best Instagram marketing apps make your posts share-worthy, distinguishable, and memorable. Enticing all one billion users may be futile. It would help if you attracted the attention of users who matter most to your brand.
The following is a round-up of all the essential Apps businesses need to add to their Instagram marketing tools. Whether you are looking to schedule posts in advance, delete inactive followers, or create better images, most of the Instagram Apps in the list below are available for both Android and iOS devices:
Photo Editing App
There are a dozen photo editing apps to help you spruce up your images/ Some of these flavors of photo editor apps include:
Snapseed (Android and iOS)
The Snapseed brush tool allows you to adjust color temperature, saturation, and exposure- ideal for situations where you need to enhance some but not all details in your image.
VSCO (Android and iOS)
VSCO is famous for its movie-like editing and filter, which often outperform Instagram’s in-app offerings in creativity. It lets you adjust contrast, darken edges, and enhance skin color.
This app lets you add text and unique typography to photos. The features offer an opportunity to create hype to promote a sale or a product.
You can download Instagram video editor apps to edit your clips. Thankfully, with noise reduction and clip trimming features, you can create awesome videos without hiring a pro.
Identify the best time to post on Instagram; use scheduling apps to create and push more content to your audience. The apps are:
Later (Android and iOS)
The app is easy to use; You upload a media item from your phone’s library into Later’s dashboard, and a scheduler pops up. You can write a caption, tag the media’s location, and tag other users’ profiles to increase your content’s discoverability.
Hootsuite(Android and iOS)
The ”composer” window allows you to post content now, queue it for later, save it as a draft, or schedule it manually. Hootsuite’s features let you measure content performance and followers’ growth.
Sprout Social (Android and iOS)
Media (video, image) can be scheduled and posted directly from Sprout Social’s mobile app. The app has several features, including a calendar that shows all planned content across social networks.
Publishing content that stands out is a sure ticket to getting more followers, and that is where the content apps slot. Consider the following:
It is considered one of the best Instagram Story apps. Use it to lay out your stories with trendy, creative, and often cinematic-inspired filters, textures, templates, and colors.
Layout(Android and iOS)
The app is a super smooth, feature-rich image mixer that generates up to 9 photos in various combinations to create a collage. You can capture images through the in-built image booth or select them from your camera roll.
GoPro’s Splica packs simple but powerful editing features. You can use these to combine video and image into one cohesive media clip and then use the incorporated music library and transition effects to create a masterpiece.
You can use Instagram Insights to monitor how worthwhile app experiments impact your marketing strategy. Grow your brand by operating those that positively affect other mobile marketing apps.
Making Money with Instagram Marketing.
If you consistently use Instagram and have a decent number of engaged followers, you have a reason to make money from this platform.
Ace influencers rake in millions per post; even those with a following between 1k and 10k have the potential to turn Instagram into a cash cow.
Consider the following 3-ideas to start making money with Instagram marketing:
- Sell Your Product
You can make money by selling any physical or digital product you buy from suppliers or by manufacturing yourself.
For physical products, you need to keep an inventory. You will need to rent a place to stay for the items. But only some have the funding to rent storage places.
Dropshipping products allow you to sell on Instagram without an inventory. The concept’s modus operandi is that once you have made a sale, the supplier ships the ordered items from their facility straight to the customer.
It means you will not scratch worrying about head packaging, shipping, or storing products.
2. Sign Up For an Affiliate Program
You can also sell other people’s items as an affiliate and earn money. Several companies and people make money from an Instagram affiliate program.
Use relevant hashtags on all affiliate posts to reach a wider audience who may be interested in your offer.
You can use eye-catching posts to ensure your content attracts people to check out your affiliate program.
Affiliates earn their bounty through promo codes or trackable links to ensure any click converts to sales.
Identify an affiliate program that pays the commission you want and is related to your business niche in some way. For instance, if you are an apiarist- farmer by profession, you can sign up for an affiliate program promoting an apiary brand.
Search for your niche on Google, along with keywords, for instance ”affiliate program.”
3. Become an Influencer
As an influencer, you can pitch brands to promote their services and products in your post. Businesses often partner with influencers to create sponsored content to help spread the word about their offerings. The range usually includes an Instagram post or story explaining the company or its product.
If your follower counts exceed 1k and you have a reasonable engagement rate, roll out your influencer outreach. Send direct messages to businesses you deem relevant to your brand if you are aware of previous collaborations with influencers of your level. Then, the probability of getting back is high.
Highflying influencers make hundreds to thousands of dollars per sponsored post or story. New features and opportunities on the platform are fast becoming an avenue for brands and people to mint some cash.
Instagram Marketing Summary
Instagram is a massive network within the social networking world, an absolute powerhouse. Brands have infinite untapped potential to attract attention, build healthy relationships, stimulate engagement, and surpass their annual financial goals.
If left on its own, Instagram marketing might be enormous and intimidating. However, new businesses have nothing to worry about for a while as long as they consistently listen, watch, and learn.
You may not be an avid Instagram user, but you are probably familiar with the most popular features. Take a look.
If you approach Instagram marketing with a growth mindset, it will become more straightforward, more lucrative, and more fun if you tick the right boxes.
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