If your business isn’t on Instagram these days, you’d better have a good reason. If you sell any kind of physical product, if you have stores, or if you want people to recognize your brand, it’s time to get an account. The social network is too popular to ignore. Instagram Marketing is part of our lives now. And for many businesses, it’s vital. Yours might be one of them.
Instagram is a social media heavyweight with over 1 billion users. There is plenty of room for growth and opportunity for you to reach your target audience on Instagram right now and convert Instagram users into traffic, subscribers, and sales for your business.
Simply put, it is a powerful mobile sharing (photos, videos) social networking service that lets users take pictures and short videos (one-minute maximum), then share them on other social networking platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr. Younger generations are arguably moving away from verbal communication, and the general population also seems enamored with visual media.
To get you started, we’ve put together these tips to get more from Instagram. Whether you’re brand new or have been using the ‘Gram for years, you’ll find a lot of valuable information.
We all know how great Instagram is for sharing photos and videos with our friends and family, but it’s also an incredible channel for ecommerce Marketing . But why?
Well, an obvious reason is Instagram’s format. Because of this visual nature, Instagram holds massive opportunities for ecommerce businesses looking to showcase their products. Whether through regular photos, videos, or Instagram Stories, millions of businesses have learned that building a visual presence on Instagram can hugely compliment their ecommerce marketing.
There’s also the fact that Instagram users are more engaged than the average social media user. And while trends do seem to show that Instagram engagement is dropping, the platform is still producing higher engagement rates for businesses compared to both Twitter and Facebook.
But Instagram users are more than simply engaged -- they’re also commonly online shoppers. According to a recent study, 72% of Instagram users report making a purchase decision after seeing something on Instagram, with the most popular categories being clothing, makeup, shoes, and jewelry.
This shopping mindset makes Instagram users the perfect audience because they’re high-intent and quick to convert.
Rule #1 of any social media strategy is to be more than just a publisher of content. You need to be involved.
On Instagram, that means a few things:
- Follow other people, brands and influencers
- Engage in the comment section of your posts and other's
Publish the awesome content of prospective customers and @mention them.
This is critical no matter what marketing you produce. You might create the most beautiful Instagram content in the world, but if it doesn’t appeal to your target buyer, what’s the point?
Take the time to find out who your existing audience is, and think about who you’d like them to be. Since you’re using Instagram for marketing, you need to consider whether they are potential buyers, or can help you build your brand in some way.
The tool offers some interesting insights (hence the name) into the people following and interacting with your account. These include:
- Impressions: How many times your content was viewed
- Reach: Total number of unique accounts that viewed a piece of content
- Website clicks: How many clicks the link in your business profile has received
- Follower activity: How often your followers are on Instagram daily
- Video views: How often your video content has been viewed
- Saves: How many people have saved your posts
Insights also includes demographic information, so you can see where your followers come from, their age, and their gender.
Most importantly, you’ll have plenty of information about your existing Instagram audience.
Let's face it, you're not the most unbiased source of information when it comes to your own business. Moreover, you have a pretty damn vested interest in its success.
This is what makes testimonials as powerful as they are. And not just on social media. Testimonials are a powerful element of any marketing funnel, from landing pages to your homepage, and more.
Consider how photographs and stunning graphics can attract visitors and bring them into your sales funnel. Have a look at what the world's most popular brands are doing to optimize their Instagram space. Create quality Instagram content to attract more audience.
Don't forget to use filters. Photos 'on the fly' often seem mediocre on first sight. That's why Instagram's filtering technology lets you transform your images into great-looking snapshots that get attention - which is the first step to getting users to take action.
Also, be sure to create videos as well; as videos get extremely high engagement rates on Instagram.
Going with what's trending is a best practice on social media in general. On the other hand, if you can tap into what people are already thinking about, you'll get a serious leg up when it comes to social engagement.
Accept follow requests and follow people who present attractive photos and teaching points for your own marketing efforts. Don't forget to inform people on your website and newsletters that you are on Instagram!
Add Instagram 'Follow' buttons, or periodically send out reminders to subscribers that you offer content there. The more places you can reach your audience (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) the better chance you'll have of them seeing your message and taking the actions you want them to take.
What about advertising on Instagram? While Instagram was slow to release advertising privileges to all, nowadays as long as you have a business profile you can run an advertisement on Instagram.
Instagram took their time releasing advertising to all. Our aim is to make any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands. And in fact, it is the case that native-looking ads tend to perform best on the platform.
Meanwhile, Advertisers now have 5 ad options including:
- Photo ads – your standard Instagram post format
- Video ads – the same as above, but with a video in place of a photo
- Carousel ads – a slideshow ad, which allows for multiple images
- Stories ads – these are Instagram’s version of Snapchat ads seen at the top of the feed
- Collection ads – a catalog ad that takes users through your product offerings
Instagram Hashtags help you “organize and categorize images and video content” to find content more easily. They’re a simple way to tag your content to make it easier to find for others.
They are so popular on Instagram that they’ve essentially become mandatory. If you want people to find your content, you need to use hashtags.
Above all, here are a few hashtag best practices:
- Don’t overdo it: five targeted hashtags are better than 25 random ones.
- Avoid overused tags: adding #love or #instagood is as good as useless.
- Don’t spam: keep them relevant to the image.
A recent poll found that the best time to post on Instagram is between 7-9pm. So that’s simple – just post all your photos then!
If that seems too simple, it’s because it is. You can’t just rely on a few polls – your audience isn’t necessarily engaged when those others are. Instead, try to find the best times to post for your target audience, when you know they’re paying attention.
- Aim for non-work hours (lunch and evenings)
- Weekends if you’re a B2C company; probably not for B2B
- Wednesdays and Thursdays seem to be best for engagement
- 3-4pm is generally the worst for engagement
In the end, it’ll take a little research to figure out what works best for you. So, monitor your posts – and your competitors’ – to arrive at an optimum posting schedule for your account.
Hopefully this article has given you a few actionable strategies for promoting your business on Instagram. So, let us know if you've tried any of these before or find success from acting on these tips!