How to grow your business brand using Instagram Marketing
Every business out there needs a great marketing campaign and a fully thought out online marketing strategy. There are many social media platforms, they are all different and each need their own processes.
Instagram is fast becoming the most popular social media platform.
In fact, it was the most popular site in 2019, and this trend is expected to continue into 2020 and beyond.
Instagram is growing rapidly, with over a billion active monthly users, of which 72% have admitted to buying an item they originally saw advertised on Instagram.
Instagram not only provides you with the perfect platform to showcase your products in all their glory, but it also has an extremely large number of ready, willing, and engaged users.
This means there is great scope for you to use Instagram in the day-to-day running of your business. You need to learn how to utilise this free source of advertising to maximum efficiency. Don’t miss out. This page is designed to help you create your very own Instagram marketing strategy.
The first thing you need to do is ensure that your profile, if you already have one, is an Instagram Business Account. Ensure you optimise it correctly and use a suitable profile image, perhaps your brand, logo, for example, as long as the image easily symbolises your company. This will ensure you get insight and metrics into your follower base and which posts are the most popular.
Planning your campaigns
Why are you on Instagram?
A simple but very important question. If you know the answer to this and can answer succinctly, then you are already a step ahead of the game.
So think about it...
Do you intend to build a cult following, or promote brand awareness?
Perhaps it’s all about sales leads for you and simply the number of followers.
Once you know your objectives, then you know how to focus your posts.
Who is your target market?
In order to create an effective advertising campaign, you absolutely need to know who your audience is.
So simply put, who buys your products?
As your business is probably already up and running, you should already have a pretty good idea of who your audience is. Utilise this key data effectively.
Use Instagram and look deeply at the profiles of some of your followers, and begin profiling your target market.
Where are they located?
You have now developed a methodology to cater to the target market, but have you given any consideration to other aspects such as location?
If you are a small business, for example, perhaps it’s all about the local community for you. So, localise your campaigns. Upload images of the local areas and community events and how it is relevant to your business and your customers.
If you are an online start-up, then it’s all about building up a presence and getting your name out there. You will be focusing on generating leads on a mass-scale, so localising does not make sense.
Or, perhaps, your objective is all about building customer loyalty, possibly through the use of gimmicks and trends.
In the planning stage, you will develop a theme and a focus. This will drive the motion of the content.
Instagram posting for your company will end up being a full-time job for someone.
Together you will design a focused strategy where new and brilliant content will be produced every day.
How often to post
You will need to keep a regular presence, yet at the same time do not inundate your feed. The constant bombardment approach will have the effect of blinding your customers to your products and services.
The key is quality, engaging posts, over quantity.
However, at the same time, posting irregularly will make you appear of low-interest.
The general rule of thumb is to post between one and three times a day. Posting needs to be consistent, so the audience sees your brand every day. Regular, consistent posting increases engagement rates.
Research suggests the best time to make these posts is around 2pm to 3pm. However, think about the times people wake up, lunchtimes and dinner time. These are statistically the most common times for people to check their phones.
What to post
As you will only be posting a couple or so times a day it means your posts need to be well thought out. Glossy photos are a clear winner and can drive engagement. However, think about images that are:
- Customer oriented - ensure you think about how this post speaks to your customer to get them to share.
- Behind the scenes - think about your employees and involve the bread and butter into the feed. Let your followers feel as if they understand you business.
- Show your products or services in a new light - try to use colour and effects, you want your followers to share the images. You will learn what will work best using insights.
In addition, you can post Instagram stories which promote engagement and allow your customers to grow even closer. You can take your followers behind the scenes a little better with stories, over what you can do with images.
Other ways to use stories include:
- Product teasers.
- Demonstrating a product.
- Promoting an event or competition.
- You could have a flash sale.
There is also IGTV where you can create a professional TV style approach.
This is good for longer videos where you have something in depth to say to your followers, you can post content up to ten minutes long. It will give your brand that extra space to communicate effectively.
Before you can use IGTV you need to create a channel and set it up as a bio with your instagram account.
The best thing to do is post a minute of the video on your feed. This increases engagement.
Ensure the image you pick is indicative of the video, it need to be bright and attractive. Link to it from stories and your feed for the maximum exposure. You want people to know there is a new channel out there. The video needs to hook the viewer in less than 15 seconds, so start strong and include relevant hashtags.
The advice with posting is experimentation, use different formats, styles, and color-schemes, and refine and refine. You need to make sure that each post is stand alone, to keep it interesting. You also need to have a pattern and structure as this will make your company seem systematic and reliable.
Growing your following
You have got to engage with your audience, as you do not want your Instagram audience to be passively viewing your content.
Do not just continually upload product images in a non-social context. You need to have some form of dialogue with your audience, as this is a much more powerful tool.
Create posts that generate feedback and commentary from your users. You could ask questions that initiate a response and an ongoing narrative. The information you garner from this could be used to improve products and services.
You could generate content for you IGTV channel this way. This would fully integrate the audience into the heart of your business. You will be creating a community of like-minded people and upgrading your company by proxy.
You could create a fun poll, get data that way about what people think. Perhaps you could design a competition or a contest. One way to do this could be a ‘caption this image’ campaign. If someone comments, reply to them. DM if and when it is appropriate to do so. Maybe, you could share their content too. Join in with popular conversations as this already has a huge reach.
Ensure you develop your own Instagram style, something that will match your business.
You will want something that will be instantly recognisable so you stand out from the crowd.
In addition, ensure your bio is correctly worded. Change it every couple of weeks or so to mix things up.
Make sure you also untag photos, and that approve photo tags is switched on, you do not want some unruly photo to mess up your company image.
You need to become more creative with your Instagram hashtags. Use more than just one word. Ensure that your hashtags are in your profile and promote them on other media.
Influencers can increase awareness of your brand.
Study Instagram and discover who your audience tends to follow, who do they admire and listen to?
Think about what you would like them to say.
Your followers will trust certain influencer and are much more likely to make a purchase based on something the influencer says. They are like friends to your followers.
You will need to do this to properly in order to cater your posts appropriately going forward.
You need to learn the best time to post, and what to post when, for example.
In addition, Instagram has insights which is basically an analytics tool. It allows you to learn more about the popularity of posts, how many views, its reach, location of views, etc. This is a great way for you to learn which posts work, which don’t, where and why, and you can use it to better manage posts going forward.
If you can accurately measure the popularity and eventual effectiveness of a particular post you will be able to create more refined Instagram marketing strategies going into the future and expanding your business.
So there you have... now it's over to you to create your own Instagram marketing success!