What Is Instagram Marketing?
Instagram marketing is the process of promoting your business through the free Instagram app.
This strategy can include publishing various high-quality types of content.
Paid advertising (also known as sponsored posts), and general social media management techniques.
Why Is Instagram Important For Marketing?
Using Instagram for business marketing is important.
Because it provides brands like yours an opportunity to promote your products and services to millions of users.
Not only can you reach large, new audiences through Instagram.
You can also increase brand visibility, build strong customer relationships, yield higher engagement, and generate more sales and revenue for your business.
It’s important to emphasize that Instagram is steadily turning out to be one of the most popular and engaging social media apps.
With over 25 million registered business accounts, it has become a proven social media platform for marketing and brand building.
About 100 million photos and videos are uploaded to Instagram every day by its huge, active user base that you, as a business, can tap into.
It’s worth noting that nearly 31% of Instagram users fall in the 18-24 age group.
This is a highly valuable demographic for businesses that are trying to build a viable audience, which also makes Instagram extremely competitive.
But with a well-planned marketing strategy and a firm brand identity, your business can get the right kind of exposure and boost your Instagram presence.
In the following article, we will be looking into a few Instagram marketing tips that will help you get real-world results.
Well, before I teach you and give you some Instagram marketing tips, let me first give you an overview on Instagram as it will help you.
Since it’s creation, it has grown into the ultimate platform for sharing photos.
Over 1.16 billion monthly users are active on the site. Daily users spend about 8 minutes on the app and 500 million use Stories daily.
There’s also a large number of influencers on the site with a massive amount of followers. And with the right plan, you can become an influential brand, too.
You need to post the right kind of content to stay relevant to current followers while also bringing in new ones.
But it can be hard to know which kinds of posts work best for growing your audience. So I am going to teach you how to become an expert Instagram marketer.
How to Market on Instagram
Here are ten powerful Instagram marketing tips (that actually work) that you can use to milk the popular platform for all that it’s worth.
1: Build a community around an actionable Instagram hashtag
The great thing about this strategy is that it can be leveraged across other social networks like Twitter and Pinterest, but works so well on Instagram and is the perfect way to get your audience to engage with your brand.
Nike did it well with their winter campaign Choose Your Winter. Being an avid runner and one of the crazy people that run the Charles River in 10-degree weather during Boston winters, I might be a bit biased, but Nike really did knock it out of the park with this campaign. Instagram themselves have recognized Nike for having the ability to start a movement with their #runfree campaign.
2: Partner with a good cause that supports your brand’s values
I’ve observed a few brands that take a unique approach to their posts by promoting and sharing their partnerships with their followers. For instance, SweetGreen, one of my favorite lunch spots for salads, soups, and fro-yo, prides itself on serving local and organically sourced ingredients from farmers and trusted partners.
I could praise their business decisions all day, but one, in particular, is the relationship they’ve developed with the non-profit FoodCorps. This partnership aligns seamlessly with SweetGreen’s healthy-living values since FoodCorps’ mission is to enable children to make healthier choices when it comes to food.
3: Relate to your followers while staying relevant to your brand
You always want to be thinking in the mindset of your target consumers. Likely you’ve already established a few buyer personas and have an idea of the makeup of the leads you’re nurturing and the customers you’re delighting. But now you need to think about why they’re on Instagram. To kill time? To see what’s up with their friends? To check in on what their children are up to?
Let’s pretend you sell financial consulting services and you’ve established that your clients love sports cars and tend to follow popular car brands on Instagram. Ok, perfect solution: post pictures of fancy sports cars! Right? Well, not quite – you need to keep relevant to what you’re selling so perhaps you post an attractive sports car, but write a catchy description reading “Wouldn’t you love to buy this lightning-fast beamer? You can if you start making better financial decisions! Call us today for a free 30-minute consultation.” And then stop posting cars for a while because you don’t want your market to think you sell sports cars.
4: PLEASE don’t over-post
This Instagram best practice is pretty self-explanatory, but for those new to the Instagram platform, please note that over-posting is a big install-no-no!
I remember when my good friend first joined and posted an entire Facebook album to his page until friends from all locations were yelling at him to chill out! If you’re tempted to post multiple pictures at once, use Instagram’s album feature (released in February 2017), which allows you to make a carousel gram with multiple pictures in a slideshow format. That way, you won’t clog your followers’ feeds and cause them to unsubscribe for life.
5: Promote your Instagram everywhere
This one is also somewhat self-explanatory, but you need to leverage this channel in the same way you do your other social networks. For example, do you have social icons on your homepage or product pages connecting visitors to your social channels? An Instagram icon needs to be added as well.
6: Find the beauty in your brand (even if your offerings are ugly)
A lot of B2B companies have already ruled Instagram out as an unusable platform for their business – their mindset being that they don’t sell food, beer, or clothing; their products are either unattractive or intangible so why would they use a photo-sharing application?
I get it, perhaps you sell software, so images of your product aren’t super attractive to your Instagram audience. I feel your pain, but I will not be sympathetic if you rule Instagram out altogether – because there are so many other ways to build your brand without directly showcasing photographs of your products!
7: Use all the tools Instagram has to offer
Since Instagram’s birth in 2010, they’ve continued to make changes to the application at a good pace (although take a deep breath, I’m not talking about a Google algorithm update pace).
There’s a lot you can do on Instagram to beautify your photos, track performance, and stay on top of changes. Check out this list of some of our favorite Instagram tools, and follow these three tips when navigating your way through the app:
8: Get inspiration from others
“Steal ideas from other companies”: this was the advice my first manager at my first job gave me when I hit an inspirational roadblock. It is genius advice when it comes to Instagram. There are so many incredible brands out there on the platform and you should be following all of them. Follow Charity Water, GoPro, Starbucks, Adidas, Taco Bell, all of the brands listed in this article, as well as anyone in your field or a related field, and copy their best strategies with your own unique spin.
Aside from mimicking other companies, mimic your fans. According to Fast Company’s Rachel Gillet, “In 2011 Chobani discovered that, even before the brand joined Instagram, their fans were posting photos of their artful concoctions using the Greek yogurt. The Chobani fans used hashtags like #creationaday and #chobani to showcase the yogurt as a core ingredient so it seemed only fitting for Chobani to build their following by piggybacking off of their fans’ creativity.”
9: Showcase beautiful experiences relevant to your brand
General Electric is a pro at this. You wouldn’t think wind turbines were photogenic but look at this stunning photo below.
According to the Instagram blog, “Show how your company sees the world and make it meaningful to people.” Not a photographer? Not all of us can be Annie Leibovitz. Instead, start a hashtag campaign (see tip #1) and post photographs that your fans capture. We often catch a stellar sunset at the WordStream office in Boston—this is another easy win for a great Instagram account.
I’ve talked a lot about promoting your Instagram account, posting engaging, quality images, using hashtags to create buzz, and gaining inspiration from others, but another critical step in the process is interacting with your followers and the people you want to follow you.
If you’re already posting follow-worthy content then start liking, commenting, and following others. “If you expect people to engage with your posts, they expect the same as well,” writes TINT CEO Tim Sae Koo. “The more active you are, the more exposed your username/account is to the owner and owner’s followers.” So search popular hashtags and like away! Write complimentary comments on people’s posts and #regram images while giving credit to the original.