That’s how many active users there are on Instagram. Wondering if adding the popular platform to your marketing strategy is worth it?
With that number, it’s hard to ignore.
Not only that but the platform is increasing in popularity daily. It’s made up of users around 18 to 29 with 41% being younger than 24 and Instagram users are projected to spend an average of 28 minutes per day on the platform in 2020 – that’s a lot of screentime!
While there are numerous other social media platforms you can focus on (such as Facebook and Twitter), Instagram and it’s visual-focus and potential for high user engagement rate makes it the social media network to be on. You can directly interact with users and perfect your strategy to gain more followers which can turn into leads.
Ready to get into the Instagram game? Take a look at some of our effective marketing tactics below!
1. Start with Your Profile
Before you even begin posting photos, make sure your profile is completely filled out. When your captivating photos get a user interested, they’ll want to follow up by checking out your profile and no one wants to see a business profile void of information!
Think of your bio as your elevator pitch. When users are scoping you out, they want to know what you do and what you can offer.
Be sure to put any relevant hashtags in your bio as well. They’ll become clickable along with usernames.
While this should be obvious (but we’ll remind you anyway), include a link to your website!
2. Create and define your goals
Having an account on Instagram is all well and good, but you need to decide where you want to take your account and what you want it to achieve.
Do you want your Instagram to:
- Increase brand awareness?
- Make sales?
- Generate new leads?
Setting goals should be one of (if not) the first steps you do when building your Instagram strategy.
Once you figure this out, you can then create an Instagram marketing strategy that will help you achieve that goal. For example, if your main priority is to make product sales, you could have a feed that focuses on product shots and incorporate Instagram shop tags in those photos.
Figure out your goal and kick off from there!
3. Define your Audience
Instagram just isn’t limited to millennials; the social media platform is used by a wide variety of people! You’d be surprised at how many mums use it!
It’s important to then define which slice of the massive Instagram user base you want to target. Why? So you can create content that speaks directly to that audience! Having content which does so is more likely to lead to higher engagement from that audience which can in turn into sales, leads or increased brand awareness (dependent on your goals).
4. Create visually compelling and consistent content
That headline is a bit of a tongue twister but the point is Instagram is a visual, aesthetics-focused platform. If your content isn’t up to scratch then more likely than not, users will simply scroll past your photos!
Your photos need to be able to stop users from scrolling past it and you can do this by producing well-composed shots or including a story to tell in your photos.
Your content also needs to be relatively consistent. Remember, you are a brand and you want users to remember you, or be able to quickly recognise your brand. You can create a consistent content feed by taking shots with similar looks and feels, incorporating similar colour palettes in your photos or using the same group of influencers and ambassadors.
A solid example of this is the Instagram account for MVMT Watches (@mvmt) – their feed incorporates high usage of whites and earthy tones.
@mvmt uses consistent white/earthy tones to help build a cohesive brand style.
5. Use captions to give your brand a voice
So you’ve hooked users with an amazing photo, now it’s time to engage them even further with the photo’s caption. Brand look and feel are important, but so is a brand voice so your caption should be in line with your brand’s identity.
@toyota uses a short and sweet caption which tells you all you need to know by only using a couple of words.
Your captions can be short, like a witty one-liner or can be long, like a short paragraph of great wordplay. Either way, your caption needs to be relevant to your audience, entertaining or informative and most importantly, be consistent with your brand.
6. Use Relevant Hashtags
If you aren’t using the right hashtags, you can forget being found by your audience. Including the right Instagram hashtags on your posts is more likely to generate higher engagement than you would if you didn’t.
This is because hashtags put all content, whether photos or stories, into categories and makes it discoverable. And now that users have the ability to follow specific hashtags, it increases the chance that they will see you and engage with your content.
What’s great about hashtags, is that if you use them well they get your content seen by the people you want them to see! Remember how it’s a good idea to define your audience?
For example, are you trying to appeal to the foodies in Sydney? There’s plenty of local-related hashtags you can use such as:
What you don’t want to do is use hashtags that are overused. Examples would be tags like #food or #photos. These hashtags are bound to be overflowing with content and the chance that your photo will be widely seen is very slim!
So where can you find these hashtags? You can do your own research and scour through several hashtags on Instagram itself and look at how well specific hashtags are doing. You could also use online hashtag generators such as Ingramer or All Hashtag, which will give you a set of hashtags which are related to your posts’ theme or style.
7. Post consistently and at the most optimum times
If you’re not posting, you’re not engaging, simple as that! You need to be posting your well-curated content consistently, whether it’s daily, twice a week, or three times a week. Any less than that and you run the risk of your followers forgetting you and not maximising your opportunities for user engagement!
Another important thing to consider is when you’re posting. Which days are you posting on? And at what time? You could take a stab in the dark but if you have a Business account (and you should!), you can delve into the data to find out when your followers are most active. Are they most active in the morning? Or maybe in the evening as they commute home? Tho’s analytics can be key to helping you get the most engagement out of your followers as possible!
Instagram Business Insights is a great way to figure out your most optimal posting times.
8. Utilize Instagram Stories
In case you haven’t heard, there’s a whole other side to Instagram that many businesses seem to just forget: Instagram Stories. Stories are a feature where users can capture and post photos or videos that vanish after 24 hours.
What’s great about them is that they are nice, bite-sized pieces of content which come with a whole boatload of customisable and creative features. They aren’t designed to be super curated, they’re simply a fantastic opportunity for your brand to connect with your followers and build relationships.
Some examples of what you can do through stories include:
- Short videos (such as behind the scenes etc.)
- User polls
- User questions
- Directing users to a website URL through ‘Swipe Up’.
The sky really is the limit with Instagram Stories and with it being such a great way to genuinely engage with your followers, you can’t afford to not include them in your Marketing Strategy!
If you think your content will be useful to followers, later on, save them to your highlight reel. Instead of disappearing after 24 hours, they’ll remain there on your profile.
9. Collaborate with Influencers
Want to grow your follower count? Collaborate with influencers to expose yourself to their audience.
You’ll gain more opinions on your product or service and get someone with a lot of pull in their industry to give your business a try.
You can reach out to Instagram influencers via DMs (direct message) but they might also reach out to you, looking for a collaboration. When choosing which influencers to work with, it’s important you select those that align with your own brand values.
An influencer may have 500K followers but if they don’t relate to your brand identity and values then you might be unable to communicate your message through them. The influencers you collaborate with should share similar values, as their followers will come to associate the qualities of their influencer with your brand which could affect your brand’s image (either positively or negatively). All we’re saying is choose carefully!
Also, while a large follower count is attractive, engagement is where it’s at. Collaborate with an influencer who gets a lot of comments and engagements on their posts. This way, people will actually see your content—not just scroll on by.
AspireIQ sets out a list of potential influencers for you to browse and select for your Instagram campaign.
If you’re looking to find Instagram influencers, the Discovery tab on Instagram is a great way to start as the platform’s algorithms should already display posts from influencers who are relevant to your brand. Alternatively, there are numerous online services which collate and recommend you influencers and also help generate content for your brand. Examples of these are:
These influencer marketing tools also give you insightful stats about their influencers which further help you find the right influencers you want to represent your brand!
10. Engage with your followers
At the end of the day, people want to see you as a fellow Instagram user, not just some big corporation who wants to make money (even though that is your end goal!).
By engaging with your followers, you show a genuine and human side of your brand. Some ways you can do this include:
- Replying to comments
- Liking other people’s photos
- Replying to your DMs
- Solving user inquiries
- Repost your mentions in Instagram Stories
A brand that does this looks much more attractive to the public, and you are more likely to receive likes and follows!
Marketing Tactics Worth Double-Tapping
Instagram is the platform you need to be on. Not only is it growing more and more every day, but the opportunities it gives you to show off your brand and create relationships with your audience is too good for it not to be a part of your marketing strategy.
So give these 10 marketing tactics a go and you’ll eventually achieve those social media goals you’ve put in front of you.
Don’t have the time to set up a social media strategy? Or maybe you want even more Instagram tips! Let our team at ZipZipe lend you a hand and help you get started with our Instagram marketing campaigns today!