Instagram marketing is the way that brands use to connect with their target audiences and market their offerings. Recently, it’s gained popularity as an exciting method for brands to show off their cultures, recruit new employees, engage with customers, and show off products in a new light.
Tips for instagram marketing
1. Use a business account
A business account gives you access to features you can’t use with a personal account, including:
- Instagram Insights
- Instagram ads
- Instagram Shopping
- Contact information and a call-to-action button on your profile
A creator account has its own set of benefits for influencers and content creators. But for most marketers, a business account is where it’s at. Hop back up to the top of this post and convert your account if you haven’t already done so.
2. Clearly define your goals
All social platforms are tools. But you can’t use those tools effectively unless you know what it is you’re trying to build.
- Increase brand awareness
- Get new leads
- Establish your brand as an industry leader?
- Make sales
You might even want to combine several different outcomes. But unless you know where you want your Instagram strategy to take you, you’re unlikely to get there.
3. Define your audience
A little preliminary research can help you figure out who you can best reach using Instagram.
- The most active Instagramers are between 18 and 29.
- The United States is the largest Instagram market.
- More urban residents use Instagram than their suburban peers.
But that doesn’t mean you should only use Instagram to try to reach Urban Indian in their 20s. Instead, you need to define your target market so you can create content that speaks directly to that audience.
4. Optimize your profile
In just 150 characters, your Instagram bio needs to make a great first impression, convey your brand personality, and tell people why they should bother following your Instagram account.
That’s a lot to ask from a small space.
Fortunately, you also get a few other fields on your Instagram profile to showcase what your brand is all about and make it easier for people to find you. These include:
- Your name: 30 characters, included in search.
- Your username: AKA your handle. Up to 30 characters, included in search.
- Your website: A clickable URL you can change as often as you like.
- Category: A business feature that tells people what you’re all about without using up bio characters.
- Contact info: Tell people where to find you.
- Call-to-action buttons: Give Instagrammers a way to interact with you directly from your profile page..
5. Choose the right profile photo
For most brands, your Instagram profile photo should be your logo. This helps provide credibility and allows visitors to see at a glance who you are.
Your Instagram profile photo display at 110 by 110 pixels, cropped to a circle with a 110 pixel diameter. However, it’s stored at 320 by 320 pixels, so you should upload a file that large to make sure it still looks good if Instagram changes how profile pics are displayed.
6. Create visually compelling content
Instagram is a visual medium, so your posts have simply got to look great. You don’t need professional photography equipment, but your photos do need to be sharp, well-lit, well-composed, and in focus, at a minimum.
Even more important, your visual content needs to be compelling. Great photos are nice, but if they don’t tell a story, or get viewers excited, they’re not going to help you use Instagram for marketing.
7. Write great captions
True, we just said that Instagram is a visual medium. But that doesn’t mean you can neglect your captions. Your brand voice is just as important as your brand look. Like your visuals, it should be consistent across posts.
Instagram captions can be up to 2,200 characters long, so you can use them for everything from a quick quip to detailed storytelling. That said, only the first two lines of text appear in news feed without tapping more.Since people tend to scan captions rather than read them thoroughly, you want to get all the important information into those first two lines.
Your caption should be relevant, entertaining or informative, compelling, and on-brand. For more details, check out our post on how to write great Instagram captions.
8. Use hashtags wisely
Hashtags are a key way to increase your visibility and discoverability.
You can use up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram post. But, realistically, you probably don’t want to do that.
We recommend using between five and nine hashtags per post. More than that can look like hashtag stuffing, a spammy tactic that turns followers off. Worse, if you use irrelevant or repetitive hashtags, users can choose not to see your content for that tag.
To get the most benefit, choose hashtags that:
- Are relevant
- Are specific to your niche
- Do not encourage follow- or like-swapping
If you want engagement on Instagram, you have to engage, too. Posting quality content is great, but if you ignore comments and never interact with any other profiles, you’ll have a lonely existence on the network.
At a minimum, respond to comments users post on your feed. But also seek out popular accounts in your niche, follow them, and like and comment on their posts. Make yourself visible in a non-promotional way.
If someone tags you in a post, check it out and look for opportunities to engage. Can you re-share their post in your feed or in your story.
10. Don’t neglect Instagram Stories
Half of businesses on Instagram use Stories. And they’re getting great results: A third of the most viewed Stories are posted by businesses. Stories are a key part of a good Instagram marketing strategy.
Instagram Stories disappear after just 24 hours. Followers expect them to be more real and raw than your curated Instagram feed. They provide a great opportunity to connect with followers and build relationships.
we highlight the following strategies:
- Tell a story: Have a message in mind, even for this in-the-moment format.
- Get interactive: Use Stories features like polls and questions.
- Aim for personal connection: Stories are a huge driver of Instagram direct messages that help build follower loyalty.
- Use a call to action: Don’t rely on the small “swipe up” Instagram overlays for outside links. Use text to tell followers why they should swipe.
- Be consistent: Like your Instagram feed, your Stories should align with your brand voice and aesthetic.
11. Use Stories highlights and covers to boost your bio
We covered all the components of your Instagram bio in Tip 4. But there’s a bonus component we didn’t mention: Stories highlight covers.
You can create highlight albums to preserve your top Stories content, so it doesn’t disappear after 24 hours. Your highlight albums appear right under your bio, and you can create custom covers for each.
Used effectively, this adds a whole extra component to your bio, giving potential followers loads more information about your business and why they should follow you on Instagram..
12. Try Instagram Shopping
Remember how we said you should get a business profile? Here’s one more reason why: Access to Instagram Shopping. This feature, which is not available for personal accounts, allows you to sell products directly from Instagram posts and Stories.
It’s easy to set up shoppable Instagram posts and Stories.
13. Expand your audience with Instagram ads
The surest way to get your content in front of a new audience is to run an Instagram ad. Two million businesses are already using ads on Instagram.
- Location: State, province, city, country, and so on
- Demographics: Like age, gender, and language
- Interests: Such as other accounts people follow and apps they use
- Behaviors: Both on and off Instagram
You can also upload custom audiences of people you have existing relationships with, and use these to create lookalike audiences.
You can advertise in the Instagram feed, or in Stories.