Instagram is becoming one of the big players in the world of social media marketing. Statistics taken in September 2015 show that 400 million use the Facebook owned platform. People obviously love the ability to share pictures with their social circles.
However, many businesses successfully use Instagram as part of their marketing activities. Success, however, depends on how you use Instagram to deliver you marketing messages to the audience. In this article we will outline 10 tips to building your Instagram presence and maximizing engagement.
1. Build Content
When marketing via social media, the content that you put together and share is the key ingredient. Instagram is a predominately visual form of social media, and an ideal platform for showing off products through video or images. When building your content you need to determine which method will work best for the service or products that you are marketing. Video is often the best way to advertise practical products, such as tools, as you can demonstrate the use of the product. For more object-based products, like clothes or designs, images are more suitable.
2. #Always Hashtag
Similar to Twitter, using hashtags on Instagram is critical for your business. Hashtags enable users to search and find content or brands which they would like to follow. Once a user has been led to your profile via their search, you can then lead them on to your website. Instagram allows a maximum of thirty hashtags to be included in a post or comment. However, ensure that you do not over use them. The hashtags that you use should be relevant to the content of your post, otherwise it looks as though you are just spamming.
3. Use a Link in your Bio
Within Instagram you are able to crate a bio which you should link to a landing page. Your bio may contain up to 150 characters where you can outline your brand and what it’s about. The link to your landing page allows you to direct the audience you build on Instagram, to a page where they can be converted to customers.
4. Launch a User Generated Content Campaign
Why do all the work yourself if you don’t have to? In fact, inviting your followers to generate content about your product or service is one of the most effective ways to generate engagement and more followers. To execute a user-generated content campaign you simply ask your followers to submit a picture or post based on certain criteria. For example, if you sell hiking boots, you might ask your audience to post pictures of their most recent outdoor adventure. This will allow your followers to engage with your brand and share a bit about themselves, while helping you build your brand.
5. Cross Promote
Cross promotion is simply a method by which you tag or even promote the services or products of a company that you have previously worked or are currently collaborating with. You can either agree a strategy where you both promote one another’s business, or you can do it without any such agreement. Although it may sound strange to be overtly promoting another brand, it does come with benefits. By identifying a brand aligned to your own and promoting it, the numbers of your followers is likely to increase through being made aware of your own brand.
6. Connect to other forms of social media
Sharing your Instagram content with your other social media accounts will save you time and help to increase your leads. You are able to connect your Instagram profile to a variety of other social media platforms such as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Flickr and Foursquare. For example, if you have a Facebook business page you can arrange it so that all your Instagram posts and photos appear on your Facebook business page.
7. Conduct a Lead Capture Campaign
To capture your potential clients’ email addresses is a common goal when using any form of social media, and it is possible to do this using Instagram as well.
The best method to attain your followers’ email addresses is by providing something that encourages a user to click on a link that will provide them with something they want. To do this, you can include a link on your bio or any content you share, and which gives the user the option to download a free e-book, or to sign up for your newsletter for example.
8. Use Sponsored Ads and Sponsored Posts
The use of Instagram’s sponsored posts and ads have finally become global and are proving very popular. Instagram advertising is still in the early stages of availability. Ads are available in 30 second video format, as images, and in carousel format. These adverts are an ideal way to direct consumers to your website or to tell the story of your brand.
9. Post According to an Editorial Calendar
Instagram was designed as an app to create content via a mobile device. As a result, it is only really practical to use one of the various scheduling tools available, so that you can post consistently. By using an editorial calendar, you are able to schedule regular posts in advance to keep your followers engaged. It is also a useful method to use when you are running a promotion, or attending an event. By doing so, you never forget to send out content, and that content can be scheduled to be released when you are not available to do it manually.
10. Partner with Instagram Influencers
Instagram has over 40,000 influencers using their platform, and they cover a variety of topics and businesses. They are considered the celebrities of Instagram, and by aligning your brand with the correct influencers, you can expand your brand awareness and number of followers. Your influencer just needs to include the handle of your brand in one of their Instagram posts.
When used correctly Instagram is a perfect solution for visual content marketing. Visual content little or no written content is fast becoming more effective than written content alone. Marketing through Instagram will undoubtedly continue to grow in popularity as it continues to add more advertising features to its platform.
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