Wondering how to get started with Instagram marketing?
Instagram lets you connect with your customers in a fun, visual way that resonates with them. However, there’s more to it than just posting photos – you need to be strategic in your approach if you want to attract the right kind of customer.
We’ve put together this guide to help you nail down your Instagram marketing strategy. Keep reading to learn how you can use Instagram to your advantage and grow your business.
1. Know Your Audience
No matter what kind of marketing you’re working on, you always need to know your audience. You could be putting out amazing Instagram content, but if it doesn’t resonate with the right audience, you’re wasting your time.
Before you start with Instagram marketing, take some time to take stock of who your ideal audience is, as well as who your current audience is. Are they people who might buy your product or people who might be helpful to your brand in some other way?
Once you’ve set up your Instagram, you can regularly take stock of your audience using the Instagram Insights feature. Now that Facebook owns Instagram, the two Insights tools are fairly similar, so if you’ve used Facebook’s, you won’t have any trouble making the transition.
Using Insights, you can find out valuable information such as how many views your content got, and how many unique accounts those views came from. You can also see how many people clicked over to your business’s website, how much time your followers spend on Instagram, and how many people save your content.
Even better, you can use the demographics in Insights to find out your followers’ genders, ages, and locations.
To find new audience members, use Instagram features like hashtags to find out what your target audience is talking about. Then, you can make content that will appeal to them specifically.
Keep an eye on content that’s popular in your niche, and find ways to replicate it for your audience. The more you can figure out what your audience responds well to, the more easily you can get their attention.
2. Engage in Conversation
Audiences don’t like to feel that a brand is talking “at” them. Instead, set up your marketing efforts to feel like a conversation with your followers.
Don’t spam your followers with sales-y stuff. Instead, find ways to engage with them about your brand. You want your company to feel personal, not like a faceless corporation.
And the more users you can get to participate in the conversation, the more likely it is for new people to find you. When other users comment on and share your content, you get valuable visibility.
The algorithms in Instagram favor posts that have more engagement, so you have every reason to want to engage your followers in conversation.
To encourage these conversations, try sharing images from your followers. They’ll love the appreciation you show for their high-quality content.
A great way to do this is to ask your followers to post content that involves your brand. They might pose while wearing your products, or snap a selfie while using what you sell.
This is a win-win situation – you get free images for your marketing, while your fans also get an exposure that they’ll love. By sharing their content, you’ll show that you’re really invested in your followers.
This is also a very effective form of marketing. When people see their peers using your products, they’re more likely to make a purchase themselves. Just make sure to always repost images with credit – stealing content will make your company look bad.
3. Use Hashtags
Hashtags that are relevant to your niche can become your best friend in Instagram marketing. This tool helps organize Instagram content, so followers can more easily find what they’re looking for.
Some hashtags are very general. Be wary of these: although they’re popular, they come with a lot of competition. Others are extremely specific. Your best bet is to use hashtags that fall somewhere between these two extremes.
Avoid overusing hashtags in a post. It’s better to have a handful of targeted ones than to have a really long list of hashtags that lack direction. Also, don’t spam with hashtags – make sure the ones you post are actually relevant to the image in question.
Look for niche hashtags that are relevant to your industry for the best results. You can do a Google search to find the best hashtags for your industry. You should also pull hashtags from what your followers use – if they already use it, you know it’s relevant to them.
When you launch a marketing campaign on Instagram, you should also have a branded hashtag to go with it. These hashtags only apply to your brand, creating a sense of exclusivity that customers will love.
4. Time Your Posts
Your posts will be more successful if you time them right.
Many polls show when people are most active on various social media sites. However, you don’t need to know when everyone is active on Instagram – you just need to know when your target audience is.
Try using a social listening tool to figure out when your audience members are most likely to be engaged with Instagram. These tools track your posts and let you know what dates and times create the best performance.
5. Make it Beautiful
Instagram is a visual social media platform, so first and foremost, your posts need to be beautiful and eye-catching. Quality content is the number-one way you’ll attract a following.
Take great photos, and use editing apps to make them even better. Choose a theme, tone, or “look” that fits with your brand image, and curate your photos around that.
Start Instagram Marketing Now
Since Instagram is one of the most popular social media sites around, there’s no time to waste when it comes to Instagram marketing. It has over 8 million registered business accounts. Mobile is predicted to be the biggest online advertising network by 2020, and you need to define your strategy now.
However, your online promotion shouldn’t stop with Instagram. Check out our other website promotion tips here.