Author: Meril Mägi
Instagram marketing has proven to be a great way for businesses that want to expand their web presence and improve the visibility of their services or products. According to Statista, Instagram has 1 billion monthly users and 500 million people use Instagram every day. That number is growing day by day. With that in mind, your business has a vast potential to grow. If you have a strategy, you can reach thousands of people in your target audience. The question is: why aren’t you using a platform that gives you exposure to such amount of people for free?
If you’re thinking whether to open an Instagram account for your business, think about what you’re trying to achieve. Is it building a loyal fan base, promoting new job opportunities or driving sales? At the moment, Instagram is not the best tool for direct sales (in most cases), but it’s perfect for brand awareness. If you share quality content, you can effectively build a loyal fan base who will then spread the word amongst their friends. The bonus is getting to know your customers better – you can quickly gather direct feedback or take a look at your follower’s profiles to learn about what they like.
Instagram is also a great recruitment tool. You can use it to introduce your company to future employees. Use Instagram to show that you are more than a faceless corporation: show “the backstage,” the success, the fun. Share your company’s values, so that other people can relate. You can use live stories to show the working environment, or let people sneak peek on how a new product is made. People do business with people so remember to show your audience who you are behind the organization.
“My business has a Facebook account, I don’t need Instagram”
You might think Facebook account is enough, but Instagram has some advantages over it, most importantly organic functionality. Due to algorithmic changes in Facebook, it has proven harder and harder to gain organic reach. You have to pay for advertising to be more visible.
That is not the case with Instagram though. You can grow a genuine relationship with your audience without forcing them to like you with paid advertising.
According to Socialbakers, Instagram engagement is four times better than on Facebook. This means you can see a lot of engagement on your posts without paying for it. Whether it’s a like, a comment or a repost the users are deciding to interact with your brand.
But, beware: although Instagram doesn’t suppress posts from business accounts, it is bound to happen at some point. If this happens, it will become more difficult to gain free exposure, and it will take more time to build your audience. So why not start today?
Now that you know why it is vital to use Instagram in your digital marketing strategy let’s go on with tips and tricks to stand out among the other million photos and stories.
Tips for Instagram marketing:
- Golden rule – quality beats quantity. It’s more important to have 100 true fans who care about your brand than 10 000 followers who followed you in a chance of getting free stuff.
- Be patient: building your fan base may be time-consuming, but it’s worth it in the end. Imagine loyal fans cheering up on Instagram before your new product launch! They are going to hype your product before it’s even available. Remember, success usually won’t come overnight.
- Use Instagram for sharing your company’s values or promoting a lifestyle instead of posting about your brand all the time. Use 4:1:1 rule – four posts that speak your prospect’s interests or challenges, one educational post, and one promotional post.
- Consistency is the key. When you’re building your Instagram marketing strategy think about how consistently you’re able to post. For example, if you’re a starting company and you don’t have that much time to be present on Instagram, post two times a week. But do it every week, so that your followers know when to expect a new post.
- Connect with your followers: if someone responds to your post, express your gratitude and reply.
- Share user-generated content to diversify your feed. Always ask for the user’s approval and tag the author. If you’re stuck, get inspiration from @airbnb or @adobe.
- Use hashtags to increase visibility. Hashtags are keywords that summarize what your post is about.
- Partner up with influencers and take part in IG takeovers – have someone in your industry take over your account for the day. Influencers are online stars who promote a brand or a product and take it to the mainstream. It is essential to pick the right influencer for your niche so that your message gets to the right consumer. Check out this guide to Instagram takeovers to help you get started.
Huh, feeling a little overwhelmed? Don’t worry, with a content strategy and a content plan it is much easier to post on Instagram. Fortunately, there are a lot of apps that will help you through the whole process.
Tools that make your life easier:
- Schedule your posts so you’re always prepared. You can use Instagram schedule apps like Later, Buffer or UNUM. UNUM is also a great layout planner to make your feed beautiful.
- Instagram is photo-centric, so you have to share quality photos. You can easily improve the quality by editing your photos with apps like Snapseed (Android & iOS), VSCO (Android & iOS) or CC Lightroom (Android & iOS).
- If you don’t have your own photos, use Canva, Design Wizard or beFunky to create images yourself.
- Go all crazy with your stories! Edit your stories with Spark Video or use Hype Type to spice up your photos with designed motion typography.
Use Instagram to build trust between your potential customers and your brand by being transparent and responsive. The more trust consumers have with your brand, the more likely they’re going to choose you instead of your competitor.
Like any other social media channel, Instagram is continuously changing and adding new features. As time goes by, it may be easier to sell directly on Instagram, or it may be more difficult to gain exposure. Whatever the case, we recommend starting your business account today. Need advice on Instagram marketing? Get in touch so we could help you!