Marketing your business on Instagram is a great idea, but how do you do it? Why should you do it? Well, Instagram’s over 700 million users answers that question. It should be a part of every business’s social media marketing strategy to use Instagram to the fullest. If you want to reach a massive audience of people, that is.
Here, we have composed a guide to getting the most out of Instagram and optimising your efforts for a successful Instagram marketing campaign.
Varied, strategic images
Instagram is based around visual content. In order to succeed on Instagram, you need to provide high-quality images and videos consistently. However, you will need to keep these relevant to your business or brand. Randomly posting content that has nothing to do with what you do, is a good way to lose followers or gain them – only to later lose them again when they realise you don’t consistently deliver that kind of content. Keep it relevant.
Similarly, you need to give them something worth their time. Give your audience something special. It benefits you to develop a style that people instantly recognise as yours. They can look at it and think “yes, that is SEM Consultants” for example. They will trust you, know you and constantly come back for more from you. This is building a noticeable brand.
In your images, ensure you show who you are and what you do. However, vary the content. Don’t share the same image of promotions again and again that offers no value. Creatively find new ways to show what you do, where you do it, and how. Give your audience exclusive insider views behind the scenes. Vary what you post, keep it fresh, but keep it consistent and relevant. Have a schedule, a strategic schedule that makes sense for what you’re offering and what you aim to achieve.
Not only should you post great images for your visual content marketing on Instagram, you should also vary it with videos. These don’t have to be a certain kind of video, just ensure you use them. Speak to your audience like a vlog; or share a mini trailer-like video about your business; or share relevant videos made by others. Continue to add value through your video content, too.
Gain a focused following
You should start off by following people who are a part of your community or industry. This will alert them to your presence, and hopefully encourage a follow back. Follow people back who seem like they have good content, too, as it’s only fair. It builds a mutual partnership. Post frequently using relevant hashtags and overtime, the right people will be drawn to you. Don’t aim to get any and all people to follow you. You want people who will actually want to see your content, who will engage with it and hopefully convert into customers.
Hashtags & trends
Hashtags are what makes your images noticeable on Instagram. People will find you by your hashtags because they can follow hashtags that are of interest to them. People in the industry or who are interested in engaging with your content will use hashtags to find your content – so don’t skip out on them. Find hashtags that will work well for your images and your brand.
You will also need to keep up with trends relevant to your business and brand. These are a great way to get your content seen and trending, too.
Include Instagram content in your website’s blog
People will need to see links to your site. Social media marketing works well when it is integrated with your other content marketing campaigns. Link your website to your Instagram, and link your Instagram to your website. A great way to do this is to include images and videos from Instagram into your website. Use the embed feature on the desktop version, extending your posts’ reach. This connects the two and shows people on your website that you have an Instagram, as well as helping you gain more likes, comments, followers, shares, and hopefully loyal engagement.
Promotions and discounts
You should reward your followers by giving them something that non-followers wouldn’t get – exclusive promos and discounts. This will vary depending on what your business is, but offering 15% off for one day only is a great way to get people excited and reward followers/encourage loyal followers on Instagram. Share an image with a promotion on it, and you’re well on your way.
Similarly, you could run competitions. This encourages engagement, followers and shares. Here’s a post about running Instagram competitions to help get you started.
Engage and network
Social media is supposed to be social, and this includes Instagram, too. Don’t just post and post with nothing else. Instead, give back. Like and comment on other people’s content that is relevant to your own brand. Share, too. You can even direct message anyone who follows you, so utilise this freedom by speaking to people and gaining a friendship. Network, engage, share. Be social with your social media.
Optimise your profile
Before you do anything, your profile will need to be up to scratch. Your profile is your introduction to the world of Instagram, so make it a good first impression. Have an apt name – your business name, ideally. Include a well-written, relevant, stylistic bio that explains who you are and what you do accurately, and in an interesting way. Your profile image should be something appropriate to your business, like a logo. And you must definitely include links to your website. You could also link to your latest blog post in your bio, seeing as Instagram doesn’t allow links in your posts.
It is a good idea to collaborate with others in the industry. Post shared content or @mention users who are relevant and may wish to engage with the content. This draws people to your content who may follow those you collaborate with, helping you both to gain engagement and followers.
An easy way to share something that may not be post-worthy is to use Instagram stories. This is similar to Snapchat, where you can share something you’re doing or a quick update that will show at the top of your follower’s feed. They can see the story and do further things from there – but it draws their attention in an easy, less spammy way. For more information, see our in-depth guide to using Instagram Stories and Instagram Story Highlights for business.
When doing all of these things, you will need to analyse what works and what does. Regularly check your Instagram Insights for information on who is engaging with your content, when and how. This will help you to know what content works best and when is best to post to optimise engagement.
When you encompass all of these things, your Instagram marketing will flourish. Marketing on Instagram is a piece of cake, and made even easier when a dedicated social media manager can handle it for you. We at SEM Consultants have an excellent in-house social media manager who can keep on top of your Instagram for you, ensuring your content marketing strategy never slips and your audience just keeps on growing. Contact us today for more information.