Instagram proves that social media users interact more when they’re presented with images. In fact, with engagement at around 1.53%, compared to just 0.10% for Facebook, there’s no denying that this is one of the best platforms for brands seeking to engage and connect with potential customers.
Here’s how you can turn all those “hearts” and shares into actual clicks and website conversions.
Know Your Target
The key to success on any social network, from a marketing standpoint, is to know your target market. How old are they, what gender are they, and what are their interests? You should know your target market as well as you know your friends.
Post Content That Interests Your Audience
The biggest mistake marketers make on all social media channels is to post content that interests them, rather than their audience. No one cares what you like. They want to see stuff they like, they’re interested in or is useful to them. Think like a follower! Don’t be “selly sell” but rather add value and seek to engage.
Get the Branding Right
The Instagram generation isn’t going to spend hours on your profile page trying to work out what you do, and why they should care about you. Create a brand message that’s instantly apparent, that your target market cares about, and tells the world what makes you special. Make sure this brand carries across all of your social platforms too, because consistency is key to great branding.
Careful Content Creation
Remember your potential Instagram followers are almost completely self-absorbed, and only care that you create content important to them (so forget hard sell advertising messages!), your content needs to address the question: what do they want to see or know?
Videos and images should be short, interesting and useful. Filters should be consistent across content, and you should stick to a regular posting schedule.
Use Keywords and Hashtags
You’re not creating content in a vacuum, and you want to be easy to find. Search Instagram for keywords and hashtags relevant to your niche and your target market, and use them whenever you post.
Try to use between 25 and 30 hashtags consistently across all images and videos, but don’t go too wild in your tagging. There are Instagram limits (and limits to the tags your readers want to wade through on your captions!)
ALWAYS Include a CTA
Every Instagram post, just like every blog post or Facebook post, should have a call to action. It could be as simple as “share if you agree” or telling them to click the link in your bio for more information. The only hard and fast rule is to tell your followers what they should do on every single post you create.
If you do happen to come across a brand in a similar niche but not competing with your business, you may be able to create a partnership. Take turns to share each other’s posts with your followers, sharing each other’s brands and “cross-pollinating” ideas in each group of followers.
By partnering with the right brands, you could double your audience instantly.
Start By Following
When you first start out on Instagram, no one is going to know you exist. That’s perfectly normal. The best way to break out of the void is to start following the kind of people you consider to be your target market or ideal lead. Following them alerts them to your presence, and if you’ve got everything else right, at least some of them should follow you back!
Leverage Your Network
If you hang out with people who are also on Instagram (and of course you do!), then you can leverage their existing follower base to get more traction faster. Simply take snaps together while you’re out doing whatever you do, and tag them in your posts.
Digital marketing, whether it’s social media, blogging or PPC, is part content and strategy, and part tracking and analytics. In fact, while the stuff you put out into the world is important, it’s even more important to know how your target audience is reacting to it and focusing on what works.
Pay close attention to the type of posts that get the most reaction. Track which time of day is the best to reach your followers. Use a trackable, unique URL in your bio so that you can tell specifically what clicks come from Instagram. If it can be measured, track it and measure it, and use the information you gather to improve your results.
Contests and Giveaways Always Work
Finally, a lesson you’ve probably learned on all your other platforms: everyone loves free stuff. Whether it’s a freebie or a contest, if you choose the right item to give away, you’ll find the response is phenomenal, every time.
Instagram is definitely a great marketing tool for brands in all sorts of industries, and while the rules are very similar to other platforms, it’s also a lot of fun to use! So while you might not nail it the first time around, you will probably find it’s easy to stick to this type of advertising, and you should start to see results fairly soon.