1 billion people use Instagram every month, making it the second-most used social media platform after Facebook. How can businesses and solopreneurs use Instagram to boost their online presence? In this guide, we will walk you through various aspects of Instagram marketing. By the end of the blog, you will be equipped with ideas to enhance your Instagram game.
Why Use Instagram For Marketing?
Instagram has become increasingly important for businesses all over the world. Today’s generation considers Instagram as not only a photo-sharing app but also an app to follow and interact with their favorite influencers and brands.
According to Emarketer, 29.73% of teens in the US believe Instagram is the best way for brands to reach them about new products or promotions. This makes Instagram an indispensable tool for business to not only build their brand identity but also bring together a loyal audience and foster sales.
In this article, we will tap into the most important Instagram marketing practices you need to follow to make the best out of this social media platform.
1. Determine the TG
Before you start spending your time and money into creating and posting content, determine what is your target audience. You can do this by either surveying your existing customers or by checking your competitors’ followers (or both.)
Ask questions like:
- What are their day-to-day activities?
- How much time do they spend on Instagram, and when?
- Do they like humorous or intellectual content?
- Do they follow specific types of accounts or hashtags?
- How do they interact with their favorite brands?
A little digging into your target audience will answer a lot of questions you might have while preparing your Instagram marketing strategy.
2. Set Goals
What are you trying to accomplish with your Instagram marketing strategy? Define clear goals for the platform and align them with your business goals. You can divide them into overall brand goals and quarterly targets.
Use the SMART system to set these goals – your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
If you are an art & craft store, your broad goal can be something like:
To build a community of artists and crafters and to become a go-to account for people who want to learn DIY crafts and buy good quality art supplies.
The quarterly goal can look like:
- To upload 200+ posts and 400+ stories in the next 90 days
- To add 2000 new organic followers by the end of June by using Instagram shoutouts and advertising
- To get featured in the ‘Explore’ section of Instagram for #diycrafts
3. Optimize The Account
Do the optimization process at regular intervals. Check the following areas:
Type of Account – There are three types of accounts you can choose from – Business, Creator, and Private. Switch to a Business or Creator account (Settings > Account) to access more features like swipe up, ads, insights, etc.
Profile Photo – Add your logo or photo according to your preference. This will become your brand identity, so make sure it is clear and easy to recognize.
Bio – Add the most important details you need your audience to know about you – product/service details, your goals, beliefs or likes, hashtags you follow, your second account, etc. You can get creative and add a CTA at the end of the Bio.
Website – Add a link to your website, YouTube channel, an e-store, or even to your latest blog post.
Privacy Setting – Make sure your account privacy is turned off to keep the page open for new visitors. Go to Settings > Privacy > Account Privacy > Turn off the ‘Private Account’ button.
Comments Setting – You can hide offensive comments automatically with this feature. Go to Settings > Privacy > Filters and turn on the ‘Hide Offensive Comments’ button.
Good quality content is the most important part of the Instagram marketing equation. After you define your target audience, you should be able to determine what kind of posts your audience will enjoy.
1. Finding Content Ideas
There is no scarcity of information and inspiration if you look in the right places. Here are three ways to find good content for your account.
- Competitor Analysis – Take inspiration from similar companies who are performing well in their Instagram marketing game.
- UGC (User-Generated Content) – Search for your branded hashtags or mentions and see if you can find users who have uploaded photos of your product or used your services. Credit the user while using their content.
- Employee-Generated Content – Involve different teams of your company to come up with interesting content based on their experiences with customers. Once in a while, conduct a brainstorming session to generate months worth of ideas for your Instagram marketing.
2. Types Of Content That Work
Instagram is best known for communities of like-minded people. Users follow pages and hashtags, and you need to focus on being on top of their minds by creating posts that keep them hooked. These are the most engaging types of content on Instagram:
- Motivational quotes
- UGC (User-generated content) posts
- BTS (Behind-the-scene) posts
- Product videos
- Influencer reposts
- Video Tutorials
- Trending posts (holidays and moment marketing)
Leverage the power of videos in your Instagram marketing. Create and add videos to your feed and story to garner better engagement. Use InVideo’s Instagram video editor to create scroll-stopping videos for your page.
Instagram Story is loaded with exciting features like interactive stickers, GIFs, an ever-increasing filter library, Boomerang, and more. Make use of them to make your content enjoyable.
3. Instagram Posts Formats & Dimensions
Instagram provides four main ways of posting your content – Instagram Feed, Instagram Story, IGTV, Instagram Live. To make the most of the platform, make sure you consider all these formats in your Instagram marketing strategy.
Instagram Feed post – 1:1 (square) aspect ratio and 1080 x 1080 pixels
Instagram Story and IGTV – 9:16 aspect ratio (vertical) and 1080 x 1920 pixels.
Posting & Engagement
If you are using Instagram for business, your work does not stop at uploading a post on Instagram. In fact, it just starts there. Your goal is to garner actions from your audience.
1. Post Consistency And Timings
As a famous proverb goes, ‘Out of sight is out of mind.’ If you want to build a loyal audience, posting quality content consistently is the key.
How many Instagram posts per day? – 1 to 3 (source)
How many Instagram stories per day? – 1-7 (source)
Best days to post on Instagram – Thursday (source)
When to post on Instagram – (source)
4 a.m. – 6 a.m. Eastern Time
8 a.m. – 10 a.m. Eastern Time
12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Eastern Time
8 p.m. – 10 p.m. Eastern Time
The best way to find out how often and when you should post on Instagram is by actively observing and analyzing your audience. You can check these averages on Instagram’s in-built insights. Go to Settings > Insights.
Use automation tools like Buffer and Zoho to schedule your Instagram posts. This way, you can plan and make sure you don’t miss posting in case you are busy.
2. How To Promote On Instagram And Increase Engagement
How does the audience engage with your brand on Instagram?
- By liking, replying, sharing, bookmarking, or re-posting your Instagram feed posts
- By reacting to your Instagram Stories, participating in polls and challenges conducted by you, responding to stickers
- By participating when you go live on Instagram
Here Are Some Ideas For Your Instagram Promotion And Engagement:
- Cross-promote your posts across other online platforms like blogs and YouTube channels
- Reply to all the comments (personalize them) and foster conversations – for example, if someone comments ‘loved this makeup tutorial; instead of a simple ‘thank you’ reply with ‘thank you, if you loved this tutorial, you would love our upcoming post as well. Stay tuned!’
- DM your post to your followers, without being spammy. Do this only with important posts like product announcements
- Use interactive stickers to engage with your followers. Ask questions or let them ask you, conduct polls and challenges
- Video content gets shared more than images. Try making captivating videos with emotional factors as humor or motivation weaved into them. Use our intro maker to design custom intro videos for your posts
- Have a solid Call-To-Action at the end of all your posts and stories. You can use our outro maker to create custom outros for all your video content
- Create bookmark-worthy content for your posts
- Create promo videos to give your audience a teaser for a product launch or before you go live. Use our promo video templates to create cool videos
Reach & Followers
Here’s how to reach out to your target audience and increase your Instagram followers:
1. Use Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags help in making your content more discoverable to your audience. Instagram indexes similar hashtags together to organize similar content for the users. Once someone searches or clicks a hashtag, all the posts containing that hashtag is presented to the user.
- To check high-value hashtag, type in the search bar of Instagram and you will see the number of posts that use this hashtag
- Use tools like all-hashtag.com to find all the relevant and trending hashtags
- Create branded hashtag – Do you know? 70% of the most used hashtags are branded. That means people love to associate themselves with a brand using hashtags
For example, one of InVideo’s brand hashtags is #playyourideas
- Use trending hashtags for moment marketing – Leverage topical subjects to create your content. Doing so will expose you to a large volume of audience
2. Follow And Engage With Your Audience
You can find your target audience in 2 ways – one by searching a hashtag closely relevant to your page and following those people who use these hashtags. And second, by going to your competitors’ profile and scraping their followers.
3. Collaborate With Influencers
How to leverage other people’s followers? Instagram influencer marketing is the key. Connect with influencers with a lot of followers and collaborate with them to promote your brand. Influencers usually have a very loyal audience who likes to do what the influencer does. So most likely, they will follow you and your brand.
4. Instagram Ads
Lastly, boost your growth with the help of sponsored posts and ads. It will allow you to tap into a new set of audience and gain new followers. Use our Instagram ad maker to create scroll-stopping ads for your brand.
Businesses all around the world consider Instagram marketing as one of their top priorities. The platform holds a lot of potential for brands wanting to reach out to their audience.
Use what you learned today in the post and optimize your Instagram marketing strategy.
And while you are at it, check out our Instagram video editor to make uber-cool video posts.
Do you follow any Instagram marketing hacks that have worked for you? Let us know in the comments.