With Instagram having 1 billion users, 500 million of them monthly active users, you should actively engage on the platform and take advantage of any Instagram marketing tips you read. Instagram is the channel to be. From Millennials to Gen Xers and Gen Yers everybody seems to be on Instagram.
Among active users, a good majority check their Instagram feed daily. It’s addictive. And as a marketer, you stand to benefit.
Here are the 7 Instagram marketing tips that explain how:
1. Be relevant to your brand and relate to your followers
To market successfully you need to first empathize with prospects. Think in the same way your target customers are thinking. Adopting a similar mindset to what your customers have is key to winning their hearts. To do this successfully, craft research-backed buyer personas.
Once you establish buyer personas and have an idea of what motivates and moves your prospects you know how to delight and nurture them.
Think about why they’re on Instagram.
The thing is— the content you post on Instagram must find a common meeting point between your business and what they like. There must be an overlap between what your customers are doing on Instagram (stuff they like, watch and share) and the product you’re selling.
Only then will you be able to convert those fans into customers.
Let’s say you have a consulting service around mortgage refinancing. And most people who follow you love pets as evident in what they share, like and love on Instagram. Bingo. Just post pictures of cats and dogs and engagement will skyrocket. Engagement might blow up, but is it really the kind of engagement you want? Not quite. If your goal is to help customers find a better deal on their mortgage, refinance or pare down debt, cute cat pictures aren’t going to cut it.
You want them to call you, to sign up and to turn into leads.
You need catchy descriptions and images for Instagram marketing.
Harpoon retails beer. And they sell beer on Instagram by being funny.
Harpoon on their Instagram feed posts seasonal recipes that use a touch of beer to relate with their followers. It makes sense—there are only so many images you can post of guys hanging out together sipping a beer on some beach.
At times they also post pictures with pets in the background. The picture below is adorable for two reasons. First, there’s a dog and two— its expressions are out of the world. The expression espouses what beers are good for—killing boredom. The caption is delightfully captivating.
2. Leverage user-generated content for Instagram marketing
Content creation isn’t a brand’s business alone. You can leverage User Generated Content to create enough fodder to fuel your own content efforts on social media. UGC is a trending hot-button topic on Instagram.
User-generated content is trustworthy and interesting and has the additional benefit of featuring your own products in the images. The benefits? It encourages purchases. People spend more money with you.
This maximizes the reach of your posts that feature your product that encourages your
A great example that comes to mind is Australia based Frank Body that uses coffee-ground based body scrub. With a team of influencers who had highly engaged audiences, Frank Body began displaying the many uses of coffee ground for skincare.
The influencers showcased the product in creative ways. The hashtags #letsbefrank or #frankeffect—encouraged people to go wild with coffee scrubs. The content inspired people to post images of how they use coffee scrubs with those hashtags. For an influencer campaign that invited people to dirty themselves, the results were quite encouraging.
The inspiration went viral with over 25,000 Instagram users uploading dirty images of themselves covered in used coffee grounds. But that doesn’t mean a thing if the whole campaign didn’t result in increased brand awareness.
3. Create a contest
In much the same vein you can create contests to inspire participation. It’s a powerful means of getting people excited about your brand on social media. As an entry rule— require users to upload user-generated content. Use relevant hashtags that capture the message and viewer attention, egging them to create more and more content to promote the giveaway.
A contest should ideally encourage people to create and share their own content. Apple used the simple idea of creating a contest where customers would upload a photo they shot on iPhone with the hashtag #shotoniphone. This helped create close to a million pics uploaded with the hashtag #shotoniphone and resulted in much fanfare for Apple.
A contest boosts your lead generation efforts too.
4. Don’t post too much content
Over-posting on Instagram won’t cut it. Your followers are going to be fatigued and leave in droves.
If you’re posting too many pictures or videos a day, your followers will feel burnt out seeing all the content dashed out day after day. And then they won’t be followers any longer. You need a content strategy.
Don’t clog up your followers’ feeds with pointless content. Spend your time to create really stand out content and post that. Use a presentation software to create stunning graphics. Or use something like Canva.
Here’s an example.
Can you guess the post-activity on New Balance’s Instagram feed (a popular fitness brand) which has over 5.2 million followers?
Several times a day? No.
Once a day? No.
Several times a week? No
They just post one good piece of content every week.
Start with a content posting schedule you think fits perfectly with your brand. Then communicate with your team members to see if the schedule is any good. Level it up or down based on the feedback you get.
5. Post at the right times
Just like posting great content is a big factor pushing up engagement, posting at the right times is also essential. Coshedule’s research points out that businesses should post no more than 2 times a day on Instagram. The best times are mornings between 8 to 9 am and at 2 am. Because when people wake up, the first thing they do is see your post.
There’s a downside to using Instagram for b2b marketing. Why? Software is dry and boring. It’s not easy to come up with content that can engage your audience on Instagram. What’s the solution? There are many ways to build your brand without showcasing photographs
TrackMaven’s research shows that for b2b companies the biggest engagement ratios are on Instagram. Meaning of all social media sites Instagram generates the highest levels of interactions. Who’d have thought?
You can give a unique spin to a happening, viral event in the context of your brand and rake up engagement.
You can also take day-to-day pictures of your work-life environment so you give an insight to users on what sets your company environs apart from others. You can assign your social media team members to take photos of your workplace. If there’s a company podcast, post pictures of guests. Tell the world that your brand is human.
WeWork posts splendid photos of their co-locations on their Instagram channel. Dropbox, a strictly B2B startup ditched minimalism to turn their Instagram channel into an explosion of colors.
6. Interact directly with customers and reciprocate
Interact— really interact with others to grow your Instagram following.
The more engaged you are, the more you get people to like, comment and follow your content. If you want people to engage with your posts, think of what the other person wants, they too want likes, shares, and comments on their posts. The more active you are the more exposed your username is going to be. This drives up traffic and visitors to your feed.
7. Create a good hashtag strategy
You have the freedom to use up to 30 hashtags in your posts. The question is—should you? A Trackmaven study found that 11 hashtags are ideal for boosting engagement. So it’s best to use hashtags moderately.
However, more than the number of hashtags you use, what’s of more importance is how well you use them. Carefully chosen hashtags are going to improve engagement for you.
Instead of going with an extremely popular hashtag that just ensures that your post will be buried under thousands of posts that use a similar hashtag, you need to use a hashtag that gives you a window of opportunity. For effective Instagram marketing, you need less frequently used hashtags.
Using a common and popular hashtag with millions of searches won’t let you stand out.
A hashtag like #books won’t stand in search results. A less frequently used hashtag that specifically describes your product is better like #romancenovels.
Another, not so frequently used tactic is using location-based hashtags.
Location-based hashtags around branded content is a splendid way to get traffic and leads.
Here’s an example of geo-targeted content from Nycityworld.
Location tags work no differently than other hashtags on most points. However, there are a few key differences:
To post locations you need to use stickers as no text is allowed.
When using location tags, your posts—be it live videos or images—are allowed to have only a single location hashtag.
With tagged locations, stories reach state, regional and nationwide audiences.
Location-based hashtags are great for brick and mortar stores to fan the word about their brand in certain locations and geography. If you’re a brick and mortar store, never forget to use location hashtags.
Conclusion on Instagram Marketing Tips
So this is how you do Instagram marketing and engage people on Instagram. Instagram is a cool channel with lots of organic reach. Don’t squander the opportunity before you. The time is right to build an audience on Instagram, generate tons of engagement, drive leads and sales for you. Follow these Instagram marketing tips and you will certainly be successful!
Check out this amazing infographic from Sharelov for more tips and hacks to up your Instagram marketing!