Instagram currently has more than a billion users, which is a huge database of potential consumers that you can reach very easily. Marketing on Instagram refers to a series of activities that you undertake in order to connect with potential consumers who are users of this network and to place and present a brand with the aim of selling products and/or services.
The basic strategy of running this social network should be creating quality content. However, publishing quality content doesn’t always mean that the content is relevant to a certain type of audience or followers. So, knowing the target audience you’re addressing is the foundation from which you need to start when creating content.
You can also learn more about your followers by tracking basic statistics on Instagram. This Instagram marketing guide we’re about to elaborate contains guidelines and strategies for growing your follower base, as well as for increasing traffic and profits on the page itself.
A Guide to Instagram Marketing
The Instagram marketing guide about which we’ll write in the continuation of the article refers to the strategy that’s desirable to implement in order for an Instagram page to be a successful marketing channel. Instagram is an extremely visual platform that’s accessed from a mobile device in 99 % of cases.
That’s why you always start from the assumption that it’s more important to focus all your creative energy on photos and visual effects instead of copy, i.e. creative writing (of course, make an effort in this as well). This Instagram marketing guide explains how the platform works, from the environment itself through guidelines on how to create a resume to posting viral shots and photos.
Before you even start creating an Instagram account, you need to determine the marketing goals you want to achieve and what will be the ultimate success. It can be spreading brand awareness, connecting with the target population, creating customer loyalty, product introduction, and ultimately sales.
Bio on Instagram
The name and username you’ll use on Instagram should be the full name of your brand. Of course, the name should be unique, and in some cases, you can use dots or dashes to create a unique name. For profile photography, it’s desirable to use a logo if it’s a company, or your own photo if it’s a personal brand.
The biography should be written as a list of a maximum of 4 lines in which you’ll explain what you’re doing and why visitors should follow you, that is, how you’ll be useful to those who follow you.
An unavoidable part of a resume is a call-to-action (CTA), or contact information, or information on how followers can, for example, download your e-book or enroll in a course and the like. So, the last lines should be reserved for links to your website or landing page, and an email address through which they can contact you.
If you link your Instagram page to your landing page, make sure that the landing page has an appealing design, that it’s easy to navigate through, and above all – that it’s fast. The slow loading of your website will instantly chase your followers away. What secures quick response of your webpage to the traffic (which will be growing if you run a successful Instagram page) is optimal web hosting. Some servers stand out in successfully monitoring essential parts of the website’s performance, such as uptime and load time, and these are MySQL servers. Of course, when choosing a web host, next to reliability and speed, the most important factor is the price – and MySQL hosts are at the very top by that parameter.
What Content to Create?
On Instagram, it’s important to create content at least once a day… well, it would be desirable to post content up to three times a day. The reach of a post depends on an Instagram algorithm that favors posts that are more likely to be of interest to a larger audience. Also, the Instagram algorithm favors newer posts over older ones.
Don’t turn your Instagram page into an ad portal because the audience isn’t scrolling through this app for that, the same they don’t watch TV because of the ads. So you need to provide the audience with some value before you try to sell them a product and/or service. When posting photos, make sure they are of high quality.
Should you observe what similar pages do and copycat their content? Of course not, but by following successful examples of pages in a particular industry, you can learn a lot. From them, you can learn what kind of content they offer to the audience in addition to ads for their own products. You can post content such as motivational quotes, tips, infographics, funny clips, prizes, vouchers, behind-the-scenes events, holiday events, and the like.
To create so much content, there are apps you can use to effectively create relevant content. In addition to posts in the form of photos, it’s very important to post videos and stories that, although they stay on Instagram for only 24 hours, you can reuse and post. It’s important to determine the time span in which the audience you’re addressing is most active due to the reach of the posts.
Partnership With Influencers & Shoutouts
The goal of existing on any social network is, above all, to build a base of followers and connect with that community. You’ll achieve this, among other things, by exposing the page to a larger audience as possible. One way to raise awareness about your own page and brand is through collaboration with influencers.
You can use influencers to promote your page and attract additional traffic and exposure to a larger audience. You can do this through shoutouts so that influencers can introduce you to their own follower database and encourage them to follow your page or buy your product.
That doesn’t mean you have to pay influencers with 100k followers and more (consider this option, of course, for later). On the contrary, you can contact brands and pages that have similar interests and the same number of followers and suggest a shoutout-for-shoutout. For example, a recommendation could be a post that will last 24 hours on a page, as well as a story or video with a recommendation to follow.
In addition to the title, hashtags are very important to describe the content you place on the page. Searching on Instagram, in general, is mostly done using these tags, and the hashtags provide you with greater exposure. By following the hashtags, you can follow the trends in the niche you’re dealing with, but also follow the competing pages.
In addition to tracking hashtags, it’s certainly necessary to create your own hashtag, as unique as possible: it’s usually a brand name, a variation of the name, or a recognizable brand slogan. Although Instagram allows the use of 30 tags per post, it’s enough to use up to 5 hashtags on one post. Hashtags should be placed in comments, never in the post title.
Automating social media posts is something you need to start using if you haven’t already. There are a number of social media management tools that save time and allow for a consistent presence and planning of posts in advance on social media.
Useful Apps for Instagram
While the Instagram app itself offers a multitude of content creation options, there are many other applications that offer additional options for creating great content. These are mainly apps that enable photo editing, collage design, graphics, video recording and editing, and analyzing followers and their engagement.
These are just some of the very useful and, in most cases, free apps:
- Snapseed is an application that allows you to edit photos.
- A Color Story is an application that allows the use of advanced photo editing tools. Using custom filters, you’ll highlight and create a unique look for your posts.
- The WordSwag application allows you to place text or a sign (watermark) over images.
- Adobe Spark Post is an application that allows you to create graphics using templates and by combining three separate applications, with the option of adding text and filters.
- Design Kit is an application that offers the creation of unique stickers, as well as typography adapted to the brand.
- PromoRepublic offers access to more than 100,000 templates and images, along with content suggestions and ideas for publications. This app also offers patterns for holidays, trends, and special occasions.
- Boomerang, an unavoidable part of creating content, creates a mini video from multiple photos.
- LifeLapse lets you connect multiple photos to a video with background music and slow motion. It’s great for presenting product features.
- InShot is the top-notch video editing app. You can edit, add, cut, resize, and adjust the length of videos, as well as add colors and music.
- Hootsuite is the king of tools for social media management. It provides users with the possibility of scheduling posts but also of analyzing the success of those posts.
- The BeFunky app offers the ability to edit photos, as well as to add graphics and create collages.
- The PicMonkey app is great for editing selfie photos (removes face imperfections).
- Canva allows you to create graphics, texts, and posts tailored to specific events.
- Pictochart offers a variety of templates for setting up infographics.
- Over is an app specifically designed for story publishing. It offers templates and image editing, adding graphics and text.
The Formula for Success
It takes time and investment to succeed in anything, and so does to succeed on Instagram. However, the formula for success contains the following elements: a clear vision and strategy, consistency and frequency, knowledge of the target population, and a clear and consistent presentation style.
Interesting, useful, and quality content is crucial to the success and growth of the follower base, but you shouldn’t expect thousands of followers overnight. It takes a lot of time and effort to design and create content.