You took a surprising picture, you applied the perfect filter, you uploaded it and now you expect the “likes” and comments to appear in your news section. It is a beautiful feeling and reward to know that your content is getting good results on Instagram. And when it comes to your brand, you surely want that feeling to be constant.
Promoting your business on Instagram will allow you to tell a visual story about your brand and products and interact with your followers. Instagram is one of the largest social networks with more than 1 billion user base with a aim to support any brand that want to position their products using social media marketing.
The purpose of this social network is to create an audience where you can build a relationship between the company and the followers by providing valuable content and that they can become customers.
You do not need to be a public relations expert to succeed, so follow these Instagram tips for beginners if you want grow and promote your brand on Instagram organically:
Process Order to promote your business on Instagram:
- Attract visitors
- Turn them into followers
- Close sales
- Loyalty audience to have references that promote the brand
A Brief History of History
Why is Instagram a unique social network?
- Mobile friendly
- It is based on visual design
- It is practically devoid of links
The elements behind the success
To succeed on Instagram, it is not enough to publish beautiful images and photos randomly. On the contrary it is necessary:
- Have a clear vision on objectives and strategy
- Publish with a constant frequency
- Be familiar with your followers
- Having a well-defined style guide
By combining all these ingredients you have the opportunity to reach your audience in a direct and focused way, to increase your interest, increase brand awareness and see impressive results in your investment returns.
The first fundamental step in an Instagram and social media marketing strategy is to define the goals you want to achieve.
Even if you have never used this platform or are starting to use it and the results do not come it is important that you have in mind specific objectives to be achieved.
In this way the contents produced can be focused on their achievement and will be more consistent in the eyes of the followers.
Usually companies use Instagram to show their product or service, build a community, increase brand awareness, tell the company’s history and its values, increase brand loyalty and share news and updates.
It is very important to choose one or two objectives to pursue, to do so it can be useful to answer these questions:
- Why am I using Instagram?
- How can Instagram help me achieve my marketing goals?
- How much time and budget should I invest in Instagram?
- What does Instagram offer me compared to other social networks?
Once the objectives and metrics are defined to evaluate the achievable results, it becomes important to understand which audience you want to target.
The main focus of marketing is to communicate the right message to your audience just when you want and know the social networks demographics breakdown of who uses a platform is a central element to understand if you are reaching the target audience.
- 68% of Instagram users are Females.
- 80% of Instagram users come from outside the U.S.
- 6 million Instagram users are from the US.
- Instagram is used by 31% of American women and 24% of men.
- Six in ten online adults have Instagram accounts.
- 32% of all Internet users are on Instagram.
- 59% of internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use Instagram and 33% of internet users between the ages of 30 and 49 use Instagram
- 38% of female internet users use Instagram and 26% of male internet users use Instagram
- 72% of Teens use Instagram.
We recommend that you start by starting immediately to define your buyer person.
Once you’ve defined your goals and determined the effectiveness of Instagram for your target, you can get to the bottom of your strategy:
- Optimizing your profile
- Create editorial plan
- Defining the times
- Measuring returns
How to optimize your Instagram profile
When someone searches for a keyword on Instagram as “lighting design”, the list of accounts that will be displayed are those that have the keyword in the profile name.
The order or ranking of these accounts will depend on how Instagram determines which can be interesting for you.
If someone you follow follows an account associated with the keyword entered, Instagram will show you that account and will include this information in the list. This immediately gives the user a reason to choose between all and create more confidence.
Your Instagram profile is your homepage.
In your profile you have the opportunity to share some information about your business and to insert links to send traffic to your website.
How can you optimize your Instagram profile?
By taking full advantage of the four elements below you will be able to create a high value for your users:
- The biography / description of the company
The description must be closely linked to the brand. What you choose to share in the short space made available by Instagram must be representative of your story, your offer and your values and must be able to explain to others what you do. In addition to this, companies tend to insert a slogan or tagline as in the case of “Just Do It” by Nike. Larger companies can also choose to include their hashtag within the description.
- The profile picture
It is very important that your brand is immediately recognizable when a user looks at your post or visits your profile. For most companies this means using your own logo, a brand (the logo minus some words) or a mascot as a profile picture.
- The links
Unlike other social networks, Instagram does not allow you to add links to posts. The only part in which you can add links is among the personal information of the profile.
- Instagram Business Profile
In July, Instagram released the news of the launch of a new tool that is very useful for all companies: the Business Profile. Currently this feature is still being tested and is only available in the United States, New Zealand and Australia, but will also be available in other countries in the coming months. With this new tool, companies will have the opportunity to connect their Instagram profile to their Facebook page, have insights and statistics on followers and posts and promote post targeted to achieve goals set directly from their app.
With this new feature, in fact, users will have the opportunity to get in touch with the company with a simple touch on the “Contact” button directly from the app.
How to create an effective content marketing strategy on Instagram
Photographic and video content is the heart of Instagram.
The over 100 million photos and videos shared every day on the platform are proof of this.
But what should the contents that you add talk about?
Before thinking about visual content, style and design, it is useful to define an overview of the message you want to convey and the topics you want to deal with. Some companies focus on their product (as does, for example, Nike Running), others on the needs of the community and their culture.
Content Is King But Context Is Queen.
In terms of content strategy, on Instagram as for any social network, there is no precise rule to follow. It all depends on the context in which you operate, but above all on your person buyer, or rather, what you might expect to see and interact with your ideal client.
The important thing is to create content that is able to interest and engage your followers and that allow you to reach your goals.
This is why the starting point must be to build the fundamentals on which to develop the contents.
All companies, regardless of size, sector or geographical location have the ability to share quality content on Instagram.
This content may relate to the stories of the people who make up the company, the company culture, the product and its uses, demonstrations and so on.
The contents most shared by companies are: behind the scenes, user generated content, product demonstrations and showcase, educational content (guides), cultural contents able to show the ethics and values of the brand, entertaining and entertainment, customer stories and case studies, team presentation contents.
Before deciding which type of content to focus on, it can be useful to brainstorm to gather ideas and then to formulate the content marketing strategy.
Creating a Business Account on Instagram
What is the right frequency to post on Instagram?
There is a lot to say about the consistency of posts on social networks.
The consistency and frequency with which you post the content can help your audience understand when to expect new content from your company, and keep a constant schedule allows you to maximize the involvement without taking breaks.
Most brands post on Instagram daily with an average of 1.5 posts per day, but this number should not be taken as an indicator.
This study also shows that there is no correlation between an increase in the frequency with which it is placed and a decrease in the level of involvement given that companies that post more than two daily contents have not seen any negative return.
To generate constant growth, our advice is to post at least two or three content a day and perform experiments with an additional post to understand which type of message is best suited to your reality and the needs of your audience.
These powerful tools provide detailed analysis on a wide variety of aspects, including optimization.
6 Basic steps for an effective Instagram content plan
Once the themes have been defined (but they can always be reviewed on the basis of the results of the campaigns) it is time to bring them together in a content plan.
In this way you should be able to define the style and design of your posts and the frequency with which to publish the contents.
In order to have a consistent Instagram profile that can convey the right message, it is important to follow a precise style that reflects that of the other marketing channels used.
In this regard it is possible to create real style guides to be followed during the creation of the contents, the key points are:
- The composition. It refers to the positioning of elements within visual content and, more generally, to the structure of the photo or video. Not all marketers are experienced photographers, so it may be useful to define some rules regarding the background, the main focus of the content and the space required for the text in the upper or lower part of the image.
- Color palette. Always using the same color range you have the possibility to create a consistent and focused feed. Warning! Defining a series of shades to use does not mean depriving yourself of the possibility of using other colors, but will help you to give a touch to your content. A good idea is to choose a range of colors in line with that usually used by the brand in other marketing channels, so users will more easily recognize your company and, consequently, your brand.
- Font. If you enter quotes or texts within the images you place on Instagram it is important that you are able to create consistency through the fonts used that must be in line with the rest of corporate communication.
- Filters. These tools can also make photos taken by the most inexperienced photographers at a high level. The filters can drastically change the look of your photos and videos, so it is important to choose to use only some of them (those more in line with your message) in order not to create confusion in the user. Using a different filter for each post creates confusion and disorientation in your followers that will no longer recognize your posts.
- Caption. Instagram provides a more than adequate space for descriptions of images. This space allows you to further differentiate your content and take it to a higher level. There are various ways to use this space. Some use it for micro-blogging; others use it to insert a short catchy title or to ask questions to users. The possibilities are endless. The important thing is to always ensure that you maintain a certain consistency.
- Hashtag. They have become the most used tool for social networks to categorize the content produced and posted. On Instagram, hashtags allow users to discover new content and accounts to follow. If you want to avoid placing too many hashtags in the caption, a good method is to insert them in the comments. By performing an analysis of the most used hashtags by your users before choosing the ones that best fit your content; you can ensure you reach a wider audience.
Hashtags are extremely important. Like emoji, they are much, much more than a fashion used by teenagers. They provide a mechanism for users to quickly navigate along topics of interest, grouping messages published with hyperlinks.
Instead of cluttering the description with hashtags, include them in the comments, they will work exactly the same way and so the description will remain clear and concise.
What time to post?
With recent changes in the Instagram algorithm that manages the Instagram timeline, timing is one of the elements taken into consideration by the platform to decide which content to show users. This is why it is important to post in the intervals of time when your target is more present on Instagram to get more involved.
The best days to increase the engagement on Instagram are Monday and Thursday at a time between 8.00am and 9.00am (EST).
Obviously, these data come from broad-spectrum research so they may not reflect your target’s habits, so it’s very important to do some preliminary research to understand your users’ behavior on Instagram.
Interact with your followers and guide interactions
You can simply publish your images, but we have observed that success comes when you are proactive.
Do invite followers to interact with content.
Imagine each of your posts as an opportunity to interact with your followers.
Give your fans something to do and see how the interactions increase like wildfire.
Do understand that you do not have to ask to buy your product each time, give their email or share our account with everyone they know.
You need to ask your followers something that makes them satisfied in doing so or reaffirms their values or goals.
With this method you can get a higher interaction even 300% compared to a simple publication.
Each post is an opportunity to create interactions, increase conversions and interact with your community.
Publishing your content must force users to do more than just “digest” a photo.
For an explosive growth, users must go to share your content.
Every element of your Instagram post should offer the ability to drive interactions and build your network.
How to measure the results of your Instagram marketing strategy
Tracing your performances and your results is essential for any social strategy you want to implement.
Doing this allows you to understand which content is most interesting for your audience and allows you to optimize your strategy to move forward.
Paying the right attention to the growth of the number of followers, likes and comments on your posts you have the opportunity to understand what is actually working and what needs to be improved.
Measuring the engagement rate on Instagram is very simple: add the number of likes and comments to your post and divide it by the number of followers you had when you posted.
If you want to make more accurate measurements, you can choose ad hoc measurement software. The social media management tools or social CRM able to track performance, monitor trends, monitors the use of hashtags, measure user involvement and manage multiple profiles.
In this regard, the sentiment analysis tool that allows you to detect when users are talking about you and their attitude towards your brand become very useful.
Top tips to implement for the growth and increase of Instagram engagement
- Take advantage of the content generated by your users
Instagram users provide your company with a large number of quality content. Taking care of the content posted by your users helps you to create an active and lively community and to encourage your audience to share creative content that show the way they interact with your product or service and their relationship with your brand.
- Include faces in posts to increase interaction
Georgia Tech has analyzed more than a million photos on Instagram and found that photos showing faces get 38% more likes and 32% more comments.
- Always Share your Instagram posts on Facebook.
A study by Buzzsumo on over 1 billion Facebook posts, shared by about 3 million business pages, highlighted how the contents shared directly by Instagram get more involvement than those posted directly on Facebook.
8 Advanced tactics to increase your sales with Instagram
Instagram marketing is not so simple. It requires transversal skills and knowledge of some Instagram tools to get started. But the rapid growth of Instagram is also accompanied by an incredible increase in user interactions.
In fact, some studies have shown that brands on average get 25% more engagement on Instagram than other social networks. Awesome, is not it?
It means that Instagram is an ideal place to increase brand awareness but also drive sales. The real million-euro question is: where can you find marketing techniques that really work on Instagram?
Use Instagram templates
Before thinking that we are perverts, let us explain how those models can increase sales.
First, the models have a large number of followers
Secondly, most Instagram models are not paid, but they generally do it just for fun
Thirdly, most Instagram models are really happy if you use any incentive to promote your product with your audience.
For example, if you sell socks you could find ten or fifteen models (at least with 15,000 followers), send them the socks in a free way (perhaps with an Amazon coupon or iTunes attached) and ask them in a natural way to upload a photo with socks in an original way, to promote your product. It is estimated that 0.2% of their followers will start to follow you.
Avoid celebrities or models that work with big brands. These models can attract more attention but are generally very expensive.
Leverage on Instagram to position your brand as much as possible with storytelling
The best way to position a brand is to tell a story that people want to hear, right? And what better way to tell a story than using visual content?
Our brain is “wired” to understand images 60,000 faster than a text. This means that it is easier for people to understand the message when using images in your strategy.
Here’s where Instagram comes to help. As you probably know, Instagram is 100% visual, each brand needs a story that differentiates its products from other brands and Instagram is the best social network to share visual content. By publishing images that support any kind of storytelling about your brand, you can have better positioning in your audience’s mind.
Technique # 3
Cross promotion to make your followers grow faster
Most users and brands do not, but a cross-promotion (or simply co-marketing) is one of the most effective ways to grow your followers on any social network.
You can ask your stakeholder to tell his followers about you and follow you, so you can do the same thing with him.
The problem is that initially this practice had become practically spam but now the situation has definitely changed and when the co-marketing of this type is done with elegance, it can be really effective.
The biggest mistake when it comes to cross-promotion is to send requests to the wrong people.
In order not to waste time it is very effective to exchange a few messages before starting, making sure to be natural with a direct and clear message.
Use the “Bridge Marketing” to increase sales
Have you ever heard of “Bridge Marketing”? It is when you create a bridge between your business and a specific niche, so that more people can feel attracted by your products or services.
For example, let’s say that you are starting an activity in the field of industrial lighting and you are looking for specialized designers with whom to start a partnership.
Technique # 5
Use analysis tools to identify the contents that generate the most interaction
One of the biggest mistakes people make when managing social media is to post content that they “think” might interest. Yes, sometimes you can get lucky and people react very positively to the content, but most of the time this does not work.
It is much more effective to share photos or videos that have a proven record of success.
Start by creating a list of 20 most popular Instagram profiles in your industry.
Analyzing the information
- What kind of content do they share?
- How many times do they share it?
- What types of filters do they use?
- What kind of language do they use?
By looking at these elements you will be able to get better results by starting and developing a new content strategy.
Technique # 6
Start on Instagram and end up on Facebook
If there are still few people on Instagram to promote certain products or services, it means that there are still huge opportunities available.
Recently a famous eCommerce fashion brand, after launching a campaign on Instagram to raise awareness of their brand among women and increase sales of new collections, launched the following week a campaign on Facebook that aimed at the interests and demographic data that had generated the best interaction on Instagram.
Women who have seen the campaign on both Instagram and Facebook have converted 23% more than other active campaigns.
The Instagram campaigns have boosted brand awareness and increased buying intent, while direct ads to the Facebook website have prompted people to complete the purchase.
Launching visually interesting campaigns on Instagram to increase brand awareness, so continuing the campaign with ads to increase sales through Facebook is a great way to get the most out of your advertising activities.
As you can see, Instagram can be an extremely interesting tool that can generate sales when you know how to use it correctly.
Technique # 7
Guide users along the conversion funnel
For most brands, getting a large number of followers is important, but it turns out to be just one step in channeling global marketing activities.
You should consider any way to capture the email of your followers.
How you can capture emails?
Share an image with a call to action and include a link on how to download an eBook or subscribe to your newsletter in the caption.
To do this it is necessary to create a targeted and tailored landing page. From there it will be possible to push users through your different channels and keep them updated with your products or services.
Technique # 8
Always mix videos and photos
Mixing photos and videos is one of the hottest trends in Instagram.
Considering that a video can generate three times more shares than post made images alone, video is a valuable tool that can be used to engage followers and grow your followers and thus traffic to your website.
For example, take a look at Oreo or McDonald on Instagram and you’ll see impressive examples of stop motion videos that use a product to generate an ironic and often incredible storytelling.
Videos can be fun, shareable and engaging, and with the video editing capabilities of Instagram you can achieve great results easily.
What is Instagram Stories?
On 3 August 2016 Instagram for Business has released a new feature that allows companies and users to produce various content (both photos and videos) throughout the day and to see them all enclosed in a single slideshow: Instagram Stories.
The main news is that companies do not have to worry about the risk of posting an excessive amount of content as the photos and videos contained in the “Stories” will disappear after 24 hours and will not appear on the news feed of the company profile.
If you are particularly satisfied with a content contained in your story, however, you can also choose to post it on your profile.
Instagram Stories allow companies to give vent to all their creativity thanks to the editing tools that allow you to write and draw on the newly created content.
People will have the opportunity to see the Stories posted by the profiles that follow through a horizontal bar at the top of their feed and will be able to easily identify the new content posted thanks to a colored ring that appears around them.
What is IGTV and how to create a TV channel on Instagram?
In 2018 Instagram reached a billion registered users worldwide and to celebrate this, they have launched IGTV, which would be Instagram TV.
From now on, brands and instagramers will be able to access this new service by downloading the official IGTV app or also using the usual application.
It is a video platform where everyone can create their channel and / or follow other channels. Although it sounds similar to YouTube, Instagram TV has created some functions with subtle differences so they make it a very interesting medium of communication.
An opportunity for brands
We know that Instagram is one of the few social networks, like Twitter, where the organic reach is still alive. Implementing a hashtags strategy can reach many people without spending large amounts of money on advertising.
In addition to this, brands can now create their channel on IGTV and promote their content, create stories with a maximum duration of 1 hour or publish TV commercials. Everyone will be able to watch these videos published randomly in an organic way.
Do you want to use Instagram in your company effectively or increase its performance?
Instagram is an extremely useful tool for all companies, even smaller ones, as it allows creating an active and lively community without having to face large investments.
As you can see, Instagram offers endless possibilities that can be used to promote a business. In addition, it is a social network that does not stop introducing innovations aimed at improving the user experience and brands, so having presence in it can offer great results.
Which social features have you integrated into your marketing strategy?
Let us know if we gave you some interesting ideas or share your experience, indicating your Instagram account in the comments on this post and describing the strategy you decided to use!
Regularly follow the https://business.instagram.com/ page and the blog for companies, you will find the latest Instagram news, tips and best practices and, why not, some inspiration!
If you need any advice, ask! For further information and tips and tricks on how advanced users use Instagram checkout this post.