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INSTAGRAM MARKETING

Instagram marketing means creating and using an Instagram business account actively to communicate with your customers and followers and attract new ones as well. Instagram encourages this by allowing businesses to create business accounts to develop a followers base for its brand or products. With over one billion active monthly users, Instagram is one of the most prominent social channels and networks around the world. Hence, having an Instagram account and properly managing it becomes as essential as any other component of any successful marketing strategy. Whether your brand is small or big, you will probably find already existing customers on Instagram, and of course, attract new customers and find new opportunities to tap into on the platform.

Instagram attracted enormous attention since its launch in 2010, with many businesses developing their presence on the platform. Roughly 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business online, while 72% say they have bought a product they have seen advertised on Instagram. This global platform is now an excellent place for businesses to humanize their brand, inspire their audience and showcase their products, ideas and services. The platform’s users are believed to be more engaged and active than those on most other platforms, with 35% of the users checking it multiple times a day. Instagram has huge potential and can help you grow your brand and promote it in an authentic and friendly manner, instead of hard-selling to customers.

The platform’s marketing potential lies more in the user behaviour and not just the numbers; people using Instagram tend to connect with brands, follow them and engage with them. With the right strategy in place, social media marketing has proven to affect purchase decisions without the need for forceful sales and advertisement.

BUILDING YOUR INSTAGRAM MARKETING STRATEGY

 

The platform may seem a little bit intimidating at first, and the competition may seem off-putting, but you need to start with the basic steps. Having an Instagram business account allows you to raise brand awareness, post content updates, collect detailed information and insights about your audience, chat with your customers and deploy advertising campaigns to reach more people and create meaningful interactions with them. Using these abilities, you can achieve enormous influence, reach potential customers and boost powerful engagements with your audience! To tap into this potential audience on Instagram, a solid marketing strategy is inseparable from creating a successful online presence and identity.

One of the main components of putting into place a successful marketing strategy is to be helpful, relatable and approachable to your audience. To achieve that, you need to be available where they like to spend their time, and that’s on social channels like Instagram. You also need to create and post helpful content and connect with consumers through comments, direct messages and other forms of engagement on the platform. The platform offers many insights and analytics tools that will allow you to understand your audience and build authentic relationships with them. Simply put; your strategy needs to reflect commitment, relevance, consistency and a clear visual style. Let’s go through some of the essential factors you should consider when building your Instagram marketing strategy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Identifying your audience and goals

Defining your audience and setting goals and objectives for your presence on the platform are two main points to start with when creating your Instagram marketing strategy. To target your audience effectively, you need to first identify them in terms of their demographic, activities, age group and behaviour on the platform. Via thorough research and practice, you will be able to conclude if your audience is present on Instagram and what’s the best way to connect with your current target audience. Audience insights will also help you gain a better understanding of your potential customers and will help you find information like their educational backgrounds, gender, marital status, age, language, location and other insightful details.

Another important step at this point is setting your goals and objectives, and not goals that are based on vanity metrics like likes, followers or shares. Your primary goals should be somewhat broader to reinforce your business objectives and overall marketing plan. It could be improving community management and customer service dynamics, retaining clients, increasing website conversions or generating new leads. You can then make your goals more specific in terms of day-to-day tasks that will help you achieve them. From now on, everything you do on Instagram should support your main goals and objectives and pave the way to achieving them.

If your goal is to increase awareness of your brand, boost brand loyalty and showcase your company culture and values, then your profile and content should reflect these goals. If your main objective is to build a community, then your interactions and engagements with your customers on a daily basis will determine your success in achieving your goal.

 

Optimizing Instagram business accounts

 

 

 

Your profile is essentially your homepage on Instagram; it is the space where you can share information about your business and drive traffic to your website. You can maximize the use of your profile by making sure you optimize a few things. Start with your username; make sure it is recognizable and easy to search for and find. Keep at least the first part of your business name in the username if your full name is taken. If you already have an account, you can easily change your username through account settings.

The second step is your profile picture; it is a very important component of your profile that contributes to the overall look and feel of your grid. Keep it consistent with your visuals and branding; you can use your logo, for example.

Another essential factor, maybe the most essential, is your bio. It’s only 150 characters, but you can make the best out of it by writing a concise summary about your business, its goals, your personality and what followers should expect from your profile. It is recommended that you encourage users to take a particular action in your bio; like using a hashtag, visiting your website or engaging with you directly through messages. You can also feature a URL to drive traffic to an external site and encourage users to click on it. Just make sure you use a link shortener to keep it simple. To showcase your brand’s identity, you can use your tagline or slogan in the bio or a brand hashtag you want your audiences to use.

Instagram Content Planning

It’s not okay to plagiarize ideas or content from other accounts that compete with you to reach the same audience. However, it’s always good to be aware of what your competitors are doing on the platform you’re on. You would want to know what other marketers in the industry are doing, what type of content they publish and how their profiles look like. Check what posts are getting high engagements and what popular hashtags are they using that are also relevant to your brand. This will help you make sure you develop unique content and stand out from other similar accounts.

When it comes to content, it is vital to have a content plan with a consistent posting schedule in mind. Writing Instagram captions can be challenging, but here are some tips to help you get going. For this platform more than any other, your captions will need to be catchy, concise and smart. If you don’t feel very creative, make sure you ask your colleagues and friends for help and inspiration. It needs to be timely and engaging, so take your time to create valuable content that encourages people to like and comment on, which ultimately increases your post’s visibility. Make sure you start with the most important part of your content in the beginning, since only the first 3 to 4 lines are the ones that appear on your followers’ feed. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t use long captions, Instagram is a great medium to tell stories and share valuable information. 

 

How Often and When to Post on Instagram?

 

As of how often and when to post, that’s a very common concern, but there’s no ideal answer for it. The ideal solution is to start experimenting, A/B testing, researching and analyzing. Look at your account’s insights and track engagements with your posts to understand what type of content works best for you, and when do you get the most attention. Still, do your research around your industry, maybe you will find some specific guidelines or tips that can help you determine the ideal time to post on Instagram. What matters the most anyway is to make sure you post consistently and plan a balanced schedule to refrain from posting too many similar posts.

Increasing engagement on Instagram

 

Social media marketing and being present on a social network is all about building connections and facilitating communications with your audience. Hence, it’s recommended that you focus on forming valuable interactions and refrain from building content that appears sales-focused or aims at self-promotion only. To ensure this balance, dedicate only 20% – 30% of your posts to promoting your business, while the rest 70% or 80% should involve interactions with your followers and sharing ideas or informative material. This approach can help keep your brand’s profile engaging and worth following, while also protecting you from penalization by Facebook’s algorithm, which identifies brands that push sales forcefully.

To optimize engagements, you need to post sharable and intriguing content and entertain your followers and engage with them! Your brand should be responsive and reachable, so always reply to messages, comments and answer your audience’s questions. Being active is one of the best ways to boost engagement and get organic reach; Instagram is a “social” channel after all. Make sure you always include a call-to-action in your captions to encourage your audience to share or comment. You can also direct people to a link in your bio to check a new blog or product page you have on your website. Also, to ensure high engagement, add a geotag with your location in your Instagram posts.

Another important factor that can help you optimize engagements is using hashtags, which makes it easier for your business account to get noticed for certain themes or topics relevant to your brand. Hashtags bring together posts from different users using the same hashtag and merge it into a single feed. Simply, brainstorm related keywords to your content and search for these keywords to explore hashtags including them. You can also create your own hashtag, one that is specific to your brand and encourage your followers to use it as well. These hashtags can signify the launch of a new product, a new campaign, an event promotion, or to collect user-generated content (UGC); which is a great engagement strategy.

 

 


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