Updated: Jun 10, 2021
This article may contain paid advertising.
With over 1billion users on the platform*, using Instagram as a digital marketing tool is a no brainer.
In fact, according to Iconosquare, 70% of Instagram users report having looked up a brand on the platform whilst 62% of users follow a brand on Instagram, making Instagram an essential tool for achieving business objectives such as brand exposure, consumer loyalty and increasing conversions.
But how can these objectives be achieved?
Especially for small businesses starting on the platform from scratch?
We've put together some tips for successful marketing on Instagram that apply to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
1. Optimising Your Profile
Your Instagram Bio should state accurately and concisely who you are or what you do. It should contain the keywords that a user will search for. For example, if you're a florist in Hull, your bio should state "Florist based in Hull".
You will also need to contain a Call-To-Action (CTA) in your bio. Want people to visit your website, landing page or make a purchase? Then tell them to do so! Make sure that you have an actionable link that the user can access to complete this action.
TIP: Most people check their Instagram via their mobile phones so make sure the page accessed through this link is suitable for mobile usage.
b) Business Profile
This may seem obvious, but many people start their profiles as an individual and then decide to transition into a business profile. This means that they've been unable to access key benefits of having a business profile on Instagram such as utilising posts for advertising and accessing key insights.
Setting up your Instagram Business or Instagram Creative Account
Download and open the Instagram App
Click Create New Account or Sign up with Facebook/Phone Number
Complete your details, then choosing your username and password
Complete your profile information, Click Next
Once the first four steps are complete, you’ll want to change your profile into a business account. To do this, click the hamburger icon (the three parallel stacked lines) - settings - account - professional account - business. And then continue through the process/prompts given.
2. Branding Plan/Style Guide
Having a branding plan or a style guide allows for creating a consistent aesthetic on your profile feed. In your style guide you will pre-decide aspects such as:
Not only does a brand style guide save time when creating content, it increases trust with your audience through consistency and recognisability.
Click Here to read why a style guide is essential for your business.
3. Content Strategy
A content strategy is great for creating purposeful and focused content that will aid in achieving business objectives and generating ROI.
Your content should have an objective - it should have purpose. Once you have decided the objectives of your content, this will then determine and drive the types of content you will create.
Instagram allows you to post a great variety of content formats. These include: short-form video, long-form video, single images, and a carousel of images. Depending on the purpose and topic of your content, this will then determine which content formats are best for you at given times.
TIP: When creating your content, you will need to strike a balance between passion, personality and professionalism
As mentioned your content topics, aka content pillars, will be determined by your target audience and your business objectives.
Still struggling for inspiration? Here are some content ideas:
Behind-the-scenes (BTS) of your business
Reposts from employees
User Generated Content (UGC) - content you have been tagged in
Newsjacking/Trending Seasonal or Current Event-based posts
Motivational or inspirational
Once you have decided what content to feature and have written your copy to accompany it, you will need to decide the date/time & frequency for publishing your content.
You can this either by trial and error, Google searching general statistics, or by analysing the posting behaviours of your competitors. Each niche or business will have a date/time/frequency that is best for them, but you can still get a general idea of where to start.
Once the content and the publishing times are clear, you can then schedule your content for efficiency using a Content Scheduling System such as later.com or buffer.com. These tools will allow you to schedule content in advance and will auto-publish to your profile feed.
TIP: Remember, consistency is key!
4. Instagram 's Tools & Features
Instagram has been upping its game through developing existing features and introducing new and exciting features too.
Instagram's features include:
Reels - Short-form videos up to 1minute.
Instagram Guides - these allow you to publish long-form text (think blog post) in a creative and artistic way.
IGTV - long-form videos between 1-60minutes.
DM's - Direct messages; perfect for outreach and making connections.
Hyperlapse from Instagram - enables the creation of videos using the time-lapse technique between shots.
Instagram Stories - Creating content that lasts for 24hours
Instagram Story Highlights - Instagram stories can then be archived and accessed by users when they choose.
Instagram Live - you can hold live sessions to interact with other users and businesses within your industry.
There are even more features that those mentioned above. Each feature has its own specific purpose. Experiment with the different tools and features on Instagram to find out which (or if all) are best for your brand!
5. Paid Advertising
Instagram is for image or creative-based ads. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, generate a large amount of their revenue from running ads. As such, organic reach has been on the decline. And for Instagram, the situation is heading in the same direction.
This is where utilising the revenue-generating abilities of paid ads should not be ignored. According to Instagram, 60% of people say they discover new products on the platform, and 75% of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post.
With Instagram ads you can change a (ideally, high performing)post into an ad within minutes. Paid ads allow your business to reach new audiences and drive up both brand awareness and sales conversions.
Want to know more about how to use Instagram Ads? Click here!
Overall Instagram is an essential marketing tool that allows you to reach both a targeted and wider audience. It provides opportunity to engage with your potential customers and to demonstrate the value of your brand and business.
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