From the inception of Instagram, it has transformed into a photo sharing platform and marketing tool for many businesses. Understanding which types of posts work best for your brand can be challenging to decipher. To help understand what type of content works best for your company, use these ten Instagram marketing tips.
There are over a billion monthly Instagram users and 95 million photos shared per day. The platform has quickly grown into one of the most utilized social networks for both large and small businesses. Brands, bloggers, models and the like all sharing on one platform has resulted in a large wave of influencers emerging, which connect brands and influential people, who effectively spread the word about a company to their target audience.
With the right strategy, brands themselves can be influential too. Creating and publishing good content should be the forefront for any brand’s strategy when utilizing social media. Having good content shared on a daily basis that speaks to your brand’s image and identity will help retain your followers as well as attract new ones.
Instagram Marketing TiPS #1
Switch from a personal account to a business account
To help understand the analytics behind your Instagram posts, switch your current profile to a business account.
To switch to a business account, click on the gear icon on the right upper corner of your profile page and scroll down to “Switch to Business Profile.”
Having a business profile comes with many benefits. Firstly, you’ll be able to gather in depth analytics in Instagram insights for every post and story you share – giving you a breakdown of your reach, impressions, etc. What’s more, anyone will be able to contact you with the options you profile, including “call”, “text”, “email”, and even get directions to your store if applicable.
Interested in publishing Instagram ads? With a business profile you can create Instagram ads without needing to go through Facebook Ads Manager.
Instagram Marketing TiPS #2
Utilize Instagram tools including Instagram Insights
If you already have a Facebook business account, understanding how to navigate an Instagram business account shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
Using Instagram Insights, you can view helpful statistics for all of your post to understand what type of content works best for your brand.
Even more helpful, you have access to a full breakdown of the demographic that follows your account – including age, gender, location, and more. Instagram goes as far to tell you what time of the day your posts do the best, as well as what your top posts are.
Having access to Insights on your Instagram account will provide you with invaluable information which will help you map out your content calendar.
Instagram Marketing TiPS #3
Post product teaser content
You’re looking to sell some of your product on Instagram, right? Well Instagram should be your best friend.
Leave pushy advertising tactics behind, and utilize Instagram to create content that encourages your followers to purchase from you. Creating fun and engaging content, will encourage your followers to want to shop without feeling like they are being forced to do anything.
No one wants to be forced to do anything, so forget about the pushy sales copy and marketing and use product teasers instead. A product teaser is simply the manner in which you describe your product and generate a buzz around your product without appearing too needy.
Huckberry brand offers their audience some education while being witty and insightful. They then promote their product in conjunction.
Their posts receive thousands of likes regularly and the majority of their posts are composed in this manner, which is a huge win for their marketing team.
These types of “ads” work because they aren’t in your face, they are relaxed, they are having fun. Yet at the same time they offer discounts, calls to action and more.
When you create quality content which teases your followers about products they have interest in, the sales process becomes organic and they’ll be more likely to purchase.
Worst case scenario, they won’t purchase from you but will contribute to your post by liking, commenting or share the post with someone they think maybe interested. It’s a win, win situation.
Instagram Marketing TiPS #4
Unlike other types of advertising, with Instagram advertising you have completely control about how much you want to spend.
Utilizing the carousel feature, you can create as many as ads as you feel is appropriate. Without ads, your content is limited to your followers and the use of hashtags to increase your reach.
With Instagram sponsored ads, you can target anyone that fits within your demographic, increasing your reach significantly.
When creating sponsored ads, use your most engaging content which appeals most to the demographic you want to reach.
Use Instagram Insights to gauge your top posts and use those to create your sponsored posts.
The beauty of Instagram is that you can create multiple sponsored ads to target various demographics. You can create various types of sponsored ads including: photos, videos, carousel ads, stories, and stories canvas.
Instagram Marketing TiPS #5
Use Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are a great way to increase your reach and generate leads.
Unlike Instagram posts, stories appear in a slideshow format at the top of the app. While stories are only live for a total of 24 hours, they can be saved, reused, or created and used at a later time.
Being displayed at the top of the app, Instagram stories are more likely to be viewed. For those posts that are not particularly “insta-worthy,” posting those images to your story will help you maximize the use of your content.
Keeping your Instagram feed aesthetic as consistent as possible is important when creating a feed, but that is not a concern with Instagram stories. Post away!
New features for stories are constantly being released including boomerang, rewind, various filters, polls and the ability for your followers to ask a question which will help you create interactive and engaging stories.
Instagram stories has a “tagging” feature which allows to tag other Instagram accounts, which is beneficial when collaborating with influencers or other brands.
Photos and videos play sequentially in the order in which they are posted and there are no limits for the amount of stories you can post, which makes the feature even more beneficial for your brand.
At this time, Instagram stories are only able to be posted through a mobile device, but can be viewed on both a desktop and mobile.
Influencer marketing has quickly become an effective way for brands to spread the word about their product.
Instagram Marketing TiPS #6
Create partnerships with influencers through an Instagram marketing agency
Increasing your reach and awareness about your brand can be achieved through partnering with influencers that have build a trusted following on Instagram.
Consumer behavior has shifted into many individuals on Instagram purchasing products and services from influential people they have been following on Instagram, because they trust them.
Selecting the right influencer to partner with will help you get the word out about your brand in front of your target audience quickly and effectively.
When you decide to utilize influencers as part of your marketing strategy, the first step is to identify influencers that relate to your product or service.
Now here is a brand we here at True North Social manage, McCabe Watches, they have a solid following of 47.7 thousand currently in 2018.
We regularly utilize both micro and macro influencers to push audiences back to their page they wouldn’t otherwise reach.
Many of the influencers have between 500,000 and 1,000,000 followers and these influencers have trust with their audience.
This means that the brand is regularly exposed to thousands of new potential customers through just a few posts.
Leveraging your own followers content to attract new followers is an effective strategy, which will also help you save time creating content.
Hiring Instagram marketing agency such as True North Social who will reach out to targeted influencers and manage the relationship is a solid way to implement the perfect influencer marketing campaign.
Utilize user-generated content
There always comes that point where you’re running low on content and you could use some help with posting high-quality content.
With an engaged following that loves your product or service, some of your followers may have “tagged” you in some of their photos with their product. The user-generated content will be more effective in driving sales, since the image is coming from someone who already knows and loves your product.
Not only will your followers love user-generated content, but it will encourage more of your followers to post about your product, which will generate even more content for you.
Equinox utilizes slews of regular monthly user-generated content that they repost on their Instagram page to show off their gym from avid fans.
Here’s an example of @eastcoastfox tagging Equionx and then Equinox reposting her image to their page. (here’s a great repost tool too: repost)
How do you encourage user-generated content without appearing too pushy?
On every few posts, ask your followers to tag them with your product for a chance to be featured on your page. Having access to a large following from a brand them love will encourage them to tag your brand in their photos, as they are likely interested in increasing their following as well.
If you already have engaged following, try posting a featured photo every week to encourage your followers to participate and tag you in their images.
RedBull frequently uses this technique, because so many people with their amazing cameras are capturing content on a daily basis:
The brand (and their followers) both benefit from the relationship of sharing images this way, by feeding off each others followers.
When implementing this strategy, be mindful of posting the right content that fits in your brand’s aesthetic and won’t veer off too much from the type of content you have been posting on your feed. When deciding which user-generated content to post, be sure to analyze the following of the creator, and determine whether the photo is appropriate for your audience.
Choose content that aligns similarly with the tones and types of images that you have been posting to your account, with a little leeway for creativity when appropriate.
Instagram Marketing TiPS #8
Put together a set of hashtags
For instant engagement and increase your reach, create a set of hashtags appropriate for the type of content.
Nike has racked up over 1.3 million posts featuring their tag, #makeitcount.
Creating a set of hashtags including a branded hashtags will allow your followers to search for all posts related to your brand.
A branded hashtag will help gather all of your user-generated content which will help when creating your content calendar.
A personal hashtag for you brand is essentially free advertising for your company.
When a post is shared using your branded hashtag, your company is being exposed to that individuals followers.
Consider using a popular phrase associated with your brand, if you have one.
If you already have a popular product, consider making that your branded hashtag. Audi successfully accomplished this with their hashtag, #WantAnR8
Instagram Marketing TiPS #9
Post at peak times
Mondays and Thursdays are the best days to post, while Wednesdays and Sundays typically get the least amount of engagement.
Be sure not to flood your followers news feed with your content. Post a few quality photos per day to ensure you are keeping your followers interest.
And according to an article from ShareThis, the best times of day to post are between 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM, as well as 2:00 AM.
Peak hours are typically 8:00 AM and 2:00 am. 8:00-9:00 AM is typically the time of day when people are commuting to work or catching up on what they missed while they were asleep.
At 2 AM, people are usually scrolling through their feeds because they can’t sleep, so this would be a strategic time to post as well.
A helpful guide to understand when to post is in your Instagram Insights. Check to see when your followers are more active, and post at the times where you’re more likely to get the most engagement.
Use a scheduling tool to have your posts go out during those times.
Studies have shown that 1-2 posts per day is the most effective, but no more than that.
If you have more content to post, utilize Instagram’s carousel feature, which allows for multiple images to show up in one post.
Instagram Marketing TiPS #10
Know how to track your metrics
Not knowing how to analyze your Instagram metrics may hinder your ability to post content that speaks to your audience.
Knowing how to interpret your Instagram Insights will allow you to post content that works and is appropriate for your audience.
Check and track your following growth rate with a tool like Influencer Dashboard
Having insight into your following growth rate will allow you to see what types of content perform better with your audience and what types don’t.
It’s also beneficial to track your engagement rate, which includes likes and comments.
To get an idea of how your page is performing, you want to find out the average engagement percentage of all of your followers and for each post. This way to can tweak your content to cater to your audience and attract new followers.
With a smaller following, your posts are more likely to get engagement so your engagement rate should be higher.
Here’s what your rates should look like based on your follower count:
Be sure to add a link to your website in your Instagram bio if you haven’t already. This way your followers will have easy access to your site.
To identify how many people are clicking through to your website, use a tool like Iconosquare.
The better your market your company on Instagram, the higher your click through rate should be.
Over the past 10 years, Instagram has slowly become go-to social platform for image sharing as well as for businesses to market themselves.
With over a billion users on Instagram, the amount of attention you drive to your page depends on your content marketing efforts and strategy.
When using Instagram to market your business, the first step for social media managers is to switch from a personal Instagram profile to a Business Profile which will help you track your Instagram analytics and plan your content appropriately.
It is advantageous to utilize all of Instagram’s Insight tools to help understand your audience as well as the best times to post to maximize your reach.
One of the best strategies for selling product on Instagram involves product teasers which encourage people to purchase your product without scaring people away. With endless creative control, you have the ability to create fun and interactive images that will make your followers want to purchase from you, and even if they don’t buy anything, they are likely to comment and like your image or share it with one of their friends who may be interested.
Utilize sponsored ads to reach a different audience that hasn’t seen your account yet or isn’t following you. With the ability to create multiple ads that target to various demographics, you’ll be able to expand your reach significantly.
Various features in Instagram help you to share various aspects of your brand, including behind the scene footage that will help increase transparency and build further interest in your audience.
Don’t forgo influencer marketing! Influencers have built a trusted audience over a long period of time and are one of the most effective ways of getting the word out about your brand or product.
User-generated content can help you fill in those days on your content calendar when you’re running low. Your followers will love to participate in being a part of a brand they care about, and you’ll get some content for your feed. It’s a win, win!
Use your Instagram Insights to determine peak times in which your audience is the most active on Instagram. Avoiding to post more than twice per day will prevent you from overloading your followers feed with your brand’s content, which may push them away. Use a scheduling software to post at your peak times.
Learn how to interpret your Insights on Instagram so that you can best utilize that information to improve or tweak your strategy.
Learn about how often your website is being visited through using tools to track your click-through rate.
If you want to know more about hiring an Instagram marketing agency to perfect your social media marketing campaign, feel free to contact us anytime!