Since Instagram’s launch in 2010, it has completely taken over the social media world. It has transformed from a single photo-sharing app to the massive platform it is today. Its users have closely followed this evolution and 22 percent of millennials ranked Instagram as their favorite social media platform. Thus, making it essential for marketers to focus on it and leverage the network even more.
Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking platform that has soared in popularity, especially among millennials. Instagram hosts dozens of filters that users can use to edit while uploading photos and videos to their profiles. Users can also edit their pictures directly in the platform by using Instagram’s editing feature to separately change the structure, brightness, warmth, contrast, saturation, sharpness, and many more.
Features of Instagram
1. Instagram Stories
This feature allows users to share photos and videos in a slideshow format which will be only visible to that user’s followers. These stories disappear after 24 hours, however, you can highlight them and make them easily accessible sitting right at the top of the app, unlike Instagram posts that can get lost in the feed.
To make your stories more attractive and relevant, you can write or doodle on the images, tag users, place Instagram filters, and more. If you want to engage your audience then the possibilities are endless as these stories can feature a poll-type question and there’s another feature too where you can ask a question to your followers and get to know their responses.
IGTV has certainly been one of the most successful features by allowing users to go live on their Instagram Stories. Instagram launched IGTV in June 2018, thus offering to watch and enjoy a long-term vertical video for the first time as IGTV videos don’t have a 60-second limit, unlike typical Instagram videos.
3. Offers High Levels of Engagement
More than 60% of Instagram users are logging in every day and 75% of Instagram users take action after seeing a business post. If you scroll through your Instagram feed, you would at least find one tasty-looking meal’s post from a trendy restaurant that has just opened up down the street.
This is because Instagram offers great opportunities for engagement by interacting with customers who have tagged you and have commented on your posts. Things like comments, shares, likes, reposts, and tagging your customers on Instagram posts you share help in catering to high levels of engagement.
4. Reaches new audiences through Hashtags
Hashtags make it incredibly easy to reach new audiences as including a hashtag on your post creates a link that leads to every other post that has been shared with that hashtag. Thus, taking advantage of popular and relevant hashtags can help your brand get discovered on Instagram and increase your ROI for that platform.
5. Advertising on Instagram
Having a massive base of more than 1 billion active users, Instagram tops all social media networks with 2.2% of Instagram users interacting with an ad. Thus, whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, using this feature and advertising on Instagram will be great to broaden your audience.
What is Instagram Marketing?
Instagram Marketing is a social media marketing tactic wherein brands use the network to connect with their target audiences and market their offerings. It’s an excellent opportunity to show your brand’s cultures, recruit new employees, show off your products and services in a new light, and engage with your customers.
You can become an influential brand by posting the right kind of content that will be relevant to your current followers and would bring in some new ones too. But it can be hard to go about the process and know what works best for your audience. So, here’s how you can get started with Instagram marketing and use the popular platform for all that it’s worth.
1. Switch to a Business Profile
Before stepping your foot into Instagram marketing, make sure you have an Instagram Business Account. The business account comes with benefits that would allow your followers to contact you right from your Instagram page just like they would do from your website.
Also, having a business profile will give you the ability to create and publish Instagram ads and access Instagram analytics tools called Insights which would provide you with statistics informing you about the impressions and reach of your posts. You’ll now be able to use this platform to track metrics and understand your audience.
2. Use free Instagram Tools
As mentioned earlier, you can use Insights to keep track of statistics like impressions, engagement data, and more. You’ll also be provided with a breakdown of the demographics of your followers which would include information on their gender, location, age, and most active hours.
The more you know how your users are interacting with your content, the better you would be able to adjust your content in the future to boost engagement. These tools are priceless for understanding your target audience and can give you specific insights on posts for the week as well.
3. Post compelling Product Teasers
You can advertise your products gently and smartly, keeping in mind not to annoy your users with tons of advertisements. The main motive behind product teasers is to just increase excitement about the product without being too pushy. Talk about your products in a simple way without looking like you’re trying too hard.
This way you don’t push them into buying but get them interested in it. They may buy it or at least engage with your post by liking it or sharing it with a friend.
4. Create Sponsored Ads
You can use the carousel feature to showcase one or multiple sponsored ads. Moreover, the best part about this platform is that you can exactly control how much you want to spend on them by setting an ad budget.
Use engaging content for sponsored ads that would fit your target audience and increase your reach. You also have the ability to turn existing posts into sponsored ads and push high-performing posts to potential customers in the form of sponsored ads.
5. Partner with Influencers
Partnering up with influencers who already have a large following can be really beneficial for you to reach potential customers. Many Instagram users trust these influential people and if you partner with the right industry influencer then you can introduce your brand to these users.
So, make a search and identify a few influencers having an audience that is relevant to your product or service. Additionally, building a relationship with each influencer will also help increase your brand awareness.
6. Use Interactive Branded Hashtags
Coming up with interactive branded hashtags is a great way to create instant engagement as customers can then use the tag to create user-generated content, which would then allow users to search through all posts that are related to your brand. This is free advertising as each time someone posts using the tag, they’d expose your company or brand to their followers.
7. Schedule your Posts
You need to be consistent with your posting to stay in your audiences’ news feed regularly. However, don’t over-post as it may turn off your existing followers. The best way you can ensure this is by posting during peak days and hours when your followers are online.
You can find about these peak days and hours on Instagram Insights and then schedule your posts accordingly with a tool like Hootsuite, CoSchedule, or Sprout Social.
8. Track the right Metrics
First, keep an eye on your follower growth rate which can be tracked with a tool like Influencer Dashboard. Then keep a tap on your measure engagement rates that includes likes and comments. This will give you an idea about how your content is affecting things.
Finally, you need to track your URL click-through rate and measure how many clicks your link is getting in comparison to impressions and engagements. A tool like Sprout Social can help you out with it. Your click-through rate will certainly be higher with an effective Instagram Marketing strategy. If not, then you need to analyze and work on improving your approach.
The social media world is certainly dominated by Instagram having over 800 million monthly users. Thus, this is a great platform to increase your brand awareness, to market your services, and also to attract higher web traffic. All you need to do is just have the right plan to become an influential brand and work towards growing your audience and bringing in new ones.