Instagram marketing should be at the forefront of any business’ or brand’s social media marketing strategy. The popular social media platform recently hit 1 billion users.
Its global influence has grown considerably in recent years, which has caused it to be at the forefront of social media marketing strategies for businesses and agencies.
With such a large user base, Instagram is a great place to interact with personally invested customers.
A recent study proved that brands on Instagram receive three times the engagement than on Facebook, while 53 percent follow a brand simply because they like it.
These statistics alone are compelling reasons for most brands to be on Instagram.
“The app is one of the most popular social networks worldwide.”Statista
How to Use Instagram Marketing for Brand Awareness
Stay recognizable by using a name and image that are consistent across all your social media channels.
Write an interesting bio that draws people’s attention to the value you can add to their feeds.
Include a description of what your business offers and keep things light and interesting.
Instagram embodies a different culture from other social media sites, so use a lighthearted approach to appeal to the IG community.
There are several opportunities to encourage users to connect with your business via your profile.
Directly under your business name and description, you can include up to three buttons with links. Options available are links to your Website, email, phone number or an online booking app.
To maximize your Instagram marketing efforts, add an extra link in your bio description to drive users to a landing page, online store, or another social media profile.
Offer Your Audience Value
As with your overall content marketing, offer value with your posts. Direct or hard selling is considered spammy, but taking a softer approach will improve success with your Instagram marketing.
Post tips with the hashtag #TuesdayTips to give your audience advice related to your industry or target audience’s interests.
#WednesdayWisdom can be a day where you offer inspiring or insightful messages.
Use trending hashtags to further your Instagram marketing efforts.
In addition to using popular hashtags, also use the low-hanging fruit. Using hashtags that are not in the hundreds of thousands ranking, but in the thousands or hundreds will get your content on Top Post lists.
If you decide to use your Instagram account for a lighthearted branding approach, post photos of your office mascot, or behind-the-scenes goings on at your company headquarters (be sure to get the OK from your PR team).
Hootsuite, a social media management platform, uses their IG account to post images of the company’s work lifestyle with the hashtag #hootsuitelife. They post behind-the-scenes at the office, and show how their team spends fun time away from work.
Use Color and Engage
While Instagram is highly geared toward travel, lifestyle, and entertainment type posts, brands can do well in featuring products.
Be sure to make your posts engaging and include a strong call to action or CTA.
Use appealing images and colors that pop or are set against unique backgrounds. The following post by @a_star_leotards makes wonderful use of color and a call to action.
Post a photo with a product offer and a caption that asks a question to boost engagement. Surveys or polls are a great way to get people involved by commenting.
The following post by an Indian deli shows two dishes and asks users which deal they like best. In the caption they let users know that either dish can be purchased via their mobile app.
Use IG Messaging
Instead of pointing your fans to click on one of your links, encourage them to send you a message via the IG app. It’s an easy way to connect with your fan base and potential customers.
Make Use of IGTV
IGTV is Instagram’s new long-form video channel. Users can post up to 10-minute videos. It’s a great way to connect with fans and share stories about your brand or business or to post tutorials. (Learn how to use IGTV here.)
The IG account @myTexashouse is a great example of how real estate agents and home-design businesses can use Instagram marketing, and specifically IGTV, to reach consumers.
Their house walkthrough videos receive thousands of views and many comments.
Run a Contest
Instagram contests are a great way to drive engagement. The following simple steps will help drive your contest post to the top of a hashtag feed:
- Make the offer valuable. It should be something that people need or want.
- Use an interesting image.
- Include a unique hashtag to track submissions.
- Outline what users need to do to participate in the contest.
- Get IG partners to participate in the giveaway, tag them in the offer post, and require users to tag the partners.
The following example from the Hang-Up Gallery makes it very easy for users to enter the gallery’s contest to win a print. They ask users to Like the post, tag 3 friends, share the post to their story feed with three tags that include the gallery, and two partner IG accounts.
What makes their contest offer valuable beyond winning the print is that it raises awareness about mental health.
Encourage People to Share Your Offer
Take the sharing of offers or contests one step further by adding an additional way to enter or sign up via email. Here’s how to do it:
- Include a link in your Instagram bio description to a landing page that is set up to capture emails.
- Make sure the design and wording of the landing page
isconsistent with the IG post offer.
- Be sure to post contest rules on the landing page or include a link to another page with the rules.
- In the caption of your IG post, let users know they can enter the contest or increase their chances of winning by clicking on the link in your bio.
- Promote the contest on your IG channel, blog, and your other social media channels. Be sure to include a link to the contest on your Instagram account and to the landing page.
- Announce the winner or winners via a blog post and share the post to your IG and other social media channels to increase traffic to your site.
Even small businesses can collect leads via Instagram marketing, so remember to not solely focus on likes and follows.
Think strategically and leverage these basic steps for optimal success.
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