Since its humble beginnings in 2010 as a space to share your daily meals and overly-edited photos of yourself and your friends, Instagram is still on top today, over ten years later, as one of the most downloaded apps.
While social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube continue to grow and become more popular platforms for businesses to market their products or services, Instagram continues to be a powerhouse platform for marketing to your audience. And with over 2 billion – yes, with a b – users worldwide, Instagram continues to be a trendsetter within the digital marketing space.
But unlike some other platforms with specific methods and capabilities for marketing, Instagram offers a variety of ways for how businesses can showcase their brand. This is both a great opportunity and an overwhelming thing to face.
Where do you start?
What would work best for your business and target audience?
How can you truly connect with your audience on Instagram?
While there is no exact, step-by-step process for marketing on Instagram that works universally for any and every business, we’re sharing some general tips to help you grow your business through solid, impactful Instagram marketing.
Here are ten powerful Instagram marketing tips to start implementing for your business.
Switch To A Business Profile
Before we can even get into the nitty gritty specifics of Instagram marketing, we want to bring to your attention the importance of switching your business’s Instagram profile from a personal profile to a business profile.
This may seem like a no-brainer, and if your business Instagram account is already a business profile, feel free to skip this step.
If your profile is still a personal one, or you aren’t sure which type of profile it is, below are the easy steps to ensure your business’s Instagram profile is a business one.
- On the upper right-hand corner of your profile, click the three lines icon.
- Choose the ‘Settings’ option
- Choose the ‘Account’ option
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the ‘Switch account type’
- Choose “business account” from the options
- Connect your business Facebook page to the Instagram account by following the instructions on the screen.
There are definite benefits to switching to a business profile. First, followers can click on your contact information to directly connect with your business from your Instagram page, similar to how they would from your website. Additionally, you’ll gain more credibility as an established business by having a business profile.
A few other significant advantages of switching to a business profile are you’ll be able to create and publish Instagram ads, access analytic tools, insights, and other free perks.
Make Your Profile SEO-Friendly
Now that your profile has been switched to a business profile, the next step is to optimize it with SEO-relevant keywords while also maintaining ease of understanding. When someone visits your page, the first things they’ll see are your profile picture, username, and bio, so you need to make sure they look good.
Make sure the photo you upload for your profile photo is the correct dimensions and showcases who your business is. This typically looks like your logo, but some businesses utilize other branding logos, or if you’re a business of one, you can upload a nice photo of yourself that makes you seem friendly and approachable.
Your username should be your business name, but if the exact name is already taken by another account, try to make it as close to your business name as possible.
As for your bio, there is a typical structure for creating bios that is important to follow:
Line 1: Who are you, or what do you do?
Line 2: How does your business help people? What goals does it accomplish?
Line 3: About your brand/noteworthy achievements
Line 4: CTA
Including all the information listed above in a concise and short-form style will give visitors a quick and easy way to know important information about your business.
Think of your profile as a first impression for new or potential customers. You want to make sure you nail that first impression.
Set Good Goals
Now that your profile is set up and ready to go, it’s time to start digging into your Instagram marketing strategy.
Before you start posting, take a step back and consider a few goals you want to achieve through Instagram marketing.
Here are a few examples of common goals:
- Brand Awareness
- Lead Generation
- Follower Growth
Those goals are great, but you should also create goals that are as unique as your company. But the important point here is that you need to have at least a few goals to create a good Instagram marketing strategy.
Know What Type Of Content Works For Your Audience
Instagram still has one of the most active user bases out of all the social media platforms, with users spending an average of 29 minutes a day on the platform.
If you want to get real results with Instagram Marketing, you need to know what types of posts/content perform best for your audience. For example, do they like stories more than feed posts? Do they gravitate toward Reels over Lives? Do videos perform better than photos?
Every demographic is different, so it will be worth the time and effort to research what type of content would work best for your business and audience. Fortunately, to save you some (not all) time on research, there is already a plethora of data out there that gives some insight on where to start.
Most data shows that Instagram users prefer a broad range of post types, not only one specific type. This includes promotional posts, motivational quotes, product/service highlights, DIY content, user-generated content, videos, and interactive content.
While you can – and should – hone in on your audience’s preferences, always prioritize diversity in your strategy to keep your feed fresh and interesting.
Aesthetic Is Important
An interesting shift across social media has occurred since the start of the pandemic. Audiences now crave more authentic content from businesses vs. perfectly aligned, photoshopped content. But that’s not to say that aesthetics isn’t important anymore. Because it is. After all, Instagram is a visual-centric platform.
Maintaining a balance between authentic, unfiltered content and curated content is key in today’s day and age.
Here are a few tips when it comes to content aesthetics that perform well on Instagram:
- Lighter images perform better than darker ones
- While space or more background space performs well
- Contrasting textures generate more likes
- Creative and engaging captions improve visibility
- Vertical dimensions perform better than horizontal
- Clear images perform better than blurry/grainy ones
When it comes to your business’s Instagram aesthetics, you should approach it with an experimental mindset and try different things. Don’t be afraid to take some risks, even if they don’t end up working out, because that’s part of the fun of social media marketing!
Encourage And Use User-Generated Content
User-generated content is a fantastic way to boost your Instagram reach for free!
When businesses encourage their followers to share photos or videos of their products/services and share that user-generated content on their feeds, this shows that they care about their customers and want to engage with them. This is a crucial element of a successful Instagram marketing strategy that your business should consider implementing.
You really can’t beat the authenticity of real customer photos and videos directly engaging with businesses!
Post At The Right Times
Now that you have access to Instagram Insights, you can access data about your followers, including the most active times they’re on the platform. This data will inform you of the ideal days/times your audience will likely be online and most likely to engage with your content.
Timing posts when your audience is most likely to be online increases the likelihood of your posts getting noticed. And the more a post is engaged with, the wider the reach that post will get.
Create Sponsored Ads
Instagram ads have become a common thing on the platform. There likely are not many people out there who haven’t purchased something they’ve seen from an Instagram ad.
Instagram ads allow businesses to promote their products and services to their ideal target audiences and increase their reach further than ever before! Who doesn’t love that?
One of the best parts about Instagram ads is that you can control precisely how much you want to spend on them. Furthermore, once your budget is set, Instagram will not go over that budget, which is a great help for businesses that have tighter budgets but still want to utilize the powerful benefits that come from Instagram ads.
Partner With Influencers
Influencer marketing has exploded over the last couple of years.
Before influencers came into their own as an industry, people would often trust what businesses were saying or look to google reviews as their only way of knowing if they wanted to engage with a business. But now, that’s changed due to influencer marketing.
A report by HypeAuditor found that, on average, businesses will get $4.87 in earned media value for each dollar they pay for influencer promotion on Instagram. That’s a pretty significant ROI when it comes to social media marketing.
An influencer doesn’t have to be the one who has millions of followers, either. It could be a local person who is active on social media, often tags businesses, and feels passionate about your business and brand.
Engage With Your Audience
It’s important to always remember that social media is meant to be social, but it’s your responsibility to drive those interactions.
When people comment on your posts or send you messages, take the time to thank them for reaching out and answer their questions, respond to their comments, and encourage that conversation. Even just responding with an emoji can go a long way in creating more trust and awareness with your audience.
People love when businesses interact with their comments. As your account grows, you may not have the ability to comment back on every single comment, but you can pick the ones that stand out to you to address.
Instagram is continuing to grow and evolve as a robust marketing platform. If your business is not already on Instagram, now is the time to create an account and start exploring the many ways Instagram can boost your digital marketing goals and create meaningful and authentic relationships with your audience.
The social media team at SharedTEAMS is ready to dive into Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any other social media platform you are hoping to grow your business on. Check out our social media projects here.