7 Best Practices for Instagram Marketing
From Mercedes-Benz and Levi’s® to Taco Bell and Ben & Jerry’s, Instagram – a community of over 300 million, is being used by brands and businesses to reach an engaged audience, build awareness, deliver captivating imagery for rich visual storytelling and publish content in a creative environment. After all, every brand has a point of view and Instagram lets you share yours.
The social networking service has the following benefits:
1. Instagram is home to an engaged community. Instagrammers are passionate about the platform and are open to new perspectives.
2. The singular focus of the platform is captivating imagery. This is a fact demonstrated to best effect by Instagram’s simple design that ultimately allows captivating imagery to take center stage.
3. Instagram is a beautiful and high-quality environment to tell your brand’s story.
Additionally, the statistics for Instagram are baffling. The photo-sharing and video-sharing social networking service has:
1. 300 million monthly active users
2. The service is home to over 30 billion photos
3. Everyday, 70 million photos are added
4. Instagram photos generate 2.5 billion likes daily
Clearly, if you ignore Instagram’s potential as a marketing channel, you do so at your own peril. Equally important, if you want Instagram to fit into your overall marketing strategy and in turn increase awareness for your brand, shift perception and/or reach a new audience, you need to be aware of tactics for success.
In truth, as more and more people and brands jump onto Instagram, the noise level for individual users increases and for your content to really stand out from the crowd, it needs to be remarkable, interesting and add value. The content also needs to be optimized to make sure it is seen.
7 tactics for Marketing Success on Instagram
1. Cross-promote for Discoverability
One of the easiest ways to juice up your Instagram engagement and maximize your Instagram impact is to mention your Instagram account on other social media channels, your website and any printed materials. This will promote traffic and expand your reach to new or existing communities. In particular, be sure to capitalize on Facebook’s integration of Instagram to reach wider audiences.
2. Follow the Top Trends
As a social media marketer on Instagram, you need to be constantly aware of the top trends on the network so you can participate in those conversations when it’s relevant for your industry. The idea is that you want to match your content to the current season, holiday or event so you can hit your audience when they are already thinking about these things.
3. Engage your Community
Next up, the thing you need to understand about Instagram is that it is not a one-way channel for promoting your brand. As mentioned above, Instagram is an engaged community and to belong, you need to like and comment on other people’s photos and content. Interact with your followers and reciprocate their passion for your brand.
4. Know What your Audience Wants
By tracking your Instagram ROI with engagement measures such as likes and comments, you can monitor the content your community likes and responds to. This can in turn inform your editorial plan so you can create content that will increase the return on your investment.
5. Use the Right Hashtags
You see them everywhere around the web! From Twitter to Instagram, hashtags are an essential part of social media. The challenge is to use the right hashtags that encourages followers to use them and lets you track posts and shares. Visitors use hashtags to search instagram and by learning which hashtags are the best to get discovered by your target demographic, you can take your Instagram marketing to the next level.
6. Post Quality and Authentic Content
As is the case with any content marketing, when producing content for marketing on Instagram, the content needs to be interesting, unique and valuable. On Mashable, there is a post that rounds up 10 of the most-followed brands on Instagram. What do these brands have in common? They have leveraged high quality imagery as part of their marketing strategy. The photos are personal instead of aloof and the visuals build a personable identity that readers can relate to.
Equality important when sharing content on Instagram is to post regularly, at least once per week. Of course 5 times per week is good too. The idea is to keep your followers looking forward to something new.
7. Let Your Fans do the Sharing
Last but not least, seeing as how Instagrammers are passionate about the platform, running contests is a great way to build your Instagram audience and increase engagement on posts. You can use any call to action you want. Let your community tell your story and promote your brand. In time, you would have built an army of brand ambassadors showcasing a more authentic perspective of your brand.