Instagram is a place where you can visually express your brand and engage with your audience.
Currently bringing in 1 billion users monthly, Instagram could be a vital tool for your brand and a key contributor to growth if you aren’t already taking advantage of its features.
If you are looking to promote your products or services while growing your brand on the platform, we’re here to set you up for success. This article gives you practical Instagram marketing tips you can get started with today.
1. Setup a Business Profile
If you already have an Instagram account with content related to your business and a decent following but it’s not a full business profile, creating a business profile is only a screen tap away. However, if your personal page is not related to your business, you also have the option of creating a new page strictly for your business.
To create a new business page from scratch, you need to download the app and sign up.
Once your account is created, it is still registered as a personal page, so to make it an official business page you will need to go to your profile, then go into the settings. Once in settings tap the “Switch to Business Profile” then tap done to successfully convert your page.
By converting to a business page, you will have access to tools that are not available for personal accounts. New features will include a contact me button, promotions, and you can access Instagram’s Insights once you reach your first 100 followers.
Insights is a powerful tool for growing your page because you can effectively learn more about your audience. This feature shows you how many people have visited your profile, audience demographics, content engagement and interaction, and what times your audience is online.
2. Create a Posting Schedule
With Instagram, consistency is key. If you are looking to increase organic engagement, reach more users, and gain followers, you need start by creating a posting schedule for your page.
This is very easy to do with the free data provided by Instagram, and it doesn’t take a bachelor's degree to know how to use it for your benefit.
By using Insights, you can make your business page more efficient, and you can figure out when you should be posting. To find out more about your audience, you need to track what times your followers are online and strategize a posting schedule from there.
In 2016, Instagram was generating on average 95 million posts per day, and it’s safe to say that three years later that number has only increased. That’s a lot of pictures and videos that can make your posts and page get lost in the crowd.
By developing a posting schedule, you can work to increase your visibility, which can expose your brand to a wider audience. When you post during higher traffic times, you have a better chance at being seen by your followers.
3. Determine the Type of Content You’ll Post
For a personal page, it’s alright to show off your selfies and your awesome life, however, when it comes to a business page you need to keep it professional and be thoughtful with your content.
A business page should be a visible representation of your brand, so when you are thinking about what to post on your page, you should ask yourself if your customers would be interested in your feed.
When you’re starting with a brand new business page, it can be pretty hard to grow a following because users don’t go out of their way to follow a business they aren’t too familiar with. An effective way to get around this hurdle is to start off as a theme page and post content that relates around your brand.
The great thing about a theme page is that you can save a lot time and money since content can be reposted. Theme pages often use other people’s content while giving credit to the original creator. This method then brings in their followers to your page and your current followers to their page, so it’s a win-win.
Once you’ve built a good following on your business page, you can start implementing original content.
On Instagram, you are growing more than just your business, you are growing your brand and reputation. Your brand will create your future loyal customers, so make sure to be careful with how your market it.
4. Consider Influencer Marketing
Other methods that can help you successfully grow your brand on Instagram is utilizing influencers big or small to market your brand.
Influencer marketing came into the traditional marketing world just as fast as Instagram’s rise to fame. Those who were once users of the platform quickly became the voices and faces for brands and were using their presence to sell volumes of products or services directly and indirectly.
Influencers on Instagram use the platform as a career, so they are always open to working out brand deals once an opportunity presents itself. Although using an account with millions of followers to gain exposure may seem very promising, it’s still important to conduct research on who you are looking to work with.
When you are choosing ambassadors to represent your brand online, you want to make sure their content and personality aligns with your business views. There have been many cases of brands getting bad press due to advertising with controversial influencers, so you should learn from previous mistakes and througouhly vet who you chose to represent your brand in order to properly reap all of it’s benefits.
Another thing to keep in mind when working with influencers, it to set guidelines about how they can represent your brand. Although giving influencers the green light to create their own content is important to keep posts authentic, you also need to moderate what they can post because what they create will be a reflection of your brand. By providing content guidelines, you can potentially be saving your brand and business from future mishaps.
5. Use Instagram Stories & IGTV
Instagram is consistently releasing new features and seems to reward accounts that take advantage of these features.
Two features that might help you build your brand are Instagram Stories and IGTV. So, it’s important you know how to use these features as part of your overall Instagram marketing strategy.
But, first, you need to know the difference between the two. Instagram Stories were introduced in 2016. With Stories, you can shoot your video directly from the platform or upload pre-recorded footage with a 10-second limit per video.
It also offers another way for you to engage with your audience through gifs, polls, questions, and hashtags within the Stories.
This is a great tool for businesses to gain insight on their audience. If you are starting a clothing brand, you can post on stories two different shirts with a poll feature to find out which of the two attracts more attention from your followers. So this would be a good way to find out what kind of products your audience likes.
IGTV is Instagrams new baby, and was introduced in 2018 as a way to upload long-form 10 minute videos. Major accounts have the option to post 60 minute videos.
IGTV is a modern way to watch channels on your phone vertically, but it nothing like TV, it’s more similar to a YouTube rival. With longer videos you can showcase who your brand is to your audience and let them really get to know you.
A great example of a business owner who successfully uses IGTV to market himself would be Gary Vee. He is an American entrepreneur who has grown his personal brand and other businesses through Instagram.
Gary has just under 7 million followers on Instagram and uses social proof to post relatable content for his audience. Business owners and entrepreneurs have started going to his Stories for inspiration and advice.
Through IGTV, he is able to promote his wine business and other partnerships he works with, and he has a large amount of loyal followers ready to buy what he showcases.
Ready to get started engaging on Instagram? We can help – give us a call to learn more.