Did you know that there are over 25 million brand accounts on Instagram, with 80% of users following one? And out of the top 100 brands in the world, 90% have an Instagram account. (source- Brandwatch).
Instagram has been a total game-changer for businesses and brands. What started as an image sharing tool has now become a massive platform for brands to generate leads and revenue.
So, Instagram seems quite important, right? It’s a great social media marketing tool to help your business come to the limelight. And therefore, it becomes even more important to have and follow an effective Instagram marketing strategy.
13 Effective Instagram Marketing Strategies to Build Your Social Media Presence
As a marketer, you might have thought that “how do I create a marketing strategy on Instagram?” or “how to reach a wider audience on Instagram?” Here, we have short-listed 13 best Instagram marketing strategies that will fuel your business’ growth and boost your digital presence.
1. Use a Business Profile
If you’re making an Instagram account, it is beneficial to make a business than a personal account. A business account will enable you to run advertisements, analyse analytics and metrics, let followers contact you easily.
The business account also allows you to connect your Instagram to your Facebook business account thereby sharing your content on both media. This will help you reach a wider audience and promote your content.
2. Update Your Bio
This is the space under your Username and profile photo to share information about your brand with your visitors. It is also the first thing a visitor and a potential follower will see when they land on your page. So, be wise and smart about using up this small space.
You can tell people what your brand is about and what you plan to share with your audience. You may use emoticons and make your bio humorous to engage with your consumers. Instagram also gives you a space to add your website URL so make sure to do that. Add hashtags relating to your niche so your page can be easily available and visible for people searching for that particular hashtag.
3. Plan and Spread Out Your Content
his is one of the keys of Instagram marketing strategies. Have a detailed plan about what are you kind of information you’re going to share with your audience.
Once you’ve decided that, you need to go into details of what each post is going to contain. Everything from the content to design to colour is needed to be taken into consideration.
Another advantage of having a content calendar would be that you won’t miss out on important days like World Aids Day, Mother’s Day, etc. You can post photos and videos relevant to these days while relating them to your service.
Mix the content around your feed and keep optimising regularly. Make photos, videos, short clips, BTS shoots, memes, puns to keep your audience engaged and entertained.
4. Analyse Your Competition
Find out about your competitors and figure out what they are doing to engage with their audience. Now think about how you can do something different and better than your competitors for your followers.
One easy way to find your competition is using hashtags relevant to your industry in the “Tags” tab and check out the pages that come in results.
5. Relevant #Hashtags
Sprout Social says that Instagram posts that use hashtags gain a 12.6% increase in engagement compared to those without.
The hashtag strategy is probably one of the most essential Instagram marketing strategies on this list. How smartly you use your hashtags will allow even users who don’t follow your page find you. Instagram algorithms allow users to find pages that are using the hashtags they are looking for.
Although Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post, you need not overstuff every post with hashtags.
Moreover, don’t try to add only popular hashtags into your posts. The disadvantage of doing this is that since millions of businesses and users use common ones like #health #beach in their post, yours might get lost.
In fact, Instagram also gives out metrics to how many people found a particular post through hashtags. You can now figure out how which hashtag works and which you can improve on.
6. DMs and Comments for Building Engagement
Build your Instagram community through comments and replying to direct messages (DMs). Make your Instagram page interactive and as human as possible. You can’t be only talking about your own brand, products, etc.
To start off conversation you can ask your followers to come up with marketing puns by commenting. This can be a great way for people to discuss with one another and they will ‘tag’ their peers to participate in the activity too. This will create more brand awareness for your page and allow the participants to remember your page.
Always be respectful to your visitors, followers and consumers. Even when someone is commenting a complaint or messaging you, make sure you respond and clear their queries.
7. Use Instagram Stories
A very powerful feature, Instagram stories appear at the top of a user’s ‘home’ page and stay for 24 hours. The advantage of this feature is that you can add multiple stories and engage with users in lots of fun, interactive ways. Ephemeral content is huge now and it would be a waste to not it in your Instagram marketing strategies for 2020.
You may use photos, videos, add GIFs, create a customised brand filter, etc. This is just the basic of what you can do. New features include organising ‘polls’ and asking people for their views.
You can also use the ‘questions’ feature where users can ask you questions or something they might want to share with you. These answers will reach to you in the form of DMs which you can choose to further share on your story.
You can conduct quizzes with the ‘quiz’ option wherein users have to select the right one from multiple choices. You may also add the ‘countdown’ feature that you can use to set the timer for a product launch or giveaways.
8. Go Live
Engage with your audience in real-time. This feature is generally used to live stream a video. This can be an event that you’re attending or revealing winners of a contest.
A lot of brands use this feature as an option to conduct a Q&A session with their followers. You can let your followers know beforehand that you’ll be going live so they can join later.
The ‘live’ option also allows you to invite other people as well. It’s just like face-timing a friend but with other people watching too. Your viewers can communicate with you only through comments and likes. So, you can use this feature to invite a famous personality to have a live, real-time chat.
9. Collaborate to Promote
This is a good way to reach an audience base who might not be aware of your brand.
You can collaborate with other brands, influencers, celebrities to share a product or review your services. You can ask them to take over your account and go live. Or the most common one, you can create content together and post it on your respective Instagram pages. Of course, don’t forget to tag and share each other’s page.
10. Story Highlights
If you have a company milestone or celebration that you posted about on Instagram stories and you want to keep, you can use this feature. Unlike ‘stories’, ‘story highlights’ stay on your feed forever.
So, if you have a new follower or visitor to your profile, they can just see what your company is up to by your story highlights.
11. Instagram Ads
With so many brands and businesses trying to increase their followers, it can get a little overwhelming to stand out. To move a little ahead in the game, you can take the help of Instagram ads or paid advertising.
Just like any other ad platform, this tool helps you grow your user base through target advertising. The various types of ads you can access are photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, etc. The best part about running ads on Instagram is that you don’t need to create them separately. If you have a Facebook page, the ad that you run on it can be automatically shared on Instagram.
Another important feature, IGTV (Instagram TV) allows you to post videos that go longer than a minute. The highest it allows up to is 60 mins.
So, if you have tutorials or cooking videos that you want to post, IGTV is the best option for you. If you want to post discussions or lectures, this feature will again come in handy.
In your feed, there’s a separate IGTV column which stores all your long videos that users can directly access. Your job is to make the thumbnail and the title interesting and click-worthy.
13. Don’t Be Too Sales-y
While you’re posting regularly, sharing stories, collaborating or advertising, do not over-promote yourself. Your feed should not look like a page that only advertises about themselves or is busy promoting others’ content.
Make sure that you are not being too pushy with your posts. Make it a good balance of promoting and providing actual, relevant information to your users. This is what will set you apart from millions of those other pages. Be real and authentic.
Social media is very dynamic and eclectic. Different strategies might work for different brands. And in every few months, something new comes up. To grow your brand and be relevant, stay trendy and keep updating yourself to the latest Instagram marketing strategies.