Instagram is one of the most influential marketing tools that business owners underestimate. Where else can you potentially reach 700 million engaged users in a single place? Not only does Instagram offer a platform with a broad user base, but it also has one of the highest engagement rates of any social media marketing platform, with a large percentage of those users relying on Instagram content to help them research and select products. Given these facts, it’s easy to see why your business needs to optimize its digital media marketing strategy, with Instagram at its core. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
Know Your Audience
Before you can optimize Instagram use for your target audience, you have to know who that target audience is. Otherwise, your Instagram use will be much like fishing in an overrun pond with the wrong bait. Just as you can’t choose the right bait if you don’t know what you’re fishing for, you can’t create an engaging Instagram profile if you don’t know whom you are trying to reach.
Consider your company’s target audience. Include not only the type of people who could use your products but also what their lifestyle. Market research will tell you your target audience’s interests, hobbies, and lifestyle. This information will help you to know what kinds of things they look for on Instagram, and what types of profiles they are likely to follow.
Having a clear understanding of your audience helps you also to grow your following and reach that audience with targeted Instagram ads. While you can build your following organically and wait for followers to find you, this is a lengthy process. Targeted ads will help you find relevant followers and grow your audience more rapidly.
Refine Your Bio
Your bio is the first thing that prospective followers will use to learn about your business. As a result, you need to be sure that it conveys the message you want. Your bio statement should be clear and concise, and it needs to show followers what your brand is.
Instagram only gives you 150 characters for the bio, so make those characters count. You can use line breaks in the bio if needed to ensure clarity and appearance. It is also essential to add a link to your website. Use a link shortening tool if necessary to save characters, but don’t skip the link, because it will drive followers to your site.
In addition to the bio statement, include your company logo as the profile picture. Instagram uses a round profile picture, so zoom out a bit on your logo if needed for it to be clear and not cropped by the circle.
Define And Maintain Your Brand Identity
You want your Instagram profile to portray your company’s brand identity. Everything you post should be within that identity and theme that you have defined for your profile. For example, use the same filters on all of your images, present the same general message across the board, and prioritize image quality instead of quantity.
Don’t rush to post photos that don’t fit your brand to have something up there. Your content will resonate more effectively with your audience, even if less often when your content is high-quality and relevant all the time.
Identify And Use The Right Hashtags
Hashtags are a vital component for visibility on Instagram. Users can, and often do, search hashtags to find new content. Identify some hashtags that are relevant to your industry and business, and use them on your posts to draw focused followers and new influencers.
You can also increase exposure by adding a couple of popular hashtags but make sure that they are relevant to your content and brand. Finally, create a brand-specific hashtag to use on all of your posts to claim them and allow users to search specifically for your brand through hashtag searches.
When choosing and using hashtags, moderation is essential. You don’t want to overwhelm your post with hashtags. Make the most of a few you’ve carefully selected. Use around ten hashtags at the most, and keep up with the banned hashtag list to avoid encountering visibility problems.
Remember that Instagram is a social platform. You won’t get the return you want on the platform if you post your brand content and do nothing more. Expand your visibility and engagement on Instagram by engaging with others regularly, too.
Follow other users, both in your industry and not. When your account gains followers, evaluate them to see if they are relevant enough to your brand to follow back. Potential customers love when a brand recognizes them.
Like and comment on other posts. Actively engage accounts you follow and those identified by hashtag search or the explore page. The more active you are, the more visibility your brand will get, even just from those reading comments and seeing your brand’s name.
You can also increase your visibility by taking part in or launching your own Instagram campaigns. These campaigns encourage users to share specific types of photos with the campaign hashtag, and most brands offer a prize of some sort as part of the campaign.
Set Measurable Goals And Evaluate Performance
All of these efforts on Instagram are just time spent when you don’t take the time to set goals and evaluate your profile’s performance. Every quarter, set goals for your engagement, including likes, comments, shares, and follower growth. You’ll also want to set some goals for conversions, including click-through activity, overall market reach, and sales data.
Monitor your profile’s activity as it relates to these goals, and work to refine your profile activity so that it helps you to meet those goals. Look at your engagement based on when you post and how often you post. Start by posting once each day, and then gradually post more often. Watch your engagement numbers, and stop increasing your post frequency when you notice engagement start to slow. That way, you post often enough to maximize engagement without posting so often that you end up with follower fatigue.
With the right understanding of Instagram’s operation and how to make it work for you, your company can capitalize on this growing platform and expand your customer reach exponentially. For more help, contact us today.