Instagram is all about images. Take visual marketing to the next level by posting the right content and engaging your customers on this platform.
Why do people love Instagram? It’s fun, easy, and all about photos. There aren’t any lengthy pages or posts to read and photos can be shared instantly with hundreds of friends. If you want to use Instagram for marketing purposes, you should leverage the specific ways Instagram functions as a social media platform.
It isn’t a lucrative channel for pushing out written content or posting product information, but if you do it well, you can build your brand with social media marketing on Instagram, generating a host of devoted followers that will increase exposure for your business.
Since its inception in 2010, Instagram has been growing in popularity as a fun and easy social sharing tool. Instagram has over 500 million monthly users and its users share an average 95 million photos each day. Pew Research reported that 32% of all adult internet users are on Instagram, making it one of the most popular social media platforms available.
Ready to stand out on Instagram? Let’s start with the basics.
How to Leverage Your Instagram Bio
As with Twitter, you’ll only have a certain amount of space in your Instagram bio to list information about your brand: 160 characters to be exact. That means you have to be smart about how to use your space if you want your Instagram bio to lend to your Instagram marketing efforts. Here are two ways to make the most of this space: Use Your Instagram Bio as a Conversion Opportunity
Use Your Instagram Bio as a Conversion Opportunity
Every business should have a URL link in their Instagram bio, but the link you choose doesn’t necessarily have to link to your homepage. The inbound marketing experts at Hubspot suggest you write a CTA into your bio and include a link that directs to a specific page on your website. The key to converting is making sure that webpage offers plenty of value to its visitors and offering an opportunity to convert.
For example, you could offer some free content, such as how-to guide, in exchange for a visitor’s contact information. Or, link to your blog or a special offer that can’t be found elsewhere.
Use Your Instagram Bio to Get Website Traffic
If you don’t want to link to a specific webpage, you can link directly to your homepage. Most users will expect easy access to a business page on a business Instagram account. With this link, you can get more website traffic by posting effective content and building up your base of Instagram followers.
Content that Works on Instagram
Certain types of content just don’t work on Instagram in the way they do on other platforms. Facebook and LinkedIn are better suited to pushing out links to long-form content like blog posts and eBooks, but these types of content tend to get ignored on Instagram.
That’s because Instagram’s strength lies in one area, specifically: images.
Building your brand on Instagram is all about exposing your company’s vibrant culture. People like and share Instagram pictures more if they depict real people doing real things. In fact, a 2014 study by the Georgia Institute of Technology revealed Instagram photos with human faces get 38% more likes than photos that don’t.
Funny photos also get shared frequently; you just have to be ready at the right moment.
This doesn’t mean that all your Instagram photos should depict people, but including images of people is important for building your brand. In addition to showcasing your brand in action, you should take pictures of your amazing office space, company outings, and fun events, then fill the space with the people that make up your business to tell a story.
Short videos are also an effective way of bringing your brand to life.
Everyone's a Photographer
To manage your Instagram account effectively, you need a team member who is dedicated to Instagram. Whether you do marketing in-house or you outsource it, this person is usually someone from your marketing team. Some small to mid-sized businesses have a specific individual who handles all their social media marketing.
And due to the advances made in smartphone technology and the photo editing options Instagram offers, everyone is a photographer.
Your Instagram person doesn’t need a photography degree to post great photos (though it would certainly help). If you are producing quality images that people will love to share, you’ll be well on your way to getting more followers.
Partnering with Instagram Influencers
Many businesses extend their reach on Instagram by partnering with Instagram influencers. Influencers are brands or individuals on Instagram who have a long list of followers. Their followers tend to trust and rely on their insights into business and popular culture, which is what makes them influential.
An influencer might take over your Instagram account for a day or share your posts on their own account to get you more exposure.
Influencer marketing works. Adweek recently reported that 94% of those who used influencer marketing believed the tactic to be effective. Partnering with influencers can cost, but if you have a few connections you can sometimes get help from influencers for free. There are two types of partnerships:
The Share Partnership
A sharing partnership is like an equal exchange. It’s quite simple really: you share their posts and they share yours. As a result, you each leverage the other’s followers to get more exposure. You can think of other creative ways to share. This type of partnership is effective for businesses who have a follower count that is comparable to the influencer’s.
The Paying Partnership
In a paying partnership, you pay an influencer to either take over your account or share your posts on their own account. Again, there are other ways to leverage this partnership if you get creative. Paying partnerships are effective. However, Adweek reported that marketers spent between $25,000 and $50,000 for each influencer program in 2016. If you have a limited marketing budget, you might be better off working your connections.
Be Consistent with an Expert
Businesses that don’t have a dedicated marketing team can sometimes assign these tasks to other individuals in the office. To be worthwhile, those individuals should know the ins and outs of social media marketing. If you are trying to build your brand with social media marketing on Instagram, you’ll need to be consistent to see results.
Most businesses post to Instagram regularly, be it once per day or two times per week. This may seem easy, but sometimes taking the right photographs and videos for Instagram can take time, especially if you want your posts to feel organic, not forced.
You can outsource your marketing if maintaining in-house marketing staff is too expensive. Regardless, using an expert is integral to being successful with social media marketing on Instagram.