Instagram was launched in 2010. At that time it was like any other social media platform used for sharing photos with followers. But now, it has grown to become one of the biggest marketing channels available to businesses to revamp their ad strategy. With over 800 million monthly active users, it is a powerful tool to promote your brand and engage with the target audience. By reading this guide about marketing on Instagram, you will be able to grow your brand and gain more from your marketing strategy and efficiently explore digital marketing.
Instagram is a platform which allows businesses to humanize themselves, showcase their products and engage with a global audience. In today’s scenario, it has become even more important to know how to advertise business on instagram. This is because instagram offers the opportunity to reach out to an already engaged audience and build brand awareness. This instagram guide covers all important topics that you need to know about for marketing your brand.
In 2016, Instagram changed from chronological feed to an algorithm. When Instagram had chronological feed, to ensure that your followers saw the content, all you had to do was post when they were the most active. But with the algorithm, there are a number of factors which influence what users see on their feed. For the success of marketing on Instagram, you need to know what factors influence visibility, so you can influence those factors. The visibility of the posts depends upon:
- Engagement: Posts with higher engagement will have better visibility. Engagement includes likes, comments, views, etc. Higher engagement posts signal to the algorithm that the content is high quality and thus it pops up in the feed of followers. It isn’t only about how much people engage with your posts, but also how quickly your posts get engagement.
- Time spent in viewing a post: How long people spend in viewing your posts is also a huge factor. This is why videos, gifs and posts with engaging captions perform well and are visible to more users.
- Type of content: Instagram uses the algorithm to determine the type of posts a user likes and engages with more. It then shows them more of such type of content. So, for example, a user engages with posts related to home decor, then more such similar content will show on that user’s feed.
- Engagement on stories: Marketing on Instagram is mainly about engagement. You can influence the engagement by adding polls or swipe up features to welcome the audience’s participation.
Confused about how to strategically use hashtags on Instagram? Read our blog: HOW TO STRATEGICALLY USE HASHTAGS FOR EFFECTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING ON VARIOUS PLATFORMS.
Once you clearly know how to advertise business on Instagram, it is important to switch to an Instagram business account, if you want to gain better results. Instagram business gives users the ability to add links to stories, auto-publishing, product posts through which instagram users can buy products, etc. Note that, to make an Instagram business account, you need to have a Facebook business page and your Instagram account must be public. Once you have a business page, follow these steps to switch to a business account:
- Connect your account to the business page: Click the gear icon next to the edit profile option on your Instagram account. Click on ‘switch to business profile’ and click ‘continue’. Tap on ‘continue as’ and choose the Facebook business page for linking it to the account. Tap next.
- Set up the business profile: Add your address, phone number and email id and click on done.
Once you create a business profile you get access to features like instagram ads, promoted posts, insights, contact button, etc. To know in detail about the techniques to sell any product, read our blog: A COMPLETE GUIDE ELABORATING TECHNIQUES TO SELL A PRODUCT.
To learn instagram advertising, it is necessary to learn about the different types of posts that you can publish on Instagram. After all, marketing on Instagram revolves around posts and stories. On Instagram you can post various kinds of content like:
- Images: Images are the most common type of posts. To make your account stand out, post a variety of photos which are related to the theme of your brand. Avoid posting too many photos that showcase your products. Instead, focus on images that revolve around events or a theme. For example: Most of Nike’s posted photos are of athletes or concerts, while Starbucks posts coffees in different backgrounds. To get the most engagement, post behind-the-scenes photos or maybe repost images from employees which are relevant to your brand, add educational photos, motivational posts etc.
- Videos: Videos generate the most engagement and thus are crucial to marketing on Instagram. Note that videos begin without a sound, so make sure that the first few seconds are catchy and do not need sound for viewers to understand the context.
- GIFs and Boomerangs: Boomerangs and GIFs allow you to post a few seconds video which repeats in loops. Such videos are great for showing movements like jumping, toasting glasses, cheering or high fives.
- Stories: Your stories can be a bit more raw than the polished, professional photos and videos in your feed. These photos and videos disappear after 24 hours. Stories are a great way to share behind the scene happenings, share live events, etc.
- Instagram live: Instagram’s live option allows you to share content in real time with your followers. When you start a live video, the followers who are using the app will receive a notification. Instagram live can be used to do QandA, post snippets of product launch, events etc.
To know how to make the best use of Instagram for marketing, read our blog: HOW TO USE INSTAGRAM FOR SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING.
Better marketing Tips
To improve marketing on Instagram, you need to increase followers and engagement. So it is really important that you dive into the Instagram guide thoroughly. Here are a few tips to achieve better results:
- Use available tools: Business accounts have additional features like CTAs and contact buttons on their profiles. They also have access to analytics and can see impressions and engagement statistics. By using these tools you can engage with the audience better by learning about the kind of posts they like to see and engage with the most.
- Promote posts on other platforms: Post Instagram content and share the link to your profile across all platforms. This allows you to gain followers who are already engaged with the brand on other platforms.
- Use hashtags: Hashtags are crucial for marketing on Instagram. Use brand specific or campaign specific hashtags to boost engagement rates. Encourage followers to post content with those hashtags. You can also take advantage of trending hashtags to enhance the reach of your posts.
- Engage with the audience: Reply to comments on your posts. This can create a loyal customer and promoter for your brand. Thank customers who leave positive comments and try to solve problems of disgruntled customers who leave negative comments. This builds a good brand image.
- Use Instagram ads: By using Instagram ads you can promote your content in a cost effective manner. Ads on Instagram are set up via the ads manager on Facebook. To create ads, you first need to select the goals (awareness, reach, traffic, engagement, conversions etc.) and add in your ad name. Fill in details about targeting options and in the ‘edit placements’, choose Instagram. Once you have set the ads to appear on Instagram, fill in budget and schedule for the ad. The content of your ad can be a boosted post or a new image or video that works as an advertisement. You can choose from image or video ads, story ads, or carousel ads.
Instagram’s reach and power to engage people is undeniable. It allows users to explore more about a company through the use of images and videos. Always post high quality images and videos. Optimise your content by adding engaging captions and hashtags. Hopefully, this Instagram guide will help you get better results and enhance your marketing strategy on Instagram.