Today, we have come a long way with visuals infused in majority of our social communications - be it a quick selfie of our lunch date or the latest video of our pet doing some amazing trick.
This rise in visual content flooding the social networks is remarkably prominent on Instagram.
Consequently, several brands are incorporating Instagram strategy for business growth. Videos, gifts and photos are driving high engagement rates, and the reason why Instagram has become so huge is because it builds a global social network by connecting people via visual elements alone, making it a powerful medium of capturing and sustaining people's attention.
Ever since, marketers and brands are racing to capitalize on this monumental growth of Instagram. It has been proved time and again that promoting your business on Instagram is possible if you learn the tricks to sell your brand on Instagram.
Not only does Instagram allow you to connect with people, but it also paves the way for your brand to find recognition and loyalty among Instagram users.
Take a look at the following stats that show that Instagram is a powerful platform for brand loyalty:
- By 2017, approximately 70.7% of total businesses in the US are on Instagram. This is almost two times the figure in 2016 (48.8%), and it has been largely influenced by the inclusion of Instagram Business profiles. (Click to tweet)
- According to L2 research, 65% of total top-performing Instagram posts entail products. Despite the fact that it is not good to be self-promotion every time, Instagram users do enjoy viewing product photos every now and then. In fact, celebrity/influencer photos/videos (29%) and lifestyle photos/videos (43%) fall behind product images and videos. (Click to tweet)
- 7 in 10 hashtags are branded in Instagram. Hashtags not only assist social media users to categorize and organize content, but they have also proved to play a key role in creating some of the most successful marketing campaigns. (Click to tweet)
So, now you have to tap this power source and use Instagram marketing for the growth of your business.
Read on to find out the how to incorporate an effective Instagram strategy to help your business boom in today's market.
How to create an effective Instagram strategy for your business
Your Instagram business profile should be nothing like your personal Instagram account. And it is best that "you" appear rarely (if not at all) on the Instagram business page.
Experts also opine that an Instagram business bio should prompt a customer into taking action while showcasing the personality of the company at the same time.
The bio needs to be interesting and informative at the same time. It should be able to hook followers. You need to convince Instagram users that adding you to their Instagram will enhance the content and value of their feeds.
Provide details related to your business in concise. It should appeal to the Instagram community that you are targeting and must also reflect the tone of your shared images.
It is only in the Instagram bio that you can place a clickable link, so make the most of it. Provide the link to your site on the space that lies directly underneath the description (on the top part of the Instagram page).
Including your website link is crucial to your Instagram marketing strategy. Make sure your URL is readable, as opposed to a series of random characters.
Product images make an immense contribution towards online shopping. Instagram's visual platform can enhance this power many times over.
As much as 67% of total consumers take into consideration detailed imaging of products prior to making the buying decision, and they give it more priority than product ratings or information.
Do not hesitate to flaunt the aesthetics of your brand while showing off your products.
You should be able to figure out your company's brand identity. Majority of your Instagram feed aesthetic will be based on the brand identity. Include the tone and personality of your brand in the feeds. Add the brand value, and play on the tone of your brand.
Cater to your target audience without making any compromise on your brand identity. Know that the Instagram feed primarily aims at current and potential customers. Find out what about your product or brand attracts your target audience. And reflect this in the Instagram feed.
Your business will only gain brand identity when you stay recognizable. Make sure that your Instagram profile image is kept consistent. Add your profile picture's thumbnail in all your Instagram engagements and interactions. Give a professional and recognizable touch to your Instagram profile.
You can study your competitors and get a feel of what are they promoting on Instagram. Are they using user-generated content for their products or services? What type of content are they publishing on Instagram? How often? What's their hashtag strategy?
Gain new insights on what competitors are doing and new ways to improve your own marketing strategy.
Use tools like Socialinsider for studying your competitors on Instagram and see what strategies they are using to reach their customers.
Creative and fresh Instagram captions are the key to attracting customers, but it is not easy to caption your image all the time.
Many users feel pressurized to post images right after taking them, but timing matters a lot in business. Instead of rushing, you need to take time to caption the image to captivate your audience.
Instead of unnecessarily stretching the caption, make it short but sweet. Don't forget that users will probably spend only a few seconds to view your picture before moving on to the next one. Add value to your text instead of quantifying it. You can use your creativity to make the image more engaging. Don't be dry, but take on a conversational tone if need. Instagram users hate formality.
Hashtags are used in Instagram for users to track the content they are looking for. You need to use your hashtags strategically so that more users can find your posts during their search.
Here are some practices that will help you make the best use of hashtags:
- Incorporate as few as 5-7 hashtags in each post.
- Opt for hashtags that are commonly and frequently searched for.
- Incorporate hashtags that are exclusively relevant to your specified target audience - the clicks might be fewer, but the quality will be high.
- In case of campaign or brand specific hashtag, create branded hashtags.
- To implement your brand in a local area, opt for location-based hashtags
Stories are the most popular feature on Instagram (400M daily active users as of June 2018). If you can tie narratives with the brand identity then they will automatically make your audience connect with you emotionally, and add meaning to the content you are posting.
Stories that you tell significantly contribute towards creation of brand loyalty. Instagram offers you the best platform for telling a Story that builds brand loyalty. But at the same time your Instagram feeds should reflect the purpose and image of your company (and brand) as it will create uniformity. Random, disconnected content can lead to confusion, so pay attention to what you are about to post, and go through the Story before posting it on your Instagram profile.
Since feeds on Instagram keep changing rapidly, chances are that your content will get buried in no time. The only way you can change this is by adding hashtags to your posts on Instagram.
In fact, hashtags have big role to play in placing your business into different communities on Instagram that are linked through a keyword, making your posts discoverable for as long as Instagram is operational.
Besides, you can also consider inviting Instagram ambassadors to share your product/brand on their feeds. Creating a group of ambassadors to spread your brand's benefits to their followers will help you reach out to and win more customers. Encouraging your followers on Instagram to post reviews and photos will also allow you to reach out to several other IG users.
As much as 78% of total consumers purchase products/services based on the social media of a brand, so having more people to share and praise your brand will give you a bigger opportunity to convince potential customers to purchase your product.
Another great way to grow an engaged community on Instagram is to share the tagged photos of your followers on your Instagram profile. Adding the content of your users into your own Instagram feeds will promote good feelings that will later on get associated with the brand you are promoting - 65% of total Instagram users opine that whenever any brand mentions about them, they feel happy and honored.
Finally, think outside the box! Don't hesitate to try out new things. The newsfeed algorithm of all social media platforms keeps changing every half an hour. So, whatever worked for you last week will probably not work for you the following week.
Therefore, it is best that you keep continue experimenting with new ideas; if they work then well and good, if they don't then try something new.
However, there are some things that you cannot avoid like on-brand content, top-quality images, user-generated content, friendly and engaging posts and trending topics. The above-mentioned guide will surely help make your Instagram strategy for business a success.
Your turn. What are your best practices with Instagram strategies?
Last update: November 2018.
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