Making an entry in the digital world in 2010, Instagram has become one of the most successful and popular social media platforms in the modern world. It has crossed the whooping 1 billion monthly active users mark already. The total number of daily active Instagram users is more than 500 million. Entrepreneurs and marketers, in their quest for capturing their market share, could do very well by following a robust Instagram marketing guide.
The Significance of Instagram Influencer Marketing
Starting as a modest photo-sharing application, Instagram is today crawling with marketers, brands, and influencers. This extensively used platform, when used diligently, can work as your best marketing platform that may be effectively used to your advantage.
With an average of 95 million photos and videos being shared through this amazing platform, there’s little wonder that it has become the primary choice of social media experts. Instagram influencer marketing is righteously one of the hot topics in the contemporary business world. It pays rich dividends to check out a comprehensive Instagram marketing guide.
How to Get Started from Scratch and Establish a Winning Instagram Account to Take Your Business to the Next Level
Any modern social media expert would tell you how Instagram marketing can benefit business organizations and entrepreneurs to succeed and sustain their business objectives. The following is a comprehensive, step-by-step Instagram marketing guide to learn and implementing successful Instagram marketing:
1. Create your Instagram Business Account
Instagram allows users to create either a personal or business account. In order to start your Instagram marketing strategy, you first need to set up your own business account on Instagram. It has additional benefits as well.
An Instagram business account you to create Shoppable posts and add links to stories. All you need is an active Facebook business page. Yes it is essential. On Facebook, go to the ‘Create’ tab on the top right and choose the ‘Page’ option.
Choose the “Business or Brand” page option and get your Facebook business page created. Name your page appropriately, such that it is representative of your business. Select your specific business category then.
It is time to create your Instagram business account now. Select the ‘Switch to business account’ option in your Instagram account setting section. Remember to set your profile to ‘public’ (not private). This allows people to view your posts – that’s what you require, as a business owner or marketer.
Optimizing your Instagram Profile
Your Instagram profile must be powerful and attractive enough to create a good impression among your viewers and convert them into customers. You need to engage them in the short span of time available. Here’s where having an optimized Instagram profile becomes imperative.
You can optimize your Instagram profile by following certain useful tips:
- You need to choose a profile name that represents your brand spontaneously.
- You may write a short, engaging bio that tells your story while showcasing your brand to your potential customers.
- You may add a shortened URL of your website to your bio, ensuring that it is neat and trackable.
- Your branded hashtag can be promoted in your bio.
- Choose a suitable, high-quality profile picture that specifically reflects your brand.
- Choose a brand aesthetic or color palette for all your posts and stick to it consistently.
2. Leverage Each Type of Instagram Content Format
With Instagram, you need not limit yourself to standard posts only. Not just basic posts, you may use a range of content formats that Instagram offers. Each format has its own uses and unique benefits. You have to experiment with each of these engaging and fun content formats. Any social media expert would help you about this.
Make Use of Instagram Stories
A fun-filled way to engage viewers that enables brands to smoothly connect with their intended audiences, Instagram Stories can be created in a temporary, short format. These help significantly in grabbing attention and engage your audience, providing endless benefits for brands.
Share Excellent Content
Instagram posts are prioritized be the latest algorithm, necessitating timely publishing when people are seen to be most active. Stories, on the other hand, may be posted as and when you feel. They are available for 24 hours at the top of the feed; your audience can access it anytime during this period.
The Right Type of Content to be Posted as Stories
You may post a wide range of content using Instagram stories. A few of the effective ways of leveraging Instagram Stories are listed below:
- You may promote a contest or giveaway to grab the attention of the audience and encourage them to learn.
- Run a question and answer session; it helps to encourage them and get into conversations with them.
- Create polls and quizzes that are very effective types of content.
- Showcasing your accomplishments such as important milestones or awards through Stories will help to increase your brand image. People might be tempted to use your products.
- Instagram Stories Ads having purchasable links can be posted.
3. Instagram Highlights
These are Instagram Stories which you may permanently display at the top of your feed. With the same format as that of Stories but with a different position, Highlights are not showing in your followers’ feeds, but are rather displayed on your Instagram profile.
Highlights may be considered as an element of your Instagram profile, and you may use these for showcasing the content which you wish to be projected to attract attention.
The following are a few of the effective ways to make use of Instagram Highlights:
- You may showcase product categories or collections. You may add the respective website links to each of these to drive users from your Instagram page to your site.
Here’s an example of how the clothing brand H&M has used Instagram Highlights to display various product categories:
- Announcing the launch of new products can be done effectively. This grabs attention quickly.
- Highlights may be used for Displaying hacks, tutorials, tips, and recipes that encourage prospective customers to try your products be educating them.
- Answer FAQs and clarify customer queries to enable them to make an information-based purchase.
The example below shows how a brand provides information about its policies, using Instagram Highlights:
- Showcase videos and pictures from your brand events using Highlights to engage the audience.
The example given here shows how Lakme, the cosmetics brand, has used Instagram Highlights to show footage from their brand events:
Make Prudent Use of IGTV, Instagrams' Exclusive Video Offering
Instagram TV (IGTV), the new feature from Instagram lets you post longer videos. Instagram posts and Instagram Stories have 60 and 15 seconds as the limitation for the video length respectively. IGTV allows posting videos up to 10 minutes for general accounts and 60 minutes for larger, verified specific accounts.
IGTV is compatible with mobile devices; it supports vertical videos. Providing users the ability to watch one video after another makes it quite engaging. This format best suits marketers who look forward to reaching audiences while they are engaged the most.
Here's How You May Create an IGTV Channel
- Click on the IGTV logo in your Instagram feed.
- Select the gear icon.
- Click on ‘create a channel’ and go through the prompts and get your IGTV channel created.
Posting IGTV Videos
IGTV videos can be viewed only using mobile devices through IGTV or Instagram app. This platform does not support viewing on desktops. Click on the IGTV icon, select the ‘+’ icon, and you can start adding the videos from your mobile’s gallery. it is better to share a 1-minute preview of your videos on the Instagram feed. This helps to promote them and bring viewers from the feed to your IGTV channel, so that they may watch the full video there.
What Types of IGTV Videos Can be Created?
While there’s no limitation, prudently using certain effective types of videos will help you to get better audience engagement via IGTV channel:
- Q&A or ‘ask me anything’ sessions prove to be very effective on IGTV.
- Tutorials explaining product uses and features will get the audience interested.
- Hosting regular IGTV shows on the line of TV shows will help to build a loyal audience.
- Success stories and customer testimonials may be showcased as social proof, enhancing trust and value.
Stream Live Videos Using Instagram Live
You can stream live videos that appear in the Instagram Stories. This new and useful feature has the advantage of allowing you to engage effectively with your customers in real-time.
The most powerful way to leverage Instagram Live feature is streaming Q&A or ‘ask me anything’ sessions that engage the audience the most. Social media experts can guide you in this regard. You can allow viewers to comment on the live video. You may even invite guests to feature in the videos so that you may have a chat with them in real-time.
Hashtags are a Brilliant Way to Boost Campaigns
Hashtags have a tremendous influence on the Internet. These are keywords or keyword phrases spelled without spaces and prefaced with a #sign. Generally used to reference events, entertainment, conferences, or reoccurring themes, these ensure to make your content visible while increasing its reach.
Using more than 10 hashtags per post is suggested. Going beyond that may have an opposite effect.
How to Create a Campaign or Brand Hashtag
Follow the steps mentioned below to create and use a brand-specific hashtag that facilitates promoting all types of content throughout Instagram:
- You hashtag needs to be short; it must be easy to remember.
- Use a hashtag for all your Instagram content related to a specific campaign.
- Keep the hashtag unique to your brand or relevant to a particular campaign.
- Ask the audience to use the hashtag while sharing or reposting any of your content and when they participate in your contest.
4. Instagram Influencer Marketing
Influencers are an integral part of the Instagram platform. They have a huge presence and a massive number of followers of Instagram, making themselves indispensable to Instagram marketing.
Finding the Relevant Influencers for Instagram Influencer Marketing
You have to identify relevant influencers in your niche before starting your influencer marketing campaign on Instagram. This first and vital step proves hard for several marketing teams. Finding the relevant influencers for an effective Instagram influencer marketing campaign can be done through a manual search or by making use of influencer-search tools.
Manual Search for Influencers
Doing a hashtag search is the best way to look for influencers manually. Go to the search bar on Instagram, type the most relevant hashtags related to your niche. View the posts that used each of your hashtags and check the people who have posted them.
Those who have a significant followings as well as great engagement rates are the influencers relevant to your brand. Partnering with a reputed social media expert will help you to find one.
Using Influencer-Search Tools
There are free as well as paid tools available in the market to find influencers. If you want to avoid hassless related manual search, you may opt our for any of these. Some of the populat ones are Traackr, BuzzStream, and BuzzSumo.
Just type your topic, hashtag, industry name, or keyword, and these tolls will automatically fetch relevant influencers and the top-performing content as well.
Important Parameters for Choosing Influencers
It is important to avoid influencers who promote too many unrelated brands. Finding the influencers is followed by choosing the ones that suit your purpose. This calls for following certain criteria so that you end up selecting the right ones:
- Engagement: the number of comments, likes, and shared an influencer gets.
- Reach: The number of followers that an influencer has.
- Authenticity: It is an important parameter in the selection of influencers. An authentic influencer tends to work only with a few brands that they believe in. Their opinions and posts will be original and authentic.
- Brand-alignment: Assessing how your brand values align with the influencer’s brand. It is crucial, as this determines whether or not the influencer proves relevant to your brancd.
What are the Types of Brand-Influencer Collaborations?
You may collaborate with influencers in several ways. The populat ones are listed below:
- Reviews: Product review written by influencers will create a positive sentiment among the people.
- Mentions: Influencers have a positive impact on their audiences. Mere mentions by influencers will make their followers sway toward the brand. Brand mentions can be effective.
- Giveaways: Influencers may promote your contents and giveaways. This ensures that more people follow you. You may run a joint giveaway in collaboration with influencers.
- Takeovers: You may invite influencers to take over your Instagram account and start posting on your behalf. Although less popular, this method helps drive more users to your profile.
5. Create Exceptional Content
There are ever so many marketers, influencers, and brands that try to draw the attention of people. Such a competitive environment calls for uniquely developing your content so that it stands apart, and consumers are attracted to it.
Tips to Ensure that your Instagram Content Stands Out
- Try all the formats possible, such as videos, images, memes, gifs, etc.
- Create visually appealing posts by making use of rich quality stock images.
- Ensure high image quality in all your posts.
- Stick to posting only relevant and useful content that provides value to the audience.
- Choose your time properly to post – so that you get maximum views and engagement.
Use Proper Metrics to Monitor Your Performance and Keep Improving
Having implemented your marketing initiatives, when you campaigns are running, it is time to make a thorough self-assessment. Measure how your campaigns have performed. It enables you to understand what provides value to you and where you have not succeeded. Such insights are significant for future improvement. This is one of the essential steps any Instagram marketing guide would suggest.
Use any of the in-built analytics tools of Instagram for gauging the performance of your campaigns. With every Instagram business account, there’s a built-in insights feature for providing details about the basic performance metrics. There are analytics tool, such as Quintly, Minter.io, and Iconosquare, if you looking for more advanced analytics to evaluate your performance.
Powerful Instagram Marketing Tips That Help to Take Your Brand Ahead
- Create a business profile
- Make use of efficient, free Instagram tools
- Post product teasers with a gentle nudge to buy
- Build sponsored ads
- Use Instagram Stories prudently
- Collaborate with influencers to achieve a wider reach
- Leverage user-generated content and user-submitted photos
- Come up with an interactive branded hashtag
- Post content timely
- Measure your performance regularly and try to improve
Business success depends on excellent digital marketing efforts. This in turn is all about projecting your brand through the most effective and extensively-used social media platform. Increasing your Instagram followers and engagements is an essential step to boost your brand.
Following the right strategies on Instagram such as influencer marketing will help modern entrepreneurs to stand out and succeed. This calls for a comprehensive Instagram marketing guide that makes you act like an experienced social media expert.
Sorav Jain is a digital marketer par excellence, having cemented his stature in the field over the past 15 years. His approach to digital marketing has been to explore innovative solutions on new-age avenues like Instagram, and seeking to offer professional advice as a social media and Instagram expert. He seeks to expand the horizons of digital marketing through his blog, soravjain.com.