Instagram is a social media network that has grown tremendously since its inception in October of 2010.
People began using the mobile app to share their photos with a splash of creativity using the available photo filters within the app itself.
Over time, brands began jumping on the platform to reach their target audiences, and with Instagram Ads being open to the public, Instagram is at full speed.
This has left many small to medium size businesses looking to figure out how to create an Instagram marketing strategy.
Instagram Marketing has become a must-have social media strategy for any brand or business out there. What used to be an option, is not an option anymore.
If you have read some of my other articles on this blog, you’ll know this is not the first time I say this!
According to Instagram’s Business Resources, the network currently has:
- 400 million active users.
- 75% outside of the USA.
- 40 billion photos shared.
- 3.5 billion daily likes.
- 80 million photos per day.
From a consumer’s standpoint, it’s a bit more obvious what to do with the platform. Post your #TBT’s or a picture from a concert or a family dinner.
But for businesses and brands, there is a bit more thought and strategy that goes into producing an Instagram post that you are about to send out on your company’s Instagram profile.
To help guide you to the right Instagram marketing strategy for your business, here are a few tips on how to market your product or service on Instagram in 2022.
Starting with a high-quality photo sets the foundation of your post. And honestly, I don’t even mean that “high quality” means “no grain” in it or “fuzziness” exactly, although it plays a part.
The quality of the photo has 2 factors:
- Picture quality.
Using the right photo should be able to communicate your message visually, or it should be interesting enough to capture the user's attention, stop scrolling, and read the caption to your post.
Either way, spending time to use the right photo is key to starting your Instagram post out on the right foot.
You can use either a DSLR or your camera on your phone to shoot the right photo - this depends entirely on your budget, business, etc.
Of course, if you want better photos, then using a DSLR is your better option, but don’t let that stop you from creating content for Instagram if you don’t have that resource available, cameras on today's phones are insanely good.
Write Your Bio
Spend time customizing your bio to describe your business, brand & purpose in a nutshell. Include a link to your website or even other profiles, such as a YouTube channel if you are producing videos.
Create Content for the Medium
This is one tip that I cannot stress enough and it is one that applies to EVERY social media network out there.
When you create a marketing content strategy for Instagram, you are creating it with Instagram users’ behavior in mind. The “more” link shows after 3 lines of text in the caption of a post, forcing the user to click “more” to expand the post to read the full set of text in the caption.
These are the content strategy tips for Instagram you need to think about when creating a post so that you can deliver your piece of content in the best way possible for the user.
Users communicate differently on Instagram compared to other networks naturally, so as businesses and brands, we need to communicate the same way they communicate on the platform.
This social media marketing fundamental applies not only to Instagram, but to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and the list goes on.
Focus on the Purpose of the Post
When creating a post for Instagram, ask yourself, what is the end goal for this post? I am not necessarily speaking about a CTA (call to action) or making sales from EVERY post.
But the reason why it is important to ask this question is because then the post will naturally come together with a purpose, whether it’s just for branding, to announce a sale, or simply to say thank you to your audience.
Instagram marketing is about the marathon, not the sprint, so not every post has to end with a bunch of sales or leads coming your way.
If you focus on establishing the purpose of a post at the beginning, you develop a sense of clarity, and that is then translated into the post with a clear message.
If you are sending out an organic post (not a paid one), and say for example you are promoting a new blog post that you just released on your website or a new video you just uploaded to your YouTube channel, naturally we would like to include the link on our caption.
These links do not work on Instagram, so the hack around this is by including the link in your profile description.
Instead of having a long URL, use a link-shortening service such as bitly.com
Not only does the link look cleaner, but you can track how many clicks it has received by either of these services as long as you use the link only on Instagram.
If you use the same link on different social networks, then you will be tracking hits from all of the social networks the link was shared on.
Engage with the Community
Like every social media network out there, the purpose is not to distribute content, but to get a conversation going. Interacting with your audience is key to creating depth and a bond with your audience.
This is how you help create brand loyalty, through awareness, and top of mind.
How cool is it to know that as a consumer, a company or brand actually responded to your direct message and acknowledged you. That simple touch builds the momentum and foundation for long-lasting customers and referrals.
If you are not familiar with hashtags, hashtags are almost like public folders or labels in which anyone can look inside a specific hashtag and see every post that has that hashtag attached to it.
Posts can have several hashtags, however, you do not want to put an endless amount of hashtags on a post because it will make it look completely spammy.
Hashtags Should be Used for a Couple Of Reasons.
- To have new users who are exploring specific hashtags discover your post, and then of course your profile, business, brand, etc.
- For branding. If you search through a brand’s Instagram posts, you will most likely notice some hashtags that are brand specific or have a tagline.
Notice how Starbucks has used the hashtag #MyStarbucksRewards as a branding hashtag to promote paying with their Starbucks app.
Instagram Marketing has enormous potential to have a positive impact on your business and brand, and with how much attention the mobile app receives, Instagram has become a social media network that cannot be ignored anymore by any business or brand, large or small.
If done right through strategy, execution, and optimization, Instagram can begin to generate leads, sales, sign-ups, awareness, and top-of-mind branding for your business.
The neat thing about Instagram is that you can have fun with it! Test, tweak, and monitor your Instagram marketing strategy to learn what works best for your business, but if you don’t have time for this, you can always request the help of an expert.