It began with Google. Then made its way into Facebook with a layover in Snapchat. Now, it has made its way into Instagram.
Yes, it is Instagram marketing that we are talking about. What started as an image-sharing social platform has now become a powerful lead generation tool for many businesses.
This could not be possible without well-thought Instagram marketing strategies. While there are several guides out there detailing a plethora of things to do to build that perfect strategy for marketing on Instagram, we will bring it down to the level of beginners.
Let’s dive right into what goes into making a kick-ass Instagram marketing strategy for business:
Marketing is all about delivering the right message to the right people at the right time. When you add an image to the mix, it becomes the personification of “a picture speaks a thousand words.” Furthermore, marketing on Instagram leverages the idea of giving a complete look and feel of the product we all want before purchase.
Despite not being on a conventional online shopping platform like Amazon or Best Buy, Instagram opened an arena of selling products and services like one. All with the added benefit of actually interacting with your audience one-on-one to solve their apprehensions and doubts.
Take these simple steps whilst setting up your Instagram business profile:
1. Know the purposes of social networks
One of the biggest pitfalls that small business owners make is creating their Instagram profile similar to their LinkedIn profile. Instead of cramming all of your business data, you first need to understand the difference between the platforms and follow a unique approach to Instagram marketing.
LinkedIn is a professional platform meant for networking, generating leads, and searching for jobs or new employees.
Instagram is an image-sharing social platform used for marketing new products, creating hype for a product launch, and for generating leads.
2. Determine your target market and audience
This involves defining your ideal customer/viewer and what is relevant for them to know about your brand. A group or collection of these groups of people will form your target audience.
3. Build your account
Before you go out to market your goods on Instagram, you need to build your profile. This should include a relevant, crisp, and exciting bio of your business. If you have several offerings in your business, put out an introductory post that details everything that your business does.
4. Follow the relevant accounts
Once you have set up your account, find out what accounts your target audience follows. However, don’t go overboard with the following or liking spree.
5. Understand the limits
Instagram has certain limits which affect how the account and the algorithms function. The following are these:
Now that you know how to start a successful Instagram business account, it’s time to set up a content strategy that will form the basis of your Instagram marketing campaign. Here’s what you need for an engaging Instagram content strategy:
While it is easy to say that the purpose of the content is to generate business, that should not be the only goal. Before putting out a post, set a clear target about what audience you want to speak to. Furthermore, the goal should be to build a community and which in turn will drive business.
Striking a chord with the audience might seem like a daunting task. However, if you have carefully defined the persona/profile of your target audience, it will be easy to understand what kind of content to put out.
Originality is key. There are tons of businesses out there that recycle the same old content from other channels and put it up on their accounts as their own. While plagiarism might get you initial traction, it won’t last and the growth chart will fall very fast. Instead, put yourself in your audience’s shoes and take the journey of what content they interact with. That is why original content is vital.
A professional social media marketing agency can help you kickstart with better organic growth. In case you plan to work independently, be prepared to wait. Organic growth comes naturally over time anyway, if you keep posting regularly with proper hashtags. To acquire the first 1000-2000 followers, always work your way through getting organic traffic. It’s the key to growing your Instagram profile exponentially in the long run.
Like originality, consistency is critical. Instead of posting randomly when you feel like it, set a content calendar to post on Instagram. This will make sure that the algorithm will read your presence. Gradually, your post reach will increase.
Once you have started to gain traction, it would be best to begin developing a signature style of posts. This will help you garner more followers and grow your community from a business to a brand.
You gained traction. You took your first step to garner a community. You also took a tried and tested approach to content creation. Now, it’s time to take the next step. Instagram offers a lot of features to draw and reach new audiences.
So how do you orient your Instagram strategy for business growth? Read on.
Once you see that one of your posts draws in continuous traffic for your account, you can use it even more. Depending on the optimization you choose, you can promote a post for impressions, clicks, leads, or conversions. For prices as little as 50 cents, you can choose to put your post in front of a larger crowd.
Influencers across Instagram rule completely differently over their followers as compared to normal people profiles. Influencers endorse products to reach their followers and audience which makes many brands approach them.
You can approach influencers with your product to target and generate leads from their followers and you’ll get a faster conversion rate as compared to standard sponsored ads.
Instagram has added the functionality of carousel ads in recent years. Carousel format shows two or more images and/or videos, calls to action, or headlines and links, allowing to present a wide assortment of company products or services in a single ad. This gives business owners the capability to tell their story with more depth and flexibility.
With Instagram stories, a new arena of opportunity opened up. Instead of post by post, you can even grab your users’ attention by posting a story ad a couple of times a day. With a re-emphasizing approach, you can plant the idea and the image very subtly.
If you don’t want to get on the storytelling bandwagon, you can start with shoppable posts. In these posts, you can list out the items/products/services along with their price and the link to your Instagram business store.
With your Instagram strategy for business, and your posts doing well in terms of engagement and community building, it’s time to find out the performance of your efforts. Analytics has found its way into everything. Instagram shares Analytics with the business account owners.
Thankfully, with the capability to run campaigns, Instagram also opened up an Insight tool. With this tool, you can know where precisely the maximum success comes from, where your efforts were fruitful, and where they were fruitless.
With Instagram marketing, businesses have a new way to appeal to their audience. While there are other platforms like Facebook and Twitter, none allows the users to engage with the products as much as this does. All thanks to the 1 Billion+ users on the platform, you have the audience to drive your business to success!
Bhavik Soni is a Creative Writer at Auto Monkey. We provide an original analysis of the latest happenings in the social media industry. Connect with Latest Social Media Trends and News plus tips on Twitter, Facebook, and other social tools on the web.