If you’re not on Instagram, then it might be time to rethink your marketing strategy. Instagram marketing is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to reach new customers and expand your brand awareness into new niches and with new customers. These 6 Instagram marketing tips make it easy.
1. Instagram marketing tips 101: it’s all about the algorithm
It’s no secret that Instagram uses an algorithm, and that understanding that algorithm is critical to generating new business through the platform.
What is not well known is how the algorithm actually works.
Obviously, the nitty gritty details of how Facebook ranks profiles and pictures on Instagram remains a closely guarded proprietary secret.
However, one that that is well understood by Instagram marketing pros is that Instagram is all about proportional engagement.
Proportional engagement is a method that social media sites like Instagram use to work out how popular a post is.
The idea is that engagement isn’t measured as a total of how many likes or follows or comments a particular post gets, but rather is measured as a proportion of everyone who saw it.
For example, imagine that an account has 200 followers, and a post gets 10 likes and 2 comments. Now imagine another account that has 2,000 followers and every post gets 10 likes and 2 comments. Proportional engagement would mean that the 200-follower account would rank better than the 2,000-follower account.
Because a higher percentage of people who saw the 200-follower post engaged with it compared to the 2,000-follower post. Imagine every follower on each account saw the post. 5% liked the 200-follower post, compared to 0.5% on the 2,000-follower post.
This is why Instagram is such a potent social media platform, especially for small businesses – the proportional control means that feeds are dominated by what’s more engaging based on likes and comments rather than being dominated by the biggest players with the deepest pockets.
2. Generate good content
Now that we’re clear that truly any business can leverage the Instagram platform, it’s time to get down to making a profitable feed. The most important Instagram marketing tip?
Generate good content.
If you’re looking for organic followers, and it’s all about engagement, you need to actually produce something that people want to engage with.
What makes it so successful?
Sure, there’s a lot of data behind the videos and analytics based on what people like and what they don’t, which allow continued optimization that’s probably beyond most businesses.
But that’s not the fundamental cause for Buzzfeed’s success.
The root cause is a lot simpler: their videos are really fun to watch.
Your account needs to do the same thing – be worth looking at and watching:
- Incorporate video into your content generation
- Stick to the Golden Ratio when you’re shooting photos
- Plan your shots – think through what story you want to tell
3. Track your links
Marketing is all about data. That’s the crux of the whole game.
That’s why it’s so important for you to track your links in Instagram. Most other social media networks (looking at you Facebook) have pretty robust built-in analytics. But unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t have quite the same depth.
Our Instagram marketing tip?
Get a link tracking program and track your post links. See what drives the most click through and activity. Bit.ly, Hootsuite, even Google URL shortener will all work – use whatever one you’re most comfortable with.
4. Interact with your followers
The best engagement is a conversation with your followers. And since you’re the product owner, it’s up to you to start it.
To get things moving, you need to think of your Instagram marketing like a first date.
First, you open the door with a prompt or question in your post caption. Questions are nice and easy, but sometimes a funny quip will actually go further towards driving the engagement that you’re looking for.
Second, stay on top of responding to questions and comments as they roll in. If you can, try and respond to every single comment. Even if it’s just a small ‘thanks for the support!’ sort of response, it still demonstrates that you’re engaged with your audience base.
By instigating the conversation and working to keep it going, you’re far more likely to drive a conversation forward than if you wait for people to comment on their own.
Of course, likes and follows help too.
5. Be authentic
Of course, if you are planning on going to do the Instagram marketing tip of interacting with your followers you need to be absolutely 100% authentic.
Users can smell insincerity ten miles off.
You do NOT want to be the one who they’re sniffing.
Fortunately, being authentic isn’t hard – you really just need to be your brand. If your brand has a strong voice, then write and post in that voice.
For example, the Starbuck’s brand would probably never swear in an Instagram post – it wouldn’t reflect their brand identity and voice at all.
But that might be just right for your brand. Before you start investing heavily into Instagram, make sure you’re clear on what you want your business to do and how you want your business to interact with the world in Instagram. Being clear up front will save you a world of headaches down the line.
6. Drive conversions with your bio link
Instagram gets used by a lot of big companies to simply drive brand awareness – it’s valuable just to get their product in front of eyeballs. But for anyone who isn’t Coca-Cola sized, then your marketing needs to achieve a better ROI.
You can use the link in your bio to:
- Drive Instagram browsers to a specific landing page
- Promote a specific promotion (e.g. send people to the sale section of your e-commerce website)
- Drive attention and traffic to a specific product (e.g. ‘we just launched a new range of pottery bowls Link in our bio)
The point is that by strategically using your bio link, you can direct Instagram traffic to a particular place, creating a better and more tailored experience for your audience.
Just don’t forget to track it.
Instagram can be a huge boon for your product or service and can help you reach new customers and expand into new arenas, not to mention build your brand and brand awareness among loyalists and new business alike. With these 6 Instagram marketing tips, you’re sure to be off to a good start.
Want more Instagram marketing tips? Be sure to check out our post on 6 Creative Campaigns To Start Today!
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