Since the development of the internet, advertising has changed dramatically in many different ways. Instead of trying to reach as many people as possible, marketing has become a process of refining and perfecting a selection of which individuals receive certain advertisements in order to maximize the amount of revenue per dollar spent. Advertising is now personal, customizable, and heavily data driven.
One of the most important new forms of marketing in the internet age for businesses is the use of Instagram, a social media platform focused on sharing visual media. Since it was acquired by Facebook in 2012, Instagram’s profitability and user-base have soared. Some of this success, and the reason why so many companies have flocked to Instagram for marketing, is likely due to Facebook’s meticulously crafted algorithms, which build a profile of every user and predict the effectiveness of specific advertisements on individuals.
Instagram has truly taken marketing to a new level in the past few years, and hopefully by the end of this article, you’ll understand how to better use this extremely powerful advertising tool using our five simple tips.
Tip One: Consistently Post to your Account
The first step towards fully taking advantage of the marketing opportunity Instagram presents is to have an account for your brand that regularly posts and engages with followers. People who follow business Instagram accounts do so because they want consistent updates from their favorite brands, either on new happenings within the company or special products that may be debuting soon. Try to figure out what your followers are looking for from your brand and find ways to engage with them.
While it’s one thing to get a single post on Instagram to go viral, getting the individuals who engage with your posts to hit the follow button is a separate challenge. Not everyone wants to follow every account, and some people even look to limit the amount of accounts they follow, so it’s extremely important that a company displays the investment they’re making into their own social media accounts with consistent posting.
With consistent posting, make sure your content is useful and engaging to your followers or you risk being annoying and causing people to unfollow your account. There should always be a balance between posting regularly to stay in people’s feeds while not using “filler” posts that have no value to your followers. You can do this by mixing up your posts between photos, videos, graphics, and other information about your business or current events.
Tip Two: Use Proper Hashtags
Adding hashtags to the end of a post’s caption can be another effective method for attracting new followers and for heightening overall engagement with your account. Hashtags act as links to general categories of posts, and users can search for them individually in order to view all the posts labeled with a specific hashtag. For example, adding “#dogs” to the end of a post’s caption places that post into a collection of many others who’ve added the same hashtag to their own. These posts are gathered in a single feed which users may browse either by searching for a hashtag or clicking on the existing link created in a post.
It’s important for businesses to use the correct hashtags on their own posts, so that they are able to reach the maximum number of users who may be interested in following their account. This does not, however, mean that one should add as many different hashtags as possible to each post, but rather select a few which both best describe one’s particular product or service while also capturing the largest audience of individuals who will further engage with your Instagram page.
Tip Three: Post to Your Story
Instagram Stories is a feature added by the platform only a few years ago and has since transformed into its own niche of Instagram posting. The Stories feature appears as a multicolored circle around the profile photo of an account and consists of either pictures or videos of around 15 seconds that are only on display to followers for 24 hours, after which, they disappear.
The Stories feature is a great place for business accounts to make more informal posts or daily updates on what’s going on within the company. This is a great way to create more engagement with your followers and make them feel like they have a personal connection with your brand.
Instagram Stories also show your followers that your company cares about its social media image through updates that are quick and frequent. Staying active on Instagram stories requires commitment to the upkeep of a profile, while simultaneously pulling in more engagement from existing and potential followers.
Tip Four: Use Instagram Live
Instagram Live is another feature which is relatively new to Instagram but which has also grown significantly since its introduction. One of the most promising add-ons to the platform in recent years, Instagram Live could be a glimpse into the future of how businesses engage with and market to customers. The feature is essentially a live stream that appears to your followers in the same place as Instagram stories.
The live feed allows viewers to converse with whoever is broadcasting through comments, leading to more interesting interaction on a personal level between individuals who would otherwise have no chance of communication.
Many celebrities have taken to Instagram live to engage with their fans and even make important announcements regarding their careers. It also presents companies with the potential for a new type of advertisement and marketing that directly engages with followers in real-time.
Making use of the live feature could be a useful method for speaking with customers directly about their desires, concerns, and needs. As more and more people from the business world turn to Instagram for important marketing, who knows what kinds of presentations or conversations could be shifted on to Instagram live in the future.
Tip Five: Selectively Curate Your Posts
As its importance in the social, marketing, and packaging worlds continues to increase, Instagram’s influence on business has also led it to become more and more of an indicator of a successful company. People are taking more seriously the amount of effort brands put in to their social media accounts, and one’s Instagram has increasingly become more of a reflection of their business itself.
The visual quality of a business’s Instagram posts communicates a lot to followers about the quality of the overall company. Keeping brand image in mind, it may actually pay off to invest in that photography service that’s a little bit on the pricier side, or focus on hiring someone in-house who knows how to properly set up a photo shoot to display your products. The same goes for any graphic designs that you may use in your Instagram posts or stories.
Creating Instagram content that shows your products in use and product reviews is an important part of social media marketing. Consumers put more value on independent reviews and opinions. It can be incredibly valuable to enlist the help of Instagram Influencers to showcase and review your products. Also encourage your customers to share their photos and videos of their experiences with your business or products. Many of your loyal customers will be happy to advocate for your brand if they are truly happy with your products or services!
Instagram has become an invaluable tool for businesses to connect with their customers and showcase their products or services through engaging photos, videos, and live streams. Don’t miss out on the opportunities that Instagram can provide for your business. The best part is, all of these features are completely free!