Over seventy five percent of businesses now utilise the platform of Instagram to market to their target audience. This is unsurprising, given that Instagram now has over 1 billion monthly users. The advertising opportunities that this platform presents to businesses is incredible, but only if the pbrand2latform is utilised correctly. We have compiled a list of fifteen of the most important marketing tips for your business to implement in order to conduct a successful marketing campaign on Instagram.

1: Switch To A Business Account

Having your business’ Instagram account linked as a personal account means that you won’t be able to use the analytical tools which other brands will be able to use. That is why prior to utilising all of the tips we are about to give you, it is critical that you switch over to a business account on Instagram’s settings.

A business account allows you to use:

  • Instagram Shopping
  • Instagram Ads
  • Instagram Insights
  • A call to action button visible on your profile alongside contact information

For the majority of marketers, the business account addition by Instagram has proved incredibly useful. If you’re still not convinced about why you should switch your businesses account which is currently personal over to a business account on Instagram, you will find out important reasons why you should as you read on.

2: Determine Goals

Social media is a very popular tool for businesses to try to use to market their company. Whether this is to raise brand awareness or to increase the number of sales for the business, many companies use social media. However, these tools cannot provide results unless you know exactly what it is that you are trying to achieve.

Many companies who conduct Instagram marketing campaigns will be aiming to achieve different things. Some of the most common objectives are:

  • Aiming to establish your brand as an industry leader
  • Increase the number of sales
  • Raise awareness of brand
  • Generate more leads

Some marketers may hope to achieve several objectives within one campaign. Without knowing what your objectives are, you are very unlikely to make great strides with regards to defining your brands identity and communicating this to potential consumers.

3: Identify Your Audience

Conducting sufficient research can help you to gain a better understanding of how you can use Instagram to reach your target market effectively. Knowing who your target market is, is essential to ensure that you utilise marketing platforms efficiently. For example, here are some Instagram statistics:

  • 75% of 18-24 year olds use Instagram
  • 47% of 30-49 year olds use Instagram
  • 23% of 50-64 year olds use Instagram

These statistics don’t by any means suggest that if your target market isn’t the 18-24 year olds demographic you shouldn’t use Instagram to target them, but it does show that you need to clearly define your target market. Creating content which communicates to an audience directly is critical to ensure that marketing campaigns are successful. Knowing exactly who you want to target is even more important when it comes to selecting targeting options for your advertisements on Instagram.

4: Selection Of Profile Picture

Selecting the incorrect profile picture can prove very damaging to the success of companies Instagram campaigns. If users who visit your profile don’t associate your profile picture with your brand it is likely that they may question the credibility of the profile and suspect it may be a fake. The safest option for a profile picture for a business is a photograph of your business’ logo. This helps people immediately recognise who your company is and helps you to appear credible.

It is important that you select an appropriately sized image which suits Instagram’s profile picture displays and doesn’t appear pixelated or of poor quality. Instagram displays profile pictures at 110 by 110 pixels, which is stored at 320 by 320 pixels so it is critical that appropriate profile pictures are carefully selected.

5: Profile Optimisation

You may not perceive your bio on your Instagram to be particularly important but it is crucial with regards to making a positive first impression on potential consumers. It is important that your bio clearly shows what your brands personality is and indicates to people why it would be worthwhile for them to follow your account to keep up with what your account is posting.

However, this section of your account also has various other variables which need to be used appropriately. These are:

  • Your website – Showing a URL which directs users straight to your website.
  • Contact Information – Show people where they can locate your business.
  • Business Category – A feature of an Instagram business account which shows people exactly what segment of the market that your business operates within.
  • Conversion Button – Have a contact form or call to action button which allows consumers to engage with your business directly from your contact page on Instagram.

6: Determine How You Want Your Brand To ‘Look’

Once you have decided the type of content you want to publish, its very important that you also choose a specific style for your content to have. Creating an Instagram ‘style’ for your account is crucial as consumer purchasing decisions are often influenced by colour and brand recognition. Your Instagram posts should be consistent so that followers are able to rapidly relate Instagram content to your brand. Photos must have a consistent colour scheme and feel so they can be identified immediately.

A good example of a brand who currently does this online is IKEA. IKEA’s Instagram account uses a similar colour scheme and angles for each photo, so when you see a similar Instagram post you immediately suspect that it has been posted by IKEA.

7: Deliver Visually Provoking Content

It is very important that your posts are engaging and appear eye catching to your followers. Professional skills are not required in the slightest, but pictures must be of a high quality, in focus and well lit. It’s also crucial that your content speaks to followers on a certain level. Instagram is purely visual, so it is important that your content excites your followers or tells a story to an extent in order to get the most out of your Instagram marketing campaign.

To help give you an idea of what you should be looking to post, we’ve compiled a few content ideas you should think about using:

  • Quotes – People on Instagram are obsessed with quotations. Many people use Instagram posts with quotes as a source of motivation for their everyday lives.
  • Teaching Methods – Using your Instagram to provide instructional videos to your followers can make people much more likely to engage with your brand on social media.
  • Videos – These are much more likely to result in engagements than pictures are and makes your Instagram account appear much more interesting.
  • Inside Insight – Giving followers a taste of what your office looks like and being able to meet some of your company’s employees can help firms to communicate with followers.

It is very important that you keep your Instagram account interesting, giving your followers a reason to continue following your account. You don’t want to feel as though you are ‘spamming’ your followers by constantly providing adverts trying to increase your revenue.

8: Use Engaging Captions

Unique captions can prove to be one of the most important ways for brands to differentiate their social media content from their competitors. Your brands ‘voice’ is every bit as important as the way that your brand appears and its style. Consistency is key.

Instagram’s captions are very loosely limited with regards to length. As a result, you can make a quick gag on one post before then telling a very detailed story on the next post. However, to reiterate consistency is key. If your brand is constantly putting up long stories it is likely that followers may lose interest and potentially unfollow your brands account.

The majority of Instagram users don’t read Instagram captions in detail. As a result, businesses want to make their captions as concise as they can to cater to these people.

For Instagram advertisements it is recommended to only utilise 125 characters in order to make as many people as possible read the advertisement. Ordinary posts could have around 25 more characters, but you don’t want to go too far over this number.

Informative or entertaining captions are very important and must relate to your brand. Brand24 provided an excellent insight into what audiences are expecting from Instagram captions from the accounts that they follow.

9: Engage With Followers

Engaging with your followers is extremely important in order for your businesses account to increase the amount of engagement you receive. Although the quality of the content that you post is important, ignoring content and not engaging with other profiles is going to result in a relatively lonely experience on the platform.

At the very least, companies should look to respond to comments which users post on the business’s social media account. In order to make your engagements appear more authentic, businesses should look to follow popular accounts and comment on their posts. These non-promotional based activities make your brands social media appear a lot more genuine. This increases the likelihood of your company’s social media account going viral in the future as a result of a funny joke or interaction which is shared.

10: Use Hashtags Wisely

Using hashtags effectively can prove crucial with regards to increasing your company’s discoverability and visibility. As many as 30 hashtags can be used per Instagram post, but businesses don’t want to use anywhere near this amount.

We recommend that between 6 and 10 hashtags are used per post. Any more than that may look as though you are spamming your followers and solely trying to get as many random likes as you possibly can. If you use repetitive or irrelevant hashtags people may opt to not be exposed to content which utilise these generic and spam like hashtags.

Hashtags which are selected must be; specific to your market niche, don’t encourage like swapping tendencies and are relevant to the content which you are posting. Utilising hashtag strategies for your Instagram is incredibly important if you want maximise the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.

11: Utilise Instagram Stories

Business who are on Instagram but aren’t utilising stories, aren’t doing it right. Stories are a critical component of a successful Instagram marketing strategy being undertaken. Because Instagram stories disappear after one day, followers expect companies’ stories to show more behind the scenes footage than what their companies normal feed shows. Stories provide an excellent platform for companies to build a relationship with their followers.

There are numerous tricks which can be used to maximise the potential benefits which your business can reap from utilising Instagram stories, which include:

  • Consistency – As always, consistency is crucial. Instagram stories must fit perfectly alongside your brands style.
  • Being Interactive – Asking your followers questions or polls is an excellent way to make people engage with your company and start to build a relationship with them.
  • Make Things Personal – Direct messages tend to increase dramatically as a result of stories being used. Personal engagements can help develop loyalty from followers.

12: Use New Stories Highlights Feature

Adding story highlights is an additional element which can be used to spice up your business’s bio section on Instagram. Highlighted stories mean that stories which you want to last for longer than 24 hours are able to stay at the top of your Instagram profile until you decide you don’t want them there anymore. When used effectively, and appropriate stories chosen correctly, this helps to add an entirely new component to your businesses Instagram profile. This can provide potential new followers a personal insight into the type of people who are behind the business and show them why they should follow your account.

13: Instagram Shopping

Still torn about changing from a personal account to a business account? If your account is a business one you are provided with access to the Instagram Shopping feature. This feature allows businesses to sell products directly from their Instagram stories and posts. Since Instagram doesn’t allow users to post links from posts, this is a very significant feature for businesses.

14: Build Influencer Partnerships

Creating a connection with an Instagram influencer can help your brands Instagram account to appear more credible and increase the accounts following through targeting a new audience. A recent survey found that 89% of marketers believe that Instagram is the most important platform for influencer marketing to be utilised on.

One of the best ways to help build a link between your brand and an influencer is to allow for an ‘Instagram takeover’ to happen on your businesses account. This allows for an influencer to post several stories on a business’s account which is from their perspective which is likely to speak directly to that influencers following.

15: Grow Your Audience

The best platform of Instagram for your company to utilise in order to target a new market is through Instagram ads. Every month, 2 million companies advertise on Instagram for this reason. Once you have your target audience identified, this can then be replicated in other regions. Targeting these four key factors can help see your Instagram ads prove very successful:

  • Interests – Targeting people who follow similar accounts or use similar services
  • Location – Targeting particular counties or countries
  • Behaviours – Analysing people’s behaviours off and on Instagram
  • Demographics – Targeting specific genders, age groups or language groups