This post was written by Justin Osborne, a teacher from Leicester, UK.
Social media is a hot topic of discussion when it comes to online marketing for small and large businesses alike. It allows for a creative way of interaction with potential customers. You can create polls, run competitions, post pictures and so on to engage your audience.
Instagram is one of the top social media platforms today with over 700 million subscribers. The platform takes advantage of one of the hottest trends in business marketing, which is visualization. This involves the use of interactive content and video. It also capitalizes on the rising popularity of mobile devices. Read onwards to find out some tips on how to make the most of Instagram marketing.
Instagram Marketing 101
1. Use hashtags to your advantage.
To help Instagram users discover your posts, make sure to use plenty of hashtags.
Hashtags are keywords preceded by a hashtag sign that allows posts to be linked to particular topics. For example, if you’re a cooking brand then you might use hashtags like cooking, food, chef, healthy meals and so on.
However, don’t use too many hashtags on a particular post as it might come across like spam to your audience. 4-7 hashtags per posts is a decent amount to generate enough new finds for your content.
Also you can make use of branded hashtags, which are tags related to your company alone. They can be used to identify all of the content that’s posted by you on Instagram. 7 out of 10 Instagram hashtags are branded, so it’s commonly used by brands and you should too.
2. Make use of trending topics.
It’s an excellent idea to use topics that are trending in your posts. By tapping into what people are already thinking about and looking out for you’ll receiving much higher rates of engagement.
But don’t simply post content that’s unrelated. You should look at the topics that are trending in your niche. Take a look at what competitors are doing, or keep an eye on popular blogs in your niche for inspiration.
Trending topics can have a lifespan as short as 24 hours. Therefore, you need to be on a constant lookout and then act quickly once you have triangulated some interesting content to use.
3. Use video content.
While it’s true that Instagram is about pictures for the most part, there is no harm in uploading the occasional video. After all, part of a comprehensive visualization marketing strategy should make use of all the tools available.
Don’t have the equipment to shoot professional looking videos? Then invest by buying some or rent professional standard equipment. Don’t shoot poor quality videos as that will do more harm than good. Nowadays people come to expect a certain level of quality that you have to adhere to if you are going to compete with the rest of the competition.
As John Upton from EssayOnTime explains: “You must invest in the equipment needed to compete and you won’t get left behind, in the process giving up a share of the marketplace”.
4. Keep track of results.
Categorize the posts and keep track of the performance to figure out what type of posts lead to higher rates of engagements.
For example, it might be the case that whenever you ask for a poll to be completed loyal followers mostly ignore them. This might be because they don’t like completing polls, or simply feel the nature of your polls is too boring. Figuring out what’s going on enables you to produce better posts in the future.
There are a number of Instagram analytics tools that can be invested in to improve the approach that’s being used by your marketing team.
5. Use humor and entertainment.
Leave the serious stuff for the corporate website and introduce a number of posts that have the potential to create “laugh out loud” moments. In order to sell to an audience you need to firstly engage them in any way possible with your Instagram account. Using jokes, funny pictures/videos and shocking content can do the trick.
This type of content requires a dose of creativity so don’t be scared to experiment. Take a look at some of your competitors or the most successful brands on Instagram. You’ll see a common theme of humor among the content on a regular basis.
Instagram is a powerful marketing tool that any business should include in their arsenal. It has the ability to generate leads that convert into sales, but also loyal followers which will spread your message for you.
Take the tips discussed in this article and implement them in your next series of Instagram posts. You’ll see that there is a method to the madness and when done correctly the number of regular viewers is only going to increase.