Brands no longer create social media websites just for the heck of it. Today, social media channels are helping businesses generate product sales and business leads. In such a scenario, you cannot afford to ignore social biggies like Instagram.
In less than 2 years, Instagram build a highly engaged user base. From photographers to restaurant owners, everyone is using Instagram to market product and services. However, not everyone is doing it right.
We have already created how-to marketing guides for Google Plus, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. Now is the time to cover Instagram, the photo sharing app with 200+ million active users.
After reading this post, you will be able to create an Instagram marketing strategy that will increase social followers, push product sales, and generate various other business advantages.
But before answering the question ‘how to promote your business on Instagram’, let’s list some Instagram facts and details for beginners;
Beginner’s quick fact guide to Instagram
- Launched in October, 2010, Instagram is a social networking application based on photo & video sharing.
- 13% internet users use Instagram on regular basis
- The photo sharing site with digital filters is high on user engagement
More than 20 billion photos have been shared on Instagram and 60 million are shared every day.
Top examples of businesses on Instagram
Some brands are doing Instagram better than others. Check out the Instagram profiles of following brands to pick a trick or two for marketing tips;
- Victoria’s Secret
- General Electric
- Sweet Pure Honey
- Forever 21
- Starbucks Coffee
People and celebrities use Instagram to share photos & videos with their friends, fans and loved ones. Brands use it to interact with their customers and run marketing campaigns. However, before doing any of it, you need to get started on the visual media sharing application.
How to get started on Instagram?
The very first thing you need to do for getting started on Instagram is downloading the application on your smartphone. Though you can access your Instagram account on your desktop, you need the application to sign-up and start image uploads.
Pay attention to these points while creating your Instagram profile of your business;
- Use business name as your Name and User Name
- Use brand logo or graphic as profile photo. The image will be cropped in a circle.
- Add website link and biography. Don’t forget to add the most important keyword in the latter
- Link your account to your other social profiles. Presently, Instagram offers linking to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, Flickr, and VKontakte.
To click, edit and share images with Instagram, you need to keep some technical details in mind. Here are some of the most critical ones;
- Instagram’s native photo size is 612px * 612px
- The mobile application allows video recording of 15 seconds
- Profile pictures are 110px * 110px
- Instagram cover for new users is created with first 7 image posts
- Biography can be 150 characters long. So, choose your words wisely.
- Add brand or campaign hashtags in the bio.
Now that you know the details to create a superb profile, let’s learn the best way to promote business on Instagram.
How to use Instagram for business promotion?
Business owners use Instagram to promote products & services but not everyone is able to build a good following. Creating a detailed Instagram marketing plan is critical for success on the image focused platform.
Keep following Instagram marketing tips and ideas in mind to succeed;
Build initial audience – Your optimized Instagram profile is ready but you still need to get those initial follower base. Here are some tips to increase Instagram followers;
Make sure your images are unique and worth a LIKE. Also post frequently to appear in your followers’ feed.
- Run a campaign to introduce your brand to Instagram users. Link it to LIKES or post an image that is a call-to-action itself.
- Tell your fans on other social media profiles that you are on Instagram.
Running contests the right way – Instagram marketing campaigns needed to be planned very thoroughly to generate desired response from audience. Think about following points while planning marketing and promotion campaigns;
- Set realistic goals for every campaign
- Choose a brand focused hashtag for campaigns.
- If you are running a reward based campaign, set up ground rules and how winners will be chosen
- Promote your campaign on all the social media channels and deliver whatever promised
Running Instagram campaigns can be time-consuming and requires your constant attention. Because of this reason, business owners go for Instagram marketing services.
Get creative – Instagram users are young, confident, and love to experiment. Hence, using your Instagram account creatively can work wonders in many ways. Instagram marketers are always coming with new ideas and unique contests to connect with fans. While big brands hire top Instagram marketers to manage their activities, you can come up with engaging content on your own as well. Visit http://business.instagram.com/inspiration to get inspired.
Get the hashtag advantage– People use hashtags on Instagram to discover posts and become part of discussions. Hashtags also widen the reach of a campaign and help in content curation. However, #hashtaging #just #about #anything #won’t #work. Study Instagram ecosystem before choosing hashtags.
Make them part of your marketing campaigns to promote your business on Instagram. This will also create user-generated content.
Share variety of content– We already mentioned just posting anything will not keep your followers hooked. Create a content strategy for Instagram to plan regular posts and updates. Images of products, team and video snippets can be shared to create a variety of content. Old posts and images from community can also be shared from time to time.
Interact with fans- Make your Instagram fans feel special from time to time by mentioning them in comments and answering their questions. Professional Instagram marketing agencies give utmost importance to fan interaction and engagement. Sharing posts of your fans is also a good way to keep them hooked to your updates.
Advertise – Instagram also offers the option of paid advertising to help marketers get better coverage and results from the platform. Brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Levi’s invested in Instagram ads and increased brand awareness by almost 17%. Check out the advertising page to learn more about the products on offers.
If you want to generate product sales from your Instagram presence or generate buzz around a new product, pay attention to following points;
- Feature customers using your products
- Launch new products on Instagram if you have a good following. Join hands with influencers to make a bigger splash.
- Share behind-the-scene pics, selfies, and also feature clicks from your offline marketing campaigns
- Embed Instagram posts on blog to attract blog readers
- Use filters to change the look and feel of your photos. You can also hire professional Instagram photographers to help you out with pictures.
Engagement on Instagram is high and with a little imagination, even professionals like photographers and architects can generate website traffic and client leads.
However, just like any social media marketing channel, Instagram also needs well-planned marketing campaigns and engaging posts to grab eyeballs. So, make sure you create an Instagram marketing strategy and consider technical factors before using the platform for promotion.
In case you don’t have the time, consult Instagram marketing experts to manage your marketing activities.
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