If you’ve read any of the statistics about the success of Instagram marketing, you’re likely looking for ways to get started. Instagram is an incredible marketing tool that can help you establish a brand identity, grow your customer base, and increase sales.
Before you jump in, it’s essential to create an effective Instagram marketing strategy, so you can experience the results everyone’s talking about.
Why Instagram Is Such an Important Platform for Your Business
With about two billion users, Instagram is a key social media platform for growing your brand and attracting new customers. If that’s not enough to get you to focus on the visual social media outlet, consider these statistics:
- According to their own data, 60% of people learn about products or services on Instagram. Users are open to being marketed to and have come to expect it. By marketing on Instagram, you’re putting your business in front of people who are curious about new products.
- Again according to Instagram, 90% of Instagrammers follow a business. Many users don’t mind seeing posts from businesses they’re interested in. They may even like it and follow brands they adore.
- 44% of people use Instagram to shop, according to the platform’s research. Features like shoppable posts and the ability to save payment information within the app is driving more people to shop on Instagram. You can take advantage of this by highlighting product features and offering discounts to new subscribers.
- Instagram’s advertising reach grew by almost 21% last year, compared to Facebook’s less than 7%. This amount varies by demographic, so it’s essential to understand your target audience before you map out your content strategy.
- The Instagram app is the second most downloaded app in the world, making Instagram marketing a good investment of your time and resources wherever you may be.
- Instagram beats Tiktok, Twitter, and Snapchat for number of users. If your goal is to reach the most people possible, Instagram is the way to go.
Benefits of an Instagram-Centered Marketing Strategy
A successful Instagram marketing strategy takes high investments of time and resources. So why should you center your marketing around Instagram and not another platform?
- Boosts Brand Awareness and Trust. Instagram gives you another place to interact with your target audience. If you take full advantage of it, you can establish your brand image and build trust in the eyes of your audience.
- Reaches the Right People. Instagram’s algorithm cross-references information about the content itself (captions, hashtags, and locations) with information about user engagement to show users more of what they’re interested in. If you utilize hashtags, location tags, reels, and stories correctly, Instagram’s algorithm will help get your business in front of the right people.
- Grows Product Sales. Instagram offers shoppable posts, product launch features, and the ability for users to save their payment information within the app. All of these features help to streamline the purchasing process and help you grow sales as a result.
- Fosters Customer Relationships. The ability to like, comment on, and share posts makes building customer relationships and a community around your product easy. These relationships help to build trust in your business and your products.
- Drives Higher Retention Rates. Instagram’s retention rate measures the percentage of viewers who watch your stories until the last segment. Retention rates are one of the most important metrics to consider when evaluating your reach. However, it takes lots of time and resources to foster good engagement with your content, so it’s important to be consistent and do frequent content audits to see what you can improve.
How to Create an Effective Instagram Marketing Strategy
Success in Instagram marketing means higher engagement rates, a bigger customer following, and increased sales. The following are best practices to help you see results.
Analyze Current and Past Data
Instagram Insights offers metrics that can help you evaluate the performance of your content. These include recent highlights, accounts reached, accounts engaged, and total followers. After reviewing this data, adjust your strategy as needed and release more content. It’s important to note that Instagram Insights is only available to business accounts, and you can only access it from the mobile app.
Take a look at underperforming content and compare it to your top-performing posts. Make adjustments as needed. Consider whether it’s to the structure of the content, the time of day released, or the type of hashtags used that you may need to alter.
If you’re starting from scratch, look at what your competitors are doing and think about what you’d like to do differently. How will your brand stand out?
Set Realistic Goals
While it can be tempting to set lofty goals for your business, it’s better to start with small, manageable goals and build out from there. These goals should include the number of posts a week, response time for inquiries, number of likes or shares, and more. When setting your goals, think: What do you want from Instagram, and how can you best accomplish it?
Research Successful Competitors
As with any other marketing strategy, you must know what your competitors are doing. Look at what your competitors do well and determine how to do it better or position yourself differently. Highlight what makes your brand different from your competitors and effectively communicate that to your audience.
Plan Your Posts
You obviously don’t need to know everything you’re going to post just to get started. But it’s good to have an idea of some of the content types you plan to use. When determining your content, consider:
- Content Pillars. Content pillars help make up the foundation of your content strategy. The different types include behind-the-scenes content, user-generated content, product demos, culture-focused (showing the human side of your company), and customer stories. Your content pillars contribute to your brand image, so it’s important to consider what you want it to be when planning your content.
- Generate a Style Guide. A style guide helps ensure consistency in the look of your Instagram posts and gives users an idea of what to expect. It should include composition, color palette, fonts, filters, captions, and hashtags.
- Content Formats. Instagram offers reels, IG Live, stories, and visual-based posts as options for sharing content. Each of these has its own benefits, so consider your campaign’s goals and how you can mix the formats to accomplish them.
Utilize a Content Calendar
Consistent posting is vital to a successful Instagram marketing campaign. Content calendars can help you plan what type of content to share and when. Then you can create content for a month or more at a time and schedule it with a social scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite.
Best Practices to Follow for Your Instagram Strategy
Remember some best practices to see the best results from your Instagram marketing strategy. These gold standard approaches include:
- Define Your Audience. The more you know about your audience, the better. Once you define your audience, be sure everything you post focuses on them.
- Solve Customer Problems or Address Needs. Users are more likely to interact with your content and follow you if they believe your profile solves their needs. Make sure to consider their needs and desires as you start producing content.
- Create a Clear Brand Image. This visual style contributes to brand awareness and associations. What do you want your customers to think of when they see your content? What are things you don’t want your brand associated with?
- Prioritize Engagement. Engaging with your audience and similar brands helps drive conversations about your products. It also helps to develop trust in your business.
- Post Actively. To get the most out of Instagram, you’ll probably want to post daily. Try out various times to determine when your audience is most responsive to your posts.
- Leverage the Professional Dashboard. This dashboard is Instagram’s central destination to track performance, utilize professional tools, and explore educational information. When used to its full potential, it can help you track your performance, grow your business, and stay informed.
- Optimize Your Profile. You can optimize your profile in various ways, including incorporating a keyword into your name or username, writing a clear and concise bio, and displaying a profile pic that best represents your brand.
Use Proven Keywords for Hashtags. Hashtags are searchable keywords that help users connect with content they’re interested in. Using them in captions on your reels, stories, and posts can help increase your visibility and grow your audience.