The continued growth in popularity of Instagram marketing is proving a point: Instagram has much more to offer than beautifully photographed avocados and shameless selfies.
According to Pew Research Centre, more than 26% of adult internet users are now logging into Instagram on a monthly basis. If you’re still uncertain about the opportunities that Instagram marketing offers your business, here are a some expert tips to get you started:
1.Is your profile making a good impression?
- Start off by making sure your profile name and logo are consistent with the rest of your brand. Make sure your bio is clear: who are you and what do you do?
- Your profile is your only opportunity to include a clickable link to your website. Instead of using your full URL try using a trackable link (such as bitly) which allows you to track clicks and see the results in Google Analytics.
2. Get visual
It might be obvious, but people only engage with images which are visually appealing. Since Instagram’s new algorithm kicked in, it’s more important than ever to publish images that simply demand attention.
- To create a beautiful account look at your feed as a whole, not just individual images. Define your aesthetic - what’s your theme, primary colours, composition?
- A few things to consider: Kissmetrics reported that lighter and brighter images generate 24% more likes than dark images. Images with blue as the dominant colour see 24% more likes than images that are predominantly red. Images with a single dominant colour see a 17% boost in likes.
Here are a few brands to inspire you:
3. #Hashtags & captions
Especially when you’re first growing your audience, hashtags are hugely important to your Instagram marketing. Think of them in the same way you’d think about your SEO keywords.
If I’m selling a pair of size 9 white Converse, I don’t want my keywords to be "trainers". At the very least, a valuable customer to me is somebody searching for size 9 trainers. This 'long tail' search is far more likely to convert into a purchase.
I treat my hashtags the same way I treat my SEO. There are around 100,000,000 #love hashtags on Instagram, but use hashtags like these and you’ll just be competing with noise. Fight battles you can win and focus on less popular, but still relevant hashtags:
- At OST we aim for around 11 hashtags. However, if your post doesn’t merit it, don’t force it. As with most things it’s quality over quantity.
- Tap into existing communities by using their hashtags, or even create your own.
- Include a question or call to action in your caption. 'Double tap', 'click link in bio' or 'tag a friend' are popular calls to action.
4. Cross promote
If Instagram isn’t your primary or strongest social channel, then you can use your other channels to cross promote. One very popular way of driving traffic and potentially converting users from Facebook/Twitter is by doing a roundup of your best Instagram posts on those channels, linking to Instagram.
Collaborations are ideal for tapping into the audiences of likeminded accounts.
- You might want to consider a share-for-share agreement. Is there an account (not a competitor) with a similar target audience that you are a fan of? Is there a food blogger that often uses your products? Reach out to them and see if they’d be willing to share and endorse your content.
- A step further than a share-for-share agreement is an Instagram 'takeover', where for a day (or more) you invite an influencer to take over control of posting to your account. They could introduce you to a whole new audience.
- At OST we work with several of the UK's best loved FMCG brands. If you're managing an FMCG brand on Instagram, keep an eye out for User-Generated Content (UGC) that you can re-post. Let your fans do some of the work for you.
With the release of Instagram Insights, you'll soon be able to report on demographics, engagements and impressions. So, whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, next time you’re discussing your social media strategy, consider Instagram marketing and tap into one of the fastest growing networks out there.