How to Start Using Instagram Effectively for Your Business

instagram-marketing

Social media can have a big impact on boosting your internet marketing efforts. Your brand probably already has a robust presence on Facebook and Twitter. But what about Instagram?

Instagram has over 400 million members. Over 80 million photos are posted every day, and all this fresh content generates over 3.5 billion daily likes.

This high user engagement is a credit to Instagram’s simple design and ease of use. Instagram allows users to edit, caption, upload and view images. Photos, often filtered, are the most popular type of image shared.

Instagram is always growing, but you can safely say around 90% of Instagram users are under the age of 35. This is an especially great demographic for entertainment, apparel and media brands.

But how do you reach them?  A huge component of Instagram’s success is due to its photo-based format. Marketing has to get creative in order to be effective.

Here are the four steps to get the most out of marketing on Instagram:

1. Set a Clear Goal

Not all Instagram marketing campaigns are equal. The type of message you create depends on what goal you want to achieve. Some of the most common goals are:

  • Increased brand awareness
  • Increased sales, conversions or calls-to-action
  • Increased foot traffic into one or more physical locations

Your goals will dictate your strategy. In most cases, your Instagram posts will be designed to lead users into a conversion funnel. Their next stop will depend on your goal. An Instagram post about a seasonal sale, for instance, could lead the user to a landing page related specifically to that sale.

2. Learn the Language

Who is your audience and how do they communicate? You want to develop a customer persona. This includes an understanding of your customer’s values.

What are your customer’s daily activities? How does your product or service fit into their lifestyle? The more you know about them, the greater value you can offer.

Follow the 70/30 rule. About 70% of your posts should be about subjects which your audience finds interesting. You might mention your brand, but only minimally. The focus is more on connecting with your audience, not pushing any specific agenda. The remaining 30% of your content will focus more on selling your products or services.

3. Stick With One Tone

Effective marketing is consistent. You want to develop a voice and tone which your intended customers respond to. This can take some trial and error. But once you find the right “voice,” stick with it. With Instagram, your brands voice isn’t reflected in words, but in images. This includes not only the photos you post, but your overall color palette and visual style. The goal is for users to recognize your brand in a flash.

4. Release Content on a Regular Schedule

Each month, plan your content release schedule. This will help you be prepared and stay on track. Plus, an overview will help prevent you from posting too much of the same type of thing. Instagram users like variety. Try:

  • Product or service related content
  • Customer testimonials
  • Current events or pop culture related items
  • Anything interactive

An editorial calendar is a great way to plan, but never be afraid to change the plan. Like all social media, Instagram responds to the events of the world in real-time. You should always be able to react to trends when they pertain to your brand. This is a great way for your brand to stay relevant. As the trend fades from popularity, you’ll simply return to your editorial calendar for the next topic.

Stay Active

Posting on Instagram is similar to posting on Twitter: You can post on a fairly frequent basis and users generally won’t feel annoyed. You should post at least three times a week. In some cases, you might even want to post daily. Just stick to the 70/30 and make the majority of your posts rich with the content your customers want.

Instagram Photos Will Make You Smile…

…when you see how effectively they can help you connect with your audience. Boost your brand, drive conversions and more with the right use of an Instagram account. Post regularly, provide useful content and develop an engaging style. Done correctly, a picture can be worth far more than a thousand words.

We look forward to growing our Instagram marketing efforts in 2016 and for more updates from us feel free to hit the follow button by visiting us on Instagram here.

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About the Author

Lorne Fade

An avid online marketing professional currently living in beautiful Toronto, Canada. I have worked for over a decade in the digital marketing space helping businesses succeed online.

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