Thursday, 23rd February 2017
It’s no secret that many businesses, brands and individuals around the world are making the most of Instagram and using the thriving app to their marketing advantage. Before we explore why this is, it’s important that we address what kind of app Instagram is. In a nutshell, Instagram is a social networking app made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone or tablet.
Instagram boasts a huge potential for marketers with over 300 million daily users, making the app a highly effective selling tool for many. These stats are all well and good but in order to have a successful marketing strategy, it takes a lot more than simply publishing a few nice pictures. It’s important that you outline certain elements and make a plan:
Why is your business active on Instagram?
When answering this question, you should outline two main objectives that you want to achieve through being active on Instagram. These goals will help you create content that’s relevant to your audience, therefore achieving your targets.
The main objective that you should focus on is to build an engaged following on your account and also try to repeatedly increase the engagement level on each post. In order to achieve these goals, content needs to be of high quality and interest.
Determine which members of your audience are on Instagram?
To know whether you are posting to your target audience, it’s important to research the demographics of Instagram. Out of the millions of users active on the app, the majority are between the ages of 18-29. Slightly more users of the app are female and the majority of users live in urban areas.
Once you have studied the demographics in detail, you can make a better judgement on whether your target audience are actually active on the app.
Enhance your profile!
Your profile is essentially your homepage on the platform, therefore you should optimise this in a captivating way. When setting up your profile, you should opt to set it up as a ‘Business’ rather than an individual page. This will enable your potential customers to see valuable information in your profile, such as your business address and contact information.
Gaining traffic to your website is a top priority, so you should have a link to your website in the ‘bio’ section, making it easy for followers to click through to your page. Along with this you should provide an interesting but brief topline description of your company.
Many brands and companies also include a hashtag in their ‘bio’. This hashtag acts as a keyword, collating all of the images with that hashtag together, whenever it is searched. In turn, this will help with growing brand awareness.
Your profile picture should be a high quality image of your logo, ensuring your brand is instantly recognizable.
Create your content strategy
The reason why there are more than 300 million daily users on Instagram is ‘content’. Over 94 million photos and videos are uploaded to the platform daily, so it’s important your content stands out from the crowd and reflects your brand in a positive engaging light.
Make sure you have a clear vision of the type of content you want to publish to the platform, whether this is products/services or the community/culture of your brand.
Content should be consistent but not repetitive, so try to stick to one post a day and remember not to use too many hashtags, which can become annoying to followers. It will also make your posts look untidy and many people will simply scroll past.
Next step is to create your content plan…
Your content plan, will help to define the style of your posts and will also determine how frequently you will post to Instagram. An important factor when coming up with your content plan is how you will be presenting your captions.
Captions enable you to enhance your content further. Brands do this by sharing popular stories/micro blogs or simply using short and snappy headlines with a few relevant hashtags. It really depends on what approach you want to take, whether you want to be business savvy or have a more personable feel.
Over to you…
So, could Instagram benefit your business? Yes, it offers an excellent opportunity for your brand to diversify its content and have a greater online presence. If you haven’t already got an account, it’s time to join the ever-growing user base.