Instagram Marketing for Your Brand – A Comprehensive Strategic Guide
Instagram set the Internet on fire when it was initially launched back in 2009. Almost a decade old now, it is one of the largest and most widespread social media websites. This makes it an excellent social media website for marketing your business.
Instagram marketing is slightly different from other kinds of social media marketing. There are distinctively speaking two different ways to market your brand on Instagram checkout. While having an Instagram account for both kinds of marketing is a good thing, one of the ways doesn’t really require youStart Posting Content on your Instagram to have an account and you can get by through simple promotions.
Instagram is the undeniable center of the influencer marketing culture today, even more so than Linkedin and Youtube. Influencer marketing is easier, and a safer way to market a business. The success of influencer marketing is well-known and it continues to rise thanks to the continuous rise of new influencers. Influencers are public hence recognizing a good influencer is easy since their brand image is what sells. Influencer marketing helps your products spread far and wide. You can get a concise idea of how influencer marketing works from this article.
However, influencer marketing has blatant drawbacks. Lead generation from influencer marketing is something that the marketer has no control over. Influencer marketing also ties you up to influencers and the rep of the influencer affects the rep of the brand they promote. The lack of proper control on marketing practices is a major deal-breaking drawback to an otherwise good marketing strategy.
Influencer marketing still accounts for more than 50% of all marketing on Instagram but more prominent businesses have their own professionally maintained Instagram profiles for direct marketing. This guide will teach you how to market your brand through Instagram directly.
What makes Instagram different?
Despite a high number of users(nearly 1 billion in 2019), most brands have not penetrated Instagram like other social media. This is partly due to influencers who make up a larger share of professionals on the platforms and indirectly prevent brand penetration. Influencers and brands are almost symbiotic on Instagram and it is hard to imagine Instagram without influencers. It would surely become drab and uninspiring.
The second reason why Instagram is different from other social media is its working. Instagram is largely a photo-sharing platform. Instagram survives through photo-sharing proved by the fact that more than 90 million photos are uploaded on the platform on a daily basis. Out of these, most are people’s personal photos and influencer uploaded photos. This severely limits the penetration of brands. Sponsored Posts are the only ‘true’ way to market on Instagram.
Instagram’s interface places one sponsored post after every 3 posts. It does the same for sponsored stories too. Thanks to so many active users on Instagram and the strong influencer culture, these posts are often missed. That is something I can confirm from personal usage. Bright colors and contrast do make them stand out compared to user posts but even then, sponsored posts are basically simple advertisements. This is inefficient and a waste of resources. Unlike Facebook, Instagram is limited by the type of advertisements that it provides. The continuous experiment with the ad section might provide more versatile advertisements in the coming days.
Many brands started personally involving themselves on Instagram especially since the beginning of 2019, thanks to the new professional accounts available on Instagram. These all-in-one accounts allow you to both post and promote them using a single Instagram account. They also provide simple analytics which can go a long way in setting up your perfect Instagram strategy. Currently, the most successful marketing model on Instagram combines influencer culture and branded Instagram accounts. They work in together to promote each other.
Content on Instagram
There are four types of content that can be posted on Instagram. Each of them can be utilized in their own way.
Photos are what started it all. Instagram was envisioned as a photo-sharing website and that is its greatest USP. It also just happens to be your Instagram page’s USP. Instagram is all about photos and your Instagram profile should be the same. There are various kinds of photos that can be uploaded on an Instagram profile each helping you in its own way.
Videos were added later to the website. Instagram videos have a maximum length of 1 minute. They are great for short advertisements which can later be sponsored. Videos are a great way to promote products, events, etc.
Stories are separately viewable posts that disappear after a day. A current social media fad, it originated in SnapChat and was subsequently adopted by Instagram.
A relatively new feature that allows you to stream live with your Instagram profile. Live Streaming company events on Instagram is a good marketing strategy.
Mandatory Requirements while running a Professional Instagram Profile
It is easy to create an Instagram profile but maintaining a professional Instagram for a business is actually quite a cumbersome task. Just like Facebook, there is a need There are certain things that are extremely necessary to run a professional marketing account on Instagram.
Without saying, a good camera and an even better photographer is a must. There is stiff competition on Instagram for photo quality and the standards set on Instagram are pretty high. That is why many businesses refrain from using Instagram for their marketing.
When promoting a product or an upcoming event, good designers are an absolute must. A good designer for created image posts can really help add oomph to your Instagram posts and stories.
Instagram, just like, other social media makes extensive use of SEO. However, Instagram’s SEO is far simpler when compared to its rival counterparts. Simple hashtag-based keyword inclusions in your posts take them a long way. Make use of the hashtags to gain a significant following.
Instagram is one of the few social media where brands are the ‘small’ fry. A brand, not backed by an influencer, will find it harder to generate a significant following. Brands that get their Instagram profiles backlinked by influencer generally see a good increase in their following.
Regular posting is a must with every social media and Instagram is no different.
Sponsored posts on Instagram are usually boosted posts that work similarly to Facebook’s boost posting. Boosting posts regularly is imperative for a marketing strategy on Instagram. Without it, the competition will crush the image your brand is trying to create.
Once the requirements are completed, your Instagram page can really take off comfortably. How a brand can reach such a stage will be our point of discussion in the following section.
Steps to begin Marketing your Instagram Brand
Create your Professional Instagram Account
Create a normal Instagram account and switch to Professional Account. Once this is done, you will need to make your account public. A private account is disastrous for a business and there is literally no business that has a private Instagram account.
Keep your Username Simple
Instagram allows you to have a name and username for your profile. The username is shown on the top menu. Try and keep the username as simple as possible. For users to find you on Instagram, they need to be able to find your Instagram profile on the website. If your username is already taken, try adding a small suffix to it. Remember, that users can include you in their own post just like twitter using ‘@
’ tag. Using your brand name is highly recommended since it helps bot your profile and brand image.
Start Posting Content on your Instagram
There are many types of posts that can be uploaded on Instagram. An often overlooked part of Instagram marketing is deciding the best time to post on Instagram. Instagram scheduling can be difficult to crack and this blog can guide you better. Check it out here.
Write Proper Descriptions
Write a good about section for your profile. Instagram is all about compactness so make sure that your ‘About’ bio is short, sweet and specific. The link you choose to feature here is also super important, as it’s where you want your profile visitors to go next. To help keep things compact, you can use a tool like LinkGallery — a new product from Rebrandly URL shortener — to send your visitors to multiple destinations, all from one custom short link. Your posts should have specific descriptions with the occasional toss of humor and emojis. Humanize your brand as much as possible. Instagram is a place where the seeming human touch is more effective. Let your marketing try their best.
Respect the Hashtag
The Hashtag is something that can get you followers from demographics you never expected. Use hashtags generously whenever you can. Hashtags get you followers, which in turn, gets you leads. But make sure that hashtags are relevant to your brand. Not getting this right can actually hurt your brand.
The Importance of CTAs
A crucial mistake many new businesses make is not including a call-to-action in their Instagram posts. Thanks to its unique layout, one can easily assume that most people won’t care but a CTA in an Instagram post boosts engagement significantly.
Utilize Instagram Stories
Given the bulk of photographs present on the platform, your marketing efforts might not get the attention it deserves. Use stories to announce brand-related updates, ask users questions, and upload candid random photos. Stories are a great way to increase user engagement.
Always use Trackable Links
This is a common mistake many businesses make. Instagram allows you to place a link in the ‘bio’ section. Most business profiles just place a website link that is non-trackable. Don’t place a link that can’t be analyzed. A trackable link allows you to compare the traffic on your Instagram and the subsequent traffic on your website. Use tools like bitly to create trackable links for your Instagram.
Traffic on Trackable links is an efficient way for your business to analyze the success of your Instagram account. Having a large number of followers does not mean that your Instagram profile is optimal. The sole role of Instagram is to redirect people towards your website and/or your product catalog.
Worship the Analytics System on Instagram
Instagram analytics are underestimated for their sheer simplicity but that is the single thing that makes it efficient. Instagram analytics are not as advanced as Google or Facebook analytics and they do not need to be. Unlike other social media websites, Instagram isn’t particularly ‘business-friendly’.
That is why many businesses are averse to Instagram marketing and also miss out on almost a billion active users. Simple analytics are actually a good thing and it lets you concentrate on the important stuff. What matters on Instagram is how well your profile is doing and what types of posts gain the most traction. The analytics of Instagram are crisp and fit for these functionalities.
For a better gauge of how well your brand is doing as a whole an analysis of trackable links placed on your profile is essential. Comparing traffic between your Instagram profile and website should give you an idea as to how successful your Instagram strategy is.
Maintain Quality of your Instagram Content
Looks matter and Instagram is its proof. Make your posts good-looking. If you are a product-based business, showcase your products while being used, from its best angles and keep updating it.
Hire a good photographer to take your photos and maintain an array of either bright or monochrome color schemes matching your brand color. Multi-image posts can do even better depending on the context that’s being covered. What you post on Instagram is up to you but make sure whatever you post is high quality and has a high resolution. The aesthetic appeal should also be maintained.
Another way to optimize your Instagram profile is to introduce cohesive posting in your strategy. This strategy involves posting related content on Instagram and timing your posts. Have a posting schedule ready in advance and link various posts if you can.
Instagram has one of the simplest profile layouts which lets users see posts that are years old. Having a well-thought-out and scheduled posting plan can boost followers quite easily. Making a series of posts related would be an excellent strategy. You can also use a build the perfect Instagram layout with a grid planner.
Get your Account Verified
A verified account adds authenticity to your Instagram profile. Verified accounts on Instagram work just like other social media by adding a blue tick to your profile. Verified profiles noticeably have a larger number of visitors by default since authentic profiles attract interested viewers.
Land an Influencer
The final beginner tip is for you to land a significant influencer. Your marketing team’s efforts should not be wasted. A significant influencer can drive numbers to your profile and landing the first influencer requires a good Instagram page. Make sure to backlink to your profile. Influencers like a quick buck and are relatively affordable.
Have Fun with Instagram
Instagram is a weird social media website. Agreed it’s not like Reddit or Tumblr, Instagram concentrates solely on the visuals. I see businesses adding long descriptions to posts unnecessarily, overusing hashtags, and whatnot.
Instagram is all about engagement. Drive users to your profile and use the profile to drive them to your websites, apps, and products. Instagram usually has a younger demographic which is usually more fun to market to and is interested in trying new things. Instagram provides an excellent ROI if done right. Good luck with your Instagram Profile!
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