Instagram has emerged as one of the most important social media networks in marketing.
In 2010, when the photo sharing app was launched, no-one would have thought that in six short years the platform would boast more than 700 million monthly active users. The photo and video sharing app’s growth has been phenomenal, with its user numbers doubling over the last two years.
So influential is Instagram as a marketing platform that over eight million registered businesses have an account already. While 48.8 per cent of U.S. brands are already using the social media platform for their marketing campaigns, the number is expected to increase to 70.7 per cent according to a report published by Hootsuite.
If you are a marketer in today’s highly competitive business environment, you’ll appreciate that building an audience on Instagram has to be a priority for any brand big or small. However established your company is, you have a lot of work to do as you build your brand on a platform that continues to evolve.
Here are five tips that will help you make the most of your Instagram marketing efforts…
1. Boosting brand visibility
There are over 700 million Instagram users and, with more than one billion photos being shared daily, your brand will benefit greatly from such exposure. Marketing works through visibility, and if your brand is not being seen by the target audience you’re simply not doing enough.
By posting helpful creative content, you can easily increase the number of brand mentions and make more people notice your brand.
Many smaller brands have upset the pecking order in their industries by leveraging Instagram to promote their brands and exceed the influence of older established companies.
2. Better engagement
The power of any marketing tool today lies in the ability to engage with customers. You might launch a very expensive marketing campaign, but without high levels of engagement you can bet you won’t meet your business objectives and the ROI won’t cut it.
Instagram is the king of social engagement according to a survey by Forrester Research. Instagram delivers 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 150 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.
If you’re looking for better ROI from your marketing campaign, it’s time to start learning how you can get more real Instagram followers and begin to build your brand.
3. Visual marketing
There are so marketing and advertising techniques out there that you’re spoilt for choice. However, one of the most effective mediums is visual content, and if your brand is just focusing on text then it’s losing out big time.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this is one reason why Instagram has become so effective as a marketing tool.
With the right content you can easily put your brand ahead of the pack by making it easier for your target audience to share. Photos and videos form the bulk of internet traffic and, with Instagram, you have a popular platform through which you can share your content with the world. Video is an incredibly effective marketing tool that should form a large part of your toolbox.
Search engine optimisation is at the core of any marketing campaign. If you’re not ranking highly on search engine results pages (SERPs), you simply don’t exist and your target audience will not find you.
No-one outside of Google really knows what impact social media has on SEO, but there’s enough evidence to suggest it plays a role in rankings so it would be unwise to ignore this angle if you’re serious about SERPs.
5. Easy marketing
Generating new followers can be tough, but you can have fun trying. Everyone on your staff should be involved in creating the content, be it videos or photos.
Consumers want to see authentic content because they’re already overwhelmed by TV adverts and social media ads. By telling your story through Instagram in a way that adds value to your followers’ lives, you’ll come across as more authentic which will generate increased engagement.
You want your followers to share your content, which they will be more inclined to do if something adds value without being overly promotional.
Is Instagram marketing right for you?
Instagram provides you with a customer-rich platform to engage with your target audience. To do this, you have to start by building a strong following and this takes concerted effort and creativity.
It is important to formulate an Instagram strategy before you start in order to identify the techniques to use, the theme of your posts, the objectives you want to achieve and the type of content you want to share.
You should also have a consistent schedule for posting which you should stick to. Consistency is a key aspect of any successful Instagram marketing campaign and it’s advisable to be consistent in the timing, look and feel of your posts.