If you’re wondering why your business should have a presence on Instagram, the real question should be why not? This image driven social media platform first launched in 2010, and since then it’s gained a massive following. Currently, there are more than 700 million active monthly users. More than half of these users visit Instagram daily, and 35% of these users say they check it multiple times a day. In other words—if you want to build brand awareness, this platform is a great place to get noticed. Having an account will allow you to tell your brand story in a visual way. You can showcase your products or services, but more importantly you can also give potential customers a look behind the scenes, shining a spotlight on employees and company events.


Authenticity is important to consumers, and Instagram is a great platform to show them why your brand should be trusted. If done correctly, you’ll be able to build a loyal following through both organic posts and advertisements. Below we’ve listed some of the most important tips for a successful marketing strategy. While social media marketing strategies can overlap, it’s important to remember that every platform is different, and will require specific best practices to be successful.


Sign up for an account

If the stats above have convinced you to give Instagram a shot, you’ll have to set up an account first. Be sure to download the app—this a mobile social media platform, and while you can access it on a desktop computer, it won’t be fully functional. Before you begin to post you’ll want to add all the necessary details, including a profile picture and a bio. Both should be chosen with care. You want your profile picture to speak to who you are as a brand, and the same goes for your bio.


Once you have everything set up the way you’d like, you also have the option to switch to a business profile, which will allow you to identify yourself as business and make it easier for your target audience to get in touch with you. However, you won’t be able to switch to this option unless you have a Facebook business page.


Determine a realistic strategy

…and not Dr. Evil’s version of realistic. Every successful marketing campaign is born from a well-thought-out strategy. Don’t just sign up for Instagram without a plan. There are a few questions that you need to ask first.


·      What do you want to achieve?

Maybe you’re looking for more brand awareness, or you’re looking for a friendly and authentic way to introduce a new line of products.


·      Who is your target audience?

Almost 60% of Instagram users are between 18 and 29 years old, and 33% of internet users between 30 and 49 years old can be found on this platform as well. Think about what types of themes and images will resonate most with your target audience, and will help you reach your goals.


·      How will Instagram be integrated with strategies you may have on other social media platforms?

Consider sharing applicable content across your social networks. No matter what direction your strategy takes, it’s important to have a cohesive brand voice. It’s also important to post consistently, while keeping ideal posting times in mind. These times can vary depending on what industry you’re in, so industry research is a must. A content calendar can help you keep track of when you’ll be posting and at what time. This is especially useful if you have a presence on multiple platforms.


Be authentic

Arguably one of the most important tips for a successful marketing strategy is authenticity—and this doesn’t just apply to Instagram. Don’t just constantly showcase your products. Tell your brand story, give behind the scenes looks, and don’t be afraid to have a sense of humor. The more people can relate to your brand, the more likely they are to become a loyal follower.


Create high-quality content

We mentioned it above, but it’s worth saying again: Instagram is a visual, image-heavy social media platform. In other words, if you’re posting blurry images and boring content, you won’t be getting very many followers. It’s important to post high-quality photos and videos. You don’t have to be a professional photographer, but the media you post should provoke interest and effectively capture the feel of your brand. Content also applies to the captions that will go with the media you post. It’s important that the captions are clear, engaging, and not so long that the viewer will lose interest. You should also include hashtags to make your content easier to find, as well as a location if possible. Including geolocations can increase engagement by 79%.


Know your format options

To post high-quality content, it’s helpful to know what you can post. Instagram started with photos and filters, but now there are plenty of options to choose from whether you’re promoting a new product, covering some fun in the office, or featuring an employee. Currently, the media formats you can post include images, videos up to 60 seconds in length, GIFs (more commonly referred to as a Boomerang), and “stories” in the form of images and videos that disappear after 24 hours.


Start advertising

Once you have a regular posting schedule in place and you’ve established a base of followers, you’ll want to consider more ways to promote your brand. This is where advertising comes into play. Advertising for Instagram can be a post on its own, but we’ll give a brief overview. Instagram ads will show up like an organic post would, making them far less annoying than most ads, and increasing the chances that your target audience will engage with them. As with any type of advertising, it’s important to know your ad options and keep a budget in mind since these are paid ads. On Instagram, you can have photo ads, video ads, carousel ads (with multiple images) and story ads.


Another way to “advertise” your brand is by working with influencers. An influencer is an individual on social media who has established credibility in a niche area. There are plenty of influential people on Instagram. If you feel that they would suit your brand, don’t hesitate to reach out asking them if they’d like to feature your product or service on their own feed. In this way, you’ll be able to reach an even wider audience of people, and the bonus is that these potential customers are hearing about your brand from someone they already follow and trust. If done correctly, this can be a real win-win partnership.


Speaking of win-win partnerships…


Are you looking for more ways to ramp up your marketing strategy? Feel free to contact us! We combine cutting edge technology, a true passion for digital marketing, and innovative thinking to bring you measurable results.