No social media marketer worth his salt will leave out Instagram from his selection of marketing channels. Today, with a user base exceeding one billion monthly active users and a sky-high engagement rate, it is unarguably the best social media network to connect with the smartphone generation. Instagram started around a decade ago as a simple photo-sharing app for individuals, now a vibrant marketplace, with more than 25 million business users vying for the attention of a young and upwardly-mobile audience. With savvy audiences being extremely discerning, marketing on Instagram is anything but easy, especially when they are exposed to very high-quality content from smart businesses. Some practical and proven marketing tips can vault Instagram marketers to the top of the heap:
Use Branded Hashtags
Marketers generally need to go all out to conduct intensive hashtag research to identify hashtags that are relevant yet popular enough to make their posts visible to their target audiences. Using a branded hashtag is the smartest thing you can do to create brand awareness and raise the visibility of your Instagram content. A branded hashtag is a hashtag that you can devise, which is unique to your business, such as the name of your company or brand or even a tagline your business uses. There are good examples of branded hashtags that have nothing to do with the company or brand name but pivot around the brand identity instead. According to some studies, using a branded hashtag gets businesses significantly more engagement from users on Instagram compared to posts that don’t use them. While devising a branded hashtag, it is important to ensure that not only is there a synergy with your brand or business, but also it should be easy to remember and use as well as be catchy. Some of the most effective branded hashtags incorporate a call to action that provokes users to take the desired action.
Devise a System for Inviting User-Generated Content
It is no secret that Instagrammers like user-generated content more than content put out by professional marketers simply because it is more authentic and credible. Even though content contributed by users’ acts better to build trust, it can be notoriously difficult for marketers to implement a standardized system for obtaining user-generated content. It is because every user brings his perspective, and there is no way of guaranteeing that all of them will have a match for your brand image. Ideally, it is best if you can develop a system in the early stages of your Instagram marketing initiative so that it is easier for users to abide by laid-down standards to post content. User-generated content consistently gets more engagement; however, you may still find participating in a Like4Like program worthwhile to get more likes in the initial stages of your campaign.
Collaborate with Influencers
Generally, audiences tend to find conventional brand ambassadors less credible since they are aware that the language has been scripted by the brands. On the other hand, Instagram influencers are found to be more relatable and authentic because even when it is apparent that they are endorsing a brand or a product, the language of the posts typically includes a sharing of their perspective and experiences. According to https://www.forbes.com, influencer marketing can build brand awareness or strengthen it by lending it more authenticity and credibility. According to statistics reported on Social Media Today, marketers can get 11 times the ROI of other digital marketing channels.
Create a Distinctive Color Palette That Supports Your Brand Theme
When users see your Instagram posts, they should immediately identify it as yours. By incorporating your brand theme in every post not only will you be able to bring about a cohesive feel to all your posts but also lend it a distinctive identity. A brand theme determines how your Instagram posts represent your brand through a set of specific guidelines that define the use of colors, tones, photo styles, fonts, etc. that may be used in the posts. You need to be careful about deciding on the color palette because it should reflect your brand’s personality and values, and you can’t change it without good reason.
Drive Action through Compelling CTAs in Your Posts
The fact that Instagram users have very short attention spans will not come as a surprise to marketers because they are predominantly young who are multitasking with their smartphones. It is natural for them to view your posts and move away to something that has grabbed their attention unless you have already intervened and pointed them in a particular direction such as your Instagram Stories, where they announce on special events, contests, discounts, etc. You can also encourage them to grab attractive incentives by signing up for your email newsletter, visiting your YouTube channel, or even tag a friend in a comment or any other activity that will transform them from being a passive visitor to an active participant in your brand marketing activities. Even though it may seem obvious that users will benefit by taking an action, they often need to be encouraged by a powerful CTA to do so.
Post Diversified Content
Since Instagram has a very strong visual orientation, it is very easy for marketers to assume that photos are only what they should be focusing on. Even though posting images can be very effective, you should not ignore the magnetic attraction of videos for users. You can either post the videos directly on your Instagram page or post a teaser that can lead users to your YouTube channel where they will discover more opportunities for engaging with your brand. Posting on Instagram Stories that have a shelf-life of just 24 hours is a very effective way of keeping users hooked to your brand with contents in a more informal style.
Even though Instagram marketing can seem complicated, it need not be daunting even for small business marketers if they keep their heads cool and work out a strategy logically. The main secret to success is to place you in the shoes of the users and figure out what they would like to see and interact with.