Instagram has undergone a huge transformation over its 10-year existence within the social media realm. It has gone from a loosely used platform for posting dogs and pictures of cakes, to a marketing channel that is used by almost every serious business out there.
Instagram marketing is now extremely commonplace amongst businesses of all shapes and sizes, and Instagram now takes around $20 billion in ad revenue.
To put that into perspective, YouTube makes around $15 billion in ad revenue each year. Admittedly Instagram does not have as good engagement rate and session times as YouTube, but it remains one of the best visual marketing platforms available.
Instagram Marketing Introduction
Instagram Marketing has its pros and cons, so before we get all over-excited about the potential marketing reach of this platform, let’s take a look at what it can actually do for us.
- Best platform for visual content – great for selling products and services
- Good engagement rates – 1.60% median engagement rate per post
- Community driven – good networking opportunities
- Average session duration times – 3 minutes compared to TikTok’s 10 minutes
- Very ad-driven – every 4th post is usually an ad
- Hard to track ROI – quantifying ROI on influencer marketing is tricky
So we can quickly see that Instagram certainly has its advantages, however there are a few things that we should be careful of when approaching Instagram marketing.
We want to give established companies and new business ventures all the tools that they need to make a great start on Instagram.
Instagram Business Profile
So you’ve made an Instagram profile and you are ready to start reaching your new audience – well, almost ready. First you need to make your account a business account and set up a few details.
Head to your account and tap settings then tap switch to professional account.
Business set up is pretty straightforward, so we won’t go into too much detail here, but once you have done this step you have a whole host of benefits and tools right at your finger tips.
With a business profile, you can now:
- Create and publish ads directly to Instagram
- Access Instagram Insights, which tells you about your reach and impressions
- Have a link to your website in your bio
- Have contact options such as phone and email on your account
Instagram Insights Overview
Instagram Insights is a great way to get detailed information about your account’s performance straight from the horse’s mouth.
Here you can view things like impressions, engagement metrics and even detailed demographics with information like age, gender, location and time of day.
You can see all of this data in relation to your account overall or for individual posts, giving you immense power to craft and shape your ongoing social media strategy.
There are some other third-party Instagram analytics tools that can be used along side Instagram’s own Insights tool.
This means you can breakdown exactly how well your account is performing as well as what you can do to improve your strategy.
Reach Out To Influencers
Influencer marketing is now a huge section of the wider marketing market, and for good reason.
Read our guide for reaching out to influencers and promoting your company through influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing has the power to have a huge impact on your customer base as well as promote your products to new audiences.
It is all about finding the right partners and getting you brand out in front of new audiences.
Do it right, and you could get your products out in front of thousands of people.
And even if you don’t get any new sales from an influencer contract, you can still gather assets such as media and content that can be used across your social channels.
Collect User Submitted Photos
Your customers and your social following are one of the best assets you have when it comes to social media marketing.
Believe it or not, some of your customers will actively want to engage with you on your social media platforms, and will provide you with free content for your account.
The standard approach is to specify a hashtag for your audience to use, and if they upload a photo of them using your product, you will repost it and tag them.
It is a win-win situation, as your customers get to grow their following and you get authentic content to use on your social channels.
Optimise Your Account’s Activities
If you follow the previous steps then chances are you are well on your way to crushing your social media strategy.
However, you are really only just getting started.
Once it is all set up, you then have to fine-tune your social media activities.
There are several ways that you can do this:
- Post at the right time – when you post can make a huge difference to your engagement rate – read this guide for more information
- Use the right hashtags – choose the right hashtags so you are reaching the right people – read this guide for more info
- Create an aesthetic – cement your brand image to visitors – read this post to find out more
- Automation – scale up your interactions using Instagram automation – check out this post for more info
- Target new accounts – find new accounts to engage with – check this post out to find out more
You need to have a rough plan of action when you are growing your social media following and trying to engage a wider audience to sell products to.
If you follow these steps and use a bit of creativity, there is no reason why you cannot get your account moving within the social media realm.
Check out the rest of our post for more Instagram resources.