Social media is a crux of online marketing strategy. Social media sweeps many platforms and engages audiences in ways we never before experienced. It allows brands to share their stories that otherwise get lost in packaging, pricing, and positioning and ultimately, offers a new lens through which to view a company.
Instagram is only six years old, but it’s quickly made its way to the prominent social platforms for businesses. The photo-focused app allows companies to use visual media to tell a compelling story, which sounds delightful and easy and obviously useful. However, mastering Instagram takes strategy, understanding, and commitment to story and aesthetic.
Successful Instagram marketing campaigns combine storytelling with stunning images, effectively catalyzing companies to new, cozy positions in consumer’s hearts and shopping preferences. Once the relationships between company and consumer are cemented, sales are natural and brands have the chance to reach their fullest potential.
Let’s look at strategy trips for creating and executing a smart Instagram marketing strategy so that you can optimize your online efforts and presence.
Instagram Marketing Tips for Business:
- Analyze results often. The best Instagram marketing campaigns constantly review strategy efforts and analyze results. Notice when interaction is heightened or reduced; which photos prompt liking and commenting; which types of stories directly translate to sales. By monitoring results, you can incorporate more elements that induce success, and implement an overall more effective strategy.
- Build content thematically. Start with your objective for your Instagram account, and then determine a way to approach it thematically. Are you showcasing a brand aesthetic? Giving followers a glimpse into behind the scenes? Using photos for product promotions? Posting quotes and photos to set an overall vibe of the brand? Whichever theme you choose, stick to it. Followers stay loyal because they like the content you post; if you vary too often, you will confuse your followers and likely lose them.
- Community engagement. Encourage community engagement whenever possible. This fosters a more familial vibe and makes followers feel like you are all on one big team.
- Content calendar. Using a content calendar will keep you on track for posting consistently and about important events and promotions. Be flexible with the calendar. If a current event or forgotten birthday pops up on the day of a less important scheduled post, opt for the current day’s request and reschedule the former.
- Content variation and ratio. Instagram offers several types of content: still photograph, photograph album (multiple photos), boomerang (short, moving photo), video, image-collages, and more are on the rise. Make an effort to use the feature options if you have the skillset to execute the respective production. Unless you are a video account, standard photos should be the most consistent content. Thread the others in sparingly, but consistently so your content is well-rounded.
- Determine objectives. Before you get aggressive on your Instagram efforts (any social media efforts, really), identify your objectives. Do you want more followers to legitimize your accounts? Do you want a chance to interact with consumers through comments? Do you want X number of sales per post? Lay out your objectives so that you can cater each post to the goal and measure success along the way. Common objectives include connecting with influencers, sharing company news, recruiting new talent and complementing events or brand experiences. It’s okay if your goals change; it’s important to always have them.
- Follow other accounts. Believe it or not, users look at who you follow. The fewer accounts you follow, the easier it is for your followers to understand the brand family and tribe you run with. Show what interests your brand and which influencers are important. The accounts you follow can create a well-rounded or a super niche personality for your brand.
- Keep an eye on hashtags and locations. Popular hashtags and geo-tags fluctuate, so type in your keywords to see which tags are most relevant- be sure to include these in your posts!
- Manage interactions. Stay on top of DMs and comment sections. Reply as quickly as possible! If commenting is positive, respond in the public section. If you need to reply to a negative comment, publicly address it in the comments by telling the commenter to see their private messages and resolve the issue there.
- Optimize Bio. Be concise in your bio and explicit with what your Instagram page boasts. Update the URL link option anytime a post directs followers to the bio.
- Team clarity – responsibilities and roles. Identify which team remember fulfill which tasks so that content never goes unposted.
- User-generated photos and content. Posting user content is a great way to keep followers engaged. Use judgment when photo quality might negatively impact your brand presentation and keep an eye out for influencers or followers who are photo and videographers.
- Use an Instagram style guide. Introduce your team to a pre-fixed style guide to ensure content consistency!
- Aesthetic: colors, tones, hues, professional vibe
- Captions: stick to one type of caption- short and witty, motivational, promotional or long narrative.
- Composition: determine your ideal composition for your photos
- Filters, lux and creative tools: don’t overdo the filters, and stick to a common one or two. Only use the filter if it enhances the photo and keeps your feed consistent.
- Hashtags: use hashtags when relevant and only when they have far reach. If you have your own hashtag, use it in every photo.
- Landscape: crop your images so that they appear nicely across all shared media
- Social sharing: share your Instagram posts through other social media platforms to increase your Instagram account’s visibility.
- Tagging: Tagging allows your photos to show up in additional photo boards, increasing your exposure.