Instagram has slowly become one of the major social media platforms where businesses want to establish their presence and engage with people. One of the things that people tend to like about Instagram is how visual it is, especially marketers hoping to promote their products with carefully crafted and appealing images. Although the sheer amount of content on Instagram can make it hard to stand out you can still get some great results if you focus on a few strategies.
1. Use Hashtags Effectively
By now most people understand the importance of hashtags in getting more visibility for your posts and increasing engagement. If your post is marked with the right hashtags, users browsing through photos with these tags will most likely stumble on your photo and respond or even begin following you.
One thing to keep in mind is that while more general hashtags may get you more likes, they will not be as effective at getting new followers and engaged fans as more relevant tags that are specific to your product or location. If you can include a trending hashtag that happens to be relevant to your business then that will have the most impact.
2. Keep Drafts and Schedule Your Content
Social media marketing works best if you have a consistent stream of content that is posted periodically throughout the week. In order to make sure you have enough content it is a good idea to have a queue of photos ready to post. You can keep drafts of posts when you come up with an idea and publish them later.
Scheduling content is also a great way to have a store of posts that you’ve already created that will be posted at specific times. Scheduling and using drafts can help save you time and you won’t have to worry as much about what you should post on instagram every day.
3. Post User-Created Content
A good way to keep your content unique and also get fans engaged with your brand is to post photos from followers that include some of your products or are taken at your retail location. You can do this either by creating a contest or simply asking fans to post photos with a certain hashtag.
Remember that Instagram is a platform for original content and does not have a reposting feature so you will have to make sure that you have permission to use any photo that your fans publish. Most fans of your brand will be excited to be included in your official instagram.
4. Mix Videos and Photos
Although it was initially a photo app, Instagram added a video feature a few years ago that allows you to post short clips for your followers to watch. Make sure to have a good balance between some photo posts and some video so that your content does not seem to repetitive and you are taking advantage of both features. You can upload a pre-made video or use the Instagram app to record a few different shots and quickly edit it for posting.
5. Take Advantage of Sponsored Ads
Another more recent addition to Instagram has been the paid ads tool which allows you to promote a post to people who are not yet following your account. Sponsored ads are now becoming a regular occurrence on users’ timelines and they can help you reach your target audience and expand your fanbase. You can focus your advertising both to existing fans and potential customers on Instagram.
6. User Graphics that are Shareable
When creating your content you can mix in some different types of graphics so that you are not heavily focusing on products or promotion. A graphic with an inspiring quote or a practical tip can be more shareable than a photo in some cases. Quotes tend to be popular on Instagram and including a number of relevant hashtags in the caption can increase the chances that it will be shared.
7. Reach Out to Influencers
Just like YouTube, Instagram is a social media platform that creates its own internet celebrities. Influencers often are interested in industries like fashion, beauty, wellness, food or fitness and usually have a large following that trusts their opinion on these subjects. If you connect with these influencers they might partner with you to review your products or help promote your brand.
8. Post Discounts and Promotions
Brands often focus on the aesthetic of their Instagram or establishing their presence and forget about driving revenue on the platform. Occasionally posting discounts or promotional sales can quickly get people to become customers who are following your account or viewing your sponsored ad. If you post special promotions from time to time, customers are more likely to continue following you so they won’t miss out on any good deals.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.