Instagram is a massive social media network, with more than one billion monthly active users. Not only does this make it larger than Twitter and LinkedIn combined, but it also happens to be a place where users engage with brands more so than they do on other platforms like Facebook.
That means if your business isn’t making use of it to market your products and services, you’re missing out. Take a look at how to create your Instagram marketing strategy.
1. Buy Instagram Followers to Get Momentum Started
Your Instagram feed is nothing if there aren’t followers to see it and engage with it. Of course, you should reach out to your followers on other social media platforms to let them know you’re now on Instagram and ask them to follow you there. But, if you’re getting started on social media for a new brand, then it can make sense to buy Instagram followers from a site like ViralRace to help you get the ball rolling.
You’re not buying from fake accounts – you’ll be able to target the audience you’re trying to build, and you’ll end up with actual users who will engage with what you share because they’re already interested in it.
2. Build Out a Complete Profile
Your business Instagram profile should be completely different from your personal profile – and unless you’re creating your feed to be an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at your business (see more on deciding on a theme in the next point), it’s often better that “you” never appear on the feed at all.
Start by crafting an attractive bio. It should clearly and succinctly say who you are as a company, and what benefits someone would get if they choose to follow you. Show them the value you’ll offer once you’re in their feeds. Your bio needs to prompt the person to take action – either to visit your website in the bio link, or to follow you, or ideally, both.
3. Decide on a Theme for Your Feed
This is where a lot of businesses miss out – they post whatever they think will look good at the time, and the result is an incoherent feed.
The best Instagram feeds build their content around some sort of theme – usually centered around visuals they create specifically for Instagram, to give some sort of exclusivity to their followers.
The theme, and your ability to stick to it consistently, is a big part of what will make your brand stand out from the competition.
You must choose what to post before you ever start taking pictures. Your theme needs to be about what makes sense for your business and what aligns with your goals. For instance, many business consultants rely on images of motivational and business quotes, to fire up their audience to take action to reach their business goals.
Think about the colors you’ll use (hint: blue gets the most engagement), the light you’ll take photos in, the filters you’ll use, and so on before you start posting photos – and then try to craft each photo in the same way.
4. Conduct Hashtag Research
Hashtags are the way Instagram catalogs all the content and makes it easy for people to find it. You can use up to 30 hashtags on each post, but the ones you use matter. If you use ones that too generic or popular, your content won’t be on the feed long enough for a lot of people to find it. If you use a hashtag without checking out the content that’s there, you could misunderstand its meaning and associate your brand with things you don’t want to.
Conducting hashtag research ahead of time will give you a list of preapproved hashtags to use on your posts where appropriate.
5. Focus on Your Target Market
The number one thing to remember about your Instagram profile is that it’s not about you. Yes, you need to promote your brand, products, and services, but the best way to do that is a focus on creating content and value for your audience, and building relationships with them. If you make it too much about you, and not about your audience, then you will fail Instagram no matter how awesome your photos and hashtags are.
6. Research the Competition
Take time to look at your competitors and what they’re doing on Instagram. Look for trends in their content, as well as what their most engaged content looks like. Then, do what you can to mimic their strategy. You can also take time to highjack some of their followers because if those people like that account, they should in theory also like yours.
7. Use Analytics to Adjust Your Strategy
Your Instagram Business account will give you access to post analytics and help you learn demographics about your audience – such as when they’re most active on the network, their age, and gender. After you’ve posted content for a few weeks, you can use it to adjust your strategy, such as changing the times when you post your content, to see if that helps boost your engagement. Always let data inform your changes.
Don’t rush the strategy. Since it will guide how you use the social network, the more thought and planning you put into it – including creating and scheduling posts in advance so you can maintain a consistent presence, the better off you’ll be in the end.