Guest post by Jill Phillips.
Instagram has rapidly grown into one of the largest social platforms, boasting more than 500 million daily users. More than fifty percent of Instagram users are followers of different brands on the network. Most importantly, Instagram has the highest engagement rate out of all of the social networks. All of this means that there is a lot of potential for B2B and B2C interaction.
When used the right way, Instagram can be an excellent platform to develop your brand and boost your business. However, it takes more than appealing images to successfully build your brand on Instagram. In fact, you’ll need to devise a detailed strategy that’s aligned with your brand’s identity. The following seven steps will help you get off to a great start.
Determine Your Objectives
Before launching any social media marketing campaign, it’s essential to first establish the goals you are trying to achieve. Establishing your objectives at the outset will enable you to gauge your campaign’s success and see whether you are receiving your social media’s return on investment. Also, having these goals will allow you to quickly alter your strategy if you find that it is not working for you.
The most common goals for using Instagram are increasing brand awareness, interacting with existing and potential customers and building consumer loyalty. You can also use Instagram to provide information on products and services that your company offers. If your products are visually appealing, Instagram is the perfect platform to showcase those products with the aim of boosting your sales.
Understand Your Target Market
One of the biggest marketing mistakes you can make is to fail to define and understand your audience. The majority of the brands that are successful on Instagram have acquired a deep understanding of their audience. These brands know what type of content appeals to their followers and what they can do to engage them.
When formulating your Instagram marketing strategy, you need to identify your target market so that you can begin to build a relationship with your audience. You need to know exactly what they want and how often they desire it so that you can be relevant in their minds. Also, knowing you’re the needs and desires of your audience will serve as a guide when developing your content.
Develop a Content Strategy
Your content strategy for Instagram will largely depend on your objectives and your target audience. Depending on the type of business you operate and the objectives that you set, you will have to decide which aspects of your brand to showcase. You can showcase your products or services but also your team members and company culture.
Brainstorm ideas and themes and decide which types of content you will share with your audience. Instagram allows you to post photos, videos, and GIFs, so figure out which type of content is best for reaching your goals.
Don’t forget to curate content from your followers. Monitor relevant hostages and mentions of your brand to find people who share their experiences with your brand. Share their content and encourage others to do the same. This will inspire your audience to engage with your brand and to share content portraying ways they interact with your products or services.
Use Relevant Hashtags
On Instagram, hashtags act as keywords which help users find the content and brands they are looking for. Hashtags allow your Instagram posts to be seen by more people and to gain new followers and potential customers. Following trending hashtags will help you engage with your audience by joining relevant conversations.
Even though Instagram permits up to thirty hashtags on a single post and comment you should avoid overdoing it. Adding several hashtags to one post or comment can look as though you are spamming. When creating hashtags make sure that they are relevant to the content you are posting. To bring awareness to your company, try creating branded hashtags and encourage your followers to use them.
Hosting contests on Instagram can be a fun way to connect and engage with your followers as well as generate new followers. For example, hosting a contest which requires tagging a friend may help you reach out and connect with new people.
There are different types of contests that you can hold in which your followers can win cool prizes for participating. If you created a unique branded hashtag this is a perfect opportunity to encourage your followers to use it in order to win prizes.
Holding contests is a great way of maintaining an active and engaging Instagram profile which can lead to an increase in the number of your followers and sales. Before you host any kind of promotional contest be sure that it adheres to Instagram’s guidelines and rules.
Analyze Your Results
Continually assess your Instagram marketing results so that you know what has been working in your favor and what hasn’t. Analyze the content you have been posting. What type of posts or comments have been receiving the most feedback? Which hashtags have created the most active communities?
The answers to these questions will determine what type of content you will be delivering in the future so that you can continue to create content your audience is attracted to. Branded hashtag mentions, follower counts, and location tags are helpful when analyzing your marketing efforts.
There’s no doubt Instagram can be the tool that takes your business to the next level. An effective strategy is essential to engaging potential customers on this social media platform. By setting your goals, posting engaging content, understanding your audience, using relevant hashtags and holding contests you can bring greater awareness to your brand and boost the success of your business.
Jill Phillips is a freelance writer from Buffalo, NY. She is an aspiring entrepreneur and tech enthusiast, who loves to share her insight on various topics. When she is not writing, Jill enjoys taking photos and hiking with her dog. Connect with Jill via Twitter @jillphlps