In the 21st century, everything you need is available online. From your groceries to medicines to even education, everything is accessible with the click of a button. Since everything is online now, many businesses have resorted to digital marketing to promote their products and services. Digital marketing is a very broad topic that includes smaller segments, one of which is Social Media Marketing. Handling someone’s instagram profile for instance is not an easy task and we are here to guide you through it successfully.
When businesses use various social media platforms available in order to promote their goods and services and also connect with their target audience in order to build a strong brand image and increase sales and publicity, it is known as social media marketing.
Marketing on social media platforms requires posting great and engaging content, interacting with the audience, studying analytics and running social media advertisements. Some of the social media platforms that are very popular at the moment are Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snapchat.
According to Statista (give statista.com link), Instagram is the most popular visual-first social media platform that hosts over one billion active users monthly and over 500 million daily story posts! Instagram is accessible to everyone and you can create an account for anything. Be it you, your pets, social movements, and even businesses.
Recently, the amount of brands having an online presence has skyrocketed due to the enormous base of active users between the age bracket of 18 and 44. as per sproutsocial (give link). Instagram is the second most used network in the world where users browse for an average of 53 minutes a day as per the analysis of digitalmarketing.org.
Clearly, Instagram is not only limited to personal use. It is a thriving global networking platform that allows businesses and brands to reach out to more of their customers, discover skills and talent and promote their products in a fun way. Instagram also helps you in raising brand awareness and launching new products into the market. Even though managing your business or brand on Instagram might seem easy, it can still be overwhelming if you do not know how to start. Since this social media platform is a little intimidating, it has become a major part of our lives. Here is an easy guide that will help you in this digital journey.
Instagram ideation strategy
The content you decide to put out on social media can make or break your brand. A good social media content strategy has the power to make your brand a household name and help you gain faithful followers. Merely just posting some pictures on Instagram is not enough. In order to gain optimal results, you have to thoroughly plan everything. To stand out from the rest on Instagram, you need to first identify your goals, create appropriate content that goes along with your goals and then publish this content. After this whole process, you will have to study your results and in accordance with that, you will have to keep making changes to your strategy.
There is not one grand strategy plan that will guarantee success. Your Instagram marketing strategy will differ depending on the industry you are working in and your target audience. However, there are certain steps you can follow in order to make a good plan so that your business or brand can grow on this social media platform, regardless of what industry you operate in.
- A clear set of goals
The most important and primary step towards building a successful and long-term Instagram marketing strategy is to identify a clear set of objectives. If you have a clear set of goals in mind, you will be able to strategise better and more easily. This process requires a deep dive into your brand values and vision along with a lot of research work and learning about your target audience.
You can start by determining the overall marketing goals and how you want to form your strategies around them. The more specific and exact your goals are, the better you will be able to tailor your social media content in order to achieve them. For instance, if you want to create social media content in order to boost sales, you should brainstorm ideas and incorporate posts that will persuade your audience to move to a landing page where they can purchase or any other part of your marketing funnel.
- Targeting the right audience
It is extremely necessary to determine what your target audience is before marketing on Instagram. Creating content that suits and matches the taste of your target audience will help you build a better brand image, and also help retain loyal customers.
- Instagram content blueprint
After setting a clear set of goals, the next step of building a great Instagram marketing strategy is content ideation. The term content ideation defines the process of identifying relevant topics that are engaging for your target audience. Engaging content here does not mean the content you decide to put out should be interactive, it means that the content should be useful and entertaining for your followers.
Content that is highly engaging and shareable, is good for generating and spreading awareness, however, it will not necessarily support the decision-making process of purchasing the particular product. Hence, the content that you put up on Instagram should support the different parts of the purchasing process of your audience.
- Techniques of content ideation
Some of the common techniques of content ideation are as follows:
An Instagram marketing team that has people with different experiences and skills will be able to encourage new and different ideas through the process of brainstorming.
- Reviewing competitors
Instagram monitoring can help generate great content ideas by reviewing what your competitors are sharing. This will help you stay up to date and informed of what your competitors are planning and posting.
User-generated content or UGC is keeping track of what questions related to your niche are being asked or being highlighted on forums, or Instagram comments, or even on direct messages. This will help you plan out better content that is more in accordance with what your audience wants.
Instagram checklist and calendar
It is quite helpful if you create an Instagram checklist in order to stay updated on what needs to be done and what to expect. Since you are a marketer, you will be thinking of thousands of things and you have to get so many things done, it is nearly impossible to remember each and every detail. Therefore, Instagram marketers rely on checklists to get things done according to a lineup of already established tasks.
An Instagram calendar will help you visualise a bigger picture while approaching content ideation. When you are planning content, you can also repurpose and post them across various social media platforms to get the most out of them. Posting content on appropriate platforms can help them perform well. For instance, you should lean towards posting aesthetically pleasing and good-to-look-at content on Instagram since it is more of a visual content providing platform.
- Process of posting
From posting pictures and short one minute videos to going Live, Instagram has various features available for you to reach and engage with your target audience in whatever way you think will be suitable for your brand and attract more followers. Along with this, there are a lot of small but important things that you need to keep in mind while you post the content on Instagram.
- Formulating Captions
Although a picture is worth a thousand words, it is important to bring context to those words. In order to come up with remarkable captions, you should keep in mind the length of the caption. Instagram allows you to type more than 2000 characters in the caption of your post; however, only the first three to four lines are visible. They have to click on more… in order to read further. Therefore, it is important that the starting of your caption is captivating enough for your target audience and they feel the urge to click on the more option.
Instagram is also a great storytelling app with numerous accounts dedicated to storytelling. One of the most important aspects of formulating a caption is to include a call-to-action for your audience to engage with your content. With the help of captions, you can also direct your audience to the link in bio, where they can look through new products or a blog post on your website. Including a geotag on your posts also helps users find your posts, leading to higher engagement.
Hashtags refer to specific keywords or keyword phrases that are typed without spaces and preceded by a pound (#) sign. Since so much content is being shared on Instagram constantly, it is impossible for your content to get noticed. This is where hashtags come to the rescue. On Instagram, hashtags help assimilate posts from a wide variety of users into a single feed, although only public accounts are visible while searching hashtags.
A good hashtag needs to be industry-related as well as reach your target users. There can also be generalised hashtags or very specific hashtags.
If you use specific hashtags more, there is a greater chance to have a growing audience. If you notice some hashtags are not working, you can change them, however, changing your hashtags very often will not yield desirable results.
Hashtags are also very easy to use. Not only do they help your audience find your posts but also help you attract and reach out more potential followers that might be interested in your content. In order to make your hashtags work, you have to add only an adequate amount of hashtags that come naturally in your caption. Instagram allows you to incorporate 30 hashtags in all your captions.
To master the hashtags trick read me blog The Ultimate Guide to Hashtags.
Instagram advertising is a unique opportunity available for brands and businesses in order to engage with their target audience. Since the ads run on Instagram appear as typical posts, they are not so obvious to spot and hence, cause less disruption when compared to mainstream ads. There is a tool called ‘Facebook Ad Collector’ that can let you know whether any ads are running for a particular brand or not.
The amount you spend on Instagram ads should correlate with your campaign goals. There is an obvious difference for every industry. Some businesses might want to increase the number of website clicks whereas, some might want to increase the sales volume. No matter what your goal is, it is necessary to optimise and keep your Instagram ads in check to make the most out of your budget.
When you switch to a Business Account, you can have access to the Instagram analytics page known as Instagram Insights. They provide a limited amount of analytics, like follower growth, reach, impressions and engagement. You can also track Instagram impressions, engagement, and spending on advertisement campaigns through Facebook’s Ad Manager.
The singular metrics you can track on Instagram will vary, depending on the goals, however, you should also keep an eye on the likes, comments and views as well because they also count as engagement. By posting valuable content, you will steadily gain followers and therefore gain more engagement.
Since only a limited amount of analytics are made available on Instagram Insights, for a deeper understanding, you can opt for paid third-party platforms that allow you to study additional information such as the best posting time, performance reports in comparison to competitors, followers and engagement over time, etc. If you do not want to commit, go for the free trial option and make an informed decision later on.
With over a billion monthly users, there is no argument that Instagram is a booming hub of power and reach. Which was once a simple photo-sharing platform, has transformed into a social experience that allows users to humanise their passion. Creating high-quality visual content that provides your target audience with interesting and engaging information and also helps you showcase your business or brand in a unique and creative way.
Along with this, to achieve better results, you should write captivating as well as useful captions with a call-to-action that helps the users engage with your content. The most important and basic hack of having an impressive digital presence especially on Instagram is maintaining consistency. By creating and maintaining a platform that perfectly encaptures the values of your brand, you seem more relatable and appealing to your followers.