Instagram Marketing: A Detailed GUI

Is your brand present on Instagram? It should.

The social media site has more than 2 billion monthly users.

That’s a billion with a “b”. And 90% of those people follow at least one business on the app.

With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Instagram bills itself as the “#1 media platform for building relationships with brands.”

Instagram is a powerful social media channel with significant marketing potential to grow an audience and reach your customers.

So if you don’t already have an account for your business, create one now. good wait

Once you have your business Instagram account up and running, it’s time to start building your brand.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at how Instagram marketing works, why it’s effective, and walk you through a strategy that can help you gain new followers and make sales fast.

How effective is Instagram for marketing?

More than a platform for sharing photos and videos with your social circle, Instagram’s visual format makes it a valuable part of any e-commerce strategy.

Whether you use organic content, paid ads, or a hybrid strategy, Instagram is a great way to build a visual presence and showcase your offerings.

Even better, as a platform, it generates far more user interaction than Facebook and Twitter.

The fact is, over 47% of US social media users between the ages of 16 and 34 have purchased a product or service on Instagram.

Even without a calculator, it’s easy to see that millions of people shop on this one social media platform alone. And you must claim your share.

That’s all well and good, you might say, but how do I do that?

First you need to understand how this meta proprietary platform works.

Types of Instagram Marketing Content

First, let’s look at the different types of marketing content you can use.

There are four main types that you can use either individually or in combination: organic marketing, paid content, influencer marketing, and shopping.

Organic Content

There are different types of organic content you can use on Instagram: photos or static images, videos, stories, and reels.

The former is easy to understand, but what is the difference between Videos, Stories and Reels?

Isn’t that all video content? Yes they are, but they are all used in different ways.

Videos are shared on your profile and appear in the feeds of people who follow you. These can be up to 60 minutes for some accounts.

Stories are short clips that also appear on your profile. They appear as small circles at the top of your followers’ feeds. These clips, which disappear after 24 hours, can be up to 60 seconds long.

Reels, on the other hand, is Meta’s answer to TikTok. These are videos of up to 90 seconds that are used on both Facebook and Instagram and can be easily enhanced with music, text and visual effects.

Additionally, you can choose to go live with the aptly named Instagram Live. For marketing, this allows you to personally connect with your audience, showcase your personality, and answer questions from followers.

Paid Content

You can also pay to have your content placed in front of Instagram users in their feeds, in their Stories, or under the Explore tab.

Paid content is similar to regular posts, with one exception: they have a “sponsored” label. It can also include features such as buttons, links, and galleries that are not available in regular content.

There are a number of formats to choose from including Images, Videos, Reels, Collections and Discoveries so you can use the best type for your specific goals.

You can amplify normal posts to make them accessible to a targeted audience for a specific duration, as well as create and run full campaigns.

As with most paid digital ads, pricing for these paid ads is variable based on targeting, competition, and scheduling.

Influencer Marketing

Social media has created a new breed of celebrity: those famous for being famous. In other words: influencers.

With a loyal following of thousands or even millions, these individuals present a tremendous opportunity for businesses looking for a way to authentically market their products or services.

Influencer marketing, known as paid posts, usually involves some form of compensation from the brand to the influencer in exchange for a feature on their profile, posts, story, or reels.

Instagram shop

Instagram allows you to integrate your product catalog into your profile, allowing you to sell directly to customers through your posts, reels, etc.

The Shop tab is located at the top of your profile below the bio information which, when clicked, directs visitors to your shop on the platform.

You can also tag your shop products in posts the same way you would tag another user.

How to create an Instagram marketing strategy

As a marketer, you know the futility of trying to attract an audience without a strategy.

To get the most out of your Instagram marketing, you need a well thought out plan.

Create your strategy with the following steps:

1. Determine your goals

What are your hopes for this platform? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Do you want to make sales? Maybe you want to showcase your product line? Or present user-generated content (UGC)?

There is no wrong answer and you can have multiple goals, but what you are trying to achieve will change the way you measure your performance.

2. Identify your audience

Instagram allows for demographic targeting, so you can be very specific about who you want to target. When deciding who to target, consider things like age, gender, location, income, and interests.

If you’re not quite sure who to target, see who is engaging with popular posts and hashtags related to your space.

Then take a look at their profiles to get a glimpse of their demographics and the things they are interested in.

3. Look at the competition

Your competition can be one of your best sources of information about what works and doesn’t work on Instagram.

Conduct a thorough competitive analysis that includes:

  • Identifying top and secondary competitors.
  • Gathering information about their followers and the types of posts they create.
  • Analyzing their activity to determine what type of posts are getting the most engagement.

4. Create a content calendar

By this point, you should have a pretty good idea of ​​what type of Instagram content you want to create. And that means it’s time to develop an implementation strategy.

Make your editorial calendar as detailed as possible.

It will save you a lot of time later when you know the date and time you want to publish content, the type of post (static images, reels, live, etc.), the hashtags used and the captions that accompany them.

This is also a good place to record important holidays and events in your industry, or to highlight sales or new product releases.

5. Make your content

Okay, you’ve set your goals, identified your audience, researched your competitor’s Instagram strategy, and created a thorough content strategy.

There’s only one thing left to do before you start posting: create the content.

Remember that everything you post on Instagram or any other social media site reflects your business. Hence, you need to make sure that it fully aligns with your brand’s personality.

Consider color schemes, the type of language you use, and the specific needs of your audience.

Make sure each post has a goal it’s trying to achieve and include calls-to-action (CTAs) whenever possible.

Types of Instagram posts

Not sure what kind of posts to create?

The beauty of Instagram is that you can be as creative as you want.

To inspire you, here are some of the most common things companies post:

  • Images and videos of products and services.
  • Trending topics (aka newsjacking) to build brand relevance.
  • User-generated content (reposts, reviews, etc.).
  • Behind-the-scenes footage showing things the public wouldn’t normally see.
  • Inspirational posts to increase brand reputation and engagement.
  • Educational information (recipes, instructions, etc.).
  • Contests to generate buzz, shares and data.

Instagram Marketing Best Practices

Hopefully you now have at least a basic understanding of how to use Instagram marketing to promote your brand.

This social media platform offers incredible flexibility, allowing you to experiment with new approaches and ideas to see what works for your specific situation.

Here are some best practices you can use to maximize your impact:

  • Optimize your profile – Find a great image for your profile picture, take some time to write your bio and make sure to add a CTA.
  • Tell visual stories – People love a narrative, even in a single post. Make sure your content is engaging and tells your brand’s story.
  • Post when your audience is active – This may take some experimentation, but in general there is a best time to post for each field.
  • Use the right hashtags – Your posts should always include relevant hashtags to make them more discoverable. Whenever possible, use niche or industry hashtags instead of generic ones.
  • Interact with your followers – Don’t skimp on liking comments and look for ways to reply to your followers.
  • Stick to your schedule – Like any other marketing campaign, your Instagram campaign should have a consistent flow. Spontaneous posts can be fun, but should be the exception in your strategy.

Make Instagram work for you

Instagram is a great platform to connect with your targets, educate customers about your brand, and grow your audience.

And because it provides clear metrics, you can quickly get a feel for what’s working and what’s not.

What works for one business isn’t guaranteed to work for another, especially since Instagram is constantly evolving. But that’s the beauty of it.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Just make sure you always keep your goals and goals in mind and you’ll become an Instagram superstar in no time.

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Featured image: Cristian Dina/Shutterstock