17 Jul Boosting Business with Instagram
As with any other social media platform, Instagram can take your digital marketing to another level or it can be a complete waste of time. With the right strategy, any business (provided its audience is active on the platform) can find success on Instagram.
Map Out Your Content Strategy
Simply posting content and expecting fans to come will fail. You need a solid plan that lays out the steps to reach your marketing goals.
Begin by checking what your competitors are doing. Choose five to ten brands with which you compete for customers. Look at what they are posting and what is proving popular. Note common features of posts for a better idea of what kind of content resonates with your audience.
Before you dive into creating content, you need to examine your ideas. Put everything on an editorial calendar. This will ensure that you consistently release new content and publish on a balance of topics to cover all areas of your business.
Once you have a calendar for the next couple of months, it is time to start planning individual pieces of content. Whereas you want to bear in mind what has worked for your competitors, it is important that your posts are unique. Creativity is what counts on Instagram.
Finally, create your content. Remember, the quality of the content is a reflection of the quality users can expect from your brand. If you want to show that you are the top of your field, you need to invest in the best, which could mean a professional photographer. Smaller brands may be able to rely on someone in the company who is skilled at taking photos, but you will still need a good camera and photo editing tools, like Adobe Photoshop.
Take Advantage of Fan-Made Content
There is no need to create all of your content yourself. Using fans’ content eliminates some of the work for you while helping your customers feel valued and turning them into advocates for your brand. Search according to hashtags and keywords to select content that best fits your brand message.
The best content of all will come from industry leaders. By using a tool like BuzzSumo, you can find social media influencers in your niche. Connect with them through comments to start a conversation and you may even be able to ask them to create content for your brand. Try this with minor influencers at the beginning, moving up to users with huge followings only after you’ve been on Instagram for some time.
Users may already be making content that features your brand; the only way you can know is through hashtags. Branded hashtags can be a great tool, but you need to make sure they’re not too promotional — posting overly promotional messages is the main reason users stop following a brand on social media.
Create memorable hashtags that promote a sense of inclusion in your marketing campaign. Top branded hashtags in the past have included #ShareaCoke from Coca Cola, #PutACanOnIt from Red Bull, and #WantAnR8 from Audi.
Furthermore, use an analytics tool to find out which of your hashtags are leading to engagement. Use this information to utilize only the most popular hashtags for new content and to come up with new branded hashtags in the future.
Interact with Users
You can increase engagement by responding to users when they comment on your content. Never send auto responses, even if this means you cannot reply to as many comments. It’s better to write thoughtful responses in your brand voice, even just a few words or a short sentence.
Another way to make your fans feel valued is to follow them, especially if you have a small brand or you’re just starting out on Instagram. There’s no need to follow everyone — focus on those sharing interesting content related to your business and those only frequently commenting on your posts.
Most of the time, when users see a piece of content on Instagram, they like it, share it, or comment on it and move on. Although this is useful for building and maintaining a following, it is useless to have thousands of fans who never convert. For this reason, at least some of your pieces of content need to include a CTA.
There are different ways to introduce the opportunity to buy without being pushy. For instance, you could highlight that something is a new product, advertise a special discount just for Instagram followers, or announce that one of your most popular items is back in stock.
You also need to consider links. Instagram only allows posts to send users to your bio, where you can have just a single link. Better than linking to your homepage, you should direct users to a landing page related to the campaign of the day or week.
Instagram may look simple, but it is just as complex to boost your business on this platform as any other social media channel. For your campaigns to be worthwhile, you need a clear strategy from the start.