Are you using Instagram to market your business yet?
With 1 billion active monthly users you can transform your business by understanding how to use Instagram to get more site traffic, more leads and more sales.
Instagram has evolved beyond a picture sharing app. Now a direct eCommerce shopping tool, Instagram also provides a way for your business to connect with a new audience, grow your brand, and become an authority in your field.
And beyond it all, the chance to increase website clicks, increase leads and increase sales.
However, the connection between consumers and your business shouldn’t be taken for granted.
People still look to Instagram for the visual content. But they do so as part of the wider digital transformation affecting society. That is, people expect more from businesses on social media. They want to be entertained, inspired and educated without being hammered by overt marketing messages.
However, if you get things right, the advantages of having an Instagram marketing strategy that works include:
- Increased brand awareness
- Increased audience size
- Better connect with your audience
- Increased traffic to your website
- More leads and conversions
- More sales and increased revenue
With such exciting benefits, it’s easy to see why using Instagram for your marketing is something that you should be doing.
Here are the 5 steps to help you successfully market on Instagram.
Step #1 – Clearly define your objectives
Creating a successful Instagram marketing strategy starts with creating a plan with clear goals and objectives to meet.
There’s no way you can achieve anything of substance if you have no idea what you want to achieve. Remember, if you can measure it, you can improve it. So make sure everything you do is set out, tracked and measured.
Without goals, you have no way to determine the success of your strategy or how it should change. Your marketing and goals using Instagram should align with each other. If you want to achieve your goals, you need to start by writing them down.
Studies has shown that writing your goals down increases your chances of being successful by 30%, with those who visualise their goals are between 1.2 and 1.4 x more likely to achieve them. So, break down your goal into smaller parts to make them easier to attain.
To create your Instagram marketing strategy, your realistic goals may include targets like:
- A focus on numbers (such as reaching a certain amount of followers)
- Creating a deadline to reach this numerical goal
- Specifying the steps en route to the goal and ensuring they are tangible
Step #2 – Don’t go overboard with sales tactics (use the 80/20 split)
What opinion do you have of businesses who only talk about themselves on social media?
The age of using intrusive marketing techniques has come to an end (and we’re all better off because of it).
Being constantly sold to frustrates consumers. And with a saturation of options online, it’s easier than ever to simply mute, block and move on to a business who isn’t so self-promotional.
Instead, people look to have authentic connections with businesses. These can’t be forced. And it’s these connections that create trust. Once that trust has been established, your customers are more likely to buy from you.
If you’re unsure of how to put this into practice, use the 80/20 split.
Under this Instagram tactic, 80% of your posts should be entertaining, educational or inspiring. While the other 20% can be promotional. This will make sure you’re putting the needs of your followers first.
The strongest approach to your Instagram efforts would be to make content that people actually want to consume.
- Are you solving their problems?
- Are you providing value without asking for anything in return?
- Are you educating and inspiring?
When people see this content, they’ll come to you. Then, when it’s time to purchase a product or service, who are they most likely to turn to?
You – the business who provided everything and asked for nothing in return.
Step #3 – Run contests, promotions and giveaways
What catches your eye on Instagram?
There aren’t many things that can lure in more people on social media than a good contest.
Through engaging contests and giveaways you can have more interaction, acquire more followers, and have more visibility on Instagram.
Stuck for ideas? Search It Local Facebook expert Michael May suggests creating sweepstakes and giveaways. He explains “these can be an easy way to generate interest and exposure. Offering a valuable prize that everyone wants is a sure fire way to making a contest that will be a hit. Your audience won’t be able to resist entering the contest. Make the barriers to entry simple like commenting, or tagging a friend, and give away something of real value to drive interest.”
The steps to creating a good social media contest:
- Know what your goals are (are you after followers or likes?)
- Create a deadline for the end of the contest and for the winner’s prize
- Come up with a contest that will be suitable for your audience
- Go all out to promote the contest as much as possible
Get your audience involved to make sure the contest is a big hit on social media. You can do this by asking your followers to tag a friend or share a post to enter.
You’ll give yourself a greater chance of seeing positive results by making it so that your audience has a better shot of winning the contest by sharing with other people.
Step #4 – Use social media automation tools
Ever heard the expression ‘don’t work harder, work smarter’?
Just how well your strategy on Instagram will work will be determined by the tools you use.
These tools will help free up time and allow you to focus on the areas of your business that deliver the most ROI. You have to start with a strong foundation before you can scale up or else your growth will be short lived. Your tools are the foundation that you need to create this successful foundation.
Your Instagram content can be automated to a pre-set schedule using a range of tools, many of which are free or freemium access.
Tools like these will help you accomplish your goals by allowing you to create, schedule and bulk publish your Instagram posts. These tools also let you monitor your posts, listen to your audience, and generate new content ideas.
Social media tools can help you manage everything and take away the feeling of being weighed down with time-consuming tasks.
Monitoring your presence on social media is essential if you want to succeed.
Step #5 – Start Posting Videos
If a picture tells a thousand words, what impact does a video have?
Videos can be a useful tool, especially when used for marketing on Instagram. This is reinforced by the data that says, by the year 2021, most of the traffic created by consumers will be because of videos. This is in addition to the fact that video helps your audience retain 95% of your message compared to the 10% from text.
This means you should get in on the action now if you haven’t already started. Videos can be used on Instagram in a variety of ways, but the best way is live video.
Instagram Live videos make it possible to form a connection with your audience in a unique way. The connection in live videos feels more real than the ones made from other formats. And provides a fluid flow of communication where your audience can engage with you and ask questions in real-time.
Questions are a way that people interact with you, and can help them see that you’re more than a brand. Putting a human face on your business can generate the trust that is key to increasing clicks, conversions and sales.
Even better, your live videos can be repurposed to make new content. Turn your videos into podcasts, or blog posts, or email marketing messages – whatever works for you.
Using Instagram to market your business takes time, discipline and understanding. But the benefits on offer are worth your investment.
So, keep these 5 tips in mind and create a winning Instagram marketing strategy for your business.
If you’re struggling to get started, just remember that your audience is important. Put their needs first, provide value to them, and be transparent with them. Do that, and you’ll be well on your way to success.
Do you have any Instagram marketing tips I’ve missed? Let us all know in the comments!