Top brands understand the benefits of Instagram marketing. According to a report from Simply Measured, 86% of these top brands had an Instagram account, compared with only 28% of all brands.
More and more companies are discovering the benefits of Instagram marketing. Recent studies have found that visuals play a central role in digital marketing. In fact, visuals influence consumer decision making in 93% of all purchases.
Does this mean that you can create an Instagram account tonight and wait for the sales to start rolling in? Unfortunately, no.
Instagram is a powerful network to reach new customers. That doesn’t mean that you won’t need to spend a lot of time and resources honing your strategy. You will have a learning curve on Instagram, just like any other digital marketing platform. The trick is to optimize your Instagram campaigns to reach your target market most effectively.
Here are five steps that you need to take to perfect your Instagram marketing strategy.
Find The Right Hashtags
If you any experience with marketing on Twitter, you understand importance of hashtags. They are equally important on Instagram.
Choosing the right hashtags isn’t as easy as it looks. You can use up to 30 hashtags for a single post, so many brands fill their posts with as many broad hashtags as they can. Instead of choosing hashtags that are highly relevant to their post, they go for the ones that they think will get the most exposure. Unfortunately, since these hashtags don’t resonate with the users they are trying to actually target, their engagement scores fall. This hurts their visibility with the new Instagram feed algorithm.
You need to research Instagram hashtags just as carefully as he would keywords for SEO. My colleague Andrew Roach at Oberlo has listed a few great Instagram “hashtag” tools that can help you. They are:
- All Hashtag
You should also pay close attention to similar Instagram posts. See what hashtags similar brands to get the most visibility.
Follow The Top Users
Most people follow Instagrammers in their own verticals. While it is good to see what people in your own industry are doing, it can also be a good idea to follow successful Instagram users in other nations. Following the biggest influencers on the site can help you see what works, even if they are in unrelated fields.
We put together another post on the best Instagram influencers to follow. Here are some of the names that we recommend checking out:
- Selena Gomez
- Ariana Grande
- Christiano Ronaldo
- Kylie Jenner
Take some time to browse their profiles to figure out what works.
Following an Instagram influencer whether based on our recommendation or your personal preference is an excellent way to get daily inspiration for your own work.
Create Higher Quality Visual Content
You aren’t going to improve your engagement statistics much by split-testing text in your content. Instagram is a visual social networking site. People want to see very high-quality images.
You may have taken some great pictures, but you are probably going to need to really spruce them up to get any traction with your posts. You don’t need to feel overwhelmed. There are lots of great tools that will help you create and edit visuals for your Instagram posts.
The most obvious place to start is Photoshop. This is hands-down the most popular image editing tool on the web. If you can’t get a copy of it, you can find a version of The Gimp. It is very similar to Photoshop and has some nifty features. The biggest selling point is that it iscompletely free.
There are some other photo development tools that were made specifically with Instagram users in mind. Bannersnack is one of them. It is very popular for designing engaging banners for sponsored ads and story ads on Instagram. You can choose from a massive database of banner templates and stock photos that your audience will love.
Sendible is a very versatile social media management tool with image development features. You can use the Canva integration to create custom images that will be highly engaging with your Instagram network.
Figure Out The Best Time To Post And Schedule Accordingly
Lots of marketers waste a lot of time reading blog posts on the best times to post content on social media. The problem with this data is that it is often very unreliable, especially cents every brand is different. According to one poll from Later, the majority of social media managers said that the best time to post content on Instagram was between 7 PM and 9 PM. This year, the same poll found that most social media managers got the best results posting between 11 AM and 1 PM.
There are a couple of reasons that it is difficult to rely on the statistics:
- People’s social media habits may change over time.
- Every brand caters to a different demographic. Their audience may follow different patterns than those of another brand. For example, if your brand primarily targets college students, you may find that he can gauge meant hours are either in the middle of the afternoon or late in the evening. Brands that target older people in professional jobs may find that people are going to be most active in the early evening.
You are going to need to test to see what works best for you. Once you determine the ideal time to post on Instagram, you want to invest in a scheduling tool. Neil Patel has a list of several good tools to use.
Focus On What Works
Many marketers suffer from “shiny object syndrome.” They start to see results with something, so they decide to try conquering something different. That could be trying a new social network, a new type of image or engaging with a different type of audience.
Resist the temptation to stray from your current patterns if they are already working. When you get something working, you want to stick with it. Leverage it as far as you can. This is the secret to being successful with Instagram marketing or any other promotional strategy.
PRO TIP: Learning from your own mistakes can be time and resource consuming. Internet is already full of many to-dos and how-tos, which can save your efforts and provide you with specific steps. Out of all of them, we would like to point out “The Ultimate Guide“, which will defnitely bring positive impact to your business.
Have A Solid Instagram Strategy From The Start
Instagram is a great social networking site to reach potential customers. However, success won’t come on its own. You are going to need to take some time to develop a strategy to boost engagement and test results. These tips should help you get on the right track.