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It is hard to ignore the influence of Instagram in today’s marketing world. With millions of people using Instagram every day, it is among the best platforms to showcase your products. Being the most engaged network after Facebook, you don’t want to miss on the big marketing window Instagram could open to your business.
To use Instagram effectively to your advantage, you need to have a plan. A plan that will enable you to scale the heights of Instagram marketing. To help you do that, below are essential tips for having a winning Instagram marketing strategy:
1. Begin with the basics
To start a winning Instagram marketing strategy, you ought to start with the basics. After creating an account, draft a creative and attractive bio. The bio should contain your name and what you do.
The most important thing, however, is to be clear on your niche. Understanding your niche will help you know which followers are interested in you, and how to tailor your content to attract your target audience.
As you develop your account, make sure to stay in your niche. It is the only thing that differentiates you from your competitors. Make it your routine to post high-quality content regularly, and while at it, using the relevant hashtags.
When I was getting into the Instagram marketing space, I heard to learn about the tools of the trade. There was a lot to learn about growing the number of followers, reaching out to established players, and curating content for my audience.
Indeed, hadn’t I learned about the basics of this space, it would not be easy for me to navigate the Instagram marketing space. I had some initial experience in social media marketing, but not with Instagram as a platform. If you are out to do marketing on Instagram, going in without knowing the essential tips and tricks, then you might underachieve.
2. Understand your audience
Before venturing into an Instagram marketing strategy, you have to find out the figures and values of your target audience that use Instagram. If the marketing strategy and the app, in general, will work for you, the numbers have to favor you highly.
Understanding your audience helps in the curation of content. If your audience consists of young people, your content will mainly utilize visuals (though there are exceptions depending on a niche!). The audience influences the presentation of content and, therefore, is essential for a winning marketing strategy.
Knowing your audience is essential for your campaigns and visibility. When carrying out a campaign, it is easier when the target audience is known rather than a general audience. It helps you to know the right hashtags to use to reach your audience.
3. Reach out to other Instagrammers
Like in the outside world, having relationships with people with the same interests works to the benefit of both. After joining Instagram, dedicate time to react to visuals by other Instagrammers working on the same niche as you.
These partnerships often lead to new followers or learning a thing or two from the other. It should not be limited to smaller accounts, but also extend to bigger accounts that have more views, many followers, and higher engagement level than yours.
For a beginner, it is hard to be noticed by big Instagram accounts. With a few hacks, however, you can use the following tips to help you get seen, or even build a lasting relationship with a big Instagram account. When dealing with a bigger Instagram account:
- Don’t like just one picture – on any big Instagram account, people always like photos. Liking one photo would in no way make you visible to the owners. But liking multiple photos will make you unique from all people liking the latest photo.
- Comment rather than like – liking their post means you liked it, but commenting means you did more than just like it. Always take your time to comment on posts on more significant Instagram accounts.
- Personalize your comments – avoid comments that sound generic, or which could be mistaken for bots. Make your comments detailed with what you feel about the post. It works.
- Ask questions – commenting on a post is highly advisable, but asking questions is the key conversation starter. Most people like being asked about their work, and they’d be happy to answer, especially if a compliment precedes a question.
Here, you may want to have some good outreach emails/comments prepared in advance.
4. Make use of influencers
Just as the name suggests, influencers are people with a considerable following who can sway the opinion of a large number of people. They are mostly trendsetters whose views are valued on Instagram.
If you share the same topics and show your value, they may be interested in you and support you by giving you exposure. However, other influencers may require that you pay to have them promote your content.
However, when engaging influencers, make sure a more substantial part of their following consists of your target audience.
In my experience, working with influencers can help to complement your marketing efforts. Particularly, when I started to curate content and share content on Instagram to my audience, I realized I was not reaching my audience as I wanted. The coverage was sub-par.
To ensure that the content would reach the appropriate audience in the right form, I had to work with a team of influencers. Sharing the content was easier with influencers. Hashtags would reach multiple audiences. There were conversations built as a result of increased content sharing as a direct result of working with influencers.
To even bring the importance of these influencers to perspective, it was easier to create and sustain a brand. The convergence of the content shared by the influencers was my accounts and my posts, and this allowed me to create themes and brands that would distinguish my work uniquely.
Instagram has high usage in the social media space. At some point in time, ultimately, you will come to realize that you cannot reach your audience comprehensively without infusing the efforts of influencers.
5. Brand your content
Instagram doesn’t support the addition of live links to your posts. It is a visually-oriented site that only supports images and videos. Therefore, when you post your content, ensure to brand it heavily for your marketing strategy to be effective and efficient.
The use of theme colors and fonts will be highly efficient in branding your content. With every piece of content you post, always ensure that there is something that identifies it as your product. That way, every time your content is visible on Instagram, it can be easily linked to you without the use of live links.
6. Use hashtags
Your profile on its own is inefficient, but using hashtags will make you more visible. Using hashtags work to your advantage when you connect with other Instagrammers using the same hashtag. It helps you to interact with Instagrammers who used the same hashtag before your account was running.
With the use of hashtags, however, one has to be careful to avoid crowded hashtags. Avoid using generic hashtags that will have your post in a pool with a million others. Alternatively, search for hashtags that work correctly with your niche.
Identifying the correct hashtag that works with your niche isn’t enough. Click on the hashtags to see if your content rhymes with what is posted there. If your content fits, use the hashtag as it is likely to reach a large number of people you share in the same interests. There is no limit to the use of hashtags, so use them to your advantage!
Posts alone cannot reach the audience comprehensively. I tried this in my early Instagram marketing days, and it was quite challenging to reach my audience. I decided to embark on a strategy that saw me work exclusively with hashtags. Hashtags help to brand content in some way, apart from their primary function of making content go viral.
Marketing is all about ensuring that the content reaches a lot of people as possible to ensure the generation of more leads as well as conversion. The hashtags were and still are an important tool in an Instagram marketer’s toolkit.
7. Create a content strategy
A marketing strategy without a content strategy is impractical. Any social media and content exist in a symbiotic relationship; both depend on each other for existence. Creating a content strategy involves deciding the type of content to share, the time of posting, and the frequency of posting.
The type of content shared is reliant on form and context. The form is how you intend to share your content. Do you prefer text only, an image, or a video? Context, on the other hand, is how your content is tailored to fit in your company’s voice.
The time of posting depends on a lot of factors. You should always aim to post at a time when it is most convenient for your target audience. The frequency of posting should be regular. Most people unfollow accounts that don’t have a defined frequency of posting. You don’t want to disappoint your audience by posting irregularly, do you? Adopt a regular and frequent pattern of posting.
Going into Instagram marketing, I did not have an elaborate content strategy. I only had a thought-out marketing strategy. So, down the line, I had to come up with a content strategy that would exclusively allow me to craft content – photos and videos that were in sync with the audience as well as my marketing strategy.
If you do not balance out between marketing and content creation, then these imbalances will bleed to your work and will be evident in your results. To this end, I took necessary action to ensure that the content was in line with the audience’s preferences, as well as the product I was marketing. The results were acceptable and met expectations.
In conclusion, having a winning Instagram marketing strategy is based on both the little and more significant intricacies. Instagram is among the best social media platforms currently, having a well thought out marketing strategy will go a long way in ensuring success.
* This article was originally written by Daniela McVicker at Top Writers Review
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