13 May 2019

How to: Instagram Marketing

Social media marketing is a useful tool that both big and small brands should be taking advantage of. While every social platform has its own uses and strong points, Instagram is really valuable for brands with beautiful or quirky products. You don’t have to be a mega brand to reap the advantages, you just need to have a bit of know how on what you are doing.

Getting Started on Instagram

It’s important to ensure that you’re Instagram account is a business profile and not a personal one (this is really easy to change if you’ve already set up a personal account). Business profiles can give you insights into your activity, your content, and your audience. It will tell you exactly how many visits your page is getting and the content that gets the most attention. It will also give you insights into your audience, like their location, age, and when they are most active on the app.

Once you have your account set up, it’s time to build your following. You can connect the app to your other social profiles to push your followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other sites you may have, to your Instagram profile. Another way to get followers is to follow relevant companies and consumers. Look at who is following your competitors page and build up your following that way. Once you have built your following up a good bit, try and cut down on some of the people you are following so you have more followers than following.

Instagram Posts

Instagram marketing should be as well thought out and planned as your other marketing strategies. Don’t just upload any images or videos for the sake of it, at any time or day. Starting out it will take some time to test different image styles and times of posting. Make a note of the types of images that get the most engagement and the time of day/day of the week you are posting them. Once you’ve built up a bit of a following, Instagram will let you know the optimal time to post for your followers.

Images and videos on your timeline should be aesthetically pleasing. Think of your Instagram wall as a scrap book, you don’t want to post content that sticks out and doesn’t match the rest of the posts. In addition, captions are a must. Posts with captions will get significantly more engagement than posts without. Try and think of something funny and quirky, but if you get brain fog go with something simple, that describes the product in the image.

Consistency with your Instagram posts is key, so try and post between three and seven times a week. There are a lot of scheduling apps that you can get, that you can plan your posts in advance from, so if you’re really busy this might be the best way to stay on top of everything.

Instagram Marketing

Instagram Stories

The story option on Instagram should not be ignored. A lot of small businesses don’t really know what do with it, so they just don’t do anything at all. However, it’s a really good way to get a message to your followers instantly. It will only stay there for 24 hours so there’s not as much pressure to ensure that it matches the rest of your wall posts.

That said, your Instagram stories still need to be on brand. Short videos and GIFs work particularly well to keep your audience engaged. Get creative and figure out what stories work best for your brand. Once you hit the 10’000 followers mark (which you will, be optimistic) you will be able to use the swipe up feature, that allows you to link URLS to the stories. This is a good way to get traffic from your Instagram to your website and products.

Instagram Engagement  

A lot of small businesses utilising Instagram concentrate too heavily on getting followers and neglect their social media engagement. If you’re audience is not engaging with your posts and stories, they’re not interested in the content you are uploading. Engagement is a good sign of how Instagram marketing can turn content into conversions.

Instagram engagement goes two ways, so if you’re not replying and engaging with your consumers you can’t expect them to engage back with you. Try and answer all the queries, DM’s, and comments (even if their negative) to let your consumers know that you are there and you’re listening. Repost positive content related to your businesses from your followers pages. 


Paid Instagram

A lot of small businesses only use Instagram organically and don’t utilise the different paid Instagram marketing opportunities. Using Instagram influencer marketing is one way to do this that only has to cost the price to make your product. Gifting Instagram influencers with your products, if done right, can result in a lot of new consumers and brand awareness. Choose an influencer (or a few), that fits in well with your brand, and DM them asking if they want you to send them a product. Try and pick someone that doesn’t have followers in the millions and they will be more likely to post a picture of the product when they receive it. Make sure you leave a note in the package with your Instagram handle and the hashtag you’d like them to use.

Instagram ads is another opportunity for small businesses to get their product noticed by a wider audience. It can be extremely affordable and can be targeted to particular consumers. If you are weary at first, only spend a small amount until you can see a return on your investment and are sure it works. If you already have a Facebook Ad account it will be built in there, but make sure you don’t post the same content formats to the two, because different styles and sizes will work better for different accounts.                

Looking for more invaluable business skills? Visit Autumn Fair, and take part in the free workshops and seminars at the retail skills theatre. 

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