“A Guide to Using Instagram as an Effective Marketing Tool.”

Instagram has over a billion users, 500 million daily users and 800 million monthly users. Isn’t that reason enough to include Instagram in the marketing mix? Well, let me tell you that Instagram doesn’t have one of the highest engagement rates, but THE HIGHEST engagement rate as compared to other social media platforms. Just for clarity, the engagement on Instagram is 10 times higher than that on Facebook.  Needless to say, that be it whatever industry, you are bound to find a good portion of your target audience on Instagram. If you aim to increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, it’s almost a prerequisite to master Instagram. Here is a quick guide on how you can leverage this marketing tool for your business or your clients:

  1. Post High-Quality Visual Content: Yes, high quality and engaging visual content is the first and foremost thing that will help you get the eyeballs you want on your post. It pays to have colour in your Instagram feed. Simply put, you need to work with a design team and get the most out of each image you post. Visual aesthetics are a must for your image to stand out in the user’s Insta feed. 
  2. Hashtags Matter: We all have seen those posts with overflowing hashtags. However, we suggest that you use industry-specific hashtags to generate industry-specific leads. Hashtags are your best friends on Instagram because they aid not only in discoverability but also help you explore archived content – a blast from the past. Branded hashtags can do wonders for your Instagram strategy if you have a giveaway or a contest curated around it or you have created a niche for your brand’s domain.
  3. Put that Analytics to use: Instagram allows you to study the data of your audience if you have a business account (which you must). You can look at the data and make data-driven decisions. Analytics can help you figure out what is working and what needs to be improved. With the effective use of analytics, you can keep a track of your long term performance. Analytics can help you:
    1. Track post performance
    2. Monitor Instagram trends
    3. Track hashtag usage
    4. Measure audience engagement beyond comments and likes
    5. Identify influencers
    6. Report across multiple profiles

It will provide you not only with useful insight about your audience but also help you make marketing decisions confidently which is backed by substantial data. 

  1. Stay on top of changes Instagram is making: It may sound simple but this is one of the most difficult and important ways to understand Instagram. Keep track of changes Instagram makes, for example, they changed their platform from being arranged chronologically to algorithmic to show users more relatable content based on their activities. Instagram has effective inbuilt tools like Instagram Stories and highlights to keep you ahead of the competitor. IGTV is yet another example of an update by Instagram. Instagram is constantly rebranding itself and introducing new features and you should be right there when those changes roll out. Every brand, individual and influencers are racing for user attention and you don’t want to come across as someone who follows the trend but someone who builds one. 
  2. Do you know what your audience wants?: It’s good if you answered, yes. But if you answered No, read on! Use social media listening and monitoring strategies on Instagram to uncover a wealth of insight not just about who is viewing your content but also about what is working and what isn’t. Some ways to gain better insight is to:
    1. Use contests: Reposting image contests or using branded hashtags for contest promotion is a great way to gain useful insight about your user. Contests drive engagement and make people follow your page and keep me coming back for more. What more do you need!
    2. Post User-generated content to keep your audience interested and engaged in the anticipation that their post might be the next one to be mentioned.
    3. Ask questions: Asking questions to your audience about what they want, very subtly and strategically can help you answer difficult marketing questions and help formulate a better strategy.
  3. Hire those influencers: Influencer marketing has been on the rise in the last couple of years and all thanks to Instagram. You should define your niche and get in touch with an influencer who can help further your cause. 
  4. Paid Instagram Ads: There are posts in your feed that have Sponsored written over them in place of the Location Tag, those are some examples of ads you can run on Instagram. You can use Instagram to promote a story to reach a larger target audience. 

There are many ways to succeed and fail on Instagram, but by following some of these best practices you have a better chance at making and keeping your users engaged and happy. Please let us know what worked for you or your brand in the comments section. We would love to hear from you!

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Guest Blogger

Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.

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