Is Instagram causing you a headache? Believe it or not, Instagram can be a successful way to gain a creative, social audience for your business. The trick? Show your audience you are passionate about being creative!
Using Instagram can help your business generate leads, reduce marketing costs, and allow your company to shine in a thriving social market. Creating a social media following can help your business get in touch with its audience which, in reward, will aid your companies brand awareness and create brand loyalty.
If your business is yet to embrace Instagram, or your social media strategy has neglected the major social platform player, it’s safe to say you are missing out. 70% of users look up a brand on Instagram, meaning it is imperative that you have an account that your followers are looking for you.
So, if you’re looking to integrate Instagram into your social media strategy, first check out our top 10 insightful tips that will guide you to social media success
Essential Audience Research
Before you get the creative juices flowing you need to complete the most essential step of any and all social media strategies: the research. It is imperative that you conduct research into your target audience, the very people you want to engage with.
You want to find out questions like, what Instagram accounts are your audience following? What keywords are they searching for? What type of content are they engaging with? What time of the day or night are users most active?
Start by collecting survey answers and conducting interviews (or as we like to call it, creating Buyer Personas). This will give you valuable insights into your customer's needs. Allowing them to interactively tell you their social behaviours will, in return, allow you to create the right content for the right people. Not to mention all the time you will save.
With your targeted research, you can plan exactly what content you will post, know which buyer personas you need to create content for, and know when or what time to schedule content so that it engages the right people at the right time.
Instagram tip: What you don’t want to do is aimlessly post content without any research, that’s straight up pointless. You’re only going to earn yourself low, if not no, post engagement.
It’s All in The Details
For business-to-business (B2B) companies, a well-written bio should be the key focus of your social branding. The Instagram bio is the small area underneath your profile's username where you can share details about yourself and your brand.
Your Instagram bio is all about making that impactful first impression. When potential followers land on your profile, most people quickly scan your bio and photos before deciding whether or not they should decide to follow you. When constructing your bio, use these tips to optimise your profile:
- Create a solid tagline
- Include a self Description (either your or your business)
- Share contact information
- Let them know what you’re trying to achieve
- Include one or two branded hashtags (more on hashtags next)
Let this quick step-by-step guide serve as a quick and easy way to get your profile up and running. You can always come back and update your Instagram bio whenever you want - It’s not going anywhere. After completing your bio, you’re on your way to building a strong social presence on Instagram. But there’s plenty more work to do yet.
Don’t Forget to Hashtag
Instagram is a platform in which you can add up to 30 hashtags to maximise the reach of your posts. For B2B marketers, you should use your hashtags with a hint of caution but tag what is relevant to your business and industry.
When you put hashtags in the captions of your Instagram images, the images will appear in the public aggregation of those hashtags. Remember, hashtags can be seen anywhere, anytime on Instagram and can reach a vast audience, even if you didn’t plan too.
Instagram allows its users to put hashtags on their Instagram stories. You can place hashtags next to stickers, in the text, or by way of a location tag. They’re also a great way to implement search engine optimisation into your social strategy.
Work with User-Generated Content
How do you build trust and brand loyalty among your current and new followers? The answer: user-generated content of course. User-generated content consists of any form of content that’s created by users and consumers about a brand or product. Its authenticity makes the user the brand advertiser as well.
Posting user-generated content works by sharing your followers social posts, but take into account how valuable, helpful, and relevant the content is to your business before you share it.
User-generated content is a great way to boost new customers and interactions. If potential customers see existing customers loving your brand, they’re more likely to engage with your content, resulting in more lead conversion and increased profits.
Ultimately, it generates trust, increases lead conversion to your website, amplifies your brand message, and serves as an unlimited array of content on your brand.
Are You Onboard Instagram’s Stories?
A single Instagram post is good, but an Instagram story is better! An alternative to the everyday post, B2B companies should consider creating Instagram stories to capture the attention of their audience with creative content a normal Instagram post won’t offer.
Instagram stories consist of mainly video content that vanishes after 24 hours, but businesses can create more of a narrative for their brand through a long series of creative content.
If your business is struggling to encapsulate its audience with one image, skyrocket your customer engagement with content that can give insights into your business. For example, an Instagram story can share the day-to-day life of employees who work for your brand or show off customer satisfaction with customer testimonials.
Thinking about dropping your first Instagram story? We’ve compiled a to-do list to make sure your story grabs your followers attention.
- Introduce your brand. Remember, just like your bio, your customers will scan your content. The first few seconds of your content need to be the most creative. It’s a make or break situation.
- Give them helpful and valuable information about your business (the juicy content). What do you do? How can you help your customers?
- Share thoughts, give your customers a reason to think about your business.
- Follow up with content that involves your offers. Prompt them to visit your website.
Instagram tip: Do a staff takeover on your Instagram account for the day. They can create their own story and show off their skills. Consider using influencers to help you market your business’ products and services. This will further increase your brand reputation. Use the hashtag #instagramtakeover - this has proven to be successful with Equinet.
Promote Your Content
They say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and we couldn’t agree more when it comes to Instagram. The social platform is all about how you represent your brand through the visual content your business outputs.
We strongly advise that you don’t bore your customers with the same content over and over again. You need to be consistently creative. Show your customers that you are your industry’s thought leader.
Use a variety of content that is related to your brand. Avoid just posting photos of your products or services as this will slow down your engagement as your followers will become bored.
HubSpot has provided criteria for the type of posts you should construct:
- Produce ‘behind the scenes’ content
- Include your customers in your posts
- Inspiring posts
- Humorous posts
- Interesting stats
- Timely posts
Although you will want your message to be clear in your posts, you will want to provide quality content that is aesthetically pleasing. Make an effort with your posts and personalise them.
Followers want to see that you’ve taken that extra step to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Promotions Equal Leads
So your Instagram has a sufficient amount of followers. You’re probably wondering how do you turn these followers into leads?
A best practice is to create specific promotions and offer deals to your audience. Why not create a contest so that your followers can interact with your brand. Linking back to user-generated content, you can use these contests to get your followers to take the best photos of themselves with a hashtag you have made for this offer. Don’t forget to provide a prize or incentive.
Try showing off teasers of your upcoming products or service that will keep your followers on the edge of their seats. Drop snippets and sneak-peak previews to inspire excitement which, in turn, will increase word-of-mouth about your brand.
Instagram provides an array of tools that will help improve and construct the best content needed to engage your followers. As a business, you should always strive to create visually interesting content
According to one study, 93% of buyer decisions are made on visual appearance. It is important to always share the best quality images you can.
Instagram is an application that allows its users to use filters on images and change the appearance of the content. Choosing a theme throughout your content will make sure you keep a clear and consistent message that you want to promote within your business.
If you are looking for a specific tool to edit your photos, VSCO CAM is a great way to edit your photos like a professional. This app has lots of options to enhance your photos by adding exposure which will brighten up those shadowy photos. If you want to explore more photo editing apps, follow the link and click here.
Location, Location, Location
Instagram provides your followers with insights to find your location on a map. As a business, you should provide your location in each post and the stories you create.
Posts with a tagged location are 79% more likely to receive higher engagement than those without a tagged location.
Adding a location sticker to your story will redirect your followers to a results page. There, your followers will be able to learn more about your brand and access your website all because you simply added a location.
Tagging your location is critical for engagement on Instagram if you want to be found my new and existing followers.
Keep The Oven Cooking
Like any other social media platform, you should consistently be posting on Instagram.
Through plenty of research and working out our own social media posting schedule, Digital Media Stream found that the best time to post on Instagram is daily around morning and later afternoon between 5-6pm. During this time, we found that our posts received the most engagement.
By this stage, you should have a social media schedule of the content you want to post. Make sure your message is heard and most importantly, seen by your followers.
Remember, as well as producing your own content, share relevant content with your brand. There is nothing worse than a brand blowing their own trumpet 24/7 so be proactive and engage with your followers.
Instagram is a great platform to gain brand awareness and to secure customers. These 10 insightful tips will improve your Instagram marketing and should increase your customer engagement.
Remember, do your research and plan. This is crucial to obtaining a clear and concise message throughout your Instagram feed. Before every post, think about what your customers will learn and take away from it.