What is Instagram Marketing?
About InstagramInstagram has taken the world by storm since its launch in 2010. It seems like everybody is on the stage, along with their puppy. The U.S. has 130 million Instagram users. Behind Facebook, Instagram is the second most-viewed network. On average, users browse for 53 minutes a day. On Instagram, at least 25 million company profiles exist. Instagram is no longer just for personal use, be it for you or your dog. It is now a global forum that makes it possible for brands to humanize their content, employ new talent, highlight goods, and empower their audience. Approximately 60 percent of the active users of the website visit the site daily, and 21 percent say they update it weekly. Instagram can also help you grow the popularity of your brand and launch fresh items. Based on what they learned on the site, 80% of Instagram users have made a purchase. Instagram helps you to advertise your brand and services to your customers in a fun, honest way without hard selling.
How to Create an Instagram Business AccountIt’s important to remember that Instagram’s intension is for in-the-moment content before we start. You’ll need to spend the time needed to post frequently to remain popular amongst your audience. Holding your Instagram profile up to date is the perfect way to keep your fans interested. Below, we will look into how a good Instagram profile can be created and maintained.
Setting Up Your Instagram AccountYou will have two options to build your account when you open the Instagram app, such as Log In with Facebook or Phone or Email Sign Up. So that your Instagram profile is not connected to your personal Facebook account, be sure to sign up with a business email. First, enter the information on your account. Enter your real company name under Full Name so that your profile is visible to tourists. This name is what is showing on your profile; for those Twitter folks, it’s not your account username (or handle). The username is a name that is exclusive to your profile and helps your brand to connect with other accounts. The username of HubSpot is @HubSpot. Select a recognizable and easy-to-find username. Try to keep the first part of your business name in your username if your business name is stripped away. Note: Later in your account settings, you can refresh your username, so don’t worry if you want to change it in the future.
Optimizing Your Instagram AccountNow it’s time for the right profile image to be selected. For new guests, your profile picture is your first experience. Keep your image aligned with your branding and visual indicators for this purpose. Consider using the logo or another familiar symbol. Instagram profile images are cropped into a circle automatically, so leave space around your image’s corners. Next up, your bio from Instagram. Instagram bios have a limit of 150 characters, so a direct, succinct overview of who you are and why individuals should follow you is your objective here. Using a hint of personality, tell your audience about your business. Instagram bios are not searchable, so don’t worry (which we discuss below) about keywords or hashtags. You may inspire users to take a particular action in your bio, such as using a particular hashtag or visiting your website. The only location where you can feature a clickable URL and push traffic to an external site in your bio. For this reason, updating their featured URL to conform with their most recent post is popular for companies. Be sure to use a link shortener like HubSpot’s Tracking URL builder or a tool such as Bitly, Goo.gl, or Linktr.ee to prevent your profile from looking cluttered if you plan to add a link. Tracking URLs also helps to better understand the amount of traffic to your website. For future changes, to change your photo, name, username, bio, and URL, click the Edit Profile button on your profile.
Managing Your Instagram SettingsFinally, let’s review your settings for the account. In the upper right-hand corner of your profile, click the three stacked lines, and at the bottom of the window, click Settings. (You’ll see a few connexions under your username, which we’ll discuss below.) You’ll be able to do things like changing your password inside your settings, see posts you like, allow notifications, and much more. Here are a few things you can immediately find out. Story settings, where you can monitor who your Instagram stories can see and answer to (which we’re addressing below). To improve brand interaction, we suggest allowing all your followers to see and respond to your posts. To access your Story Controls from your settings, click Privacy > Story. (This can also be reached when posting a story by clicking on the gear icon in the top left corner.)
Switch to a Professional AccountSwitching to a Professional Account enables you to define as a business profile your profile. The Business Tools role of Instagram makes it easy for users to reach you, gives you in-depth insights, and helps you to promote your content. Your company must have a Facebook business page to turn to an Instagram business profile. To access these features from your settings, select Account > Turn to Professional Account. Choose this setting to turn to a business profile, log on to Facebook, and allow Instagram to manage your accounts. To link to your Instagram profile, pick a Facebook page. (To connect the two networks, you have to be a Facebook page administrator.) Instagram automatically imports related information for you to edit from your Facebook profile. You now have a company profile on Instagram. Be sure to review your insights and account settings for your profile!
Private AccountInstagram will automatically make your profile public, and we do not suggest changing it! As a brand, without any barriers, you would want users to see your posts and follow your brand. Tap Privacy > Account Privacy in your settings and make sure that it’s disabled. Comments, which allows you to use certain keywords or phrases to conceal comments. To do this, you must enter into your Instagram settings the specific words and phrases and turn on the feature. It’s exciting and rewarding to receive feedback, but that feedback can go against brand values or annoy your audience. To change these, press Privacy > Comments under your settings.
Adding Additional Instagram AccountsAdding additional Instagram accounts, where you can add up to five accounts without logging in and out, and move between them. This role also allows you to log multiple individuals into an account at one time. Click the Add Account button at the bottom of your settings to add an account. Enter the account username and password that you would like to include. To switch between accounts, go to your profile, and, at the top of the page, tap your username. Choose the account to which you want to turn.
Types of Instagram PostsIt’s time to begin posting amazing content now that you’ve built and configured your Instagram account. You can post many types of content, including images, videos, and stories, using Instagram. Let’s talk about the various forms of Instagram posts and some best practices to encourage interaction.
ImagesA picture post is the most prevalent post on Instagram. Share several photos when sharing pictures. The variety will illustrate that your brand is versatile and will involve your supporters in numerous ways. It is also important to note that Instagram users, not overt ads, are searching for authentic posts from brands. With lifestyle shots and behind-the-scenes looks, aim to capture the corporate culture. Avoid sharing too many pictures of your brand.
Behind-the-Scenes PostsThese posts give a peek into the part of your organization that people usually don’t see. They mustn’t look staged-authenticity is necessary!
Reposts From EmployeesGreat content can be right in front of you … on the Instagrams of your employees. (Just be sure to tag or credit the original poster.) Reposting images from your employees is a simple way to curate authentic content and humanize your brand. Your audience will not only interact with your brand, but they will begin to “bond” with your employees as well.
Educational PostsSnackable tips on how to do or make anything are offered by educational blogs. Typically, the images or videos show the instructions in a way that is quick and simple to follow.
Influencer PostsTo endorse your brand, influencer posts use the fame of a celebrity or a well-known public figure. A picture of the influencer using or engaging with your product is also included in these articles. Gaining the focus of another viewer is one of the key advantages of influencer articles.
Motivational PostsA motivational post blends a simple image with a quotation or uplifting text that is superimposed. These posts support your audience and amplify the values of your brand. Try to post these sparingly while being effective, to avoid looking cheesy. Apps such as Quipio and Typic will help you add text to images in a way that is compliant with the guidelines for your brand.
User-Generated ContentUser-generated content (UGC), similar to employee reposts, is curated content from the fans and followers. An excellent source for UGC is your tagged posts and posts with your brand hashtag. Not only does posting the images of your fans and supporters make the original poster feel comfortable, but it also shows that you care for your customers. Only make sure the original article is credited with a tag or in the caption. To repost user-generated content, screenshot and crop the original post or use a reposting software like Repost for Instagram.
Newsjacking (Trending Holiday Posts)User-generated content (UGC), similar to employee reposts, is curated content from the fans and followers. An excellent source for UGC is your tagged posts and posts with your brand hashtag. Not only does posting the images of your fans and supporters make the original poster feel comfortable, but it also shows that you care for your customers. Only make sure the original article is credited with a tag or in the caption. To repost user-generated content, screenshot and crop the original post or use a reposting software like Repost for Instagram.
Capturing and Editing Instagram PhotosNow that we’ve studied what you can post on Instagram, let’s look at some ways to ensure that your content is successful. Instagram’s simplistic profile layout, unlike other social media sites, forces you to concentrate on the quality of content … not the quantity. Although this is perfect for interaction, it also implies that bad content will not be concealed. To use high-resolution images on your Instagram stream, do your very best. 1080 x 1080px should be square pictures. Landscape photos should be 1080 x 566px, and 1350 x 1080px should be profile photos. Regardless of what size you upload, in your profile feed, every picture will be displayed as a square.
How to Take a Great Photo With Your SmartphoneThe technology of the phone camera has become so advanced that it now challenges thousand-dollar cameras. Here are some tips for driving the creation of followers and Instagram interaction.
- Switch on the lines of your camera grid to instantly boost your picture composition. At the intersection of one set of vertical and horizontal lines, aim to position your subject.
- In each frame, you come across a single subject. By cropping them out or finding a clean backdrop to aim against, eliminate distractions.
- The space around your subject is a negative space. Leaving negative space around your subject will attract attention to your image’s desired emphasis and stop it from appearing crowded.
- People are accustomed from eye level to seeing the globe. Use shots from various angles to produce fun and fresh images. To catch a bird’s eye view or a worm’s eye view, change your shooting perspective. To discover different perspectives on familiar sights, play with distinct angles.
- The human eye is drawn to symmetrical shapes and objects naturally. It’s better to break the rule of thirds occasionally and focus the scene in your frame. Another more precise type of symmetry that draws the eye into the picture is leading lines. People are attracted to patterns as well. A design, such as a tiled floor, or natural, could be created by man, such as petals on a flower or vines on a wall. Break up the pattern with your subject to make it very interesting.
- Use gentle, natural light wherever possible to prevent this from occurring. Try taking pictures next to a window, and the half-hour just before sunset and after sunrise also provides the most striking lighting for outdoor shots, when the sun is low on the horizon.
How to Add Filters and Edit PhotosIt only takes a few minutes to edit images and can have a huge effect on the quality. Editing images is very easy, thanks to Instagram’s built-in tools and philters. To make the picture of your homemade lunch look like a culinary masterpiece, follow these tips. Start with a great photo (using our tips above) first. If they have poor composition or lighting, no amount of editing will repair the images. To edit a picture, consider using other applications. Snapseed is free editing software that allows you to apply, as well as change brightness, contrast, and saturation, effects such as HDR and tonal contrast. With various free philters that mimic common film stocks, VSCO is also another common editing app.
VideosYou can also post videos on Instagram, as long as they are a minute or less in length. You can download videos that have been professionally edited from your computer or videos that you have edited from a smartphone app. Splice is a free editing app that allows you to cut together several clips and add transitions, names, and music. Instagram videos are played without sound by default. Because of this, make sure that no sound is required to understand at least the first few seconds of your images. You can turn the sound on with your caption or prompt viewers.
BoomerangsOpen your Instagram and press the camera icon on your home screen in the upper left-hand corner. This is the in-app camera. By swiping right on the phone, you can do this, too. On the bottom, note the settings. You can note that the first set to the right is Boomerang, which takes three seconds to play forward and backward looping images. Boomerangs make it possible to put a quirky twist on a typical video. Using a burst of photos and stitching them together for a short, repetitive video, Boomerangs were made. For situations like jumping, toasting cups, or high-fiving, these kinds of posts are fun. To have a separate place to catch boomerang images, you can also download Instagram’s Boomerang app.
HyperlapseHave you got a video for Instagram that’s too long? Check out Instagram’s Hyperlapse, which enables you to condense long videos into shorter, post-able content. With built-in stabilization, it produces smooth, time-lapse images. Download the app and grant it access to your camera to make your Hyperlapse videos. To stop and resume your recordings, tap the circle once. You can select a replay speed of between 1x and 12x once you’re finished recording. To upload later, save the final Hyperlapse video to your camera roll.
Instagram StoriesInstagram Stories allow users to post without overposting and clogging your main feed at a higher frequency. Stories typically feature less-polished images and videos that are more organic. Your Instagram story disappears after 24 hours, like Snapchat Tales. Stories are all about genuineness. Use the function to give your brand a look behind the scenes or highlight the culture of your company. Will you have an office that’s dog-friendly? Post your story with pictures and videos of the dogs. Stories are also a useful tool to highlight live events held or attended by your organization, as this role is far more time-sensitive.
How to Post to Your Instagram StoryInstagram provides three posting options for your story. In the upper left corner, you can tap the camera, tap Your Story above your feed, or just swipe right to reach the camera.
- Type : Generates a post with text
- Music : Match a music video of your choosing to a photo or video
- Live : Captures and publishes live videos for your fans to watch on Instagram
- Superzoom : Applies a zoom animation to a frame
- Focus : Concentrates on a subject and blurs the meaning
- Hands-Free : Allows video to be recorded without holding the record button
Instagram Story HighlightsIn the tiny circles under an Instagram biography, you will find the Instagram story highlights. Story Highlights are a brilliant way to present your best stories and add them to your account for your fans to see semi-permanently. They are also useful ways to display goods, programs, promotions, and more, as links to external sites can be included in your highlights. Instagram Story Highlights can also act as a sort of menu. Many Instagram companies use Story Highlights to share their working hours, new deals or sales, information about team members or shop locations, footage behind the scenes, and more. The app also allows you to add highlight covers to demonstrate your story highlights and keep your profile on-brand (at 2000 x 2000 px and an aspect ratio of 1:1).
Instagram LiveInstagram has a live video feature, as we talked about above, which allows you to share content in real-time. Open the Instagram camera to start a live video stream, swipe to the Live environment, and then press the Start Live Video button. If you initiate the live video, a notification that you’re life will be sent to any followers currently on the app. Using the built-in chat feature, live viewers can also comment on the live video. To highlight entertaining, real-time material or engaging moments such as Q&As or disclosures, the live video should be used sparingly.
IGTVInstagram TV, or IGTV, is the newest video offering for Instagram. Users will view long-form, vertical videos from Instagram owners, available to watch via the Instagram app, or the standalone IGTV app. Think: videos for cooking, celebrity interviews, product reviews, and tutorials … This is usually the material you’ll find on IGTV. Between Instagram Live and IGTV, what’s the difference? IGTV uploads videos, giving users the ability to edit their video and fine-tune it. To start posting, download the IGTV app, create a channel, and upload a 15-second-to-10-minute video. Verified accounts will make videos run for up to an hour.
HashtagsOn Twitter, hashtags have taken over. Hashtags refer to keywords or phrases of keywords which are spelled without spaces and prefaced with a symbol of a pound (#). In general, they are used to reference activities, gatherings, pop culture, television, or recurrent themes and are a perfect way to make the content more accessible. Hashtags, originally popularised by Twitter, are now on numerous social networks.
Instagram Marketing StrategyOn any social media site, several organizations feel forced to be present … and they forget about strategy. Don’t make a mistake here. Since Instagram is very distinct from other common social media, a separate marketing strategy is needed. Start creating your brand’s distinctive style here.
1. Set your goals for InstagramAsk yourself (or your team) one question before you begin posting on Instagram: Why are you on Instagram? As common as the site is, the response should not be, “… because everyone else is.” To be successful in the long run on Instagram, you need to have a defined objective and objectives so that the time, energy, and monetary commitment can be justified. Here, there is no right answer. You may want to use your Instagram feed, like Anthropologie, to post and sell your goods to customers.
2. Determine your Instagram audience.Before you begin marketing on Instagram, decide the audience you want to enter. If you have other marketing techniques in place, to keep your efforts consistent, draw on those. Don’t forget to consider variables such as age, location, gender, income, desires, motives, and points of pain. Don’t you know where you should start? Monitor common events and hashtags of interest relating to your company. See who uses and communicates with these hashtags and look at their profiles. You should also take a look at the followers of your rivals. Instagram makes identifying your audience simple.
3. Conduct a competitive analysis.Do a comparative study to see what other advertisers in your industry are posting after you assess your Instagram audience. Start by analyzing their Instagram profiles if you already know your top competitors. If not, to find similar accounts, look for words specific to your company and industry. To see what posts are getting the highest interaction, what common hashtags they are using, what their captions are, how often they post, and how quickly they are rising, perform a fast audit of related accounts. When you begin growing your account, this data will serve as a benchmark. When auditing the material of your rivals, take note of any possibilities they may have overlooked. The addition of unique content to the mix would help your organization stand out from the rest.
4. Configure an editorial calendar.On average, on Instagram, brands post about six photos a week … which is over 300 posts a year! At that pace, keeping track of what you need to post and what’s already posted can be hard. Creating an editorial calendar will help save you time and control your presence on Instagram. With some Instagram post forms listed earlier, fill in your calendar and schedule your captions, hashtags, and posting times in advance. Your editorial calendar is also a perfect way to document any important events to highlight, such as new product releases or promotional deals, on your Instagram account. With an editorial calendar, instead of scrambling for last-minute articles, you can keep an eye out for real-time opportunities.
5. Build a consistent brand on Instagram.Your audience is confused by random or disjointed content which can cause you to lose followers. Maintain a clear brand aesthetic on your Instagram account to avoid this. Determine what this looks like by thinking about the personality of your brand. What are your principles as a brand? How will your brand be described by your clients and staff? Bold, playful, rough, or adventurous, are you? The brand personality of Apartment Therapy is light, clean, and structured, and all three of those characteristics are reflected in its account. Ideally, brand aesthetics make the brand identifiable, ensuring that anyone will see the image in their feed and recognize it’s yours immediately … without seeing the name.
6. Grow your Instagram follower base.It takes significant time and energy to grow your following. You could be tempted to go the easy way out and buy supporters … don’t do this! Buying followers won’t drive interaction, which is really what you need to make sure that your posts are seen. (Also, recent API updates to Instagram will delete those followers automatically!)
7. Convert your Instagram followers into customers.You can start turning those followers into paying customers once you create a dedicated follower base. Here are several techniques.
TIPS TO CONVERT YOUR INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS INTO CUSTOMERS
- Promotions: For your Instagram audience, promotions, discounts, BOGOs, and other offers are a fantastic way to boost first-time sales. To receive the bid, be sure to include what your followers need to do and mention a deadline to build a sense of urgency.
- Contests: What better way than making them try your product to make somebody a customer? Run contests that involve anyone with a hashtag to follow your account or post to join.
- Charity: 81% of millennials want corporations to contribute to charity publicly. Doing so can develop brand affinity and help turn consumers into followers. Gap has collaborated with the Global Fund, for instance, to help fight AIDS in Africa. It has helped raise over $130 million since 2006.
- Teasers: Before they’re available, Instagram is a great place to offer your audience insights into new items. Although you don’t want to flood the feeds of your followers with just product images, a few pictures will generate excitement.
- Live Launches : Consider using Instagram Live to showcase a new product or service. Then, drive users to buy by providing a connexion to buy in your bio.