If you’re looking to utilize the fastest growing social media platform for business, you’ve come to the right place. Simply follow the steps below and be amazed at how Instagram-savvy you can be!
Define Your Goals
Understand exactly what your business can gain with Instagram marketing.
Social Media Marketing can become very involved, making it very easy to lose sight of what’s important. Identify your goals and make sure every step you take works towards accomplishing them.
Define Your KPIs
Your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are the metrics that matter most to your end-game. Focusing on your KPIs will help you align your Instagram goals with your business objectives. It’s common for business owners to lose sight of why they started using social media in the first place. For instance, post engagements are great, but are not priority if your goal is to increase sales.
Identify Your Audience
Instagram has over 800 million users and counting. Despite its popularity, Instagram does have a niche. Before creating your profile, make sure your ideal audience is using Instagram. It would be unfortunate to come up with a strategy only to find out there is limited potential.
Statista reported 62% of Instagram users are between ages 18-34 with 30% male and 32% female, as of 2018. Like many social media platforms, Instagram is popular among fans of entertainment and pop culture. Shine a creative light on your brand or product line if you want to stand out.
Consider Instagram Culture
Social media users are notorious for having short attention spans and even more so for Instagram. Why is this? Instagram posts can only be uploaded via mobile devices, making up the vast majority of the user base. People have even shorter attention spans on mobile devices than they do on full computers.
The average Instagram user is scrolling through their news feeds, looking for something to entertain them. Few people spend more than a few seconds looking at one post, so it’s crucial to convey your message quickly!
Create Interesting Content
Unfortunately, concise messaging isn’t enough for success. Your pictures have to stand out and have a cohesive message that tells your brand’s story. Your content should not only spread awareness for your brand, but also differentiate you from competitors. After seeing a number of your posts, interested prospects should want to know more about you and eventually click on your profile.
This is where your Instagram Funnel begins!
Instagram doesn’t allow links to be added to individual posts, only a single link in your profile’s bio. Instead of driving traffic from each post, focus on directing traffic to your profile. It helps to promote something of value that can only be found in our profile’s bio.
From there, optimize your bio to maximize clicks to a landing page of your choice.
Generating quality traffic from Instagram may take time, unless your brand is already established. So you’ll have to impress users with valuable content to attract quality followers.
Typically, your customer experience should go something like this:
Instagram Content (Newsfeed) –> Optimized Bio (Instagram Profile) –> Landing Page
Like any sales funnel, the volume of prospects will decrease with each stage, as lower quality leads are filtered out. If your goal is to drive sales, you’ll have to send as many prospects through your Instagram funnel as possible. Only a percentage of users will turn into customers, so more prospects in the funnel should result in more sales.
Here’s an example:
1,500 people find the post interesting and stop to look.
250 people engage with the post in some way (like, comment, etc.)
25 people click on your profile out of curiosity or interest.
10 people click on the link in your profile bio.
1 person makes a purchase.
The more interesting and relatable your content is to your audience, the fewer people will drop out of the funnel. The more optimized your Instagram Profile and landing pages are, the higher percentage of visitors will click and convert into customers!
How can you accomplish this?
Make Time for Keyword and Hashtag Research
Instagram is more reliant on hashtags than any other platform, including Twitter. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post, so make them count! Use hashtags that your ideal audience is likely to click or search for. If your goal is to increase sales, focus on legitimate potential customers only or you’ll be wasting your time!
Don’t lose track of your goals!
More traffic means nothing if they aren’t likely to make a purchase.
Start by researching which hashtags your industry’s influencers use. #DigitalMarketing is used often in our industry and we use it sometimes, but don’t rely on it. Why? Like keyword research for SEO, the more popular the term, the more competitive it’s going to be.
When a user clicks on a hashtag, they will be brought to a “Top/Recent Posts” page, which will feature posts including said hashtag. The posts with the most engagements will get the best positioning and exposure on the “Top Posts” section, while “Recent Posts” will show all posts using said hashtag in the order in which they are posted. High rankings for “Top Posts” are much more valuable because they appear on the top of the page.
So while you want to use hashtags that people are clicking and searching for, you also don’t want to use too many hashtags that you won’t compete in either. There are posts with #Instagood that have thousands of likes, making it impossible for small businesses to use it for exposure.
The trick is to find a niche within your industry. As an example, we at Active Web Group use Instagram mainly to promote our blog. It helps us to use #MarketingTips over the much more competitive #Marketing because our blog strives to help fellow marketers. The less competitive term not only ensures more exposure, but also higher quality traffic considering how broad #Marketing is.
Keep in mind, more quality post impressions means more profile visitors. More profile visitors means more website clicks, and eventually sales. Regardless of how good your marketing is, only a small percentage of traffic will convert into a sale, so you need vast amounts of traffic to be profitable.
Driving Additional Traffic
The truth is, there is a ceiling on the number of people that will potentially view your organic posts, no matter how many hashtags you use. Also, consider that a portion of those impressions will be from bots.
So how else can you drive traffic to your profile?
Leave a ton of comments on popular pages!
Many people create bots that leave vague, generic comments on hundreds (if not thousands) of posts. This strategy relies heavily on the law of averages, which can deliver some success, just not in the most efficient matter.
Think about how you react to an interesting Instagram post. There’s a decent chance you’ll check the comments, right?
So here’s what you do.
Consider the type of people you want to be visiting your page. Make a list of popular pages they’re likely to follow, and regularly leave comments on posts from those pages.
For example, if you’re trying to promote a new sports podcast, you’ll want to target sports fans. So follow and comment on posts from popular sports pages like ESPN and Bleacher Report, as well as professional athletes, brands and influencers.
From there, it’s your job to leave clever comments that will stick out and receive “likes” that will propel them to the top of the comments section. The more attention your comments get, the more people will click your name and land on your page.
Pros and Cons of Instagram Marketing
Each social media platform has a list of pros and cons from a marketing perspective.
Instagram allows marketers to reach more users without advertising because hashtags result in more impressions than any other platform. Users who DO want to advertise have access to Facebook’s Ads Manager, which offers the most detailed targeting options for cheaper and more efficient campaigns.
As the leading platform of Influencer Marketing, Instagram presents many opportunities for businesses to succeed. Influencers and “Instagram Celebrities” are always looking for brands to work with, which is great for tapping into quality audiences.
Like most good things, there is a catch. Because Instagram is so valuable there is A LOT of competition, so it’s not enough to simply add the right hashtags. Your content has to be creative and relatable with an efficient enough strategy to maintain profitability.
Success is certainly possible, but very difficult.
The most important part of your Instagram strategy is to be genuine. Create excellent content, inspire people, make them laugh; get them to engage with your brand. It will take time and you will make mistakes, but hard work will pay off if you’re doing the right things.
Need a hand with your Instagram Marketing? You can contact the experts at Active Web Group for a FREE Social Media Analysis to diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of your social media strategy. Can’t wait for your free analysis? Call Active Web Group at 800-978-3417 today!