Instagram Marketing is one of the most effective and efficient ways to achieve business goals to strengthen marketing and increase sales.
By reading this article, you will know the definitive steps you will witness tremendous growth and progress with a bit of investment.
As a popular and famous social media, Instagram has gained a particular place and importance for various businesses by providing an image-oriented platform and the potential to attract enthusiastic followers and much interaction.
This social network has experienced significant growth over the past few years. Adding new and exciting features and facilities has become more valuable and beneficial for regular users, especially business owners.
This value and profitability have been proven over time for various businesses. Therefore, many new and established companies have turned to market their products and services through Instagram.
This article will introduce marketing strategies and describe all the necessary components for marketing on this popular network. But first, you should know the reason and necessity of using Instagram for marketing.
The Necessity of Instagram in Marketing
Today, Instagram has become one of the leading platforms used in campaigns. It is not without reason. This social media has a wide range of diverse audiences who enjoy interacting with their favorite brands, increasing the effectiveness of actions.
The benefits of marketing on Instagram have been confirmed using research and many case studies, and its direct effect on attracting interested customers (leads) has been proven. For example, consider the following statistics:
- More than 25 million different businesses around the world use Instagram and more than 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile every day;
- 80% of Instagram users follow at least one brand on this social network, and 60% of them have found and purchased new products or services through this method;
- At least 30% of Instagram users have bought one of the products they found on this social network;
- 65% of the most popular Instagram posts contain advertisements for various products.
People are interested in following different brands and are actively seeking to discover and buy new or needed products and services.
In addition, Instagram is constantly trying to add attractive and practical features for developing e-commerce in this popular social network.
The Instagram advertising platform (Instagram ads) brings outstanding results and significant interaction to the business. The ability to buy through Instagram also integrates the sales process with this social network (we will explain both later).
The set of various features and capabilities of Instagram for online sales. Especially for products with visual appeal – provides a unique combination that will have a high potential to increase engagement and sales.
This introduction will introduce what you need to use Instagram in your business.
Tips for Instagram Marketing
Step 1: Create a Business Account
Suppose you have a regular or personal user account with active followers, and its content is suitable for commercial purposes. In that case, you can easily convert it into a business or commercial account.
This way, you get the features specific to business accounts without losing your existing audience.
But if you don’t have a personal account on Instagram or if your account doesn’t have the potential to use in business, you need to create a new business account.
– How to create a new Instagram business account
- Download and install the Instagram app for iOS, Android, or Windows;
- Open the program and click on Sign Up;
- Enter your email address and click Next. If you want to connect your Instagram business account to the Facebook page for your business, be sure to use the email address of the manager of the desired page or use the login with Facebook option;
- Choose your desired username and password and complete the user account profile information. (we will explain how to optimize the profile information section below.)
- Touch Done;
- Now, you have a personal account that you can convert into a business account by following the steps below.
– How to convert a personal Instagram account to a business account
- Log in to your user account through the Instagram app
- Touch the symbol that looks like three lines on top of each other and then select Settings from the bottom of the screen
- Enter the Account section and select Switch to Professional Account at the bottom of the page
- Now, two options, Creator and Business, will appear in front of you. Naturally, you should choose the latter and touch the “Continue” button at the bottom of the screen
- Choose your category or type of business and click Next
- If you want an Instagram business account
- Connect yourself to your Facebook business page, and you can do this here or later through the settings menu
- Add your contact information: Your Instagram business account must include an email address, a phone number, or a business address (or all of these)
- Touch the Done button.
Step 2: Develop a Targeted and Forward-Looking Strategy for Marketing
Preparing and setting up promising strategies for Instagram marketing will require the following steps:
– Determine and explain your target audience
Before deciding what kind of content to post on Instagram, you need to understand who will be viewing it.
Most Instagram users are under 35, and overall, there is little difference between the number of male and female users. Of course, you need to go beyond these general statistics to define your brand’s unique target audience. For this purpose:
- Recognize the current buyers
- Check the analytical tools of other social networks in which you are active to get to know your followers better.
- Research your competitors and their audience
- Determine what valuable content you want to provide to the audience.
After understanding the audience, think about what kind of content that audience will want to see from you. What content does he publish in his user profile, and what interactions does he have with competitors or similar brands?
– Define your goals of marketing on Instagram
Determining and accurately understanding the ultimate goal of using Instagram in line with business goals is one of the first steps to preparing an effective Instagram marketing strategy.
They understand that the goals prevent going astray and allow all actions to focus on realizing realistic business goals.
But what characteristics should the chosen goal or goals have? In general, practical purposes are placed in a framework known as SMART:
- Specific: accurate and precise
- Measurable: measurable and tangible
- Attainable: realistic and achievable
- Relevant: relevant and appropriate
Of course, while looking for a position on Instagram, you can also set some goals based on less valuable indicators. Such as the number of likes, followers, and comments. But be careful to consider setting goals linked to real business goals. From here, we come to the next point:
– Focus on the proper performance indicators
The right metrics to monitor and measure will differ for each business, but you should generally focus on metrics related to the customer journey process. In other words, your goals should align with one of the four stages of the customer journey:
- Awareness indicators include brand awareness, follower growth rate, and the number of post views.
- Engagement indicators include engagement rate (according to likes) and amplification rate (based on the amount of sharing).
- Conversion indicators: including indicators such as conversion rate, click rate, and bounce rate. If we use paid advertising, we also consider indicators such as cost per click or impression.
- Customer indicators: indicators based on customer actions; For example, writing positive comments.
– Create a regular schedule for posting on Instagram
Once a community of enthusiasts has formed around your Instagram account, those enthusiasts will expect you to post regularly.
Be careful that even though you have to periodically expose your brand to the audience and encourage them to interact. You shouldn’t discourage your audience from engaging or unfollowing you by posting excessively or irregularly.
In addition to determining the number of posts you publish each week, you must consider the appropriate hours and days to post.
Still, the question is, when is the best time to post?
It differs according to business. This issue was investigated and proven by analyzing 200,000 Instagram posts from 11 different fields of activity.
As an example, according to the results of this survey, the most success for the food and beverage industry is achieved by posting at around noon.
To determine the best time to post, in addition to checking other top brands in your industry. You should try different time frames to see which gets you the most engagement.
The key here is to determine when your target audience is online. The Insights section of Instagram shows the time followers are online by day and hour.
To get this information, click on the three-line icon and select the Insights option. After that, click on the Audience tab and scroll to the bottom of the page until something similar to the image above appears.
Times with longer bar charts are more suitable for posting. Once you’ve determined the best time to post, create a detailed content calendar and use that to plan your content.
Step 3: Prioritize Profile Optimization
During the activation of the business account, you entered some basic information; Now it’s time to complete your profile for the best results.
– Complete and optimize your Instagram Bio
Although the bio section is essential, you can only enter 150 characters. This section shows first-time visitors to your page who you are, what your brand is about, and how your business can benefit them.
But how can you include all this information in a limited space and simultaneously show your brand personality?
For this purpose, in addition to using your creativity, consider the following points:
- Use your brand style (Brand Voice): show your brand personality and use a severe and professional, informal, or humorous tone depending on the type of business and the prevailing atmosphere.
- Use Hashtags (#): The hashtags you put in your bio are clickable and excellent for referring to user-generated content.
- Try appropriate emojis: These little symbols can convey information in one character.
- To improve the readability of the text, use space and go to the following line if necessary.
– Use a suitable profile picture
The business logo or symbol is the best profile picture for most businesses. Preferably, use the same image you have used in your other user accounts on other social networks.
So, in addition to creating harmony and unity, it is easier for the audience to identify your brand and build peace and unity.
Note that the profile picture on Instagram is 110 x 110 pixels, but it is saved at 320 x 320 pixels.
Therefore, it is better to upload at least one 320px image to prepare for possible changes that Instagram may make.
Also, note that your profile picture will be as a circle; Therefore, ensure that the image is fully displayed in this format.
– Complete your Instagram profile information
To be successful in Instagram marketing, it is necessary to use all the facilities provided by Instagram. Therefore, you should fill out all of your profiles.
- Name and username: these two items are the only parts that people can use to find your user account by searching on Instagram.
Therefore, it is necessary to be careful in choosing them. Preferably use the actual brand name and its various forms (e.g., the abbreviated form used).
Using the same username or handle on all social networks makes it easier for your fans to find you.
- Website: This is the only part of Instagram where you can click a link. So, be sure to take this opportunity to link to your business website, your latest blog post, the address of an active marketing campaign, or a dedicated Instagram landing page.
– Take advantage of the unique features and facilities of Instagram business profiles
When you use Instagram for your business, features are available for your profile that are not available in personal accounts.
So, whether you converted your account to a business account or started from scratch, you should take advantage of these exclusive options:
- Contact Information: Enter your email address, phone number, and business address so that interested parties can contact you directly and quickly. As you add contact information, corresponding buttons (Call, Email, or Get Directions for directions) will appear on your profile.
- Business type or category (Category): The business category, which can also be selected when converting a personal account to a commercial one, appears under your business name on the profile page and specifies your activity type for the audience.
- Call-to-action buttons allow you to make an appointment or a reservation, buy a ticket, and similar things through your Instagram profile.
To activate one of these buttons and display it in your profile, go to Edit Profile > Contact Options > Add an action button and select the desired button.
For example, in the tab below, all the available features for Instagram business profiles have been used:
- The address is displayed as a link in blue color.
- The category has been specified.
- The Shop button has been used.
Step 4: Start Sharing Content
After activating the user account and completing the profile, it is time to send the content. Still, the critical point for Instagram marketing is that sharing any content with any style and format will be ineffective.
Due to Instagram’s noteworthy features, some special and unique things should be considered when preparing the content.
– Choose a suitable theme for the content
Instagram is an image-oriented social network. Therefore, you must have a distinct and significant visual identity to have an authoritative presence.
To that end, first, determine what your posts will primarily showcase. For some businesses, the content of the posts is particular and precise.
For example, an online women’s clothing store displays the clothes it offers. But if you provide services, you should use other methods.
e.g., you can share customer posts (marked with a specific hashtag, for example) or their opinions about your services, or go behind the scenes of your business and introduce your audience to the workplace or the people who serve them.
After choosing an appropriate theme, you must establish a consistent visual style and tone for all posts. In this regard, you should use different colors, filters, and components so that the audience can easily understand which posts belong to your brand while browsing their Instagram feed.
– Use different types of attractive and relevant posts
Usually, Instagram users are flexible about the post type. They welcome promotional, motivational, and educational posts, product photos, and images shared by other users on the business profile.
At the same time, the variety of posts is essential, and usually repeating a particular type of content, in the long run, causes fatigue and the loss of motivation for interaction.
Since more information can be shared through video, the value of this type of content is more significant. Still, overall, quality photos receive an average of 36% more engagement.
Make sure your video is brief and valuable if you intend to use a video. Because Instagram users are primarily mobile users, they are likely to spend at most 10-15 seconds on each post.
According to the results of a survey:
- Bright images perform better than dark images
- An empty field or white space is preferable
- Images with a dominant color closer to blue perform better than images with a dominant red color, and pictures with a single dominant color serve better than colorful images.
- Images that use contrasting textures usually get more likes.
– Use high-quality and attractive photos
For your marketing on Instagram to be effective, you must use beautiful images in your posts. At the same time, you don’t need to be a professional photographer and will only need a little equipment.
Usually, your mobile phone is your best friend for Instagram photography; Because you can publish your post directly through it. To get the best results, pay attention to the following points when taking pictures:
- Use natural light: No one will look attractive with a flash that highlights the oilier parts of the face and creates unattractive shadows on the nose and cheeks. The same is valid for product photography. Natural light makes shadows softer, colors more realistic, and images more beautiful.
- Don’t take photos in harsh light: Late afternoon is the best time for photography. Cloudy weather is also better than clear sunny weather for mid-day photography.
- Use the rule of thirds: You can easily follow this rule by enabling the Grid feature in your phone’s camera settings. For this purpose, it is enough to place the desired subject in one of the intersection points of the table lines to have an image that looks balanced even though the subject is not in the center.
- Try different angles: shoot from below or above and try different angles to capture the best and most sexy photo.
– Get help from professional photo editing tools
No matter how beautiful and colorful your photo is, proper and professional editing can add to its appeal.
In addition, editing the images in such a way that they look harmonious to some extent will combine your brand name in the audience’s mind with beauty and precision.
Mobile photo editing apps like VSCOcam or Enhance offer more features and filters than Instagram, so you can use them to make yourself stand out.
After editing the desired image, you can publish it through the Instagram app.
– Take advantage of the story feature in marketing
Hundreds of millions of people view Instagram stories every day. According to a survey, 30% of people admitted that they became more interested in a product or brand after seeing it in a story.
Additionally, a third of the most viewed stories were published by businesses. Content that disappears after 24 hours and the ability to go live make Stories the best place to take innovative risks with compelling images and videos.
But how can you get the most out of Instagram stories?
The answer to this question lies in the name of this feature: “Story,” meaning story. A story is a very suitable place to tell a story. Here you can tell real brand stories with a beginning, middle, and end.
Be creative in the story slides and make them so attractive and valuable that your audience gets used to watching your stories continuously. In addition to narrating the story, you can:
- Poll your audience about your goods or services through stories or ask them to like your content
- lead (e.g., share pictures of their latest purchase);
- Share the content generated by the audience in the story;
- Share moments from ceremonies or events you have attended;
- Considering that the atmosphere of the story is usually more informal, in this part, you can be more yourself and behave more casually;
- Use the live feature and interact directly with your audience. This way, you can hold Q&A sessions, talk about a specific topic, or interview a special guest or influencer. After the live broadcast, you can put it in the story so that users who did not manage to see it can also use it.
Finally, end your stories with exciting calls to action that translate into tangible business success. Note that the possibility of placing an external link in the story is activated after the number of followers exceeds 10,000.
By activating this feature, you can put the desired link in the story through the chain-like symbol that appears at the top of the story submission page so that it can be opened by dragging the page upwards.
In addition, you can highlight the story through the heart symbol at the bottom of the screen and save it forever in your profile.
Also, you can put several highlights in the profile and add stories corresponding to each one; For example, highlight audience-generated content (for example, titled “Your Content”), highlight brand stories (about us), and highlight events.
In this way, it becomes easier for users who visit your page for the first time to find interesting content. As a result, they can get to know your business and trust you more easily and quickly. To add a highlight, click on the + Sign right above your post gallery in your profile.
Then you need to add the stories where you want the highlight displayed and set a name for the new highlight. In addition, by using the Edit Cover button, you can put the desired image as the highlight icon.
– Use attractive captions for posts
As mentioned before, Instagram is an image-oriented social network. But the caption is still essential. Captioning the image allows you to tell a story, through which you can make the desired image more meaningful.
Each caption can make your followers think, smile, and experience an emotion that will ultimately strengthen their connection with your brand.
To write compelling captions, you must first determine the tone or voice of your brand. The important thing here is to coordinate and maintain this tone in all writings.
For example, can you use emojis? Do formal manner and grammar fit better with your brand?
Here, it is better to take the time and develop a writing style guide so that the harmony of the writings and their fit with your brand is maintained at all times and in all posts.
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Step 5: Continue Gaining Audiences
Using the following solutions, you should attract more users and encourage them to be more active.
– Follow activists related to your field of activity on Instagram and interact with them
Social media contain different communities with different interests and tastes. Without a doubt, there is a community related to your brand on Instagram.
It would be best if you found this community, and one of the best ways to do this is to engage with people and brands that are followed by said community.
Start by monitoring hashtags related to your field of activity and commenting on relevant Instagram posts, and following the people who participate in the discussions below these posts.
It’s a simple way to get exposure to people who might not be interested in the content you produce for Social media marketing.
As you gradually interact more and more with Instagram communities, you will find out which people in your field have something to say, and you can interact and connect with them more closely.
– Use appropriate hashtags
Using hashtags makes your post easier to find and more visibility. Note that captions for Instagram posts do not appear in search results. But hashtags do not have this limitation.
When a user clicks on a hashtag or searches for it using Instagram’s search bar, they will see all the posts that contain that hashtag.
This is a great way to show content to people who don’t follow you. In addition to using existing hashtags, you can create brand hashtags (Branded Hashtags).
Such hashtags represent your brand and motivate your followers to share images that fit them. This is an excellent way to stimulate users to create content and increase cooperation and interaction.
To improve the results of using hashtags, pay attention to the following:
- Put your brand hashtags in the bio section of your profile
- Put more attractive hashtags at the beginning of the post hashtags list so that they are more likely to be seen
- Be generous in using hashtags. The limit number of hashtags for each post is 30, But research shows that the best number of hashtags for each post is something between 8 and 11;
- Use a variety of hashtags, and don’t use the same hashtags for all posts. In this regard, you can create several hashtag groups and use a different group for each post. In this way, the possibility of your posts being seen increases; It will also prevent you from getting a spam stamp on your business account.
- Take your time and review the content that contains the hashtag you want. In this way, in addition to being able to find new hashtags, you will be sure that you are not using blocked hashtags or entering topics that are inappropriate for the business space and issues that disrupt marketing on Instagram.
– Reply to comments and mentions
Remember that Instagram marketing is social media marketing. Therefore, you must be open to its social aspects.
Consequently, it is necessary to respond to the comments under the posts and mentions (when your Instagram ID is mentioned under the seats or stories) to maintain and strengthen the motivation to continue interacting with your brand in Instagram users.
Of course, some robots do this for you automatically; But their performance could be better. Instead, take the time to respond when someone comments or mentions your brand, and be sure to reap the rewards of that interaction.
– Collaborate with Instagram influencers
Influencer Marketing, or working with the help of influential people, is one of the most effective ways to reach loyal and active Instagram users, which is done through cooperation with an influencer whose followers fit your brand’s field of activity.
Even small brands that don’t have a huge budget can take advantage of influencer marketing by working with micro-influencers (people with smaller followings).
– Get help from other channels to strengthen your Instagram marketing strategies
If you have active followers on other social networks, you can introduce your Instagram business account to them.
You should specify the type of content you post on Instagram for them to have a logical justification for following you on multiple social networks.
In addition, you can embed the best Instagram posts on your blog, so your readers can easily follow your page.
To embed, it is enough to open the desired post on the computer and choose the Embed option from the menu of three dots above it so that a code is generated for you.
Then you can put the desired code in your blog. For example, we’ve included one of the webmaster’s Instagram posts using the same method here:
(where to insert the code)
You can also include your Instagram ID and your online and print ads at the bottom of your emails.
– Use the Instagram advertising system (Instagram ads).
Instagram has the potential to bring significant results to your business naturally. Still, by spending money on the Instagram advertising system, you can make your content available to a broader and, at the same time, targeted and appropriate audience.
In addition to expanding the scope of access to content, Instagram ads also contain call-to-action buttons that enable the desired action to be taken on Instagram and reduce the number of steps the audience must take to reach the website or shopping location.
– Use the Instagram sales system (Instagram Shopping)
In its sales system, Instagram provides unique features to increase and facilitate the sales of verified business accounts.
Using this feature, the seller can put the product tag in the post and its sticker in the story. Then, by touching the product in the post or story, the user can get more information and go to the site to buy it.
Major sales platforms, such as Shopify, have provided the brand with the possibility of tagging products in posts and stories. so the user can purchase without having to refer to the brand’s profile link and experience a faster and more integrated purchase process.
This feature not only makes shopping easy for the user but also solves the most major marketing challenge on Instagram: the inability to include links in posts.
– Launch an exclusive Instagram campaign
An Instagram-only campaign focused on your overall Instagram marketing strategy can help you achieve your specific goals faster.
Ads can be used in these campaigns, but our focus is on more than just spending. In exclusively Instagram campaigns, we focus on a specific goal in our organic and paid posts for a particular period.
For example, you might consider objectives like the following:
- More visibility and gaining a position on Instagram;
- Advertising the sale of a product through the ability to sell directly through Instagram;
- Increase engagement with an Instagram contest: for example, you can tag the user who tags the most friends under a post or the most beautiful story or resolution.
- Send feedback about their experience in using your products or services; set a reward;
- We are collecting content produced by users with one of the brand’s hashtags.
Step 6: Evaluate the Results and Make the Necessary Changes
At this stage, you will examine the results from marketing on Instagram and implement the required changes in your actions and plans.
– Monitor marketing results using analytics tools
As soon as you start using Instagram to advance your business goals, you must continuously monitor the progress of the work to achieve those goals.
In this regard, it is necessary always to follow the status of individual posts, advertisements, and stories and the general status of your Instagram business user account.
As a result, there are many numbers to consider. Still, luckily many analytical tools can help you with this.
One of the most useful of these tools is the Instagram Analytics tool, which can provide you with comprehensive information about the performance of your page.
To use this tool, select the Insights option after pressing the three-line icon above the Instagram app on the profile page.
Here you can find information such as:
- Total number of profile visits (profile visits);
- The total number of clicks on the website link (website clicks);
- Total Reach (the number of unique user accounts that viewed your posts);
- Accurate impression: (the number of times your posts are seen)
- The performance of each post, including the level of engagement and impression;
- the Total number of views for stories.
- In addition, key and essential information about your audience are also available in this section:
- Number of followers and recent growth trends;
- Statistics of gender and age range of the audience and their place of residence;
Follower activity based on day and time, as mentioned earlier, can help you choose the best time to post.
– Use two-part (A/B) testing to identify effective (and ineffective) items.
One of the best ways to continually improve results is to test new strategies to see how they work. After understanding and identifying effective and ineffective actions and policies, you can modify your approach.
To run an A/B test, follow these steps:
- Select a component to test (image, caption, hashtag, etc.);
- Based on your research and information, make two copies of it. The two versions should only differ in the one component you want to test;
- Track and analyze the results of each post;
- Choose the winning version;
- Test another small change to see if it can further improve the results;
- Share the information you’ve obtained with other members of the company to create a reference of proven effective methods for your brand;
- Start the process again for another component.
Final Word: Instagram Marketing in 2023
Instagram is one of the most effective platforms that all internet businesses should use to promote products and services.
Undoubtedly, by developing a comprehensive plan for Instagram marketing and following the steps mentioned in this article, you will see significant results that will create a bright future for your business.
Instagram Marketing PDF: Download here