Once upon a time, not too long ago, the question was, “is it worth marketing my brand on Instagram?” But fast forward a matter of moments and that question has morphed into, “how the heck do I market myself on Instagram?”
The reason for this switch is simple: There are more than 600 million Instagram users, with more than 90 million images posted up every single day. Basically, the secret is out. This is where your audience is chilling out and that’s why you need to up your Insta-game and make sure your business is thriving on this most active of platforms. This is your chance to build your brand, explore the different avenues of what you are about and, above all, reach customers in every far-flung pocket of the planet.
Of course, for you to become a success on Instagram, and take your Insta-marketing up to the next level and beyond, you need to one simple thing: increase your following, and you need to do it steadily and consistently. It’s about doing all you can to increase your exposure so that more people stumble across your brand and a huge percentage of them click that all-important “Follow” button at the top of your page. It’s a cycle you want to put at the centre of your strategy because the larger your audience is the bigger your potential reach becomes every time you post.
So, without further ado, here are some very simple tricks you can implement to boost your Instagram marketing strategy; tricks that will see your brand grow - without spending a dime.
1. There Are Free-Insta Tools - Use Them
Instagram has seen how beneficial it has become to businesses and brands, which is why it is really pushing that side of things and making its business profiles as epic as possible. Facebook bought Instagram and then made it as simple to use as Facebook. There are big call-to-action buttons that allow users to email, call or text your business, and there are ways you can connect your profile to Shopify to make shopping easier and so many awesome features nowadays. But that’s not all. By having a business profile, you have access to insights (aka analytics), giving you the chance to study your data and look at when you are most engaged with. So, if you do one thing today, make sure it’s converting your profile to a business one and then take advantage of all these features. It is the best thing you can do to boost your engagements because you will be able to understand the patterns more.
2. Put Cross-Promotion In Your Crosshairs
With so many social media platforms vying for your attention these days, managing this side of your marketing has become a very time-consuming process. That’s where cross-promotion comes in. Seriously. Ask any digital marketing company for a surefire strategy to add new Insta-followers and they will tell you to harness the love from your current followers by promoting your Instagram account on your other social media profiles. Go on to your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles and invite your followers there to like you on Instagram too. They are already bothered enough to be following you on some, so give them another chance to stay in the loop. But that’s not the only reason to link up all your profiles and cross-promote. It’s also because each person puts more value on a different platform, so if you connect them all you are boosting your reach.
3. Don’t Scare Your Audience Away
Knowing how often to post is a little bit like trying to walk along a tightrope above a paddling pool of toothless crocodiles. You want to be posting often enough to remain relevant, but not so often that you are overwhelming your followers, getting in their face, scaring them off and making them hit the unfollow button. But here’s the big problem: there is no formula that works for all. Some brands can post twice a day and be fine, while others may be better off posting every other day. To find out which strategy works best in your circumstance, you need to do a bit of trial and error, keep your eye on that insights button and see how your followers respond. To get the most out of this trial and error period, we would recommend leaping into the deep end with bi-daily posts, changing up the times of the day and then seeing when you get the most engagements. Then, when you think you’ve seen a pattern emerge, start to reduce that number, watching those insights carefully. The aim is to find your sweet spot and then post at that time so that people get into the habit of checking their feed instinctively.
4. Get Chit-Chatting With Your Followers
Nothing is going to make new or old followers more loyal than a bit of back-and-forth commenting between the two of you. So, if someone takes the time to drop a comment on one of your posts, the best thing you can do is spend a couple of seconds replying to them, even if just to thank them. Do that and you might find that follower becomes a brand advocate of yours.
But don’t just wait for people to comment. It’s a much better idea to encourage people to drop a comment and get engaged. Just give them a little nudge with your captions, something like “Tag three pals that would love this” or “which do you prefer, the red or the blue?”. It’s one of the fastest ways to put your brand in front of a bigger audience while simultaneously attracting new followers. Think about it. You are getting people to ask their friends to check you out, which is one of the most effective marketing techniques ever. It’s a referral.
5. The Art Of Hashtagging
A lot of brands know there’s a thing called hashtagging, and they sometimes try and do it, but they fail to do it properly. To become a master of the hashtag, your aim should be to create what is called an “interactive hashtag” because that will generate instant engagement. Some brands will have a tougher time doing this than others because of what they sell, but if you have a product that people love - a product that is fun and photographs well - you want to come up with a hashtag that your customers will use to tag photos of themselves using your product. The reasons why you want to do this are almost endless. Not only will you be getting other people to share your brand with their followers, you will be getting free content to re-post on your own profile and that has so many benefits. You will find there are people who post and tag images of your product in the hope of featuring on your profile, and you will be getting free advertising in the form of extra exposure to people you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach. It’s called user-generated content and it’s awesome.
6. Repurpose Other People’s Content
Creating content is no easy feat. But unlike with written content, where you should really hire a creative content writer to manage your blogs, let’s say, there is nothing wrong with repurposing Instagram images from other relevant accounts. In fact, it’s a great way to keep coming up with fresh content that your followers will double-tap. All you have to do is credit the originator of the image by tagging them in your caption. Of course, Instagram doesn’t let you download images straight from them. Luckily, there are plenty of apps out there to help you download Instagram photos and save them to your camera roll. So, with that piece of information doing a dance in your brain, all you need to do now is make a list of other accounts who have a similar vibe as the one you are going for and then find a way to repurpose their content with your own twist.