Only a few social media platforms can boast of Instagram success. Founded in 2010, the platform’s users exponentially increased to about 1 million users within the first three months. Within a year after Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger started the photo and video sharing platform, the number of users skyrocketed to 10 million. Today, Instagram users are no less than 1 billion users per month.
A research conducted by Socialbakers’ revealed Instagram promotes brands better than Facebook and Twitter. The reason for this could be assumed to be because of its visual contents ― 65 percent of people have been reported to be visually-oriented. Brands on Instagram cut across all industries such as:
News and Media
Beauty Skin Care
Planning Your Instagram Content Strategy
To optimally leverage the audience of prospective customers on Instagram, it is important to have a thorough plan just as you would for any high budget marketing plan.
You can employ the SMART strategy:
Do not confuse your audience with your profile and post. Choose a specific niche you want to be known for and indicate the same in your bio.
The bigntoasty profile, for instance, even though the brand is unconventional allows users to know she is a photographer in a creative way. You can be both specific and creative at the same time.
It makes no sense marketing-wise to be unable to measure your campaign success.
Employ analytical tools that will help you to be able to measure your posts and promotion performance. To access the Instagram analytical tools, you will need to switch your Instagram account (if you have one) to business or creator account. There are also third-party tools you can use.
Create milestones and set an achievable number of users. Do not just think of a number all because a leading brand is able to achieve the same. You will need to start small and the more the number of followers you gain increases the higher the chance of gaining more.
As a fashion brand, to gain many followers as top brands like everlane, you will need to evaluate things they are doing right to improve your own strategy too.
We will be discussing some contents all business and marketers should be posting later.
Contents featured on your page should be related to your niche. This is important to note if you are a person portraying yourself as a brand. You may be tempted to post photos like your best friend’s birthday ― such might make you appear less professional. There are ways you may do it thou, but must make it related to your industry and resonate with your audience.
Nike does not always post pictures of its products and therefore dedicated its Instagram feed to posting photos and videos of athletes. This strategy is both relevant and more engaging than posting its products every time.
Contents should be frequently uploaded (9-15 per day if possible) to keep followers engaged throughout the day. There are different Instagram features that can be used to diversify the contents ― Instagram Stories, IGTV, and posts are some of these features.
Posting contents that correlate with trending events and happenings is another thing to consider.
If you take an overview of Nike’s page, you will discover the brand usually posts pictures and videos of athletes in the limelight of an ongoing competition.
The Types of Content Every Brand Should be Posting
The problem business and marketers faced on Instagram is how to continuously engage followers without repeating contents. All brands on Instagram have the same thing working for them, only that individual brands will have to manipulate their content style to engage their followers.
Showcase The Brains Behind Your Business
Upload contents showing behind-the-scenes of your business. A group photo or short video of company employees is a nice place to start. When you have a new member added to your team, upload pictures to welcome the person on board.
Hootsuite Instagram feed favors this kind of post.
Unique Product Description
Post your product with a unique description of things that set it apart from others. This may include interesting ways your product can be used by your followers.
Letterfolk is a business that is focused on selling premium letter boards, paper products, and home goods. To entice followers to buy, this small company will display photos of how their product could be put to use.
Check for topics that relate to your niche and educate followers on it. Let us assume you are a beauty and skincare business, upload posts highlighting the risk of using soaps containing specific chemicals.
Ellevest, an investment platform favors this kind of contents.
Contents That Crack Ribs
Humor when done right engages the audience in an awesome way. Followers are both engaged and made to laugh at the same time. If the post is funny enough, they may share it with friends during a conversation mentioning your business name.
You will see contents like this all spread across hrblock’s post feeds.
We all know how quotes are posted on office walls and anyone that sees them stops to read and nod in affirmative. Business and marketers are also tapping into this insight and instead of photos only contents, you can include a picture of quotes. League of Extraordinary women uses this concept a lot.
Contents Copied from Relevant Group or Followers
Use contents from a group to show your support for a movement. You may also repost the contents of your fans that tagged your brand. Make sure to acknowledge them when you are reposting. Williamssonoma is a perfect example of a business that uses this content type.
Using Instagram’s Shoppable Features to Drive More Sales
Instagram has always been implementing features that make brand promotion and sales easier. Before the inclusion of shoppable features on the platform, the only way to sell products is by including a shoppable link in your bio and/or stories.
The new feature allows followers to shop displayed products directly through Instagram. Business and marketers only have to connect the product catalog to their account. If this is active, you should be able to see a “Tap to View Products” pop up or a small shopping bag icon displayed at the bottom left corner of the post.
Business and marketers can either upload products individually or in a group depending on business type and the amount of product in stock. Individual product upload sample:
Products in a group:
How to Create Engaging Instagram Content Feed for Business and Marketers Brands
In the days of Instagram chronological feeds, you don’t need to worry much about planning your content. The main thing marketers focus on back then was discovering the time their followers are most active.
The chronological feed was discovered to be ineffective especially in engaging users. Users missed about 70 percent of posts on their feed. Thus, the introduction of the algorithm feed which is seen as a nightmare by business and marketers. Although all feeds may not be viewed by users, the algorithm makes them see the most relevant first. With this, they are more engaged on the platform without getting bored by feed posts they do not like.
The number of engagements gathered by a post significantly influenced its preference of being displayed in users feed. There are many ways you can go about creating engaging posts for your brand.
Visually Interesting Content
Instagrammers are more engaged with super-quality visual contents (photos and videos).
Vans use well-captured photos and videos in their feed.
Diversify Posts Format
The last thing you want for your brand Instagram post is being boring. Spice things up by mixing the formats. You can use the 9 quadrants below recommended by socialmediaexaminer.
Samples of Promote Content
Shake Shack mainly features its products (hot dogs) in the Instagram feed.
Califia Farms uses a subtle way to promote their products on Instagram. Instead of describing their all-natural products ingredient, the business usually highlights how the products can be put to use.
H&M promotes its fashion products with models’ photo.
Samples of Help/Add Value Content
Ellevest uses pictures quotes to educate its followers.
In addition to using picture quotes, Hubspot also includes posting of graphs to educate its followers.
Sample of Connection Contents
Finfolkproduction posts customers’ pictures of its fin products to showcase a fun-filled lifestyle.
Tips for Creating Instagram Stories for Business and Marketers Brands
Instagram stories may appear to be new but so far, it has been creating more engagement than all other features. It generates more views and as reported by Instagram, one in five viewers of Instagram stories will send a direct message to the brand.
Below are actionable tips to effectively leverage Instagram stories feature
Plan stories like they are to be released in episodes. The first story should connect with the second and so on.
Keep the message concise.
Avoid bombarding it with links
Include your company logo and if possible, make the used color blend with your business official color.
Upload recent events in your niche industry.
Include text pictures that can be swiped to visit a link.
Do not forget to add a strong call-to-action
Tag your followers using @Username
Use more of carousal. Why? As stated in research published by Gap, carousal stories generated 73 percent more clicks than all other content types.
Add polls to better understand how your followers think.
Including location makes them feel more connected to the story.
Do some live coverage
Using Instagram Stories Highlights to Showcase Your Business and Marketers Brand
Instagram stories highlights are saved stories that do not vanish after 24 hours of posting. As a business and marketers looking to reach more prospects, this feature can be used to showcase your products.
Louis Vuitton Official stories highlights include LouisVuittonX, Technicolor, Damier, etc.
Use stories highlights to tell followers more about your business just as Ben & Jerry’s did on their profile.
Display different categories of your products using stories highlights. Shiseido does this right.
How Business and Marketers Brands are Using IGTV
Instagram’s IGTV launched in 2018 allows brands to have their own video channel. Not only that, but Instagram also has a separate app for this feature making it look no less similar to Google’s YouTube platform.
Formatted specifically for mobile view, IGTV requires some creativity to get the audience hooked. Business and marketers are allowed to upload videos for up to 60 minutes. Videos above 60 seconds have been discovered to be effective in producing clickthrough.
Mejuri uses IGTV to show users step-by-step guides for using their products.
Netflix used IGTV for influencer campaign when it streamed live actor Cole Sprouse eating burger for 60 seconds.
Tarte Cosmetics uses IGTV to upload videos of makeup artists sharing their make-up tricks and hacks.
Where to go to monetize your Instagram Audience
Monetizing your Instagram audience is not solely dependent on the number of followers you have, what matters most is the rate of engagement. Your engagement rate will determine how much your account can command.
To improve your audience and engagement rate, you may organize a contest with the promise of cash or any other prize.
Some ways to monetize your Instagram audience include
- Create a course to sell
- Sell your own products
- Run affiliate programs by including the product link in your posts
- Promote brands products: Some platforms you can connect with brands to advertise with you are:
30 High-Value Business and Marketers Hashtags
E. Law Firm
Measuring the Results of Your Instagram Marketing Strategy
Checking your Instagram statistics is the only way to know if the employed marketing strategy is working or not. The things to watch out for include:
- Followers demographic
- Changes in followers’ rate
For an overall analysis of your targeted audience, you may analyze hashtags to predict popularity among Instagram users.
Business Instagram accounts come with analytic tools business and marketers can use to examine their promotion.
Facebook is known for connecting family and friends, Instagram, on the other hand, is the leading platform when it comes to connecting brand to customers. Photos engage users by 26 percent more than videos, but repeatedly uploading photos will bore your followers. Vary the format of your post photos and videos to make your page interesting.
If done well, you will be amazed at how Instagram improves your brand after signing up and following through the things as highlighted in this article.
Do not hesitate to drop your comment in the section below to share your experience.