If your business doesn’t already have an Instagram marketing strategy in place, then it should do. With over 500 million users and more than 95 million posts each day, this is a social platform that can take your business to every corner of the world.
It's all well and good creating a profile and posting some pictures, but how can you grow your followers and reach out to the millions of users scrolling through their feeds each day?
One word. Strategy. When it comes to business profiles, strategy is everything. After all gaining followers is one thing, engaging and maintaining them is whole different ball game.
Luckily for you, we're around to and share our own Instagram marketing plan, and let you in on a few tricks of the trade - ones that we and our friends over at HubSpot find useful.
Know your audience
Who does your business want to attract? What are you designed for and what can you offer other people? Your Instagram profile can act as a virtual, visual sales tool, so getting this initial planning right is really important.
I'm going to drop a few names to give a better picture on how understanding your target audience will help you reach the right users. Take Manchester-based online fashion brand Missguided as an example. With over 2.3 million followers, it’s safe to say they're on the money with their Instagram marketing strategy. Part of this is because they know their audience.
Under their logo are the capitalised words OFFICIAL BABE UNIFORM, so even before you start scrolling, you already have an idea of what their page is about.
That was an easy one, given that social media is the number one platform of choice for the fashion industry. In fact, many fashion brands are working on gaining more followers its fast as a top priority, according to HubSpot.
Now, let’s take a look a HubSpot’s own Instagram profile. With over 70,000 followers, their bio again succinctly describes exactly what their product is about, without requiring readers to scroll through the company feed trying to figure it out.
Utilise those #hashtags
Hashtags are a godsend. They are the perfect tool to show what your business is about, and allow your post to become exposed to anyone searching for that hashtag.
To hashtag effectively, we advise using simple one-word tags that people would naturally type. Less really is more! You can always utilise trending hashtags too, such as #motivationmondays or #tbt (throw back Thursdays, to the uninitiated). By following hashtag trends, you can show diversity and attract a bigger following for your brand.
Make sure they do relate to your post in some way though – people will be put off by misleading messaging. Did you know #love is the most popular hashtag on Instagram? Great if you’re marketing valentine’s gifts, not so great if you sell accounting software. Feel free to experiment a bit with hashtags, but relevance is needed.
Inbound marketing has proven to be so successful because it is designed to treat people like people. This theory should flow into your Instagram marketing plan. People want to engage with your brand, so posts that they can relate to will attract more likes and comments.
On top of this, the more comments and likes a post gets, the more likely it will feature on the explore page, getting exposure to a much wider audience.
Utilise all functions
Keeping up with the times is just as important in the social media world as it is in your business. Instagram videos, boomerangs (an Instagram function that allows you to shoot short Gif-like video clips) and stories are all the rage right now. Update your Instagram marketing strategy regularly to stay on trend.
A study undertaken by HubSpot also found that Instagram stories published with a click-through function (allowing views to ‘swipe up’ to access a linked webpage) resulted in a high percentage of people actually clicking through to the link.
“Video is just going to get bigger and bigger,” One respondent said in the State of Inbound Report 2017. “I think more people want raw, honest connection. They want to know you and the company in a way that feels personal.”
Perfecting your own Instagram marketing plan
So there go have it, four easy ways to better promote your business on Instagram. If you need and help with your Instagram marketing strategy, get in touch with Six & Flow – we’d love to chat with you more.
Six & Flow has used its expertise in inbound marketing and social media management to help build social awareness around a leading London art gallery amongst high net-worth investors online as well as optimise their social presence and increase the volume of their market-qualified leads. Read the full case study here.