7 Ways to Improve Your Instagram Marketing

N avigating the vast world of social media can be intimidating, but to ignore its potential is senseless. We often discuss how to use ...

Navigating the vast world of social media can be intimidating, but to ignore its potential is senseless.

Ways to Improve Your Instagram Marketing
We often discuss how to use Facebook and Twitter in your business, but these aren’t the only platforms to consider. Instagram boasts 75 million daily users.
So, how do you leverage that in your favor?

Do Some Soul Searching

The first thing to figure out is who you are. If you don’t know yourself, why should we care about your confused, scattered Instagram account? Confidence of all kinds draws people in. Being put together and presenting a solid identity is a great way to have current followers believe in you and a way to pull in new traffic.
Don’t just consider your brand’s personality: look outward to your target audience. How you approach teenage girls versus men over fifty differs significantly.

Use Clear Calls to Action in Post Captions

Use the post caption to enhance your post and convey a clear message to your audience.
The post caption, which is the first comment immediately underneath each Instagram post, is the comment you include during the upload process. No matter how many subsequent comments are added, the original caption will always remain complete and visible beneath the post.

This valuable Instagram real estate should never be left blank and it should be as descriptive as necessary to complete the message. Remember, you don’t want to repeat what the picture says, just enhance it. While you’re allowed up to 2,200 characters in your Instagram caption, 200 to 300 characters is usually ideal.
Include a clear call to action in your post caption so it will drive traffic and results. If you want people to visit your website, ask them to “Click on the link in the bio” or write some other message requesting they navigate to your profile to access the direct link. If you want people to call, email or visit your store, make that request clear in the message.

Also, engage your audience with incentives in your post caption call to action. For example, Nordstrom did a “Like it to lower the price” campaign. For every 10,000 likes they’d lower the price 10%, up to 30% off. Whatever your call to action is, make sure it’s clear and of value to your followers. The simpler the action, the better the results.

Consider Content Carefully

Once you’ve solved your identity crisis, focusing on what you want to put out there is key. Social media images should always be of high quality, so on a visuals-based platform like Instagram, you must especially ensure that the images attract.
Fuzzy, pixelated and blurred images should be avoided. Try to keep things colorful…unless you have determined your brand is better represented by a more dramatic black and white theme.

Unleash Your Inner Spy

Don’t be shy: check out what your competitors are doing. We’re not saying you should outright steal their plans – definitely don’t be a content thief – but sizing up the competition is only logical.

How can you make a plan of action if you are stumbling around in the dark? If a competitor’s campaign is working, take note. What is it that their followers loved, and how can you incorporate that into your own content?

Really, Learn From Others

In that vein: learn from the best. Even if they aren’t directly related to what you want to do with your Instagram, it is still wise to see what the most-followed accounts are doing and if there is anything you can do to emulate it in your own style (aside from becoming a celebrity or athlete).

Shockingly, Instagram’s own account has the highest number of followers. What do they do? They promote other users’ content, and make sure everything is interesting. Which seems daunting, but not if you simplify it: everyone has an inner photographer.

Does it look nice? Make sure the eye can focus on what is important. Too many distractions can detract from an otherwise interesting image. If you want to take it further, have some awesome resources.

Add Hashtags

To make the best use of your post captions and comments, include relevant hashtags on your Instagram posts. This will help increase your reach, engagement and overall visibility.

Add hashtags that are related to your business, your post and your target audience. (Avoid popular hashtags or completely unrelated descriptions in an attempt to get on a popular search; these will not help your brand.)
Try to use 10 to 15 hashtags per post. If your post only warrants 8 hashtags, that’s okay. If you can justify 17, that’s fine too. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post, but there’s rarely a situation where that many are needed.

In every post, incorporate a mix of highly popular hashtags (those with hundreds of thousands or more images), moderately popular hashtags (those with thousands of images), less popular (those with fewer than 1,000 images) and your own custom hashtags

This ensures you’ll reach popular searches, while staying relevant for more than a few minutes in searches for the less-popular hashtags. And, when you incorporate your own custom hashtags, you create a virtual gallery of all of your content. Then when someone searches that hashtag, they’ll find all of your Instagram posts.
Save a list of your most commonly used hashtags on your computer, so they’re on hand to copy, paste and add to posts at all times.

Don’t Forget the Social Aspect

In addition to coming up with original content that will wow, Instagram allows you to share images from other users as long as you give credit where credit is due.
Interact with your followers and forge connections with users whose content you love.
This creates happy fans, and happy friends will spread the word.

Create content that’s a little different from your other social media sites to best engage your followers. Interact with your Instagram audience to boost your brand awareness. Then market your business to these people to get more traffic, conversions and sales from Instagram.
Instagram is a fun site that’s also a really powerful marketing tool. You just need to know how to use it.

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