When it comes to social media marketing, Instagram is one of our all time favourites. With over 400 million active users it is the perfect place to showcase your business in a fun, creative and friendly light, and it's visual language has the power to move people in way that encourages them to take action. All of this will help you build trust amongst your audience, as well as helping you discover more customers. So how can you leverage it for your business? Let's take a look.
If You Could Express Your Business Visually, What Would You Create?
Instagram is a community built on the power of visual storytelling. Businesses play a large role in this community and use the platform as a way to showcase their products and services in a rich, visual context. Businesses do best on Instagram when they share well-crafted content that's on-brand and driven by a clear objective. Tell your story through captivating images, videos and captions.
Choose a name that's easily tied to your business (your company name works great). Then it's time to pick a profile photo. Simple is best, it's a good idea to use your brand's logo. This will be cropped into a small circle, so make sure it's visible.
Make sure you incorporate hashtags to categorize your content and make it easier for non-followers to discover you. Use the most popular hashtags for your space so you can get found. If you're posting them in the caption we recommend up to three hashtags so they don't detract from the post. If you want do more, it's best to post them in the comments.
Include the location of your photo or video when it helps tell the story of the image. Use the Add People feature to tag accounts in your image when they will help you reach a broader audience.
Post photos and videos of beautiful and unexpected moments that also feel authentic and immediate. Whether your subject is a person or an object, capture it in a context that gives a sense of your brand's identity or point of view.
Different lengths work for different audiences, and there's no restrictions with how short of long it can be, as long as it adds value and is in context with the post. As with anything, it's important to test and learn from trying a few things, and then using what works the best.
Commenting & liking
For success on Instagram it's important to play an active role with your community. Engage with the people commenting on your posts, ask questions, give answers, use hashtags, location tags and comment on posts from other users. Being a part of the conversation is a crucial part of building trust and resonating with your customers.
Edit your images and videos with filters and other creative tools available in the Instagram app. These effects give images that unmistakable "Instagram" look that people respond to.
Search & Explore
Use Search & Explore on mobile or desktop to discover people, locations and posts that may be relevant to your brand. You can also explore trending hashtags and top accounts.
Whilst Instagram is a great free platform, you can enhance your reach with paid advertising. You create Instagram ads through Facebook's Ad Manager or Power Editor. Here are some things to keep in mind when you're sponsoring your posts.
There are three different formats you can use: Photo ads (nice and simple), Video ads (up to 60 seconds) and Carousel ad (swipe through several images). All of these have a clear call to action that will drive traffic to your website or another action you want users to take.
Types of Ads
The types of ads on Instagram act the same as Facebook and include:
- Mobile app engagement
- Video views
- Reach and frequency
- Mass awareness.
- Clicks to website
- Website conversions
- Page post engagement
- Mobile app installs
The top 3 are the most commonly used ones, however they are all useful in their own way.
Create ads with a clear goal and creative concept
Compelling ads on Instagram have a strong concept tied to a clear objective (outlined above). Whether you're driving brand awareness, website clicks or app installs, create concepts that align to your campaign goal.
Celebrate your brand look & feel
Make your ads branded, and keep strong brand consistency across campaigns. Establish connective elements across your images and videos — like an identifiable color palette, composition or photographic style — to make your business recognizable.
Focus on craft
Use well-crafted ads to enhance the equity of your business on Instagram. Ads do best when they're well shot, interesting to look at and artistic. What you create should draw people in and keep them wanting more.
Most of all...
With these tips you are equipped with a knowledge on how to create good ads, but the most important thing is to always add value to your audience. To succeed in business and in marketing, you must understand your audience on a deep level, put out content you'll know they will like and always add value to build trust.
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Now you know what to do, it's time to hop to it! Instagram is a fantastic platform and we recommend it for every business. With these tips you can add another asset to your social media arsenal and create a winning online strategy. Happy gramming!