Wondering how to promote on Instagram?
Look no further. I’m walking you through thirteen steps to a successful Instagram strategy.
You can also watch this video if you like, where I talk about how I got my first 10,000 followers. By the way, you can check out my profile here.
What We’ll Cover:
- Create a business profile
- Leverage hashtags
- But don’t overuse them
- Follow accounts relevant to your industry
- Tell your brand’s story
- Set a consistent posting schedule
- Share Stories regularly
- Use a mix of images and video
- Relate to followers while staying on-brand
- Share only quality posts
- Find the best time to post for your brand
- Promote everywhere
- Trach and measure your efforts regularly
On the surface, Instagram may seem like the go-to app for sharing perfectly lit selfies, envy-inducing lifestyle photos, and laugh-out-loud memes.
However, since the photo and video-sharing platform launched in 2010, Instagram has become a goldmine for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
As Instagram continues to grow as a major player in the marketing world, brands across the board are beginning to take notice. From community-building to social selling and everything in between, it’s no wonder why consumers and businesses alike have adopted Instagram as one of their main revenue-generating tools.
And as a marketer, it’s more important than ever to think outside the box and learn how to promote your business on Instagram.
Instagram By the Numbers
As you continue to hone and refine your social media marketing strategy, one of the first steps you’ll need to take on your journey involves researching who’s already each platform.
Just like you want to find out who is using your products and services, uncovering who’s on which network can help you make sound advertising and marketing decisions.
As the social space continues to evolve, it’s useful to be aware of updated statistics as you revisit your decisions and tailor your content accordingly. Are the users within your ideal target audience active participants on Instagram? If so, what type of content encourages engagement?
Social media demographics can teach you how to promote your business on Instagram and help you create marketing personas so you can better understand your audience in greater detail.
Here are some high-level Instagram statistics to keep on your radar:
- Instagram has amassed over one billion active users since its founding.
- 32% of all Internet users are on Instagram.
- 63%of Instagram users log in at least once per day.
- More than 500 million post to Instagram Stories daily.
- In regards to gender, 43% of women use Instagram, while 31% of men use it.
- The United States includes the most users at 116 million, followed by India at 73 million and Brazil at 72 million.
- Over 100 million Instagram photos and videos are uploaded every day.
- Today, Instagram has over two million advertisers and 25 million business profiles.
- 70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram for product discovery.
- A third of the most viewed Instagram stories are from businesses.
Now that you have a grasp of just how influential Instagram is in the marketplace, we’re going to break down some of the top tips and strategies you can use to take your Instagram game to the next level and successfully grow your business online.
1. Create a Business Profile
Before you start overhauling your feed entirely, you need to first convert your account into a business profile.
Doing so gives you access to a slew of handy tools, including the native analytics app, extended contact information, and click-to-buy buttons.
Plus, it gives users more information about your products or service.
With a business account, you can receive real-time metrics on how your promoted posts and Instagram stories perform within a given time period. You can also gain insights into your followers and how they engage with your posts and stories.
2. Leverage Hashtag Campaigns
Hashtags have been instrumental in the social media ecosystem.
To use hashtags effectively and efficiently, you need to conduct the proper research, as it involves much more than just adding a pound sign in front of words or phrases that merely seem relevant.
It’s easy to add a hashtag to your posts, but it’s far more difficult to create one that drives new customers and boost your brand’s awareness.
A good place to start is by analyzing your competitor’s strategy and learning about trending topics in your industry. From there, you can start brainstorming ideas after looking at the traction existing hashtags are getting on Instagram.
You’ll also want to enlist the aid of some hashtag-specific tools like Hashtagify to help uncover the most popular hashtags in each industry.
While a winning hashtag varies from industry to industry, a universal rule of thumb is to keep them short and sweet, preferably three words or less. It’s tough enough to type on a tiny smartphone keyboard, and a longer hashtag is far more susceptible to misspellings.
3. Don’t Overuse Hashtags
Too much of anything often has a negative consequence. That’s certainly true when it comes to hashtags.
You may be tempted to go overboard with hashtags, but doing so can be detrimental to your hashtag campaign strategy.
Reports indicate that hashtags should ideally be limited to 11 hashtags per post. Using excessive hashtags will backfire and lead to dissimilarities in audience engagement.
With Instagram becoming an increasingly crowded social media platform, keep in mind that one of the best ways to cut through the noise is by artfully curating and creating branded hashtags to increase your reach.
4. Follow Accounts That Are Relevant to Your Industry
When refining your brand strategy, there’s no need to start from scratch. Your target audience is likely already active on Instagram–you just have to know where to find them.
One way to do that is to engage with the very people they’re already following.
Think about the types of businesses in your industry that have an established presence on the platform, and begin your search. Follow their accounts and interact with relevant posts by pressing like or adding a comment.
5. Tell Your Brand’s Story
Because Instagram is a visual medium that boasts features such as Instagram Stories, Instagram Live, and video uploads, it provides the perfect opportunity for your business to convey a clear voice and connect with your target audience.
A great starting point for learning how to promote your business on Instagram involves crafting a killer Instagram bio. From there, you need to build a strategy based on telling your brand’s story.
Not sure how to do that? Take a look at this article for a little inspiration.
The part of your brand’s story you want to share and the format you choose to share it in is up to you. But, to stand out from the competition, the more creative you can be, the better. Don’t be afraid to be bold and make a statement. However, regardless of how you tell your brand story, make sure it’s cohesive from post to post.
6. Share Posts on Instagram Consistently
Domination Media CEO Johnathan Long, notes that “you want to post often enough that your brand stays relevant,” while also advising, “you don’t want to post so frequently that you overwhelm your followers and they unfollow your account.”
One of the most frequently asked questions about Instagram is how often a brand should post new content. The truth is, the Instagram algorithm is ever-changing.
While it may be easier to put a number on it, the reality is that what works best for your business doesn’t always work well for the next. Your success rate depends heavily on the expectations of your followers, and determining the best frequency for your audience will require some trial error on your part.
I recommend starting small and increase to posting 3x/week. If engagement rates stay high, and you have the time and resources, post more often, and monitor results. If engagement drops off, you’ll know it’s time to back off.
7. Use the Instagram Stories Feature Regularly
Stories began as a novelty, and have since morphed into a staple on Instagram. Now, there are a variety of ways to promote your brand via Instagram Stories.
Think of Stories as a type of secondary, select feed of content for your most dedicated followers. Unique elements such as creative captions and overlays make Stories completely different from traditional posts.
When establishing how to promote on Instagram using Stories, consider integrating static content that you may find on your camera roll with in-the-moment content.
You can also use strategies like joining forces with other Instagram accounts and taking over their stories to reach a wider audience.
For more on how to effectively use Stories in your Instagram strategy, check out this article.
8. Use Both Images and Video Content
As a marketer, you don’t want your users just to be active—you want them to be engaged.
One way to ensure that they remain loyal followers and customers is to include both video and images in your content marketing strategy.
Hootsuite’s Dara Fontein recently shared that “Instagram videos see twice the engagement rate of photos,” revealing that video content is a smart investment for brands looking to capture the attention of their audience.
As consumers become increasingly digitally-savvy, Instagram users are looking for authentic posts from brands. Try to avoid posting blatant advertisements and instead work on capturing your company culture with lifestyle shots and behind-the-scenes videos.
9. Relate to Your Followers While Staying True to Your Brand
Having an Instagram feed that accurately reflects the image and purpose of your brand is vital.
At the same time, you always want to put yourself in the mindset of your target consumers. By this point, you’ve likely already established a few buyer personas and have a clear idea of who your audience is. But take some time to consider why they’re on Instagram and how you can improve their experience on the platform.
By showing people using, trying, and enjoying your product or service, your brand comes across as human and relatable.
When posting your content, your target audience and buyer personas should be top of mind.
What types of content do they want to see? What kind of posts tend to generate the most engagement? How will your brand solve a problem for them?
Granted, coming up with new concepts and finding the right visuals to accompany your content is easier said than done. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as you think.
You can easily create your own Instagram content using templates and branded hashtags. It doesn’t all have to be 100% original, either. Feel free to repost content from other brands within your niche.
11. Know When to Post
Unlike Instagram’s predecessor Facebook, where posts can hang around and show up days or weeks later, the Instagram algorithm favors timely posts.
This means that your Instagram posts have a finite shelf life, and knowing when to share is critical for success.
Generally speaking, the best days to post are Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. By Wednesday, people are seeking a virtual escape from their workweek, and they often turn to social media.
This may explain why the latter half of the week is the most popular time for scrolling through Instagram. During the weekend, users tend to avert their attention towards spending time with family and unwinding.
12. Promote Instagram Everywhere
Instagram may be one of the newer social channels, but you need to leverage this platform in the same way you do your other social networks.
For instance, do you have social icons on your homepage or product pages that connect visitors to your social channels? If it’s not there already, an Instagram icon needs to be added as well.
When creating your Instagram account, you should first connect with Facebook to attract your friends.
Start running Instagram campaigns across your social networks and sending reminders to employees, brand ambassadors, and anyone else who’s established a positive relationship with your brand.
13. Track and Measure Your Efforts Constantly
Consumer attitudes and behaviors change on the regular, which means that your Instagram followers are prone to alter their preferences.
Pay close attention to the content that yields the highest results and investigate why sudden surges in likes, comments, and shares occurred.
Metrics to keep an eye out for include engagements per follower, follower growth, comments received, reach, most engaged hashtags, and referral traffic.
Tying It All Together
So, there you have it! Now you have 13 different strategies you can start utilizing right away to successfully promote your Instagram account.
Keep in mind—the main objective of Instagram is to entertain, educate, and keep users happy. And these days, there’s no shortage of ideas you can come up with to create great experiences for your followers—which will, in turn, benefit your business tremendously.