- 10 Instagram marketing tips to boost sales
- Why is it important to have an Instagram Business Profile?
- Leveraging the power of sponsored ads
- Partnering with an influencer
- Creating an Instagram Shop
Since its inception, Instagram has become the go-to platform for sharing photos and is also an incredibly lucrative place for brands looking to grow their business.
According to the latest statistics, Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users and 500 million daily active users, making it one of the most popular social media networks globally.
In fact, data from Oberlo shows that Instagram is the fourth most popular social media platform worldwide, behind only Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp.
However, Instagram marketing is competitive; for businesses to remain relevant, posting content that resonates with your followers is crucial, which can be challenging for brands with a growing audience.
We’ve provided you with an Instagram marketing cheat sheet to help you become an expert Instagram marketer and maximise your potential reach on the social media platform.
10 Instagram Marketing Tips You Shouldn’t Ignore
Here’s Instagram marketing in ten easy tips to help you build your social media strategy and set your brand up for success.
Create an Instagram Business Profile
Whether you’re brand new to Instagram or have a personal account, create an Instagram Business Account.
It’s straightforward; if you already have an account go to “Settings”, tap on “Account”, and then click “Switch to Business Profile” to get started. If you don’t have an Instagram account already, create a personal account and follow the steps mentioned above.
A business account will equip your Instagram profile with a variety of additional features, including:
- Post Insights
- Instagram ads
- Instagram Shopping
- Primary and General messaging inboxes
- Contact information and a call-to-action button on your profile
These additional features will give you access to key metrics that can help you understand your audience and create posts that align with their habits and behaviours.
Optimise Your Business Profile
First impressions count, and you have just 150 characters to convey your brand personality and inspire users to interact with your content and follow your account.
It’s a lot to ask from such a small space.
Fortunately, with an Instagram Business Account, you’re given a few extra fields to help you inspire your audience. These include:
- Profile Name
- Instagram handle
- Profile Image
- Website URL or clickable URL
- Business category to inform users what industry you work in without using up bio characters
- Contact information
- Call-to-action buttons
How you introduce your brand on Instagram can be highly effective in creating a connection with users that land on your profile. The more information you provide, the more credible and trustworthy your brand will appear.
Post Product Teasers to Encourage F-O-M-O
Instagram can be an effective place for generating hype around your brand or a particular product you offer.
If you play your cards right, you can advertise your products on Instagram and generate significant interest. A great way to do this is by posting product teaser posts, which is a simple way to highlight your product and build some excitement without appearing too pushy.
Perhaps it’s a discount or a seasonal exclusive; highlighting your USP without forcing people to buy it will encourage people to purchase from your brand.
If not, they’ll at least engage with your post, which can help get your content in front of more people as Instagram’s algorithm rewards engaging posts.
Leverage Sponsored Ads
The number of companies leveraging Instagram ads increases each year, and it’s easy to understand why, as you can control spend by setting an ad budget and showcase multiple ads via the carousel feature.
Instagram ads provide brands with the ability to promote their content to anyone that first their target audience, expanding their potential reach on the platform.
You can also turn existing posts into sponsored ads, meaning you can push high-performing content out to users after tracking and analysing metrics. It’s a win-win as these top posts will likely reap bigger rewards if they are put in front of more people.
However, if you want to boost engagement, we advise making sure your ads don’t look like ads, as this will usually deter users from liking, saving or sharing. Also, images that contain faces are 40% more likely to perform better than those without faces.
Did you know that there are also different sponsored ad types you can post on Instagram? These include:
- Stories Canvas
Even if you don’t use Instagram Stories to run a sponsored ad, the feature is a great way to connect with your audience.
Utilise the Power of Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories is a powerful tool to leverage if you want to boost your clickthrough rate and generate leads.
Recent data shows that businesses post a third of the most-watched Instagram Stories.
Instagram Stories differ from standard Instagram posts because they are only live for 24 hours, and as a result, followers expect the content to be rawer than regular posts. Instagram Stories are located at the top of the feed in a dedicated ribbon, which followers can swipe through in a slideshow format.
The benefits of Instagram Stories for business are endless; however, here are a few strategies you could employ to ensure you maximise the potential of this feature:
- Tell a story
- Convey your message in the first few seconds of the clip if posting a video
- Use a call-to-action where possible, for example, “swipe up” or text informing users why they should swipe to the next post
- Align your Instagram Stories with your brand identity
Businesses don’t need to worry about posts via Instagram Stories being as high-quality or aesthetic as regular posts, making it a great tool to experiment with different types of content to see what generates interest.
The Boomerang feature is a favourite of ours at Soar Online!
Instagram has also launched a new feature that allows users to like stories. While it’s unclear whether this will have an algorithmic impact, it is another way to encourage positive sentiment towards your content.
Besides this, you can use face filters, add text and stickers and tag other accounts if you’re collaborating with other brands or influencers.
You can also create highlight albums from your stories and preserve top-level content by displaying them in albums that appear directly beneath your bio. If used effectively, this can give followers more information about your business and why they should follow you.
Collaborate With Instagram Influencers
Social media has given people the opportunity to build their own brand and develop a large following by posting compelling content.
These people, widely referred to as influencers due to their influence on social media platforms, have considerable power in marketing, with users finding them more relatable than celebrities.
As a result, one of the quickest ways to reach potential customers is to partner with an influencer who already has a large audience and ask them to promote your product or service.
It’s important to source an influencer that compliments your brand and have an audience that would find your products or services relevant.
You can also reap long-term rewards by tapping into influencer marketing, as each relationship you build could help sustain brand awareness within their audience.
If you already have a large audience, increase your conversion rate by leveraging user-generated content (UGC).
Publish User-Submitted Content
Brands can create compelling posts with little work by utilising user-submitted content.
Posting user-submitted content is another good way to boost sales as prospects are more likely to take other customers’ words at face value.
If nothing else, it will help your brand appear more authentic and trustworthy, thus increasing engagement.
According to recent research, user-generated content is 42% more effective than branded content and generates nearly 7x higher engagement levels!
Even if you don’t have a large audience, encouraging customers to submit photos of them using your products can significantly help your eCommerce goals.
More than 86% of companies leverage UGC as part of their social media marketing strategy, including big brands like Netflix, PrettyLittleThing and Starbucks.
And your users tend to like user-generated content more than branded posts because it is made by people like them.
If you’re making a new announcement, UGC is an effective way to get the word out to your audience and help create a feedback loop by getting more people outside of your following involved with your brand.
When posting user-generated content on Instagram, make sure you tag the original account and use a hashtag to help people find you. Let your followers know that this is all it takes to be in with the chance to have their content regrammed, and it’ll double as an incentive for them to post – win-win for your brand and customers.
Just remember to choose content that aligns with your brand identity. You might also want to ask your team to consider the following:
- Does the person you’re considering regramming already have a large following?
- Is it appropriate for your current audience?
- What kind of impact will it have on your audience?
- Does it relate to your products or services?
Just try not to be too biased, as this could cause some backlash. Instead, mix up the posts to help grow your following and increase user interaction with your posts.
Create a Branded Hashtag
Want to be instantly recognised? Are you mulling over ways to increase engagement?
Come up with a unique hashtag that allows users to recognise your brand immediately. Various brands have successfully created interactive hashtags that are instantly recognisable, take Nike, for example, and their #justdoit or Tesco’s #everylittlehelps.
When users come across these hashtags, they will immediately know it relates to your brand, and in essence, these hashtags become a form of free advertising for your company as your brand gains more exposure each time it’s used.
Post at The Right Times
You don’t want to over-post or post too infrequently on Instagram. One will ensure your followers forget who you are, and the other will encourage people to unfollow your brand.
While you want to post consistently, it’s essential to choose times when your audience is most active.
If you’re tempted to post more, utilise Instagram’s carousel feature or make use of Instagram Stories to avoid frustrating your followers.
Did you know that the best time to post content on Instagram varies based on the industry?
You might need to spend a little time researching the best times to post. We also recommend looking at your Instagram Insights and analysing the times your previous posts performed best.
Think through your personas and use third-party tools such as Buffer and SproutSocial, which provide a deeper insight into your metrics than Instagram.
Remember to factor in the time difference if you own a global company as a significant proportion of your followers might live in a different country to where you operate.
According to Hubspot research, the best time to post on Instagram is:
- Monday: Between 11AM – 1PM
- Tuesday: Between 11AM – 3PM
- Wednesday: Between 11AM – 1PM
- Thursday: Between 11AM – 12PM
- Friday: Between 11AM – 1PM
- Saturday: Between 10AM – 1PM
- Sunday: Between 9AM – 4PM
Hubspot’s Instagram Global Engagement Chart displays that people are less active on Instagram during the weekends, noting that Sunday is the worst day to post on the platform for most organisations.
Set up an Instagram Shop
One more reason to get an Instagram Business Profile is to set up an Instagram Shop, which offers numerous benefits, including:
- Easy product discoverability
- Visual marketing opportunities
- Shortens the buyer journey
- Increased sales and post engagement
- Seamless experience across your media channels
The Instagram Shop feature allows you to create an online store within the social network platform, add shoppable tags on your posts and include a “View Shop” button on your profile for fast access to your products.
Reducing the number of steps needed to purchase a product increases conversion opportunities by encouraging real-time buying, which improves the overall customer experience.
Instagram has also launched a shop tab on the Explore page, allowing users to search for products they want to purchase.
According to recent research, 130 million Instagram users tap on shoppable posts each month, making it a lucrative tool for marketers.