Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has taken the world by storm. It seems like everyone — and their dog — is on the platform. You may have also noticed the increase in brands who've developed a presence on the platform. But is Instagram worth your time, and should your business also be on the platform? Know your answer by checking these 10 principles of successful Instagram marketing.
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Wouldn’t it be great if there was a clear and simple formula to successful Instagram marketing? Well, there’s not one way to do things well on Instagram, but there are several principles that, if followed, will lead you to a stronger following, more leads, and a higher conversion rate. Use these 10 principles of successful Instagram marketing to guide your next campaign.
1. Robust Bio
Your bio is about more than just your business name, username, and website URL. It’s about giving a clear picture of your business with a single profile photo and less than 150 characters of explanation.
Make your bio clear, concise, and compelling. Choose a strong profile image that embodies your brand and makes it feel authentic and human. Use a call-to-action to encourage users to click on your link, and change that link out often so that you can direct traffic to the right pages.
2. Clearly Defined Audience
No matter your market or products, you must know your audience. The most stunning Instagram content in the world won’t do any good if it’s not carefully curated to your audience. You’ve likely made customer personas before to get to know your audience, and that’s a good principle when defining your Instagram audience as well. You might also try:
- Analyzing your Instagram insights to learn more about your audience demographics.
- Using a social listening tool to tell you what consumers are saying about your brand.
- Having conversations with your audience to learn what you can improve.
- Monitoring trends your current audience is following to create marketing strategies that match.
3. Measurable Goals
A good strategy begins with clearly defined goals that you can measure and monitor throughout your campaign. No Instagram campaign is complete without them.
“Remember that good goals are specific, measurable, realistic, achievable, and have a deadline, says Deep Patel, founder of Owlmetrics and Brandmates. “You may need to make several mini goals leading up to a larger goal.” As you monitor your objectives and mark your successes, you’ll maintain motivation that will carry you through a successful marketing campaign.
4. Analytics Tracking
After you’ve made your goals, the best way to measure them is through analytics tools. You can start with Instagram Insights, the built-in free tool that measures numbers and insights related to your audience, follower rate, post engagements, and more.
You may also want to invest in an external Instagram analytics tracking tool, which offers even more insights and ideas to help you succeed. Instagram Insights is a great starting point, but it’s limited in the amount of information you can track. A good analytics tool will provide more detailed information you can enjoy.
5. Steady Theme
An often-overlooked principle of good Instagram marketing is the use of a clearly defined theme on your profile. A theme gives your page a cohesive look so that when users see your images, they know it’s you.
A theme can be derived using similar colors in your images, a consistent filter for your photos, unique angles in your photos, or a specific subject matter. This is all part of strong branding so that you can build a following and get more attention for your marketing campaigns.
6. Consistent Posting
Establish a consistent posting schedule to keep your followers engaged without spamming their newsfeeds. The general advice is to post at least once per day to your newsfeed and several times per day to your Stories feed. If you need to, schedule these posts in advance so that you don’t miss a day posting.
Don’t post just for the sake of posting, though. If you don’t have something of quality to say, it’s not worth putting on your page. It’s better to post three times per week with the highest quality posts than it is to post every single day with sub-par content
7. A Growing Following
Very few marketing campaigns are successful with a small follower base. Your first goal should be 1,000 followers, then 5,000, then 10,000 and beyond. Once you reach 10,000 followers, you’re automatically considered a verified, authentic brand on Instagram, a huge milestone for your advertisements!
Follower growth is something that comes naturally as you apply tactics like consistent posting, quality content, and curated content for your audience. It takes time and dedication, but your following will continue to grow if you remain consistent and add value with every post
8. The 80/20 Rule
Instagram is a platform about forming connections. Consumers like to follow brands, but only if they feel like they’re receiving mutual benefit. They don’t like to be annoyed by too many advertisements or promotional posts.
Therefore, follow the 80/20 rule with advertising in your Instagram posts. Only 20 percent of your posts should be promotional while the other 80 are all about building your brand, making connections, providing value for your audience, and just being you.
9. Daily Stories
Instagram Stories receives more than 500,000 visitors every single day, many of which are logging on more than once to hear stories from their friends and favorite brands. This is an excellent place to share tips, high-value content, and promotions for your products or services.
Research shows that brands should be posting to their Stories between five and 15 times per day. Less than five sends the message that you’re not engaged while more than 15 can be annoying to consumers. The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle where you’re able to post throughout the day, jumping to the front of their Stories feed with each new post.
10. Strong Hashtags
Hashtags make your posts searchable. They’re one of the best tools for growing your audience and creating a consistent content pattern. You’ll need a combination of trending and branded hashtags to keep your profile up-to-date and competitive.
Start with trending hashtags. These are hashtags in your industry that have already garnered popularity. You can use that popularity to attract consumers to your post, sharing new spins on related content that will catch their attention.
Branded hashtags are also useful, particularly if you’re looking for user-generated content. These simple hashtags showcase a loyal following that will help you maintain leads and grow your business steadily.