It’s no secret that social media is one of the essential platforms to promote your business and grow your target audience. We can even say that having a strong social media follower number is essential to stay relevant and keep up with fast-changing trends in today’s growing competitive business world. So here is a comprehensive guide on how to make a successful entry into Instagram marketing, the reasons to create a solid social media plan, and ways to manage it to create brand awareness effectively.
Instagram Marketing 101
Before we dive into strategies for maintaining a rewarding Instagram account with thousands of followers, let us rewind a bit and get to the basics. After all, all happy endings should have a little bit of adventure at the beginning, and just like that, a successful Instagram marketing strategy starts with challenging yourself and your brand with new terms. However, if you follow these steps and personalize your account accordingly, the outcome is going to be worth it. Here are the 8 valuable lessons for anyone who just started their Instagram marketing business or likes to do it the right way this time.
1. First Things First: How Well are the Numbers Right Now?
Just like every other phase in business, you need to be aware of your current situation before you determine where you want to be. Designating goals for your business without knowing where you lack and what your strong sides are, is simply wasting your time and resources. And as a business owner, you wouldn’t want either of them.
Before you plan everything from what your customer expectations are to determine more useful business behavior, first you should read the numbers and be realistic about the current situation. After you write down all the numbers you can start to pinpoint the parts that need a complete makeover and the parts that need revisions.
The interaction rate of your Instagram profile is a major indicator of how well you are doing on Instagram as a business. Because high interaction rates mean more followers and you come upon the Explore page on Instagram.
2. Reviving Your Account
An account with a low interaction rate, few likes, comments, and follower number is not beneficial to online business. The first thing you can do about it is to get it back up to its feet and start posting regularly with interesting content.
Creating a content plan suitable for your business keeps it naturally interesting for your followers. So how can you do it?
Posting regularly on Instagram lets your followers know that you’ll post at the same time every day and that makes them click on your profile. Combining this strategy with valuable content for your followers doubles the effect.
3. Creating Brand Awareness
Brand awareness means every detail a consumer can say about your products or services from other brands in the market. It’s what makes you different from others and is crucial in creating a strong and effective brand. While you’re creating your brand awareness, here are the Instagram tips you can use:
- Use ads to get your followers and target audience to get familiar with you.
- Partner up with popular influencers and make them review your product or service.
- Follow the trend topics and integrate them into your business.
- Have strong bonds with people within the company and promote these through Instagram.
4. Let Your Followers Know You
Social media is not a place people post pictures anymore. With 3.96 billion users in 2022, it’s the new marketplace where you can reach endless numbers of potential customers. If you were to have a physical store, you would have regular customers and chat with them when they visit your shop, even if they were not shopping, just looking at the products. And that helps your business: creating a trustworthy personality affects people’s thoughts and has positive comebacks for the business. Just like that, your social media account is where your potential customers know you.
Creating your online brand profile, first decide what kind of approach you want to take connecting your followers. The tone of your posts should be coherent. This will solidify your brand’s place on Instagram.
5. Become Acquainted with Instagram Algorithms
To be higher on the Explore page of Instagram you need to understand how the platform works first. Instagram uses a couple of different ways to determine which contents to put forward, and which ones to hide. Your business can grow its followers and thus potential customers by using the Instagram algorithm. For your customers to reach you when they type the product or service they’re looking for, you need to come up among the first ones on the Instagram search engine. And the fastest way to do it is to increase your interaction rate.
6. Advantages of Visual Marketing
One of the most prominent reasons why Instagram marketing is ideal is that it uses visuals to attract people. More than anything, Instagram offers both its users and creators the to reach new outlets and connect with different people through pictures. And the higher qualities these pictures have, the more people you can reach. Instagram itself offers many different ways to interact with people and the common part of them all is how they use visual perceptions.
7. Instagram Ranking
Social media nowadays is a means of interaction and when you include regular interaction time with your followers every day, it boosts the algorithms and makes the Instagram algorithm think that you must be friends with these followers and the platform offers your content to them more. Including this in your social media plan is essential. Because it makes your business account rank up in a short time and provides natural connections.
The ex-Facebook executive and now the head of Instagram Adam Mosseri informs that there is more than one specific algorithm that works within Instagram and these algorithms consider many variables. To come up in Feed and Stories, your business account has more chances of showing up on your target market’s page if they follow you. This way, the last post you share will automatically come into view. The more likes and comments the post gets the higher its possibility to reach more people.
Other ways you can pay attention to rank upper on Instagram are;
- Following your target audience or the popular influencers in your line of business
- Commenting on these influencer’s posts and liking their posts to interact with them
- Organizing polls and questionnaires on your account to get reactions and ideas
Hashtags are an important part of creating your business account on Instagram. One of the first Instagram tips you should remember about hashtags is that you need to start slow and steady. Choosing the most used hashtags can be tempting as everyone wants to reach a certain level of exposure on Instagram. However, you should also consider the vastness of the platform. With 500 million daily users, your page can get lost among the more popular ones that use the same hashtags.
So, first, focus on similar hashtags that specifically show your business account in the top 9. That’s the starting point to creating your brand awareness slowly but steadily.
How to Create an Instagram Profile for Business?
On this part of your marketing on the Instagram guideline, you’ll see how you can create your business account and grow your business through it. A lot of business behavior strategies start to take on a new meaning as you carry your business online. Although there are different metrics to follow, the core idea stays the same: distinguishing your brand among others.
What’s the difference between personal and business accounts on Instagram?
The first difference between a personal and business account is that you can decide who can see what you post on a personal account. When you open a business account, on the other hand, your account becomes public so everyone can see it. Another thing is that your followers can see your brand/company by the description box below your company name. You can also link your Facebook business pages with your Instagram account and increase your publicity.
The advantages of having an Instagram business profile
An Instagram business profile is your company’s or brand’s online store. And it has real-life profits. You can track down your account’s interaction rates through Instagram Insights and follow potential customers back to expand your demographics. Another advantage of having a business profile is that you can promote your account with ads. And check the outcome on the Insights page as well.
Instagram also provides business owners to add their websites to their bios. In this way, your followers can easily click on the website go to your online store and start shopping.
Steps to follow on creating an Instagram profile for business
Knowing the platform allows you to use it to your benefit to the maximum. So, here are Instagram tips for your business profile.
The main reason people use social media is the fact that it connects people with who they love and what they’re interested in. So creating a welcoming account and relatable posts are the keys to keeping your followers interacting with you. This approach should be included in your business behavior as well since a door’s always open policy comes naturally to humans and makes them trust your brand.
-Connect with Your Followers
Although it’s a business account, your social media plan on Instagram should add subjects and people that your audience relates to. This way, you can post more content that they like and want to interact with.
Since its launch in 2010, the social networking service has turned into a recognizable force that highlights occasions, people, and topics that are important to people. From a platform that’s affected by thought, it has turned one to inspire thoughts and ideas. So being a part of the community, reaching out to your people, and gathering them in your account creates a feeling of sincerity.
-The Power of Uniqueness
Blending in is good, however, you should also preserve your unique parts. Otherwise, there won’t be a reason for people to follow you and see your posts. Think about what makes your brand special and show it through your content. For instance, if you sell shoes with special designs, you can promote each new product with a story behind it; why it’s important for the customer, what process did the designer choose to go through while creating it, etc. These are all parts that can attract people into your business and relate to your brand.
-Professionalism is a Must
You can post with a sense of humor or refer to a trend dance in your posts. But you should always be kind and respectful when it comes to comments and interacting with your followers. Because in the end, you manage a business account and in business behavior, professionalism makes everything better!
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Different ways in which you can grow using Instagram Marketing
According to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, there are nine aspects to consider when running a business that is: planning, management, finance, technical and production skills, principles of technology, labor issues, community issues, health-safety-environment, and personal work habits. These components all come together and create a successful business. Social media and especially Instagram business accounts, not only grow your finances but also help you try new technologies and production skills.
As on social media, promoting your product comes with finding a suitable visual for it, an adequate explanation with hashtags, and posting regularly. They all grow your and your co-workers’ work habits as well. And in the end, the business behavior you aim for your company includes a social media plan for Instagram because it works on every level.
Business Insider points out that 72% of Instagram users buy the product they saw on Instagram. For business owners, that means that with a high-quality picture and relatable text, you can sell more and do it easier.
Do I need an Instagram business account for my small business?
The short answer is yes but let us explain why you should definitely have an Instagram business account no matter what your line of business and how big it is.
Businesses use Instagram marketing to promote their brands, reach new potential customers and learn the trends that will affect their next marketing strategies. And for a while, with Instagram’s Shopify integration, they can lead even hesitant consumers directly to their websites to shop. There are also things you can do to fasten the process to start selling on Instagram and grow your target market through social media. Instagram adds a new feature to the platform often and these features can be your loyal assistants on your social media plan. Here are the Instagram tips and how you can use them.
Adding stories to your brand: figuratively and literally
Whether you sell handbags or produce vegan ready-to-serve food, your brand has a story. The starting point will give you the reason you created this brand/company. What was your goal and how did it evolve? Sharing your brand’s story makes your followers sympathize with you and relate to you. This emotional bond will create a brand familiarity that you can turn into brand loyalty.
That was the figurative part of the storytelling part of your brand. Apart from the brand story, you can also add real stories with 15 seconds videos on Instagram. The tone of the videos may vary depending on your target market. If you target younger people, you can use emojis, GIFs, and pop culture to attract them into commenting. Remember that if they relate to it, they will comment on it. For older generations, you can turn these 15 seconds videos into mini ads that come with a certain type of music and people they love. This will double the effect of the stories.
Paid partnerships to boost your traffic
These days, paid partnerships are like references you get from a trusted friend for people. Partnering up with popular influencers is a great way to start your Instagram marketing plan. When you partner up with popular influencers among your main audience, you renew their loyalty and when you want to reach new markets, you can always reach out to other influencers and have them try your product or service.
Watching a video or reading a comment made by the person they follow affects people’s decisions. When the influencer likes it and tells about it, it creates a certain base for your brand. And you can build on this base with the special discount rates you provide for the followers. They can try your product or service and get a positive idea of your brand.
Paid partnerships are great in terms of reaching great numbers of people through a single person. Of course, the more the follower number the higher the price can be. But when you compare it with any other advertisement, you’re actually in the money.
Reels are the new billboards
Instagram introduced the Reels feature in August 2020 and since then, it became a new habit for users of the platform to entertain and discover new accounts to follow. This side of the Reels makes it a billboard for online customers as they see you for a short time and if the poster looks good and interesting enough, they look for you again, in this example, they click on your account.
Engagements increase the attachments
Just like any other relationship, communication between you and your followers is a big part of your Instagram marketing. When you regularly post contents that are interesting, engaging, and fun, you actually invest in brand awareness among your followers. After a while, they will start to recognize your products or services anywhere and feel familiar with you.
The road to this level of communication goes through the interaction rate. It’s not enough if your Instagram business account has a certain number of followers. You also need up-to-date comments, likes, and shares on every new post. Because Instagram algorithms take these categories into account when ranking the accounts.
So, how can you increase these interactions? By liking and commenting on influencers and popular people on Instagram that are interested in the product or service you’re providing! Then, you can propose a partnership or they can ask you themselves. In the meantime, their followers also click on your account and start to interact.
As this guide to creating a business account on Instagram marketing explains, there are many steps to pay attention to when you are creating your online store. And once you set it up, you need to touch up and add little yet essential details that distinguish your brand from others in this line of business. These customizations will create your brand awareness.
The influence of Instagram over e-commerce businesses has been getting stronger with each passing year. As the user number climbs up, so does the power the platform has in attracting potential customers. To include Instagram into your social media plan, determine your current situation and the point you want to be. This way, as a business owner you can make realistic goals and have a route ahead of you.
As social media trends change daily, it’s also important to stay informed about the inclinations. You can use this data when you’re forming new marketing strategies and the best way to realize what’s working for social media users is to analyze it in place. If you want to learn more about how to step up your Instagram marketing, discover more about Socialays today or start a free trial.