An easy guide for marketers to follow when using Instagram

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Instagram stands as one of the most popular social media platforms in the world today, if not the most popular. With a user base of 700 to 800 million active people every month, it is no surprise that businesses want a piece of the pie, and that the platform is becoming more lucrative for enterprises every day. Now, the introduction of the business profiles has been a hit, with over 8 million business accounts on the site today.

However, what does all this mean? How do you engage these audiences? Most of the active users on the platform are between the ages of 18 to 29, so how do you maximize your reach with this demographic? The answer is that it takes more than just posting pictures or videos, and it involves more of a community management strategy and visual creativity. This is why you need a comprehensive strategy that will help you maximize your opportunities on this platform.

Know what you want to achieve

Just like when you are starting a business, you need to know what you want to achieve by the end of a certain period – and the same applies to Instagram. For instance, you should ask what the purpose of opening that account was.

Regardless of whether you are a seasoned user or just starting out, there are factors you should consider when setting out your own strategy. These include knowing what the platform will do for you that other platforms cannot, how you will integrate your Instagram account with other social media networks, and defining your target audience.

The nature of Instagram is a purely visual one, so it gives you an opportunity to show your services and products, as well as your business culture and people involved. This will also allow your followers to interact with your brand on a more personalized level, and boosts your Instagram engagement levels to a more casual extent, compared to other networks.

The main pillars to look at are building a community with higher engagement levels, showcasing the products and services you offer, showing your culture and team, increasing awareness of your brand, and increase customer loyalty. It also includes increasing engagement with customers, connections with influencers, and driving sales through different traffic levels.

Make sure to develop a strategy for content

The main foundation of your presence on the platform is having engaging content. For companies that provide products, these are the center for their marketing strategies, while service oriented companies will focus on posting things relating to their company culture and content they provide.

However, you do not need to adhere to these guidelines just because you have a business account. Just make sure that the approach you decide on is one that shows your brand in the best way possible. Depending on your target audience as well as the goals you have set to achieve, you should use that information to build a consistent and interesting form of content to your community of followers.

One of the ways you can do this is through content themes, where you pre-set the visual subject matter and filters you want to be known for. You can then use your theme ideas to brainstorm content over time.

The other way is to know the content ratio and medium – in other words, the types of content delivery you will use. Spreading out your content delivery methods and changing them sometimes is a good way of keeping the attention of your audience. For instance, this week you use photos, then the following week you use Instagram stories, then the next is Boomerang videos. The method you often use will depend on what brings out your brand story in the best light, and at the end of the day, all your content must be in high quality.

Set a consistent schedule

Instagram requires you to be active, in order to establish your influence.You may not always need to use automatic comments – new Instagram fast and safe service, but you must ensure your frequency of interactions remains high (no spamming). It actually helps to learn the best posting times on the platform, and this will allow you to reach your audience in a better way, as well as expanding your business reach.

Make sure to set a calendar specifically to mark the items to post, and this should include a cycle of themes, as well as important campaigns you may take part in. Instagram itself will not allow you to schedule your content, but you can prepare content in advance, such as captions and photos you will use through some applications.

You should also leave some room to post spontaneous events as they occur, as these provide the best kind of content. The scheduling of content will allow you to be flexible and take advantage of these opportunities as they happen. However, do not forget about the scheduled posts; they will help you streamline your content and help your account look interesting.

Use user-generated content more often

There is a reason why user generated content is so popular on the site; it allows users to showcase their own creativity in making their own material. If you find users making up material relating to your brand, that is a gold mine in itself – it enables you to create high user engagement as well as giving your followers the space to make posts.

In fact, these posts are usually very entertaining or informative, and many brands know this – that is why many of them resort to this kind of content to fill their own feed. A good example of this is AirBnB, who use images their own followers make to advertise different locations where they are found around the world.

Of course, you cannot share everything your users make, as long as it does not fit the image profiles you are looking for. If it does, then make sure to give credit to the original sources and tell your followers how you can feature them as well.

Final thoughts

Marketing on Instagram is a skill that you can learn as time goes by, but you can give yourself a good head start when it comes to promoting your brand. That is why a strategy is good, as it will guide you on what to do and the mistakes you need to avoid.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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