Instagram Marketing Fundamentals to Help Grow Your Online Brand
Building a following and gaining traction on Instagram can be tough. It is very easy to feel disheartened when your post only gets hardly any engagement, and your profile has only grown by a few followers in the past week.
Instagram has over 1 billion users worldwide (at the time of this article’s writing), and it helps 80% of its users decide to buy a product or service. This makes it extremely valuable to your business to get your presence known out there on the platform.
Here are a few Instagram marketing fundamentals to help your profile and engagement grow.
Before you post anything, you need to ask yourself “Will this bring value to my audience?”. There’s no point posting just for the sake of posting if your audience will receive no benefit. You should avoid posting things such as “What dog are you?” or “Happy Hump Day”, or even just a selfie with nothing else to it, these types of posts do nothing aside from sitting on your account collecting dust. Your engagement will not be as high on these than posts that bring information and enrich your audience.
You need to understand your audiences pain points, this goes back to understanding and only posting for your ‘who’. By understanding your ‘who’ you can relay content and information to them that will get their attention and get them to engage with you
Hashtag work by categorising posts. When you put a hashtag on a post it will appear on a corresponding hashtag page (as long as your account is not private). Hashtags are a tool to help your page be discovered by reaching an audience beyond your current following. You can use up to 30 hashtags on a single post, but Instagram recommends that you use between 3-5, this will make sure that viewers see the right content as opposed to countless posts that they have no interest in. This benefits you as a business owner because you can narrow down your audience and only post for your who, and they are more likely to buy your product or service.
Since you only have 3-5 hashtags to work with, it is important to do your research to understand what the best hashtag to use for your brand are. You can do this by studying other profiles for businesses that are in the same type of niche as you. See what seems to work best for them and use them on your profile.
The Explore Page
Instagram’s explore page is tailored to the individual user and consists of content that will help them discover users and accounts organically that they might like but don’t follow yet. This is done using Instagram’s algorithm designed to analyse your usage data (i.e. what posts you like and what accounts you follow) and create recommendations based on what it finds.
The Explore page favours those who get a prominent level of engagement from their audience, therefore the best way to reach someone is to build an active community among your followers. The more active you are with your brand, the more likely you will be recommended to similar audiences on their Explore page.
Content is King!
First thing’s first, post consistently! Nobody likes a dead page, or a page that will post regularly for a few days and then not release new content for another week. So, create a schedule or at least keep it in your mind when you’re going to post and what you’re going to post to keep that consistency and keep your audience engaged.
Different Types of Posts
There are three different types of content on Instagram, posts, stories, and reels. Picture and video posts are what appear on your account page in the grid format, this is the standard option. Stories are short clips that appear on the top of a user’s feed in circles and last for 24 hours before disappearing unless you save them as a story highlight which will then pin them to the top of your profile. The newest option are Reels which is Instagram’s answer to TikTok. They are a 60-second clip in which you can add music, effects, and on-screen text to. Reels have their own separate tab at the bottom of the Instagram page.
Research which post will be best to suit your content before you post it but remember to change it up, use a mixture of all of them to get the best results.
Make Your Page Instantly Recognisable
Two things users want to see when they land on your page; who you are, and what you do. Making you and your brand obvious is a quick-fire way to build trust with your audience.
Select your content wisely, only post what is relevant to your brand and business. If you run an animal grooming company it would be inappropriate to post content about fitness or well-being, it is simply not what your clients have come to your page to see. Also, your audience wants to see who you are, the person behind the brand. If your brand is faceless, you are a lot less likely to establish trust as your audience wants to see a friendly face to associate with your business.
So, create videos, live or otherwise, and tell the audience about who you are and what products or services you sell. This works because a client can get to know you and what you do without even making any contact with you directly. Having that pre-established trust makes it easier to build a relationship with your customers as you take them on a journey through your business.
Don’t give up! Building an online presence on Instagram is not an overnight thing, it takes time, dedication, and work – if it were easy everyone would have millions of followers. Persevere, and incorporate what we have discussed on this page into your profile and slowly but surely you will see your audience grow.