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It’s a little hard to believe that not too long ago, Instagram was thought to be nothing more than a basic photo-sharing platform. A few filtered selfies here. A couple of food snaps there. Boy, how things have changed. Today, IG is a serious revenue-generating tool, boasting over 2 million advertisers and 25 million business profiles, all of which leave no platform feature unexplored in efforts to grab the attention of 1.16 billion consumers.

If you’re a little late to the party and don’t know where to start, or feel like you don’t quite “get” Instagram marketing, you’re not alone. Likes, Lives, Stories, Geo-tagging, Insights, Filters, Hashtags and Regrams can bake the best of noodles. But despite Instagram’s many moving pieces, attracting followers and winning over customers is not always an uphill climb. We’ve put together a few tips and tricks to help you get started on the platform and understand a few best practices for growth.

5 Ways Jumpstart Your Instagram Marketing

Target Your Target Market

You’ve registered on Instagram for Business, fine-tuned your profile information and now it’s time to build a dedicated community of followers. Reality check: you don’t need millions of followers to be a success story. All you need is an authentic community of followers who are interested in what you have to offer.

Start small. Consider who your target market is. Ask yourself what they like, what appeals to them, what might be they be interested in and what drives their spend behaviour. Understanding your client will help you to understand what content to create, how to package it and how to best spend money on the platform to yield better results.

Social Identity: Looks Matter (they really do)

Instagram is a visual platform so content must be eye-catching and beautifully presented. Consider the design aesthetic that best fits your brand’s corporate identity, and will be appealing to your target audience, then incorporate it across all post content, both image and video. Consistency in look and feel begets familiarity and continuity, which are essential for audience building and putting your business’ best visual foot forward.

#Hashtags

Hashtags or #s are a great way of labelling and finding social media updates related to content one finds interesting. It makes your content discoverable, increasing post reach, and allows you to find relevant content from other people and businesses – a great way to keep eyes on competitors and gauge where the industry is headed. Our blog Hashing Out The Power Of The Almighty Hashtag breaks down the use of this feature in greater detail.

Instagram Stories

Instagram describes its Stories feature as something that lets you “share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile”. Here you can create multiple 24-hour photo and video reels that appear together in a slideshow format for everyone to see, not just your page followers. You can even add text, gifs, music, face filters and geo-stickers to give content more detail and personality, or create polls and questionnaires for more engaging brand experiences. Best of all, Instagram shows you just how many people have viewed your story, allowing you to gauge post effectiveness.

Paid Media Pays Off

In business, it takes money to make money, right? Instagram is the same. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that organic posts are good enough for attracting people. While this is true, posting organically may not attract as many views as desired. Having a Paid Media Spend Budget to back posts and push messages to a wider network within your targeted audience increases post reach, awareness, engagement and potential business leads.  A social media budget can spare you from the risk of making impulse marketing decisions that won’t generate desired outcomes. Remember! 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business. If that business is your competitor, boosting posts and running social media adverts are a great way to bring your brand, product or services to consumer awareness and disrupt your competitor’s strategy. Maybe even draw followers from their business to yours.

If after all these titbits of wisdom, you’re still overwhelmed by social media marketing and would rather trust the experts to manage your brand’s pages, get in touch with us. Learn more about our social media management services here.

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