Last September, Instagram announced it had over 400 million active users, many of which are businesses.
While Instagram isn’t necessarily right for every business, for brands marketing products or services (e.g., food, fashion and photography) that could benefit from being seen, it can be a powerful marketing tool.
However, with an average of 80 million photos being uploaded to the site each day, if you want to attract followers and keep them coming back to your Instagram page – and then going to your website – you can’t just post the occasional photo and hope Instagram users will find it.
Here are 10 great Instagram marketing tips to get your brand or business heard.
1. Use quality images.
The quality of your images can determine the success of your account, so try to avoid out-of-focus or poorly constructed photos and overly corporate images (i.e. stock photography).
Also, take a moment to edit photos on Instagram before you post them, so as to make them pop.
2. Brand your content.
Whether that means watermarking your content with your logo, using a specific font or creating an overall design style specific to your brand, it’s that little personal touch that’s important for people to be able to recognize that you’re the original source of the content.
3. Make the link in your profile trackable.
Tracking clicks to your website from Instagram is tricky, because you’re only offered one clickable URL (the link in your profile) and all clicks to that link open in a new window on your mobile device.Use URLs with UTM codes and/or set up a trackable link with a shortening tool like Bit.ly.
4. Time your posts.
Make sure your posts go live at a time when your audience is likely to be online. Research on your demographic group and take into account time zones as well.
5. Select the right hashtags.
Make sure you are using hashtags that appeal to your target audience,” says Heather Heuman, founder, Sweet Tea Social Marketing. “Yes, the hashtags #Starbucks and #McDonalds are popular, but they won’t convert to the right type of followers. Instead, use quality hashtags. A source like hashtagify.me is great for finding those specific hashtags you want.
“Using hashtags pertaining to your industry or brand category, such as #foodie for restaurant businesses, is a great way for people to discover your content,” says Eric Dahan, cofounder & CEO, InstaBrand.
What is the optimal number of hashtags? There is no magic number, but posts with around a dozen relevant/popular hashtags (such as #fashion, #instafood, #cool, #foodporn) tend to do much better than images with just a few hashtags.
6. Create a hashtag specific to your brand.
A good practice is to come up with one or two hashtags unique to your brand. This is a great way to drive social conversations about your brand by encouraging fans to post images about you using your unique hashtags.
7. Add location geotagging.
Some users view photos by location, so adding a location to your images can increase exposure and overall engagement.
Location tagging help to provide an overview of all photos tagged to a particular venue, location or business, and some Instagram users view photos by geo tags.
8. Show people using or interacting with your product(s).
Instagram posts with a human touch or element in them tends to attract more attention, love than those without. Even a glimpse of a hand in the picture boosts engagement.
9. Turn customer testimonials into images.
Use a free online tool such as PicMonkey to transform some of your clients’ testimonials into attractive images to share on Instagram.
10. Don’t be afraid of video.
Interactive or visual medias are all the rage these days. We’ve seen the popularity of YouTube skyrocket, and other platforms like Facebook and Instagram got in on the game as well.
Try using Instagram’s integrated Boomerang and Hyperlapse video apps to make things easy, for starter — and that would probably be the only push you’ll need to generating creative videos your audience will love.