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Mar

14

2017

8 Ways Marketers Can Use Instagram More Effectively

One of the prime challenges for digital marketers on social media is cutting through the sea of other posts that are captivating users’ eyes. On Facebook and Twitter, users are overwhelmed by the amount of text, image and video content available on their feed, often ignoring a large percentage of it. This response is not as prevalent on Instagram, as the focus is primarily images onlysomething the human mind can process quicker than text and video. If Instagram is not part of your digital marketing campaign, now’s the time to give it a try.   

Just six years after its launch, the platform has reached a milestone of 500 million monthly active users — more than Twitter and these users are more engaging on average than people are on the other networks. Developing an Instagram marketing campaign requires a lot of research, but, as this infographic from Website Builder aptly illustrates, there are plenty of useful facts and statistics that can help you get on the right track. Here are eight things we learned from the infographic that can help marketers use Instagram more effectively: 

1. Identify Your Branding Goals

Before posting random content on Instagram, determine what branding goals you wish to achieve. You can create product or brand awareness, reinforce brand perceptions, associate with partners and celebrities to popularize the brand and much more. Building customer loyalty and increasing engagement among the target audience should be one of your primary objectives, regardless of the purpose of the post. Instead of selling products or services through Instagram, establish your brand identity and gain users’ trust first. You can do this by engaging with comedy (memes!), pop culture and behind-the-scenes aspects of your business. 

2. Understand the Needs of Your Audience

While you want people to follow you and engage with your brand, you have to give them a solid reason to do so. The Instagram community is dynamic. You can enhance the experience by understanding your target market properly. You must determine the voice of your campaign depending on the feelings of your followers. This means clearly focusing on the role you want your brand to play in the lives of your audience. Establish clear content themes for marketing. Gather as much information as possible about your audience to create a campaign that will keep their interest. Research for relevant hashtags and find the right time to post for your niche market. Keep the caption simple and clutter free.  

3. Keep the Content Real and Authentic 

On Instagram, you want to build a personality for your brand and make it identifiable with your followers. Focus on creating images that are authentic and immediately resonate. While you can curate content, your audience should not feel that you are forcing any brand upon them. Candid and behind-the-scene photos are highly engaging since they’re real. Additionally, posts with faces receive more engagement than those without faces. Overall, while you can include promotional content, keep it to a minimum.  

4. Embrace Video 

Instagram was primarily an image-sharing platform, but it has since introduced video and story-form content. Photos receive more engagement than the videos, but video can be a nice compliment if used the right way. Create quirky videos that identify with your content themes. It is better to create videos that don’t require the user to turn on the sound. Increase engagement by using live videos, exploiting the fear of missing out among your audience. Live videos are perfect for creating time-sensitive contests and followers can only benefit from the offer if they join the broadcast. You can also use Instagram Stories to engage users who will be compelled to click.  

5. Make Content Discoverable  

The importance of hashtags on Instagram can't be stressed enough. These hashtags enable your niche audience to find your posts. At the same time, you should not add too many hashtags to a post, as it will be less authentic. Use hashtag research tools to find the right hashtag for your marketing campaign. When you announce contests to boost followers, it is better to create contest-specific hashtags. Including location tags will also greatly increase visibility.  

6. Use the Power of Influencers and User-Generated Content 

It can be incredibly hard to create engaging content week after week without boring your audience. Tap the power of Instagram by creating campaigns around user-generated content (i.e. collaborating with followers or authorities in your niche). This is highly useful for creating contests, providing there are rewards for users when they share your photos using the relevant hashtags. This will keep your Instagram feed fresh. It’s also useful for reaching followers you wouldn’t usually have access to.  

7. Use Instagram Tools to Your Advantage 

Instagram is a fairly new social media platform and doesn’t provide too many tools that marketers can use. You can however, automate some part of Instagram campaigns using schedulers. Planning the campaign and scheduling the posting tasks will give you more time to reply to comments, review the audience and engage with them even more. Various third party research tools are also available that can help you to analyze your audience to design a more effective campaign.  

8. Track and Analyze Results Constantly 

Stay active on Instagram by posting at least three to five times per week. While you can spend a lot of time curating and posting all the content you want, all your efforts will go to waste if you don’t track the results. At the beginning of each marketing campaign, you can only guess audience reaction. Instagram provides live statistics on the number of comments, likes and followers, which you can analyze to determine success rates. Various tracking tools are also available that can help you track the progress of your ongoing Instagram campaigns.  

In the end, Instagram provides numerous opportunities for experimenting with marketing campaigns. You can follow the top brands in your niche to understand how to create effective Instagram campaigns and, as the user base continues to grow, you can expect new marketing tools from the creators of Instagram that will help you use it more effectively. 
Guide on social media for b2b organizations

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