For most businesses today, Instagram is the preferred social media platform for launching a digital presence. After all, the site has over a billion active users and is one of the best places to scout potential clients and collaborators. However, because of this very reason, it’s also easy to let your business account turn into one of the many lost in the sea of business accounts trying to find a stronghold. Therefore, staying at the top of your marketing practices is crucial for building and continually improving your business presence on Instagram. It’s nevertheless doable with a bit of planning and thoughtful strategizing.
What Benefits Can Your Business Gain with Improved Instagram Marketing?
Instagram is a fast-growing platform and continually improves itself to cater to all users, including those aiming to use it primarily for business networking. As a result, you can capitalize on the immense potential of the platform and build a huge follower count for your brand. There are several reasons you need followers on this site:
- Your follower count acts as an index of your popularity and reaches for visitors to your account. A good count here can convince potential clients to follow your activities and posts.
- When your followers interact organically with your posts, your engagement rates propel and push your posts up on the visibility ranks.
- You can keep your business strategies updated and use the latest social trends to build your brand presence more prominently.
- The platform gives you opportunities for business-to-business networking as much as it brings new clients to your account.
- Power contacts among your followers can enable you to build your brand both online and offline.
- Engaged traffic builds your brand a loyal community of its own. Likewise, word-of-mouth marketing and UGC endorsements can create lasting brand value for your business.
There are some aspects of your Instagram presence you must be continually attentive to in order to achieve the ideal business growth opportunities.
Here is a quick walkthrough on how to change your Instagram business marketing for the better:
Step 1: Aim for improving your interactive follower count
As already pointed out, your follower count is one of the first numbers a new visitor sees when they land on your account. A large follower count tends to give your account an impression of being famous and credible and can convince your new visitors to follow your account. However, consider what happens next. Instagram algorithms calculate your engagement rate based on your reach, impressions, and conversions. How many have viewed your posts, liked, commented, shared, or saved determines the engagement metrics for a particular post apart from factors like audience response time. This implies that an inactive follower count may look good at first but is actually detrimental to your brand-building process. Mere numbers of inactive or dormant accounts will only contribute to your vanity metrics. The lower your engagement rate, the lower your chances of being featured on individual home feeds gets. Your visibility ranking on Instagram’s search also drops down considerably. Hence it would help if you aimed to create a big but at the same time organic follower count. To improve your business presence, seek to improve your traffic generation and audience engagement rate. This includes periodically going through your follower list and removing dormant or inactive accounts to make way for real active followers.
Step 2: Set Micro goals
Wanting to improve your business is too broad and vague a goal. To achieve this end, you have to break it down to time-bound and measurable micro-goals. What aspects of your business do you want to concentrate on improving? Do you want to increase your audience count for particular events? Do you want to draw more interaction towards a specific type of content? Do you want to research marketing funnels? When do you want this to be completed? Do you have a budget in place? In other words, to be successful on Instagram, you must have a solid micro goal strategy in place. For this:
- Research your past behavior and metrics on Instagram.
- Highlight what you want to focus on and what changes you need to bring about your existing Instagram marketing strategy to achieve the set goals.
- Establish budget constraints and necessities.
- Set a realistic and reasonable micro goal and work towards fulfilling it. What you need is focus, consistency, and mindfulness as you conduct your Instagram activities intending to achieve these mini-goals.
- Review, adjust and change your micro-goal strategy as needed. Keep in mind your approach to Instagram marketing will depend on the goals you set. What works for a fellow business account in the same industry may not be the optimal POA for your account because of the difference in your respective micro-goals.
- If needed, employ the use of a team to look after your online marketing strategies. You can also use the convenience of several applications designed for the purpose.
Step 3: Be social
You cannot build yourself up in isolation when it comes to building a social media presence. Improving your business on a social media platform is no different. The key here is in the word “social”. You must be organically active yourself to find reciprocal audience traction on your activities and feed.
Here are some ways you can keep the social in social networking alive:
- Be Responsive: Answer queries and respond to compliments and comments as quickly as you can. Reply to DMs with similar promptness. You can employ auto-reply tools to generate acknowledgment and appreciation in response to audience comments. Likewise, it would be best if you acknowledged tags and mentions where and whenever made. If tags are unsolicited, politely let the Instagram user know via DM. Either way, do not leave it ignored!
- Be Polite, Approachable, and Civil: No matter who you interact with and in what circumstances, keep your conversations civil and polite. Even when you respond to trolls and bots, it never pays to be uncouth on social media. Remember, each interaction reflects your brand’s persona, and your goal is to build it up!
- Interact with Your Peer: Become a member of professional niche communities your business caters to. Join communities with your competitors. Keep in mind, you are members of the same industry, and running competition healthy also means learning from your peers. Keep yourself updated on trends and events in your business communities. Participate in the conversations and events. Collaborate and co-host Instagram events and contests. Build yourself up as a credible member of your industry, and you will find your target audience organically find your account.
- Be at the Top of Your Hashtag Strategy: Instagram uses hashtags the exact way search engines use SEO keywords. Therefore, every post and caption can be hashtag enriched. However, choose your hashtags with care and ensure they build meaning into your posts besides directing your target audience to your account.
- Showcase Your Best: While you humanize your brand, remember you are operating the account as the brand’s voice. So always put out your best professional front. Take opportunities to soft-sell yourself and involve yourself in events and activities organized on the platform.
- Use All Available Features of Instagram to Your Advantage: Instagram for business has several features that can exclusively be used to enhance your online business presence. Do not be afraid to explore and experiment. Some ways of doing this are:
- Publish posts in different formats to check what works well for you. You can cross-post and re-use the same content to create reels, stories and videos simultaneously.
- Use call-to-action buttons on your profile if your country of residence allows for this feature. Instagram has partnered with several sites to enable your visitors to book and reserve seats and services, ask for quotations and perform several other direct transactions with you using CTA buttons. You will need to have an active account set up on one of these partnering sites to use this feature.
- Create shoppable posts: If you have a Facebook business page, you can sync your Instagram account to create shoppable Instagram posts. This allows you to connect your Instagram account to your Facebook product catalog. Placing clickable product tags on your posts will let your viewers shop and checkout directly from Instagram without leaving the platform. By providing a unique shopping experience, you can upgrade your Instagram account to a shopping site for your target audience and improve your business further.
- Earn revenue from your IGTV videos: This is a feature available in select countries. You can monetize your IGTV videos and earn a commission on the same following specific guidelines.
- Go live: Social media users are preferential towards live videos over pre-recorded ones, especially when checking out services and products. It allows them to check these out in real-time. In addition, live videos build brand credibility and trust. So whether you go live yourself or collaborate with influencers and affiliate marketing professionals, factoring in live videos in your Instagram marketing strategy is always a good idea for your business.
Step 4: Evaluate your performance
This is a necessary step in any plan execution exercise. Take time to self-assess your productivity and your target audience’s responses. Instagram offers business account holders the advantage of checking insights on their post performances for free. Use Instagram’s analytics to understand:
- Who is most interactive with your posts?
- What type of posts receive majority audience engagement?
- What time of posting brings your account the best audience engagement rates?
- How soon after a post is published is it able to generate audience traction?
- Are you able to reach new audiences with your latest posts?
- Has there been a comparative increase or decline in receiving audience interactions?
Depending on your macro and micro-goals, different performance metrics would hold different degrees of importance for you. Nevertheless, a good rule of thumb is to look for a positive change in your:
- Engagement rates;
- Hashtag performance;
- Follower growth;
- Traffic generation to call-to-action links.
Step 5: Revise your marketing plans as needed
As with any good marketing strategy, be open to changes and revisions. Instagram is a continually evolving social media site. It would help if you kept yourself updated on its changing rules and regulations, feature changes and advancements, and changing algorithms and calculators. In addition to this, you must also keep an eye on your audience’s response and engagement. Keeping all of this in mind, be prepared to alter the following as and when needed:
- Type of Posts: Although it is good to use different types of posts on a visual platform like Instagram, sometimes sticking to a particular type of post can work better for certain businesses. Likewise, users tend to grow visual brand associations for your posts if you use specific details consistently. Some of these details include:
- Color scheme;
- Borders and fonts;
- Infographics presentation formats;
- The tone of presentation;
- Use of brand-specific hashtags and captions.
- Quality of Posts: Regardless of how many types of posts you put up, your viewers expect high-quality content from your end. Maintain quality consistency and strive to better it to attract maximum audience engagement degree reach.
- Advertising Investments: Advertising can give your account a significant push in visibility and reach. Instagram provides advertising opportunities to suit all budgets and several types of end-goals. You can choose, for instance, where you want traffic generated to be directed – your profile, the landing page you have specified, or your DM services. You can also set a target audience reach, campaign spending limits, daily budgets, the period for running the campaign, and much more. Invest in a variety of ad formats to see what brings you the best returns.
- Influencer Marketing Strategy: Consider collaborations with influencers in your niche to reach your target audience with more success. Working with influencers can significantly improve your business on Instagram because of their ability to create public opinion and trust.
As you can see, building yourself up on Instagram does not ever end. Improving your business presence on Instagram is a continuous process. As long as you are operating an account on Instagram, your business has the potential to grow more credible and visible on the platform. As such, keep your Instagram marketing strategy organic and rolling. No matter how well you have established yourself now, you can widen your reach and impression further. Bottom line: pause to rest, revise and restructure before resuming your marketing game. You haven’t reached the finish line yet, and it’s just the end of a lap!