Technological advances always create marketing challenges for businesses – but they also bring new opportunities. Most people these days use at least one social media platform, which in theory should make it easy to connect with your audience. However, you cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to your marketing strategy for your business. Are you choosing the right platform, and are you using it to its fullest advantage?
Facebook is a widely popular preference for businesses, and it’s not hard to see why: it’s free, versatile and user-friendly. However, if you have a youthful customer base, you really need to recognise the importance of Instagram. Ninety per cent of its users are younger than 35, with the majority between 19 and 29. While many users may also have a Facebook presence, it’s rarely their first-choice platform. Instagram is the best way to reach your core demographic – and it’s also free, versatile and user-friendly!
So here’s what you need to know in order for you to rock your brand on Instagram:
1. Present your business in a creative way:
Instagram allows you to present the idea of your business in a different and creative way to your customers. The competition is increasing with every passing day, so you need to use techniques which ensure your business has a clear, coherent identity in the eyes of your followers.
2. Use visual content effectively:
The first and most important reason for using Instagram for your business is its power as a visual medium. Strong visual content is the best way to increase Instagram followers. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are generally text-led but with Instagram, the image carries all the impact.
3. Showcase your business with great images and less clutter:
Instagram has the ability to showcase your business with no distracting visual clutter. Unlike platforms which have multiple features competing for attention, the Instagram feed is simple and clean. Moreover, all posts have the same square format, while editing filters can be applied to enhance your images and establish a specific look and feel for your brand. Audiences appreciate creativity and respond to consistency.
4. Plentiful character allowance:
Character limits have their uses but what if your message simply can’t be contained in that way? The Instagram character limit is 2,220, which gives you greater freedom of expression.
5. Use ‘behind the scenes’ strategy:
Social media is all about humanising your business, giving customers the opportunity to take a look behind the curtain at the ‘real life aspect’ of what you do. By posting key images, videos and messages on Instagram, you can encourage a sense of investment from your audience.
6. Effective use of hashtags:
Instagram is the social media platform synonymous with hashtags. Used strategically and creatively, hashtags are a vital part of building your audience and communicating with them. Be sure to create key hashtags which are specific to you so that people can reach your account easily.
7. Constant evaluation:
No success can be attained if you do not get involved in evaluating your progress on Instagram. There are a lot of ways to chart and analyse the success of a marketing campaign. This evaluation will show you the negatives and positives of your particular strategy, giving you the opportunity to change and grow quickly.
8. Manage the colour palette:
Instagram allows you to create a unique background for the content you are posting, which strengthens your brand image. Select a colour palette which reflects your business well and makes you stand out from the crowd.
9. Be consistent with your fonts:
Choose your fonts carefully and be consistent with them. This will help to make your brand instantly recognisable to your followers, and to consolidate your online identity.
10. Post frequently:
Instagram will work for you only if you utilise it on a daily basis. Posting new, high-quality content at regular intervals keeps you visible to your followers and shows your commitment.
11. Communicate with people:
Another great thing about Instagram is that it allows you to communicate directly with existing and potential clients. Engaging with your audience in this way – for instance, answering enquiries promptly – demonstrates your responsiveness.
12. Effective usage of quotations:
Quotations – whether humorous, inspiring or thought-provoking – are a simple but effective way to communicate with your followers. Adding a few well-chosen words every day will attract a lot of attention and responses, as well as reinforcing the image of your brand.
13. Use trends to market your brand:
Harnessing trends to market a new product or deal is another simple but effective way to boost your online presence and the health of your business. It shows that you have your ‘finger on the pulse’ of online conversations and events.
14. Use Instagram Stories:
Stories give you are great opportunity to showcase moments as they happen or have happened during the day. Take advantage of the opportunities while this feature is relatively new, add video, stickers and messages. Have fun!
15. Provide videos of brand moments:
As mentioned in Tip #5, your followers are interested in knowing what happens behind the scenes of your business. By posting videos of funny, important and memorable moments, you are encouraging in your audience their sense of a relationship with you.
16. Arrange competitions for your followers:
Competitions in which each and every person can take part on a level playing field are a fantastic way to instil loyalty amongst existing followers and attract new ones at the same time. Offer a great surprise gift – the better the prize, the bigger the pay-off for your business.
Putting these sixteen tips into practice is a surefire way to increase Instagram followers. If you don’t have an account, set up one today and get creative. Instagram is no passing fad; it is now used by thousands of brands for strategic marketing purposes. Used wisely, it’s a powerful tool for making your business more visible, more competitive and more successful.