Social media marketing is a cornerstone of any good online marketing strategy, and it pays to be aware of your options. If you already use Facebook, Twitter and other platforms for outreach, it is useful to learn about the potential of Instagram as well. Here are several ways you can use Instagram to build a new audience.
Research Your Audience
As many as 32% of internet users are now on Instagram, making it a large pool of potential leads. However, to make this platform work for you, you will have to match your messaging to the interests of the typical Instagram user. The majority of people on Instagram are women between the ages of 18 and 29. If your product or service is aimed at this demographic, Instagram could be the perfect way to reach them. Learn which posts from similar brands are most successful to get a sense of how to plan your strategy.
Hashtags guide users to your content, so it helps to spend some time learning how to use them effectively. Recent changes to Instagram mean that users can now follow (and unfollow) particular hashtags. This makes it easier for you to reach potential subscribers, but it also means you will face increased competition when using popular hashtags. Use a variety of hashtags and don’t rely on any one too heavily to reach the largest number of users and avoid the possible negative impact of people unfollowing certain hashtags.
Contests are a tried and true way to build a following on social media, and Instagram makes it easy to set one up. Selfie contests are especially popular on the platform, and you can encourage followers to “vote” with likes. Make sure you set a clear time frame and provide a great incentive, such as a giveaway of free products. A contest is also a good opportunity to partner with other businesses to increase exposure.
Instagram requires a high degree of engagement to successfully cultivate a large following, so it is best to automate the process when possible—especially when you have a limited amount of time and money to spend on social media marketing. Tools like SocialDrift allow you to connect with other users through shared hashtags and other parameters. Many social media marketing automation tools are free to use, so don’t miss an opportunity to streamline your efforts.
Tell a Story with Video
Instagram’s exciting new Story feature allows you to share short videos that tell users a bit about your brand, much like the similar feature available on Snapchat. You can also post regular videos such as ads, how-to videos, interviews and more. Video is an increasingly popular and fast-growing vehicle for digital marketers, and it’s a perfect way to get creative and show off what makes your brand special. Be sure to clearly state your company name at the beginning and include a clear call to action in all your video content.