What is the most growing social media site in the world? Instagram. There are over 800 million Instagram accounts worldwide are active every single month. More than 500 million of whom use Instagram every single day. They are sharing an average of 95 million photos and videos per day. Many people even me believe it will cross 1 billion active user in 2018. Those are huge numbers. As a small business owner you can’t ignore that number. If you are not active in this platform, I am sure you are losing some potential customer everyday. It doesn’t matter who your audience is – age, gender, occupation, anything – you’ll be sure to reach them through Instagram. Here all marketing trends brings some killer Instagram Marketing Guide for you.
In this article you will learn:
- Why use Instagram for business?
- Where do you get started with Instagram?
- How can you stand out among the other 95 million photos posted each day?
- The formula for Instagram success
- How to Create an Instagram Marketing Strategy
- Who of your audience are on Instagram?
- How to optimize your Instagram profile?
- Creating content for Instagram marketing
- 3 successful brands on Instagram and their content pillars
- The 7 keys to cohesive content to drive exceptional results
- How to find your best frequency and timing on Instagram
- What time should you post to Instagram?
- How to learn what’s working with your Instagram marketing
- How to calculate engagement rate on Instagram
These are all questions we’d love to help you answer in this guide. So, let’s start reading and end of the article you can learn everything.
Why use Instagram for business? (Instagram Marketing Guide)
From major brands to local, family-run shops, businesses around the world are driving proven results with Instagram. With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram has huge potential for marketers. But the potential in Instagram lies more in the user behavior than the numbers. Instagram users like to connect with brands.
Research shows that brands enjoy a number of benefits and on Instagram:
- 80 per cent of users follow a business on Instagram.
- 60% of users find new products on Instagram.
- 75% of Instagram users take action (like, visit link, follow or purchase) after visiting a post.
Social media has proved it’s power to influence purchase decisions. If you have enough Instagram followers with quality content and proper engagements, you can be success! Your audience will increase and even buy from you. It’s the marketers dream.
The formula for Instagram success (Instagram Marketing Guide)
Success for businesses on Instagram not only depends on publishing a few nice looking images. You need to also have these elements:
- Clear vision and strategy
- Consistent frequency
- Familiarity with your audience
- Clear visual style
When you combine together these ingredients, Instagram can deliver huge results for your business. And it may take your business to the next label.
Take katespadeny, for example. The fashion brand has amassed a hugely engaged audience on Instagram (over 2.3m followers and 25,000 to 30,000 likes per post). The platform has become a key marketing channel for them, enabling them to connect with thousands of potential customers on a daily basis.
So, how do katespadeny and other successful brands stand out on Instagram? We put together this guide to help you craft your own Instagram marketing strategy that’s based on a clear vision and results that you can measure.
How to Create an Instagram Marketing Strategy? (Instagram Marketing Guide)
Why are you on Instagram? Choose 1-to-2 main goals. Whether you’re completely new to Instagram and preparing to share your first post or are already established and looking to boost your presence on the platform, it’s important to start with clear goals in mind. Setting goals will help you to define your strategy on Instagram and create content that will help you to achieve your targets.
Here are some common ones that brands, teams, and individuals tend to choose:
- Showcase your products or services
- Build your community
- Increase awareness of your brand
- Showcase your company culture and values
- Advertise to potential customers
- Increase brand loyalty
- Share company news and updates
It’s best to choose one or two goals for your Instagram account, either from the above list or a custom goal of your choosing. To help decide which goals make sense for you, it can be good to consider the following questions:
- Why are you using Instagram?
- How can Instagram assist you in achieving your overall marketing goals?
- How much time or budget can you commit to Instagram?
- And How does Instagram offer you something different to other platforms?
Here at all marketing trends we have two main goals for our Instagram marketing strategy.
Our first goal is to build and nurture an engaged community of all marketing trends users and supporters.
The second goal for our Instagram marketing strategy is to continually increase engagement on every one of our posts.
Currently, our engagement rate (avg. engagement per post/number of followers) is about 2% which is a bit higher than industry standard. We’re focusing on producing the highest quality content (image and video) so that our engagement rate stays at or above this benchmark.
Who of your audience are on Instagram? (Instagram Marketing Guide)
Search Instagram demographics and understanding is an important part of ensuring you’re hitting your target audience. Pew Research released a breakdown of Instagram demographics and I’d love to share the key findings with you here.
Age and gender of internet users on Instagram. Roughly half of internet-using young adults ages 18-29 (53%) use Instagram.
Here the full breakdown of age groups:
53% of 18–29 year olds use Instagram.
25% of 30–49 year olds use Instagram.
11% of 50–64 year olds use Instagram.
6% of people 65+ use Instagram.
Also, slightly more of Instagram’s users are female:
29% of online females use Instagram.
22% of online males use Instagram.
Location of Instagram users:
28% of Instagram users live in urban areas.
26% of Instagram users live in suburban areas.
19% of Instagram users live in rural areas.
Instagram education demographics:
31% of Instagram users have some college experience.
24% of Instagram users are college graduates.
23% of Instagram users are high school grads or less.
Instagram income demographics:
28% of adults making less than $30,000
26% of adults making over $75,000
26% of adults making $50,000–$74,999
23% of adults making $30,000–$49,999
Now that you have your goals in mind and know which members of your audience are active on Instagram, you can get started on building out your presence on Instagram. First task: optimized your Instagram profile.
How to optimize your Instagram profile? (Instagram Marketing Guide)
Your Instagram profile is your homepage on the platform. It provides you with space to share a little information about you or your business and also gives you the chance to drive some traffic back to your website. In this section, we’ll guide you through how to maximize your Instagram profile and drive as much value as possible from it.
Your bio description:
Your description is very personal to your brand, what you choose to share here should be representative of your business and show your followers what you do as a company. Most businesses tend to include either (or both) of the below:
- Brand slogan or tagline (e.g. Nike’s “Just Do It”)
- An outline of who you are and what you do.
Some large brands also choose to include a brand hashtag within their bio (for example, All Marketing Trends below).
Your profile picture is one of the most important parts of your Instagram profile. When someone views one of your posts or clicks on your profile, it’s great if your brand is instantly recognizable. For many brands this tends to mean using one of three options:
- Logomark (the logo, minus any words)
Unlike many other social networks, Instagram doesn’t allow you to add links to every post. Instead, you only get one link, and that’s the one in your profile.
Most businesses tend to use this link to drive traffic back to their homepage, and this link can also be a key way to drive traffic from Instagram to a specific landing pages or individual pieces of content.
Creating content for Instagram marketing (Instagram Marketing Guide)
You might heard that content is the king. It’s true for every social media and website. The 95 million photos and videos shared daily to the platform are the reason more than 500 million people open the app every day. And content should be at the core of your strategy, too.
But what should you post about?
Before you get into thinking about your visual style, it’s good to have a clear vision for the type of content you’re putting out. Some brands focus on their products.
For example, Nike Running often make their trainers and running equipment the focal point of their content:
“I started running because I wanted to change the conversation about what a runner looked like.” ⠀ ⠀ @hayet.rida, a body-positive blogger from Chicago, is pushing the pace for what it means to #ChooseGo. After only 6 months of training, Hayet finished her first 8k this past weekend and is continuing to train for her next race. ⠀ ⠀ Join her and the 1.6 million other Go-Getters in the Nike Run Club app.
At All Marketing Trends, our Instagram marketing strategy is to post consistently quality content that aims to build all marketing trends brand while also connecting on an individual basis with our community members. We believe strongly in the power of one-on-one interactions and connections.
In that spirit, we’ve created the hashtag #AllMarketingTrends which allows our community to tell a story about what they’re passionate about both personally and professionally. Instagram is a tremendous medium for short-form content, but there’s also the possibility for relevant, long-form content. Our audience has responded quite well to the passionate stories of others.
There’s no hard and fast rule for the best angle to take when it comes to your strategy — it’ll vary from business to business. What’s important is to focus on creating content that aligns with both your audience and your goals. This starts with defining your content pillars.
Build your content pillars for Instagram marketing (Instagram Marketing Guide)
The foundations of any strategy are built on solid content pillars or themes. Every business, no matter its size, industry or location has a wealth of potentially brilliant content to share on Instagram. Whether it’s stories from your employees, culture-focused content, or product-led demos, there’s a whole host of opportunities and worthy subjects for your videos and photos.
Some example content pillars include (but aren’t limited to):
- Behind the scenes content
- User generated content
- Product demos / showcase
- Educational (e.g. the best social media tips)
- Culture focused (showing the human side of your company)
- Fun / lighthearted
- Customer stories
- Get to know the team
- Team member takeovers
What I love to do when it comes to defining themes is to open up a notepad and throw around some ideas. Starting with some key company values, I then scribble down everything that comes to mind. From these notes, you can then start to formulate ideas for your key content pillars.
For example at All Marketing Trends, here are the themes we work with:
- User generated content
- Digital nomad lifestyle
- Productivity and motivation
3 successful brands on Instagram and their content pillars (Instagram Marketing Guide)
1. Saturday Night Live:
Saturday Night Live’s Instagram feed focus on two key pillars. Taking fans behind the scenes of the show and sharing exclusive clips. When fans check Instagram they can expect to see a fun-filled photo or video of their favorite SNL stars or get a sneak peek at what goes on behind the cameras to get the show out there.
FedEx’s feed consists of photos based around the theme of FedEx’s delivery drivers, vans and planes out in the wild. they often feature images shared with them by followers, too – a great way to keep their fans on the lookout for FedEx vehicles to photograph. Their feed also gives off a vibe of high-end, artistic photography.
Oreo put their product at the heart of their Instagram content and manage to do so in a way that’s fun and highly engaging. They often use entertaining copy within the images themselves and use solid, vibrant backgrounds to make their posts stand out within the Instagram feed.
The 7 keys to cohesive content to drive exceptional results
Once you have your content themes in place (you can always test and adapt themes to see what works best), it’s time to bring it all together into a content plan. A content plan should help you define the style and aesthetic feel of your posts, alongside how frequently you’re going to post to Instagram.
Let’s begin with a look at how to create your Instagram style guide.
1. Style guide: One of the most important parts of any social media strategy is the style guide. Why are they so important? They ensure consistency across all marketing channels and throughout every piece of content you produce.
Style guides contain all the necessary information for a piece of content from beginning to end — from the design and layout of post to the copy and hashtags that accompany it. When it comes to Instagram you should consider the following items:
- Color palette
2. Composition: Composition refers to the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art, as distinct from the subject of a work. Not every marketer is an expert photographer, so it can be great to define a few quick composition rules.
- Solid background color
- Main focus of the picture set to the Rule of Thirds
- Extra space at top/bottom for text
3. Color palette: Picking out a color palette will help keep your feed consistent and focused. Having a palette doesn’t mean that you can strictly only use these colors, but it will help your posts have a nice consistent, familiar feeling. It can feel great to keep your color palette in line with other areas of your brand, too.
Let us know your opinion on this Instagram Marketing Guide by comment:
4. Fonts: If you’re going to post quotes or text overlays on your Instagram images, you should try to keep the fonts consistent with your brand by choosing the same fonts you use on your website or other marketing materials.
5. Filters: Instagram filters can make amateur photographers feel like pros. And if you don’t have high-end photography equipment or editing software, they’re a great way to enhance photos with just a few taps. Filters can drastically change the look and feel of a photo or video, so it’s important to use only a few that you feel best represent your brand and stick to the few you’ve chosen. Using a different filter for every post can quickly make an Instagram feed feel a little disjointed.
6. Captions: Instagram captions are limited to 2,200 characters, and after three lines of text they become truncated with an ellipsis. Captions are a chance to enhance your content further and there are plenty of ways brands use them. Some choose to treat captions as a place for sharing stories and micro-blogging, others use them to add a short, snappy headline to a post and others use captions to ask questions and encourage replies. The possibilities are endless. What’s important is to ensure the copy is aligned with your brand.
7. Hashtags: Hashtags have become a uniform way to categorize content on many social media platforms. It allow Instagrammers to discover content and accounts to follow. Research found that posts with over 11 hashtags tend to get more engagement.
Note: If you would like to avoid adding too many hashtags to your caption, you can also add hashtags as comments.
When it comes to choosing the right hashtags for your content, it’s best to do your research and see which hashtags people in your market are using and which are most active.
How to find your best frequency and timing on Instagram? (Instagram Marketing Guide)
There’s a lot to be said for consistency on social media. Consistency and publishing frequency can help your audience learn when to expect new content from you, and keeping a consistent schedule makes sure you maximize engagement without hitting any lulls or stretches without updates.
A study by Union Metrics found that most brands post to Instagram daily. In fact the average was 1.5 posts per day. The study also found and this was really interesting that, there was no correlation between increased frequency and lower engagement, meaning brands that posted more than twice per day didn’t see any ill effects.
Our best advice here is to aim to post at least once per day on Instagram.
What time should you post to Instagram? (Instagram Marketing Guide)
With Instagram’s recent change to an algorithmic timeline, timing is now one of many elements considered by the algorithm when it decides what content to show you. So it’s important to post at the times when your content is likely to pick up the most engagement. Our hunch here is Instagram’s algorithm may then determine this post should appear near the top of your follower’s feeds.
CoSchedule collected research from 16 social media studies to come up with these best practices for Instagram:
- Mondays and Thursdays drive the most engagement.
- The time of day with the most engagement is 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.
It could be best to treat these best practices as guidelines and times to test out since the best time to post can rely on a bunch of factors and vary from profile to profile. For example, we’ve found that our best time at All Marketing Trends is 11:00 a.m. Pacific.
How to learn what’s working with your Instagram? (Instagram Marketing Guide)
Tracking your performance and results is essential to any social media strategy. This enables you to decipher which types of content your audience finds most engaging and allows you to optimize your strategy as you move forward.
Paying close attention to your audience growth, and the number of likes and comments your posts receive will give you clues as to what’s working and what could maybe be improved. If you’d like to dive even more in-depth, you can work out an engagement rate for each of your posts.
How to calculate engagement rate on Instagram? (Instagram Marketing Guide)
The engagement rate is calculated by taking the number of likes + comments and dividing that number by the number of followers your account had at the time of posting.
Here’s an example:
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The above post received 310 and 35 comments. At the time of posting, we had 26,910 followers. So the engagement rate would be worked out as follows:
310 (likes) + 35 (comments) = 345
345 / 26,910 (followers) = Engagement rate of 0.012%
There’s nothing called ‘best’ in Marketing Strategy. If something works for someone in some market it isn’t sure that’d work for you too. Also, if something didn’t work for someone it doesn’t mean it won’t work for everyone. You should have a personal approach or a better word would be ‘creativity’ to do it.
As you progress with your Instagram marketing strategy, you’ll begin to notice some trends and what types of content help you to reach your goals. It’s never easy to build a loyal, engaged following on any channel, but with the right approach and enough experimenting you’ll find a great fit for your brand.