If you’re tempted to dismiss Instagram as a marketing tool because it got its start as an app for sharing mobile photos, don’t. The truth is that Instagram marketing is on the rise, and the companies who use it reap significant benefits from their efforts there.
Instagram Statistics for Business
To begin, it may help to understand how big the potential rewards are for using Instagram as part of your marketing mix.
There is no question that marketing with Instagram offers a way for businesses to connect with existing and potential customers. The high level of engagement makes Instagram particularly effective for businesses to reach consumers directly.
Getting Started on Instagram
Do you want to get started on Instagram? Here’s a quick checklist to get you going.
Once you have completed these four simple steps, you’ll be set up and ready to start marketing with Instagram.
Building a Following
The next step is to build a following. Here are a few ideas to help you do that.
The main thing you need to do to build a following is to increase your visibility. People might not know that you’re on Instagram. But if you share content regularly, keep it relevant, and comment wherever it’s appropriate, people will find you.
How to Use Hashtags Effectively
Like Twitter, Instagram allows the use of hashtags to help users find relevant content. Hashtag use is really an art form and it’s important for businesses who market on Instagram to use hashtags wisely. Here are some pointers that can help you.
It’s also a good idea to create campaign-specific hashtags for special promotions and contests. For example, if you wanted to sponsor a contest that asked your followers to take photos of themselves using your products, you might create a special hashtag to allow you to track entries – and to allow your fans to view all the entries easily.
One final note: you may want to check out trending hashtags and use them, but be cautious. It’s easy to come off as callous if you attempt to use certain hashtags as a way of promoting your products. For example, you can certainly post a patriotic photo with the #NeverForget hashtag on September 11th, but it would be a mistake to try to make such a post about your product.
Instagram Stories for Marketing
In late summer of 2016, Instagram added a new feature that’s ideal for marketing: Instagram Stories. It’s similar to a feature on Snapchat that allows users to add content (in this case, images or videos) that last for only 24 hours. The content doesn’t appear on your regular Instagram feed, but creating a story can be an effective way to connect with your followers.
Instagram stories provide a fun and unique way to engage followers and drive traffic to your website. Many businesses have yet to adopt Instagram Story as part of their marketing strategy, but you can be an early adopter and reap the benefits right now.
Instagram might have started as a fun mobile app, but it has turned into an extremely valuable and powerful marketing tool for companies that know how to use it. If you create a compelling profile, use hashtags appropriately, and take advantage of new options like Instagram Stories, you can use Instagram to build brand awareness and attract new customers.