A Short Guide to Understanding Instagram Marketing

short guide to instagram

What started as a mobile app to share photos has evolved into a diverse social media platform called Instagram.

With over 1 billion users – about 60% of whom use the app daily – Instagram is the perfect platform to grow your audience and build brand awareness. In fact, 83% of users have said they discovered new products or services via Instagram.

Do you want to put your brand in front of Instagram’s engaged user base? It’s easy to get started!

Follow these tips to get started on Instagram:

  1. Create an Instagram Business or Creator account. With a Business or Creator account, you have access to additional insights, analytics, ability to advertise and special profile benefits (such as contact info).

Your username should represent not only your business but also your personal brand (if you have one). So, should you use your name, or your business’  name as your handle on Instagram?

Thoughts…

  • Use your name (or a like identifier) on Instagram​ if you have a strong personal brand or you are synonymous with your brand.
  • Use your brand’s name​ if your brand is more identifiable than your name, or if your brand is made up of more than one personality.
  1. Optimize your profile. Take the steps to optimize your profile so people can easily find you in search and learn about your business by looking at your profile.
  • Use a recognizable profile picture
  • Have searchable username and name
  • Choose the correct category for your business
  • Write an engaging, descriptive bio
  • Include website and contact information
    I use Linktree.io to add multiple links in my profile and not just one.
  1. Decide which hashtags to use for posts. Hashtags help categorize your content. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post. Choose at least one relevant hashtag so that users can find your business. Do not use the 30 thirty on all of your posts – mix it up. Try this hashtag tool https://keywordtool.io
  2. Get familiar with the types of posts on Instagram. There are a variety of ways you can share content and engage your audience on Instagram:
  • Your grid displays photos and videos that appear on your profile. Your posts can have captions with up to 2,200 characters. Keep in mind that the first two lines of your caption will appear before a “Read More” prompt. With this in mind, write the first two lines to be engaging or incite curiosity.
  • Stories are photos or videos that disappear after 24 hours unless they are added to your profile highlights. You can post more often. More behind the scenes.
  • You can post vertical, longer form videos via Instagram’s IGTV platform. These IGTV videos can also be displayed on your grid and stories.
  • Instagram Reels are 15-30 second vertical video clips that can be shared on your stories as well. These are a great way to engage your current audience.

From there, you can create a content schedule of what to post on Instagram.

Types of content to post on Instagram:

  1. Behind-the-scenes. Post content that shows followers the behind-the-scenes of your company.
  2. Motivational. Curate shareable, inspirational quotes that align with your brand values and resonate with your audience. Add your company’s branding to quote graphics you post on social media!
  3. Tutorial. Tutorials and how-tos guide your customers through specific problems. Tutorials are great targeted marketing examples because you know prospects who land on a tutorial are there to solve a specific problem.
  4. Video. There are a number of ways you can add video to Instagram, including Instagram stories, 60-second grid videos, 15-30 second reels, or on IGTV.
  5. User-Generated Content (UGC). Sharing posts from your followers (UGC) can be a great way to build a relationship with those followers, engage with other followers, and effortlessly fill your content schedule!
  6. Case studies and testimonials. This type of content uses real stories to show followers about your product or service. Through real customer stories, you can show that you understand customer pain points.
  7. Storytelling. This type of content tells your brand’s story. Even though it’s a story, there should be a lesson here. Storytelling content builds awareness and engages your prospective customers.

By balancing between these types of content, you hit many goals, including expanding your reach, connecting with your customer, and telling them about your business.

Overall, posting on Instagram humanizes your company through visuals.

There are plenty of ways to grow your reach and market on Instagram. It’s a dynamic platform that gives you many ways to connect with viewers and humanize your brand!

  1. Build your audience. 

By following the audience that you want to reach, you’re making them aware of your existence. You show up in their notifications as a recent new follower, and it’s easy for them to just press the + button to follow you as well.  For me I know that the followers of Entrepreneur Magazine are the audience I want to connect with. So I follow their followers.

Don’t go crazy here stay under Instagram’s radar so you don’t get closed down. I would not follow more than 25 accounts per day.

Okay you now have enough information to be dangerous. Follow me and I will follow back @solopreneursolutions

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