Businesses are increasingly using
Instagram in their marketing strategies to grow and engage with their audience, around 80% of Instagram users follow at least one brand on the platform. Instagram is one of the best and most used social media platforms, with 500 million users daily. With great reach potential and excellent engagement, it makes it an easy platform to connect with millions of people every day around the world. 

Since its inception, Instagram has shown to be an essential platform for a business to use that is looking to expand its presence and visibility of their services or products on social media. Research shows that consumers respond well to imagery and videos; therefore, by using Instagram you can create a visual feed for your brand, display the uniquenesses, difference or ranges of the products or services you offer. If your business isn’t using Instagram or are wanting to improve your strategy on the platform, continue reading our blog on 5 ways for businesses to succeed on Instagram and how your company can benefit from the social media channel.

Create High-Quality Content for Instagram

Quality is always better than quantity; therefore this is the same for a brand’s Instagram feed. Research has shown that pictures on Instagram generate 23% more engagement than Facebook. The best way to understand good quality content on Instagram is to have a personal Instagram account so you can view the content from the perspective of potential customers. There are different content styles that work best for different brands, one is “behind the scenes” content of how you make and construct your products, consumers love this content as they can see the process and material going into the product. It can highlight the brands’ personality and increase the chances of people wanting to know more and buy into the brand. 

5 ways for businesses to succeed on InstagramFor creating high-quality content it is good to know how to take photos that are engaging and will stop people scrolling down their Instagram feed. Some businesses hire professional photographers to take products and in use images of the products so people can capture the idea of them using it. However for smaller businesses with lower budgets, you don’t need professional photographers, you can monitor and learn how to take photos and which angles work best for your feed. Best practices show that if you follow other Instagram accounts similar to your brand or ones you admire their feed, you can take inspiration of types of styles and formats to use for your photos or videos. After a while, all brands develop their own styles and make it part of their brand toolkit for social media advertising but if you are new to the platform then it’s best to test a few different styles to see what works best for your brand.  

Some businesses focus on product only photos, you can see this method being utilised well in the watch and jewellery sector. Product photos work extremely well when highlighting aspects of your products; the uniqueness, the shape, materials etc. Another aspect of high-quality content on Instagram is their stories feature, users and brands can share an image or video content in a slideshow format but will only be active for 24 hours. However, if you want to keep the story active on your page you can create a story highlight which will stay on your Instagram page until you remove it. Story highlights are great if you want to showcase a new range or seasonal products. The content you use to upload onto Instagram stories doesn’t have to be as polished and perfect as what you use on the feed, as this feature is quite informal, audience engagement is better as they are experiencing something real. Furthermore, businesses should remember when creating content for their Instagram page, it should be on-brand. Make sure they are all consistent with colours, fronts, logos etc. This will make it easier for followers to resonate with the content, as they will know what brand it is straight away without even looking at the account name. 

Hashtags on Instagram for Businesses 

Hashtags can be the key to success on Instagram, as to reach more people and grow the audience you need to use hashtags. They allow you to showcase your content to the relevant people that may engage with it. For businesses, you need to plan and strategically think about the hashtags you want to use, for example, you need to keep them relevant to your brand, products and services. Best practices show it is best to compile your hashtags into a list and separate them for content type or category, so you can easily access them when you need them. 

It’s a good idea to look at brands similar and see what hashtags they are using, also when searching for hashtags, Instagram will create a list of similar ones that could work also. When searching and looking at hashtags it will show you how many people follow the hashtag you are looking at, this can range to 10 million users to 10 users – this will demonstrate how popular that particular hashtag is. Most brands create a list of hashtags that include; extremely popular hashtags, moderately popular hashtags, niche-specific hashtags and brand hashtags. 

Engaging with the Audience

When using any social media platform, it is very important to take time to engage and reply to followers. Not only does it show you engaging but can help your audience feel valued. The best way to show engagement on Instagram is by responding to comments that people have left on your posts. By answering a followers question or simply saying thanks if someone left a nice comment can go a long way and can encourage them to comment, like or share your content in the future. 

5 ways for businesses to succeed on InstagramOn the other hand, someone could comment on your post with a complaint, therefore, it is good to respond as quickly as possible to this to minimise any damage control of other followers seeing this with no reply. By responding fast to a complaint it shows you are taking their concern seriously and showing good customer service. When responding to complaints or negative comments avoid having the full discussion on the comments section for everyone to see, instead direct people to send a direct message to you so the conversion then becomes private. 

Another way to engage with your audience on Instagram is to ask for your follower’s opinions, by creating polls on stories and asking them to comment on their favourite product or range from your brand, by doing this the brand can respond and start a conversation with the followers. Another method that works well is doing a competition or giveaway as this will entice people to like the post, comment, tag friends and share on their stories which will, in turn, reach audiences that you wouldn’t have seen on your brand page before.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is everywhere at the moment and Instagram makes it easy for businesses to take advantage. Influencer marketing campaigns require an agreement with the brand and the influencer, where the brand pays for them to promote their products or services. Evidence shows that influencer marketing is very effective in driving high ROI. The main thing to remember when adding influencer marketing into your Instagram strategy is to find accounts that would be a good match for your brand and what you are thinking of promoting. 

It is best to pick an account with at least over 10K followers, as when you reach this amount of followers on Instagram, you get the feature to include a “swipe up” option on stories. This means when those people share something on their stories they can add a link straight to the product they are promoting, you can give influencers dedicated links so you can track and monitor the success. Best practice would suggest over trying to aim for accounts with followers over the 25K mark, as you want to make sure you get the best ROI you can. Influencers followers are important but engagement levels are too, as high engagement rates on posts can signify trust and loyalty. The more trust the more likely their followers will be inclined to purchase what they are promoting. The best way to see engagement levels is by checking recent content on the account and how many likes and comments they are getting. 

When reaching out to the desired influencers, some companies use a middle man like a PR agency however a lot of influencers do prefer brands reaching out to them from their own accounts directly. When choosing an influencer, set out terms and conditions of the agreement, for example, if you want the product promoted on their feed, stories or both. However best not to tell them what you want them to say, as you want the promotion to seem as genuine as possible. 

Influencer marketing works well for beauty and fashion brands due to influencers creating content using the products in real-time through live streaming or Instagram Reels. By showcasing the product viewers can see if the products are worth buying or not and click links which go straight to the retailers eCommerce website.  

Instagram Ads 

With the potential audience of more than 900 million people, Instagram Ads should be a vital part of all businesses marketing strategy. Instagram’s parent company Facebook is where you will create your ads with their extensive targeting options and tools. Instagram ads are either posts or stories that a business pays to promote to specific users on their Instagram feeds, they will look like regular posts but will have the “sponsored” label just under their Instagram name and will include a call to action button so it can drive traffic straight to their website. 

Before starting to run Instagram ads, you should clearly set out the type of content you want to be included, how you will target your desired audience and what you would like to achieve by running the ads. There are two main things you can achieve by running ads on Instagram, an increase in sales and brand awareness. When the ads are live, you need to track, monitor and optimise it. The same as Facebook, you can view the performance of your Instagram ads in Facebook Ads Manager.

For the ads, you can split test them to see what copy or image works best for capturing your target audience, if you let the ads run for a couple of weeks the analytics will clearly show which ad within the ad set is performing better. Once you know this you can turn the least performing one-off and keep the one with the best engagement and clicks to utilise the full budget. 

Conclusion

Instagram is one of the best social media platforms to engage and connect with your target audience. The platform makes it easy for businesses to promote themselves; business profiles, targeted ad campaigns, stories and shopping buttons. All these features help brands get the most out of Instagram while boosting their ROI. The platform definitely helps sell your brand but there are also things the brand can do to better their reach and engagement, through the use of hashtags, influencers and creating high-quality content that is on-brand.

The 5 ways outlined within this blog can help your brand build a better Instagram presence. If you have been struggling with your Instagram strategy and want help to enhance it, Jam Digital can help! By outsourcing your social media, it gives you an option to invest in some of the most diverse packages, but at a fraction of the cost if you do so in-house. Our marketers here at Jam digital, live and breathe social media therefore you will be in the best hands.

Jam Digital

If you need support or advice with your digital strategy, Jam Digital can help. Outsourcing to Jam can offer your business the opportunity to optimise your time and budget through partnering with our team of experts, ultimately we will generate the best results for your business.

For more information and advice on Digital Marketing contact Jam Digital Marketing today on 0330 094 7323, email: info@jamdigitalmarketing.co.uk. 

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