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Best Practices for Instagram Marketing

Best Practices for Instagram Marketing
Sharath Reddy
October 30, 2017

Instagram is one of the best Business to Business marketing platforms. It has over 700 million monthly active users. On this marketing forum, there is comparatively less competition and a more engaged people than social media giants like Facebook or Twitter. Instagram marketing presents businesses with an opportunity to market their products to a more targeted audience and interested people without spending an enormous budget on paid advertising, irrespective of whether your strategy needs an update or you are a newcomer to this social media network. In this process, every day, more than 80 million images or pictures are shared with over 400 million active Instagram users. This platform's surging popularity signifies a shift from editorial content to imagery. As technology advances and attention spans dwindle, users want more content in less time. The question is, what are best practices on Instagram to improve imagery strategy and engagement? But first, let’s talk about why you need to adopt Instagram marketing for your business.

Why to Go for Instagram Marketing?

To Increase Your Brand Awareness

With so many businesses sprouting every day, it’s literally a neck to neck situation in the current market. For the same product or service, many businesses exist in the field. Your goal is to stand out and be better than your competitors. As mentioned, with almost 700 million monthly active users, Instagram is one of the best marketing platforms. Exposing your brand or business on Instagram lets people know about the existence of your business, thus giving you a better recognition.

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To Drive Better Sales

With a social media platform that has a huge active user base, introducing your brand on it is one of the wisest moves that you can supposedly take as part of your marketing strategies. With a better and wider audience, you not only tend to get more views and shares on your products and services, but your sales go up on an exponential level as well.

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Visual Marketing has a Longer Effect

We all know that our mind stores visuals and graphics for a better and more extended period as compared to a plain text-based data. Instagram primarily being a photo-sharing medium, offers serves as the best platform to engage your customers via visual marketing. You can upload photos and videos related to your business. That way, viewers, and customers not only have a better understanding of your brand, they also have a long-lasting impression about it.

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Now comes the main question- What are the best practices to follow if and when opting for Instagram marketing?

Best Practices for Instagram Marketing

Share Experiences

Every day, millions of users spend most of the hours scrolling through their Instagram feeds. They aren't looking for pictures images and products but are searching for compelling visual experiences that excite them. One of the best practices adapted to market the product was by GoPro. Instead of posting every picture of their camera, they shared the adventures captured with their camera. Airbnb is one of the brands that understand the value of sharing customer experiences. In addition to the quality shots of breathtaking accommodations, Airbnb allows customers to post their experiences and activities while using Airbnb.

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Understand Your Audience

Irrespective of how hard to work, it's impossible to please everyone. The solution lies in understanding what your audience wants and prefers. In every marketing campaign, understanding your audience is an essential element for your business. Providing your service gets quite simple once you know what your followers want.

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Find Creativity

Every city is brimming with youngsters and creativity is waiting for the right kind of exposure. Find a photographer or an artist in your area and offer them a chance to create custom content for your brand's next campaign. Hiring local talent is another way to encourage fresh and creative content to give back to your community. Another way to generate an engaging, new content is creating Instagram contests. Invite your followers and friends to share brand-related original content, where you offer your products as a reward. Or you can share an image and ask your followers to tag their friends. In this way, it exposes your brand to a wider range of audience while also driving engagement.

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Hashtags

The hashtag is used to expand your reach. These can be used in many ways, for specific campaigns or in general – the only rule being they should be relevant. Make sure that you also set up your company's hashtag (#yourbrandname), and use it sparingly across Instagram, and any other social media platforms. This makes it easy for people to find content related to you as well as your primary account. It is one of the best practices to use between three to five hashtags. Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags. Using your campaign specific campaigns or popular hashtags increases the discoverability of your content. For example, try adding hashtags like #love or #location and also don't forget about industry-specific ones. If you are in digital marketing, the hashtag is #dm. Considering how you use hashtags, you can use them at the end of the post or in the comments section as well.

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Analyze Your Success and Build on It

First, you take a decision and based on that decision, you need to analyze what works best for your brand because marketing is a big guessing game. The reality is, even if you read all the articles in the world to know about which marketing strategies work the best, but only practical experience decides what methods work for your brand. Nowadays, social media management tools provide too many customizations which you can easily use for your business. These tools not only let you pre-plan your Instagram campaigns, but they also allow you to measure their success. Make sure that you regularly measure your follower count, engagement, and clicks, because they help you refine and improve your strategy. Your new social media reports you can help you track your performance for Instagram and all other vital social media networks.

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Collaborate and Mention Others

Instagram is currently one of the highest grossing and the most active social media channels for highlighting collaborators and sharing customers' success stories. Collaborate with an NGO/NPO, or organize a charity event for a cause that your brand believes in and actively promotes. On Instagram, you can boost that event and talk about any other entity that you partnered with. This gives your brand exposure as well as increases your credibility.

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Use High-Quality Images

If you aim to attract your audience in a way that they engage with your content positively, it is thoroughly essential that you use high-quality images and videos on your Instagram account. These should attract people. Better the image and video quality, better is the response from people. Instagram is like your personal billboard. The first impression can last long, so ensure you make your posts pretty high and engaging.

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Be Up-to-date with the Current Trends and Algorithms of Instagram

Ever since Facebook acquired Instagram, there have been regular updates and changes in the algorithms and trends of Instagram. Your job is to keep yourself updated with the changes. This not only impresses your audience but also acts as a benefit on your part. Each change or updated feature can be somehow profitable to your business. It also lets you keep better track of your post engagement, audience activity, post popularity and other such things that are crucial to your business or brand.

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Host Q&As

Instagram Question and Answers(Q&As) are one of the most important practices that you need to adopt in your marketing plans. Via Q&As, you can answer questions that your customers or audience have. You can make a post, asking your audience to comment their queries related to your brand for a specified period, say a week, and at the end of that time, you can post a video wherein you answer the questions. This way, your audience gets to know more about your business and how it works, and it also connects better with you, thus increasing the credibility.

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Host Giveaways

Giveaways are the latest trend of social media, especially Instagram. Conducting a giveaway is highly beneficial, as it lets customers know what your business has to offer the customers. Suppose you are launching a new product in your brand. You can announce a giveaway contest, where after the end of the contest, the winner gets the product from the new collection. Giveaways are a well-proven way to up the excitement in customers. They not only show interest in the contest, but they also check out your existing collection.

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Post Regularly

This is the most basic and important thing you need to keep in mind while marketing your brand or business on Instagram. To be ahead of your competitors, you need to ensure that you post relevant content at a regular interval, because as the old saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” You need to interact with your audience regularly and vice versa. You can use your analytics to check the time at which your audience is the most active and then, you can post accordingly. Even better, if you use Instagram’s latest story poll feature, so you can create a poll, give two timings and ask your followers to vote for the most suitable time. This way, posting regularly increases your brand’s visibility and also eventually your sales.

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If you need to make your brand better than your market competitors, it’s very vital that you not only follow the top methods, but you also follow them the right way. Following the best practices while employing Instagram marketing is very essential since it affects your brand and business ïn a noticeable way. So it’s time for you to move ahead of your competitors.

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