Instagram marketing is almost a buzz word. Everybody says just do it, but not many people are talking about actual results.
I’m going to do something different than all of the other articles … I’m going to give you answer up front and then follow it up with info in how to follow through to get those results.
Yes, Instagram marketing does in fact work if it’s done correctly.
There are many steps to take on the road to success and if you hit them all right you can have some serious success.
How does gaining 11,060 followers, 933,000 impressions, and increased Instagram traffic to the website by 300% grip you?
That was from a case study nearly 2 years ago and the number of Instagram members has doubled since then.
The keys are to increase your followers while engaging your followers. That’s not necessarily an easy thing to do but the high-level plan is to increase your audience.
How to do Instagram marketing right
There are many tips that can really help your Instagram account take off.
At a high level, what you need is as many followers as you can get and you are engaging with them constantly.
As you get more popular, you will not only naturally get followers faster, but you also get organic traffic to your website.
So let’s look at what needs to be done to setup for success.
Setup a business Instagram account
Setting up an Instagram account is great, but setting up a business Instagram account is even better.
Why you might ask?
Great question. The answer is because it’s free, and with it you get far better information about the state of your Instagram account.
The biggest thing you get from having the business account is Instagram Insights.
Instagram Insights is like Analytics but for your Instagram account. You get to see stats for the account in general as well as specific posts and stories.
There is a section in Insights called Activity that shows you stats on your profile such as how many profile visits you had and website clicks. There are also stats on how many people have viewed your content as well as where did it show up on Instagram for them.
There is a section of stats on your content that lets you know how well your post, stories, and promotions are doing.
The last section of stats is no less important than the others. You get stats on your audience. You get to see the age group and things like that so you can see what is your follower demographic breakdown.
So Instagram Insights is really important to get those stats and it doesn’t cost you even one penny. Win-win.
Schedule and Publish Videos Direct to Instagram
This is a pretty big one. Studies are showing that while great images have traditionally done best on Instagram, videos (especially short clips under 15 seconds) are gaining ground.
If your business is heavily around video then I’d obviously start with it. Otherwise, images are going to be your best bet time-wise, coupled with building up followers quickly to give it a starting boost.
Business Accounts Get Special Website and Phone buttons
When you fill out your entire business profile, you set your website and phone numbers.
When people on Instagram view your profile, they see special business buttons that will take them to either your website or it’ll dial your number.
For obvious reasons, you absolutely want to fully setup your profile so you can the full gain from all of this work.
Instagram business accounts can run promotions (fancy words for running Ads).
Generally speaking, it costs $6 – 7 CPM (cost per thousand impressions) to run Instagram ads.
While these may be great later on with followers and more income, on a new account I’d steer clear of them.
So upgrading to the free Instagram business account makes perfect sense.
Finding the right options to do the upgrade is tough since a lot of the info on the net is outdated, so I have full instructions of how to do it in my starting on Instagram article.
Build Your Followers
Images and videos and all of that is great, expect if there is nobody listening.
Having followers is a critical part of any Instagram marketing plan and numerous case studies show that website traffic is directly related to the number of followers.
The first thing you want to do to build followers is to link your Instagram business account to your Facebook page. You can import all of your contacts and automatically follow them if they are on Instagram.
In turn, many of them will now follow you so this is always the best first step to getting more followers.
Following other people is actually a base strategy in every Instagram marketing plan since many people will return the favor and follow you back.
The key is who to follow? Just random? Just certain age groups?
Normally the first step is to follow people that are following your competition. This way, your posts will be seen by the people that will benefit you most.
Next pick the hashtags for your business (and hopefully ones people have been using to refer to you), and search for them. Follow all of the people who have used that hashtag in a post and like the post.
Any pictures you business appears in are also ripe for the picking. Follow anybody who has used your business in a picture and like the post.
If your business is a physical location, search for users or posts that are tied in with your location. Follow those users and like those posts.
All three of the above are excellent ways of engaging your audience and a necessary step in Instagram marketing.
While searching and following people is tried-and-true, it is a bit of work. And it’s completely worth it.
I got a little tired of the grind myself so once I knew how to do it in my sleep, I looked for a tool to help me perform the repetitive actions (note that you will still want to engage with your visitors manually).
I used a little program called Engagermate and it really freed me up from some of the manual side of things. I did initially sign up with the $1 trial and it was such a relief I did sign up.
Now, while I used a tool to automate following of users based on hashtags and who they are following and such, I still did quite a bit manually. I searched for and engaged with people. Little jokes and things go a long way. I created all of my posts by hand. Those are things a tool can’t do for you. However, searching and following all of the users in a given list I’m more than happy to turn over that boring task.
This is the actual fun of Instagram. Especially when you have a big audience and they see what you have to say.
If at all possible, post something daily. You want people to look forward to what you are going to post.
I myself prefer to post around 10am but it really depends on who your followers are and what time zone they are in. I try to catch people with a new post after they’ve gotten into work and done a couple of things and want a 5-minute break.
I myself go for a high-quality image, add 8-10 hashtags, and maybe a funny comment. The key is short and sweet.
If you want to do a video, the interest according to stats is catching on a little more. But only the shorter videos. Don’t put long videos. Something under 15 seconds works the best.
No matter what you do, here is one guiding rule. Make it interesting. Make it memorable. Make it funny. Just make it stand out and catchy.
What is working really nicely lately for many businesses is posting something about your business made by your customers.
Like for Coke it might be someone holding a Coke while on a slide. Something amusing, quick, and people really like to see a business engaging with its customers.
Do remember to include a mention of who put the image up. All of that goodwill goes a really long way.
For a bonus, make it funny to get it shared socially.
What does it mean?
The basic tried-and-true way to Instagram marketing success is pretty simple: Gets lots of followers, create content, and engage with your users.
And it completely works. Instagram marketing does work and it can be a huge source of future customers and traffic.
Upgrade your account for free to the business account so you can see stats on what posts are doing good and which aren’t. Basic feedback is absolutely necessary to succeed. This is one of the ways to gauge how well the marketing is working.
Gets lots of followers and post interesting and funny things.
Remember to have fun with it. People are drawn to character and let your fun side come out and reap the profits.
I am a Search Engine Optimization specialist, a marketing expert, and an engineer. I enjoy reviewing and recommending quality software to my readers along with articles to help improve your websites and your understanding of the digital marketing world.