How To Start Instagram Marketing in 5 Easy Steps

Inbound Digital Marketing Strategy

Why Use Instagram For Marketing?

Instagram is without a doubt one of the largest social networking websites on the internet.  Let’s look at some very telling statistics:

  • 1.1 BILLION people use Instagram monthly.  That is third to only Facebook and YouTube.
  • 90% of the Worlds brands are on Instagram
  • 85% of the Top companies in the world are on Instagram

So it only makes sense if you want to get noticed more either personal or your business that you want to start Instagram marketing and there’s no better time than right now.

Instagram marketing is using Instagram to connect with your target audience and marketing yourself to them.

What are you trying to do with Instagram Marketing is develop a long-term relationship with your target audience and grow it over time.  You are looking to grow your audience but also to let them know about new products, services, and much more.

The key here is how you build the audience and relationship.  Nurtured properly, Instagram Marketing can turbocharge your efforts.

I’m going to give you lots of great tips here.  We necessarily have to start off with a quick dip into the account setup to start things off on the right foot before we get into the exciting part where I show you how to make a big splash and put things into high gear.

Setup Your Instagram Account

Step 1 is to setup your account.  It’s pretty straightforward but there are a couple of notes I’ll include to save you some hassle later on.

One, make sure you use your website name or business name as the account name so that it’s easily identifiable.

Two, setup a business account.  When you first setup the account, you have to set it up as a personal which is expected.  However, then you can go in afterwards and change it to a business account which gives you some great features which you are going to 110% want access to.  And the business account is free of course.

When you change to the business account, you are able to schedule and publish videos direct to Instagram, run promotions, and even more importantly, you can use Instagram Insights.  With Insights you get to see how many people viewed your profile and stats on your posts.  You can read more about Insights on the Instagram website.

I had a little bit of a hard time setting up my account to change it to business and a lot of the information on the web is outdated so I’m going to give you the five-cent tour of how to do it.

This is the easy way to change your Instagram account into an Instagram Business account:

  1. Install the Instagram app and create/log into your account.
  2. On the App dashboard, click on the Edit Profile button in the middle of the screen.
  3. In the middle of the screen, click on Switch to Professional.
    Instagram Edit Profile
  4. On the next screen you will choose either the Creator or Business account.  The Creator account doesn’t give you much but the Business sure does, so choose that one.
    Choose Business Account
  5. That’s it.  Now you’ll get a few pages of the benefits to the Business account and now on the menu in the phone app you will see a new Insights option.
    Instagram Insights Option

Congrats on your new Business account!

Optimize Your Instagram Profile

Now that you have the Business account setup, it’s time to start filling in the blanks on your account.

You’ll want to add in the phone number of your business, add in a quality Profile photo

Instagram Account Setup

You’ll want to edit your profile again and this time add in your Website and Bio.  With a business account, buttons are automatically shown on your profile page to others that have links to your website and phone number.

You can now connect your Instagram profile to your Facebook business page and pull in those contacts and follow them if they are on Instagram to start the ball rolling.

Post To Instagram Daily

Now we’re starting to get to the exciting stuff where you interacting with Instagram (just wait until the next section on Building up Followers for the real excitement).

No matter how big your account gets, you are going to want to post frequently so that you continuously engage with your customers.  You don’t want to be “out of sight, out of mind”.

What you post can really make a difference.  I found that short-and-sweet things tend to do the best.  Either a great image of a product in use or a short video clip (under 10 seconds is best).  In fact, studies show that a high-quality image gets 36% more engagement than videos.  You have 10, maybe 15 seconds, to snag a visitor’s attention.

The ideas post is going to be a high-quality image, look catchy to the eye, and have several hashtags that relate to your business.  Pay special attention to hashtags as they are a staple of life on Instagram.  Using 10 hashtags is absolutely normal.

While Instagram Stories are a great way to show short-lived user-created content about your products and such, my suggestion is to get started with posts, then work on building your followers and engaging with them and come back to Instagram Stories once the account is more established.

Build Your Followers

Hopefully if you followed my advice above and linked your Instagram Business account to your Facebook page, you have already imported and followed all of your contacts.  If not, I’ll wait while you take care of it now.

Welcome back and congrats on all of your initial connections.  Many people you follow will return the favor and follow you back.

Actually, that is practically a motto on Instagram.  Follow people you want to follow you back.

You can follow people who are following your competition.  You can like people who follow pictures of cars.  There are many ways to choose your audience but the thing is to do it.

If you follow 1,000 people and 500 follow you back, you now have an audience of 500 people that are going to see what you post.  To me, that’s really exciting because you are creating your contacts with a little bit of hard work.

What’s neat is that as you get more popular, you get more popular faster.  It actually picks up speed.

It is a bit of work doing in manually so I did opt to take an automated bot route to make the following faster and free up a bit of my time.

I used a little program called Engagermate and I felt like I had all of this free time while it was doing all of the hard work.  Since I liked the results, I wrote a review on Engagermate and they even have a $1 trial.

I did it by hand at first because I want to know what the process is and how it worked.  I followed popular people in my niche.  I followed my competition’s followers.  I did a lot of work by hand.

After that I was willing to pay a couple of bucks to let the system do all of the hard work for me and instead spend time working on posts.  Work smarter, not harder.

Engage With Your Target Audience

Ok, so now the account is setup and you have followers rolling in like a river.  What do you do now?

Afterall, this is how to start Instagram marketing, not just how to have followers.

The whole reason to be on a social platform is to interact with your followers and potential customers, and this is where your focus really needs to be.

When you post an image, comment on it yourself.  When someone else comments on it, respond to their comment.

Post intriguing images with your products in them.  Enough to get noticed but not enough to be pushy and defeat the purpose.

As a business on Instagram you can now create sponsored ads to reach your audience in a subtle way.  The average CPM (Cost per Thousand) impressions on Instagram is a little over $6.  This is also a great way to get more attention and even more followers.

Any photos that users have posted with your products are perfect to post on your Instagram account.  They are spur of the moment.  Just make sure to tag your users to show your gratitude.

Lastly, keep your eye out to work with some of the influencers on Instagram.  When some of the more popular folks mention your product with a link out to your Instagram or a hashtag, your popularity can soar in hours.