How to use Instagram Successfully for Branding
Instagram has become a hugely successful social media platform in recent years, with over 700 million users worldwide. User engagement is high on Instagram when compared to other platforms like Twitter and Facebook and this means that more and more brands are moving to Instagram for their marketing.
Maybe you’ve been using Instagram for a while, or you might be totally new to the platform. Whatever your experience of Instagram for personal use, there are a few things all marketers should know about using Instagram to grow or promote a brand.
Unlike many other social media platforms, Instagram takes a very strong visual focus so you’ll need to spend some time and effort creating professional looking, high quality images. Most brands on Instagram use a consistent feel to all their images so while they don’t all look the same, they are instantly recognisable through their branding or style.
Here are a few suggestions to help you get better results from your Instagram marketing, boost your followers, engage your users and grow your brand:
- Get your profile right. Your profile is the first port of call people will look at when they find you on Instagram so you want to make sure it’s reflective of your brand. You don’t have a lot of space in your profile so make sure you focus on your USP and the value you can provide for your customers or clients. It’s also a good idea to make use of the ability to create a business profile as you can add on your contact details and get access to analytics that will help you track and measure your Instagram marketing performance.
- Use behind the scenes content. Instagram is generally more informal than other platforms like Facebook and Twitter and your content should reflect that. As Instagram is mostly image based, it’s a good idea to think about how you can build user engagement with a creative use of behind the scenes content. This will give your followers an insight into your brand, which will work far more effectively than just posting images of your products and services.
- Use Instagram stories. Instagram Stories is Instagram’s answer to Snapchat and the trend of disappearing content. Using Instagram Stories you can post short snippets of video, or images that will be displayed in a slideshow format. Instagram Stories are a great tool for engagement and they appear prominently at the top of your viewers’ timelines. The disappearing element means that they create a sense of urgency and if used well, your brand can see a great deal of benefit.
- Use hashtags to grow your reach. Hashtags started on Twitter and since then they have become universal across all social media platforms. Appropriate use of hashtags can help you find new followers and participate in wider conversations on Instagram. The trick with using hashtags for your business branding is not to go overboard with them. Just use a maximum of three to 10 per post and keep them relevant to your content. It’s also a good idea to set up your own unique hashtag that’s related to your brand. People can then use this to search for information and content about your brand.
- Post exclusive content on Instagram. It may be tempting to use the same content across different social media platforms but it’s far more effective to create exclusive content just for Instagram. Try exclusive discounts and coupons as well as unique content. This will help you keep your followers interested and checking back in with you on a regular basis, boosting your engagement and building loyalty.
- Track your results. As with any marketing strategy it’s always a good idea to measure your results regularly when you’re using Instagram for marketing. The reality is, the only way you’re going to find out what works for your brand is by tracking and measuring your audience’s reactions to different posts and campaigns. Some of the data you want to be measuring includes follower numbers, engagement and clicks on your content.
When it comes to growing your brand, you can’t afford to ignore the opportunities that Instagram presents. By taking a strategic approach to your Instagram marketing you can increase engagement, widen your brand’s reach and build loyalty among your followers.