Leveraging the full marketing potential of Instagram is challenging but far from impossible. You simply need an effective and appropriately structured Instagram marketing strategy that reflects your goals and objectives. Instagram has a huge global audience of about 1.2 billion people.
All potential customers for your Business, on the lookout for quality content to entertain and engage them. However broad or specific your target audience may be, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s on Instagram right now. Importantly, research suggests that at least 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business profile.
Likewise, the vast majority of purchase decisions made online are based on positive experiences and interactions with brands. Or, to put it another way, people don’t choose what they buy and who they buy it from at random.
This is where an effective Instagram marketing strategy can make all the difference.
From direct product or service promotions to paid Instagram ads and more, there’s no shortage of options to explore. But which marketing tactics are proving most effective from a 2022 perspective? What should you be focusing your time and effort on if looking to drive the best possible ROI?
20 Instagram Marketing Tips for Business
Irrespective of the type of content you normally publish, the same basic rules for effective Instagram marketing apply. Whether starting from scratch or looking to take your existing campaign a step further, here’s a brief overview of 20 tried, tested, and trusted tactics for high-impact Instagram marketing:
1. Use as a Business Account
The first thing you need to do is ensure you have converted your Account to a business account. This is easy enough to do, as outlined in the steps below:
Step 1: Go to your profile and tap the “Hamburger Icon” at the top right.
Step 2: Tap “Settings,” then Account.
Step 3: Tap Switch to “Professional Account.”
Step 4: Tap “Business” and follow the onscreen instructions.
This is essential as users with business accounts gain access to features that are not available with personal accounts. These include Instagram Insights, Instagram Ads, Instagram Shopping, additional messaging inboxes, and the option of including a CTA in your profile. All of which will play a huge role in your broader marketing campaign
2. Optimize Your Account
Account optimization simply means making your Instagram bio and profile as punchy as possible. By transitioning to a business account, you will be able to share more information than your 150-character bio allows.
Everything needs to be on point – your name, your username, the URL to your website or online store, your business category, your contact info, and your CTA. Not to mention an appropriate, eye-catching, and original profile picture to represent your Business.
3. Research Your Audience
The key to successful Instagram marketing lies in carefully considering who you are marketing your Business to. Profile your perfect customer in precise detail, then put yourself in their shoes.
Think carefully about what they would expect and demand from a brand like yours and what you can do to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Not only will this help improve the impact and appeal of your output, but it will also ensure you get the best ROI from any paid Instagram ads you run.
4. Set Your Goals
A marketing campaign can be run with any number of goals in mind. However, you need to think carefully in advance about exactly what you intend to achieve with yours. Beyond simply selling more products and services, and impactful Instagram marketing campaign can be used to achieve the following:
Create Brand Awareness
Your goal could simply be to boost brand awareness and finally get your branded hashtag trending. Creating brand awareness is less about direct selling more about making yourself known and connecting with your community.
Build your Audience
One of the most common goals of social media marketing, in general, is building a bigger audience. You promote your brand in an appealing way, you get more Instagram followers on board, and you boost potential sales and revenues. Putting out quality content on a regular basis is by far the best way to build a bigger audience of engaged followers.
Speaking of engagement rates, this can also be the main goal for a marketing campaign on Instagram. The more engaging your content is, the easier it becomes to take you seriously as a brand. Plus, engagement plays a big role in determining which profiles and pages are promoted by the Instagram algorithm.
5. Use All Options and Features
Getting the most out of Instagram means getting to grips with its various different tools and features. Increasingly, Instagram users are showing preference to brands that know their way around Reels, IGTV, Stories, and so on. All of which can (and should) play key roles in your marketing and branding strategies.
Ultimately, you should be looking to create a diverse and attractive feed that portrays your brand in a positive light. Going live on Instagram can be particularly effective, as there’s something uniquely engaging about real-time broadcasts.
6. Have a Unique Style
The biggest mistake you can make on Instagram is attempting to imitate your competitors. However tempting it may be, it will never work in your favor. Instead, the competitor research you conduct should be used to determine how you can do things differently to others in your niche.
Uniqueness and originality are everything on Instagram. Be yourself, let your true personality shine and talk to people using your real voice. Build your brand’s identity around your own unique personality, and be authentic in your output at all times.
7. Write Great Captions
Instagram may be a visual platform, but captions can add real weight and value to your content. This is where you have the opportunity to speak in your own voice and showcase your personality to the world.
Ensure that every caption you publish is similar in tone, but feel free to vary the lengths of your captions. In addition, remember that the strategic use of hashtags, mentions, and shoutouts in captions can enhance their appeal.
8. Engage and Interact with Your Audience
The most attractive and appealing businesses are those that take the time to interact with their audiences. Publishing quality content is only half the job – you need to become an active part of the community you are targeting.
Check out other people’s content, follow them, write comments, respond to the comments you receive, like their posts, share them, and send plenty of DMs. Never forget that the social aspect of social media is reciprocal – you scratch their backs, and they’ll scratch yours.
9. Post Teasers About Product/Services
Instagram can be the perfect place to build hype in advance of a new product or service launch. From regular posts to Stories to real-time broadcasts, give your fans and followers a sneak peek at new and exciting things to come.
While doing so, consider throwing in the occasional incentive for those who stay tuned. When counting down to the launch of something big, keep them hooked by offering exclusive discounts or freebies along the way.
10. Partner With Influencers
A single mention from an influential figure in your niche could be all it takes to kick your campaign into overdrive. Keep in mind that the most effective influencer partnerships are those that are not based on payment. If your products and services are as good as you think they are, influencers should be willing to promote them for free.
Set your sights on micro-influencers and up-and-coming names in your niche, as opposed to the highest-profile faces on the scene. Not only are they more likely to say yes, but the words of micro-influencers carry far more weight than those of their A-list counterparts.
11. Create Brand Hashtags
Creating (and promoting) branded hashtags is essential for building a strong business presence on Instagram. Trial and error almost always hold the key to getting things right with brand hashtags. Feel free to experiment, but be patient and persevere – it takes time from a branded hashtag to gain traction.
Hashtags can be based on just about anything – the name of your business, your product names, your slogan, and so on. Plus, there’s nothing that says you can only use one hashtag to represent your brand.
12. Set Up an Instagram Shop
For online retailers, setting up an Instagram shop is a no-brainer. It takes minutes to get your Instagram shop up and running, after which you can start selling your products directly via your Instagram account.
However, you need to ensure you strike the appropriate balance between promotional content and more general posts. Instagram users, in general, don’t respond positively to overly-promotional output, so do your best to avoid the hard sell while pushing your products.
13. Post at the Right Times
Posting at the right times means posting when your audience is most active and engaged. Something that differs from one demographic to the next and should be considered in accordance with time zones.
This is where Instagram Insights can help – the platform’s built-in analytics tool. Monitor the performance of your posts, make a note of your audience’s most active hours, and schedule your output for these times accordingly.
14. Use Instagram Insights Properly
Speaking of Instagram Insights, this is where you will find all of the information you need to run a successful marketing campaign. Insights enable you to track and monitor the progress of everything you do and everything you publish on Instagram.
Find out which types of posts generate maximum engagement, maximize the effectiveness of your CTAs and eliminate anything that isn’t delivering consistent results. Learn how to use Instagram Insights, and you effectively have a blueprint for a successful IG strategy.
15. Add CTAs Wherever You Can
CTAs should be used liberally, though at the same time in careful moderation. The whole point of a CTA is to make it quick and easy for customers to take action. This means that by the time they encounter a CTA, they should already be convinced and ready to take the next step.
Your job is to work out exactly where these positions are and incorporate CTAs. Experiment with different placements and vary the content of your CTAs, keeping a close eye on their performance using Instagram Insights.
16. Offer Exclusive Discounts for Your Followers
We’ve already touched upon the potential benefits of exclusive deals and discounts for your followers. In a broader sense, regular incentives for those who follow you on Instagram can be great for boosting brand loyalty. For every Instagram user, without exception, what matters most is what’s in it for them.
If following your Business means they get exclusive deals and discounts in return, that’s exactly what they’ll do. Better yet, they might also invite their own friends and followers along for the ride.
17. Use Highlights
Instagram Highlights are basically the Instagram stories you add to your profile as a permanent feature. Instead of disappearing after 24 hours, they remain visible on your profile indefinitely. Making the most of highlights is as simple as selecting the most successful components of your stories to date and adding them to your profile, as follows:
Step 1: Open your “Instagram Story”
Step 2: Choose the “Highlight” option at the bottom
Step 3: In the Add to Highlights menu, choose New
Step 4: Enter a “Name” for the highlight
Step 5: Edit the cover
Step 6: Hit “Add,” and then Done
Step 7: After which, your chosen highlights will be featured permanently on your profile.
18. Organize a Giveaway
The only thing better than a special deal or discount is a freebie. People, in general, are powerless against the prospect of taking something home for free. Even if what’s on offer is fairly modest in terms of monetary value, it’s likely to be well-received.
Giveaways are most effective when they are made a regular feature of your Instagram activities. Once a week, once a month, or whatever works for you, come up with something of genuine value you can give away to your followers.
19. Have Fun
Instagram is the kind of platform people turn to for entertainment and enjoyment. It’s also a place where authenticity is everything, and personality is what matters most. Long story short – avoid the temptation to take yourself or your business too seriously.
Have Fun, keep things informal, and put on an enjoyable show for your target audience. Let your true personality shine and base your output on whatever it is you are most passionate about.
20. Build Relationships
Last up, and every effort should be made to build relationships with other brands and businesses in your niche. If not your closest competitors, then those with some kind of relevance to what you do. For example, if you sell athletic clothes and sports shoes, why not collaborate with a local gym or fitness facility?
Strength in numbers holds the key to getting ahead on Instagram when faced with such insurmountable competition. Going it alone is an option, but you’ll have far more Fun running a campaign built on meaningful business relationships.
Formulating an effective Instagram marketing strategy can be a daunting prospect. Particularly when considering the competition you are up against, knowing where to start can be half the battle. This is where taking things back to basics can help, as opposed to overcomplicating things.
Each of the tips above forms a simple yet effective basis for effective marketing on Instagram. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what you want to achieve with your social media marketing activities. But by establishing your objectives ahead of time and adopting a structured approach, you’ll find it much easier to benefit from the best possible ROI.