Using Instagram For Marketing Your Business and Content
TTotally Noob! Yes, THAT’s what he called ME! Seriously!! And then went on to open an account for me. After I said something to him just under a year back! I’m talking about my 10-year old son. I said to him that I don’t know much about Instagram. Let alone internet marketing with Instagram.
“What?!” came the stinging question back a miniature version of hell broke loose. “An online business and Internet Marketing WITHOUT Instagram?” Oh oh. I’d obviously been up to missing a major trend. It was time to catch up! Fast. And I did. To find out how I transformed from Noob (which, just in case you weren’t in the know, means clueless) to having boosted my business’ presence with Instagram…
…stick with me until the end. I cover the most important aspects you’ll need to know as an online entrepreneur – especially in the IM niche – of this awesome platform in this post. And I also have a free gift for you in the end.
There is a lot to talk about Instagram and what I was able to find out and implement over the months. All that information would be deserving probably of a little e-book and lesser a blog post. Also, such a platform can be used differently for different brands and purposes. For the purpose of this post, I’ll just take the internet marketing niche as an example for using Instagram for marketing, and mostly solopreneurs as the brand.
So let’s get going straight away…
Watch this brief video introducing this blog post that I did on Facebook Live to get a quick overview:
What is Instagram
For those not much in the know, Instagram is a social media platform and photo-sharing app. It is almost entirely visual with its characteristic square-shaped pictures.
And it is a native mobile platform. This means that is has been designed specifically for use on mobile phones. Accessing with a desktop browser is possible but one can post pictures or videos with it.
The combination of it being mobile-based and essentially visual is a killer combination, responsible for its staggering growth.
Instagram recently hit 150 million users. It has experienced a YoY (year-on-year) growth of a whopping 900% since being launched.
The demographic composition of its user base, according to a study published by L2 Think Tank is approx. 70% women and 30% men.
And for marketers, here comes: The same study found that Instagram provides brands engagement that is 25% HIGHER than other social platforms. And that would mean more than the likes of Facebook, Twitter and even its competitor – the visually-dominant Pinterest Wow!
Totally NOOB I was, evidently. Well, not anymore.
Your Brand in Instagram
With its growing outreach, it is evident that Instagram can do wonders to position and boost your brand. If done in the right way, that is. And using Instagram for marketing becomes almost an obvious thing to do.
And if your business’ brand is YOU, then this is exactly what you also should showcase with Instagram. And that would be your business’ most important asset – you!
This starts with a concise and revealing bio. The description section here allows 150 characters so used them judiciously. Let your visitors know INSTANTLY what your brand is all about.
And if you are the brand, make sure you have an appealing, professional looking and clear photo. Remember, the photo is small and round in Instagram but it is in the company of a LOT of other photos. Of all kinds of things. The visually-dominant platform it is! So, choose a good one.
How’s and What’s of Instagram Posting
Visual is the key here! Photographs, quotes (with your brand’s logo on it), or even videos are perfect while using Instagram for marketing. Unlike Facebook, Twitter or similar, text-only posts are not possible.
And talking of videos – Instagram allows videos of max. 60 seconds’ duration. These short, 1-minute videos play in a loop once being viewed.
Instagram also has a cool feature called Instagram Stories. It lets you share all the moments of one’s day and these can be photos and/or videos. They appear in a slideshow format and disappear after 24 hours of being posted.
Like on your blog, Facebook Page or anywhere else, you want your post to be a combination of providing value and pitching products. Just a content feed would be valuable but possibly boring. And a pure pitch-fest would turn anyone off.
Remember to share more of your life’s moments and stories while posting on Instagram – make it personal, if YOU are your business’ brand.
Timing’s Everything When Using Instagram For Marketing
To maximize viewership and engagement, the timing of your posts is absolutely critical when using Instagram for marketing. Posting a time that is not optimal will likely result in lower or even no viewers – not cool. I’ll be using email marketing to compare (as it’s been around longer) while talking about this. Getting the when’s the best time to send an email right is crucial, this applies to social media, too, though marginally differently.
There are several ways to find out what good posting times are. One of these is common sense. Posting during times when people are likely in traffic or sleeping is obviously not great. Also, posting at the same time in the day consistently is a great practice.
You can, however, also choose to adopt a more data-driven approach to deciding when to post. Most posting systems have this information and help guide you accordingly. Here’s an example from the one I use.
I have – purely for this example – taken the maximum of 5 posting times to determine what’s ideal. You’ll have to decide on your target timezone. Let’s say it is the US Eastern Time, as in this example.
The peaks show which times are great and which ones are better avoided. Remember that these times are different for different days in a week. And they are also different for weekdays and weekends.
If you want to avoid the hassle of overwhelming yourself with information and data, the common-sense approach works perfectly well, too. Just put yourself in the position of your target audience, come up with a few times, post then. Which brings us to the question …. how often?
Frequency of Posting
This purely depends on your brand and the amount of content you can or wish to share while using Instagram for marketing. Big brands post anywhere between 1 to 2 times a day. I post 3 times a day on most days (as I am working on becoming a big brand – hehe), sometimes more as long as it is of value. Remember that posting frequency on social media might also differ from frequencies used in email marketing.
You’ll find out for yourself with some testing what the best frequency for posting is. Keep an eye on engagement – likes, comments etc.
Hashtags Are Key While Using Instagram for Marketing
This is a KEY thing to talk about when talking about Instagram. Here’s why: You want to not just engage your existing audience but also expand your base of followers on Instagram.
Posting great content which is valuable and engaging will keep your existing audience appropriately served. And this will immensely help your efforts while using Instagram for marketing your business and its content.
To get NEW eyeballs on the awesome content you are posting, you need to use hashtags. Using hashtags helps get new people to view your content. And if they find it good, they’ll start following you.
So, what hashtags should you use? This depends entirely on the niche you are operating in. Sticking to the example of this blog post, here are the ones (sorted alphabetically) I find of use and select from:
Remember, Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags per post! Use them as judiciously and wisely as generously.
Advanced/Expert Tip: If you’ve posted in the past without hashtags, you can go back to your post and add the hashtags in the Comments to that post.
My Free Gift To You
I spoke about using videos on Instagram, despite the limitation Instagram poses on the duration. Did you know that you this is also the reason that you cannot use most videos that you make over multiple platforms?
Well, there is a very cool method I have developed that allows you to make videos such that they can be leverage over MULTIPLE platforms. And this method is particularly relevant to posting videos on Instagram. If you are into (or interested in video marketing), you don’t want to miss this.
This FREE GIFT will blow your mind – I promise you.
The System I Use
The best approach to getting results by being focused and targeted is by deploying a system that has worked for others in the past. If you are on the lookout for such a system, I’d like to recommend something to you. It is called the Big Commission Blueprint.
This system has allowed even complete newbies not just put in viable a new online business in place but also generate 4-figure paydays in some cases. Even experienced marketers have used it to expand their online presence. It is called the Big Commission Blueprint and you can find out more about it absolutely free by clicking here. The guy who created it is my friend and partner, so I have no problems recommending it to you. You’ll not regret having taken the few minutes – they might well prove to be life-changing.
Over To You
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