The Ultimate Guide To Instagram Marketing
Updated August 2021
Instagram can be a little overwhelming with new features being added constantly and rumours of shadow banning and the evil algorithm. We're here to guide you through how to make the most of Instagram for your business and bust a few myths while we're at it!
How to create a great Instagram profile
Let's start with the basics, if you've just created your account or looking to spruce it up, here's what you need to know to create a profile that will catch the attention of your audience and engage them...
How to write an Instagram bio
Your bio should be clear and brief in its description. We recommend including:
- What you do, or your key tagline
- Who your consumer is
- What they can expect
- A link to your website or recent piece of content/product
Keep it upbeat but in your brand tone of voice. Emojis are a great way to break up the text and personalise it to your brand.
Your display picture
The image you choose should be your logo or a clear image of you if it is a personal brand. If you have a choice of colour variations, go with the one that'll stand out the most.
The first nine
When you first create your account, we recommend having six to nine images lined up ready to post immediately to fill up your profile. These should consist of basic information about your brand, who you are and what you do to set the tone for the account. When you start engaging and building your audience, they'll have a full profile to look at to decide if they want to follow you rather than an empty grey page.
Do I need an Instagram business account?
Yes. You may have heard a lot of people warning you not to switch your account to a business profile because you'll lose your reach and engagement. It's simply not true. While there could possibly be a small drop in reach, the power you get from the business insights and analytics will far outweigh any negligible drop.
Your insights are one of the most powerful, FREE tools you have. They'll tell you:
- When your audience is most active so you can post your content to get in front of your customers
- If your hashtags were effective so you can make sure you're using the best ones
- What type of content got you the most conversions
- How effective your Instagram stories are
How does the algorithm work?
Now we've quelled your fears about an Instagram business profile, now let's tackle the algorithm. The algorithm is your friend.
How does the Instagram algorithm work?
- Instagram learns what your account is from the hashtags you use, the posts you interact with and its 'image reading' technology.
- When you post a new piece of content, it will show it to a small selection of your audience.
- Based on the engagement of this small group, it will then rate your content and decide if it is worthy of putting on more people's feeds.
- You couldn't possibly keep up with all of the new content that is posted to Instagram, so it has to make a decision about which content to show you to give you the best experience.
- Instagram will also be rating your account itself. It rewards community: regularly interacting with people, using the app, and consistently posting good content.
- Instagram rewards what it wants to see. If it adds a new feature, it wants people to use it, so it'll reward you for doing so.
How can you beat the algorithm?
- Focus on ACTIVELY getting more engagement. Use effective hooks and call-to-actions to ensure people scroll, like, save and send.
- Grab attention with posts that are clear and easy to understand at first glance. Make sure they stand out from someone's feed. If on brand, use pops of colour and lots of contrast in your imagery.
- Use RELEVANT hashtags with as many niche tags as possible.
Interact with other posts in these hashtags.
- Make use of new features that Instagram adds.
- Post your content at the times of day your audience is most active (using your business insights) to make sure they are interacting with the post when it goes live.
More Clicks With Hooks & Call-To-Actions
What hashtags will get you likes?
You can't just add any hashtags to your posts and expect to get the same amount of likes as everyone else that uses them. There's a formula that not a lot of people use that we've crafted over the years as the algorithm changes.
The key is to do a deep dive into your niche and find all of the smaller, and sometimes more obscure, hashtags that you'll have a better chance of being seen on.
Hashtags that have millions of posts in already will be flooded by accounts every second and make it hard for you to get your moment, no matter how great your post is.
Click below to read our in-depth guide on the Instagram hashtag strategy that'll boost your engagement...
The Ultimate Instagram Hashtag Strategy
How to grow your Instagram followers
Now you've got a great profile, you understand how to get ahead of the algorithm and have a pro hashtag strategy to hand, how do you grow your audience?
You need to use a regular engagement strategy. Within your niche and the top hashtags you've selected, begin to reach out to your audience. Find them in the comments of other big accounts in your niche or posting in the community hashtags around it. Find meaningful ways to interact with them.
DON'T comment on their pictures telling them about your service, provide real value. Find ways to share your passion for the niche while also helping or inspiring them.
By interacting regularly you are not only demonstrating to Instagram that you are an active member but you start to build your brand exposure which starts to invite people to check out your profile and start following you when they like what they see.
What should I post?
Serve your audience! Rather than posting a catalogue of product images, get a little creative and find ways to build your brand that also provides value to your audience.
Get into the mind of your consumer
- Think about what they want and need
- What questions might they have?
- How can you inspire them?
- How can you help them with something?
- Can you teach them something new?
- Can you make them feel empowered?
When you start with the above questions, rather than:
- How can I make my product look great?
- How do I sell my service?
You'll serve your customers. The more you serve them, the more they feel compelled to serve you... by investing in your service and product. Great content is about building your brand and the community around it. And being GENUINELY helpful.
Do this and you'll future proof your small business.
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