Instagram Marketing Guide: 9 Tips That Actually Work

For businesses this century, it can feel as if we are always posting, posting, posting. So much of our engagement with our customers and community is through social media platforms. We are focused on getting great product photos, increasing our Instagram presence, boosting our Facebook business page, and making engaging content. Often, it can all feel overwhelming and daunting. On this note, we have some good news and some bad news.

We’ll start with the bad news. Engaging this way online with our customers and community isn’t going anywhere. Ensuring we have a social media platform to reach our target audience and engage other users is only going to become more vital to business success as so much of the world heads online. So, becoming savvy with features of the Instagram app such as Instagram posts, Instagram hashtags or Instagram stories to build our Instagram audience is important.

The good news is it doesn’t need to be so hard. Boosting an Instagram business profile can actually be fairly straightforward if you have the know-how. Trust us, we know how tedious it is and learned from many mistakes in honing our skills. We wanted to ensure our ability to increase brand awareness on Instagram is as streamline and least time consuming as possible while still being effective at standing out in our followers feeds. We want to help others, so we’re going to give you a sneak peek behind the scenes at how we so effectively encourage users of Instagram to engage with our content.

What is Instagram used for?

Instagram is used for reasons similar to many other social media apps – to connect with others, to share, to build community. However, the app is best known for being visually appealing compared with other platforms. Instagram is the best platform to showcase products, ideas, creations, and daily life. Videos, photographs and illustrations are most appropriate for the platform and thus, it invites unique and creative marketing strategies.

Because of this creative uniqueness, it’s important that businesses create an Instagram marketing strategy that considers Instagram analytics tools, the Instagram algorithm, and what is most effective in an Instagram feed before jumping into the world’s biggest social networking platform. This will help you be more effective, stay focused on your objectives, and save time and energy.

Instagram marketing: A preface

In 2010, Instagram became an entirely new social network that incorporated photos, selfies and videos. The functionality of the platform has only grown. Instagram has released countless new apps including IGTV, reels and live video. All of these features have made Instagram marketing a unique beast.

What is Instagram marketing?

Instagram Marketing means using Instagram to improve brand recognition, audience, leads, and revenue. Instagram has become an incredibly popular marketing platform for businesses, especially those with a target market of customers aged 16-24.

It involves being able to share photos, post content such as infographics, write interesting feed posts and more. Many businesses and marketers alike are looking for Instagram marketing tips to help them get on top of their Instagram marketing strategy.

How to market on Instagram?

In the last decade, Instagram has consistently been the most downloaded app in the world. This popularity means it is an extremely effective marketing tool, far more effective than a Facebook page. So, how should we promote on Instagram?

Switch to a business profile ASAP

Before we get into our nine tips, there is something you really need to consider doing if you’re looking at launching your brand or business on Instagram… Switch to a business profile. This will give you more detailed insights and analytics, as well as a whole suite of tools to use in your marketing strategy.

It’s easy to do. Simply click the button “Switch to business profile” and follow the prompts. Once you do so, you’ll be able to see all the new tools available to you. It doesn’t cost anything to switch and reap the benefits. It’s a good idea to take this step before you make your first post on Instagram.

Optimise your Instagram profile

Once you have a business Instagram account, you can start considering the look of your profile. Your Instagram profiles reflect your brand, hence why businesses now spend a lot of effort on preparing their profiles before their first post on Instagram. It doesn’t stop once you make your first post though, oh no.

The preparation continues as you consider a range of features on Instagram that will affect the success of what you post on Instagram and your Instagram engagement with Instagram users. If you want a high number of followers engaged and for your strategy to be simple, effective, and make sense, then explore our 9 tips below.

9 tips for Instagram success

  1. Build an eye-catching Instagram bio

Surprisingly, your Instagram profile bio can be an undervalued feature on Instagram. Sometimes it can be hard to think of what it is you’re really trying to say about your business account and why your business exists. You want to ensure it makes sense and speaks to your audience.

Well, first of all be honest. Don’t say you offer services or products that you don’t. Next, if you want it to make sense then keep it succinct. Too many words and users will get lost. Third of all, use power words. These are words that grab your audience’s attention and make them feel something (e.g., incredible, powerful, unique, amazing). Also consider a clickable link as a bio link. This could lead to your store page or website. Simply click on edit bio and you’ll see a section where you can insert a link.

  1. Create a consistent Instagram aesthetic

How can you create a beautiful and aesthetically pleasing Instagram page? Well, consistency is key. If all the posts you throw up have very different images, moods and feelings in them, then your account won’t look as attractive. Consider as you post images – how do they fit with the other photos you’ve posted. Do you need to edit photos so they have a similar colour pallet or ‘vibe’?

Each Instagram post should be carefully curated so that your Instagram page when viewed from afar communicates your brand. There’s nothing like multiple photos that don’t fit together to ruin your Instagram for business experience. Don’t forget to also consider the Instagram captions you include on your posts. Your brand voice needs to shine through and remain consistent also.

  1. Introduce your brand through Instagram stories highlights

Instagram stories highlights is a great way to get your Instagram out there early on. Instagram story highlights are small carousels of stories you post that are rewatchable on your Instagram profile. You could consider these to be an Instagram movie trailer of sorts.

They are an effective way of expressing your personality and brand, advertising your product/s, and driving sales and marketing. The best way to organise Instagram highlights is by dividing them into several categories, events, and topics. You could start with “Who we are” or “About us”. Always remember to include a FAQ highlights reel.

  1. Create sponsored ads

Instagram ads placement is now ubiquitous. What’s Good about this? You control the amount of advertising you want on the site for all users or a select audience to see. You can show an individual sponsored advertisement and multiple ads via carousel posts (posts that allow you to post multiple images in one). The new approach allows brands to focus entirely on new audiences that they may not have been able to reach before.

Previously, when you sponsored posts only the people that followed your profile were allowed to see your pictures. The new feature allows companies in niche industries to advertise their brand to other accounts through their Instagram feed. To make the most of ads, ensure the Instagram content you pay to be shared communicates with the audience you’re reaching out to.

  1. Instagram posts: Post at the right time (and don’t over-post)

Over-posing on Instagram will probably deter your current audience from continuing to follow you. Unless you have an exclusive product, they will likely unfollow you as fast as they can. Yes, it is important you make regular Instagram posts so you can remain in their news feed and build a relationship. However, consider carefully when and how often you schedule posts.

Perhaps it would be best if you only post on busy days/hours when followers are online, and maybe once or a couple of times a day? It has been reported that the worst day for posting on Instagram is Wednesday afternoons while Sunday is the best day to post. Come up with a regular posting schedule for your Instagram content with a mix of Instagram videos, photos and Instagram reels to keep it interesting. This is one of our most important Instagram marketing tips so heed our warning… don’t overdo it!

  1. Coming up with an interactive branded hashtag and user generated content

Interactive hashtags are an effective way of creating quick response and engagement. So far, Red Bull has generated up to 1 billion comments with the tag #givesyouwings. Customers catching onto a hashtag and using it when they themselves post user generated content is one of the best ways to save time marketing, as you’re essentially putting a big part of it on autopilot. Your customers are promoting your brand through Instagram content for you!

Remember to collect user generated content that is tagged with your hashtag by svaing it to share on your own profile in stories. This creates a personal connection and will likely inspire users to tag you more often so they can be ‘featured’. Ensure you partner a branded hashtag with regular use of relevant hashtags on multiple posts. Creating a memorable branded hashtag that people will find and use is basically free advertising!

  1. Post product teasers that will (gently) urge people to buy

As we mentioned before, when customers are pushed too hard, followers drop like birds. This doesn’t just relate to the frequency of your posting, but also to the intensity of the advertising you share. Sometimes on social media, less is more. Teasers are a great way to talk about your product without looking to try too hard.

Share snippets of information about a product through multiple pictures or share a snippet of behind the scenes on Instagram live. Entice customers to click and explore your product without giving them all the information straight away. The sooner you can get them engaging with your content, the sooner they might buy.

  1. Partner with influencers for a wider reach

The fastest way of reaching potential customers is through influencers who have already built their audiences. More and more people primarily purchase based on the information they view from the people who influence them. It’s their confidence in these influential people that drives this behaviour.

Many people feel connected to individuals they have never met but have followed for a long time or who they feel speak to them and their experience. Influencer marketing is an effective strategy as Instagram is the largest social channel where influencer campaigns are displayed. Just make sure you choose your influencers wisely… you don’t want a scandal by association on your hands.

  1. Use free Instagram marketing tools to track metrics

An Instagram business account profile is largely similar to Meta’s business profile. Using insights, you can see statistics such as impression and engagement data. You also get a breakdown of your audience’s demographics including age and sex. You can also see detailed information based on periods of time so you can track how successful your strategy is over a year and reflect on what worked and what didn’t. This is vital in maintaining an effective strategy.

Why an Instagram marketing strategy is key to ecommerce success?

We all have gotten used to using Instagram to share photos with friends, follow our favourite sports players and brands, and as a portal to purchasing goods. The number of users on Instagram has continued to grow to its current 2 billion active monthly users, roughly a quarter of the world’s population.

These are the two key reasons that Instagram marketing is such an ecommerce success… lots of people use it and we’re all extremely comfortable using it as an extension to our current lives. Instagram creator Meta realises this and so has provided incredibly powerful e-commerce marketing tools built into the platform.

Sure, don’t give up on the old blog post, but with its ability to quickly engage audiences with minimal text to read, many ecommerce businesses are now learning how to build an online presence on Instagram to complement their ecommerce websites or blogs.

Trust our Instagram marketing tips

Trust us when we say, following those 9 tips could save you a lot of time and energy. Too many businesses rush the process and begin blasting the social media platform with posts that are unconsidered and poor-quality Instagram content while failing to make good use of the suite of marketing tools Instagram offers. If you want to increase Instagram followers, focus your Instagram for business marketing methods and think before you act.

It’ll pay off in the long run!