5 Powerful Instagram Marketing Tips to Set Your Brand Apart
Are you looking for essential and powerful Instagram marketing tips to grow your business?
With more than 800 million people using Instagram every month, and 1.6 billion “likes” given on Instagram every day, there’s definitely enough pie for you to grab a slice for your brand!
There’s no doubt that Instagram is a powerful tool when it comes to marketing. Although there’s lots of competition on the platform, these five tips will help you stand out and build an influential brand that converts more prospects into paying customers.
1. Get Serious About Your Visual Content
Instagram’s entire raison d’être (that’s French for “reason for being”) is all about visual impact! Your posts have to look visually appealing to do well on this platform, and as a business, you need to elevate your account’s branding beyond what someone would share on a personal account.
This isn’t about having expensive photography equipment, though a professional photoshoot a couple of times a year to collect unique pro photography can be a good idea. With today’s phone cameras, there’s so much you can DIY for your Instagram provided you’re attentive to quality. Make sure your photos and videos are sharp, well-lit, well-composed, and in focus. Learn more about photography considerations in our Photo Guide.
Consider giving your Instagram feed a unified and branded look by using consistent lighting presets as well as strategic use of branded colours and elements throughout your photos and images. This will help set your business account apart from personal accounts while reinforcing your brand essence in the minds of your followers.
Infographics, branded engagement posts, quotes, and inspirational content are also a great opportunity to drive home your branding. For graphic content, always include your url at the bottom of the image. And by the way, you don’t need to include “www”, just the rest of your url. For example, on our graphics we just write “barkersocial.com”. That’s all you need for your web address.
Ensure that graphics that include text are crisp, clear, easy-to-read, attention-grabbing, and on-brand.
2. Diversify Your Content With Stories, IGTV, and Reels
Using Instagram goes beyond posting in your feed. Your regular feed supports photos and videos under 60 seconds… but there’s just so much more you can do with Instagram!
In addition to your feed, there are Stories, IGTV, and Reels. Instagram shares each type of content in different ways and in different places across the platform, offering you more opportunities for exposure.
Instagram Stories are the place to get more personal and casual with your business. Think of your feed as the branded front door for your business, and Stories are a look through the back door to your casual break room. Instagram Stories are designed to disappear after 24 hours, though you can save your favourite stories to your Story Highlights. Stories are where you can really let your guard down and show the people and personality behind your brand. They’re also a great place to share your customers’ Stories that you’ve been tagged in. And it’s inside the Stories view that you can go live and give your followers an even better chance to get to know you. These are all great opportunities to build brand awareness and earn brand trust.
IGTV (aka. Instagram Television)
IGTV is used to share longer videos that exceed the one minute mark. Some clients find that they get more engagement and views with their longer IGTV videos than they do with their shorter feed videos, though it really depends on the hashtags that you’re using and the overall brand. (You can also choose to include your IGTV video preview in your feed, but it will also be shown within the IGTV search and browse options, so you get more exposure for your effort.) Ultimately, sharing longer IGTV videos will prompt Instagram to share your content in additional locations beyond your feed, increasing your chances of new people seeing your content.
Reels are Instagram’s answer to TikTok. These are short and fun vertical videos with some creative editing capabilities. Reels are also more casual than IGTV and feed videos and are often quite silly, entertaining, or unusual. The whole purpose of Reels is to use the available editing tools to cut your video with some special effects to make them more interesting. Your Reels should be completely different from the videos that you would make for IGTV, but like with IGTV, you can also include your Reel preview in your feed to increase the places where people can find your content.
3. Use Product Teasers & Tag Your Products
If you’re a product-based business, you’re going to love Instagram! The app is a fantastic place to share your products. But remember, the best social media is social first—ie. conversational, helpful, entertaining, and authentic—and then actual advertising should come as a distant second. No one likes being sold to, and especially not with spammy sales posts.
If your content comes off as pushy, your followers will drop like flies. But product teaser posts are an excellent way to talk about your product and increase excitement without looking like you’re trying too hard to make a sale. Give glimpses of what you’re working on, what’s coming soon, and express how excited you are. Make your followers part of the process. And be sure to show real examples of your happy customers using your products. The more authentic your posts, the better!
Plus, when you connect your Instagram store, you can also tag products in your posts so that people can easily shop from your photos. This is a non-invasive way for customers to browse your product offerings since you can’t share links on Instagram anywhere but in your bio.
4. Run an Instagram Contest
Contests are a great way to increase exposure for your business on Instagram. We’ve written an entire blog post specifically about how to run an Instagram contest but here’s a quick overview.
Figure out the format of your contest and ensure that your plans fit with Instagram’s Official Promotion Guidelines. The contest format should be in line with your goals. For example, if your goal is to get lots of people interested in your product or brand, you want to make it easy for people to participate. The more complicated the rules or requirements, the fewer people will enter. If you have too many hoops for entry, the majority of people just won’t go to the trouble.
The most accessible and popular kind of contest to hold is the “Follow, Like & Tag” model. This is when the contest guidelines go something like this:
- Follow X on Instagram
- Like this Post
- Tag 2 Friends
Then you would pick someone at random as the winner. Besides this kind of contest being easy to administer and participate in, it’s also a great way to build up your followers because when someone tags their friends and they see that there’s an exciting contest taking place, they’ll probably want to participate too! These are small asks for contest entry but could result in significant results for your business.
If you have an exceptionally appealing prize, like a trip giveaway, you might decide to ask for something more substantial from participants. For example, you might ask your followers to post a photo or video of them doing a required task with a specific hashtag attached. However, that’s a bigger ask and requires much more commitment from participants, so the incentive needs to be good enough to justify the ask. Read more about How to Run an Instagram contest.
5. Run Instagram Ads
Paid advertising is one of the best ways to reach a targeted audience on Instagram with a specific call-to-action in mind. While you shouldn’t be doing too much sales-based content in your organic social media posts, paid advertising is the time to pull out all the stops with your strategic high-converting advertising plan.
You can’t include a clickable link in a regular post (just a product tag), but with Instagram advertising, you can drive your ads to your landing page or website. With a really good ad video or ad graphic, you can get terrific results on Instagram. Size your ad for the feed and also for Instagram Stories to augment your reach and results.
When we talk about Instagram ads, we don’t mean using the “promote” option that’s included on the post. That’s more like hitting the “boost” button on Facebook. What we mean is running full advertising campaigns with the entire suite of available targeting tools through business.facebook.com. In case you weren’t aware, Facebook owns Instagram and you can run all of your fully-powerful and sophisticated advertising campaigns—just like the big brands do—by using the ads manager within the business manager account. This is where growth really happens!
Remember that your ads should always direct customers to a page specifically designed with the ad in mind. Don’t lead people from an ad for a particular product to your website’s homepage—always consider the full user experience from the initial point of interest through to what happens when someone clicks. You can read more about why your ads should never point to your home page here.
Bonus Tip: Get Help With Your Instagram Marketing From the Pros
While there’s a lot that you can and should do yourself for your organic social media marketing, there’s also a time to get help in order to really scale your business.
At Barker Social, not only can we help you implement all of these powerful Instagram marketing tips, but we can also help build your brand by increasing exposure, deepening relationships, establishing trust, and driving more traffic to your website, event, app, and social profiles.
Individually, organic social media, pay-per-click ads, blogging, and other digital components are effective… but when they’re combined into an integrated and strategic campaign, the results multiply exponentially! Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and find out how we can help your business get to the next level.
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