More than Just a Story: How to Optimize Instagram Marketing to Your Advantage

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Despite having only been in the market for a decade, Instagram has grown to become one of, if not the, most popular social media channel. Along with its burgeoning popularity is a highly competitive marketing landscape.

Introduction

When people think of Instagram marketing, they often think of it as a silo. It takes a world of its own once it’s out there and operates differently from how traditional models do. From in-house analytic tools to outsourced freelance analysts, it can be overwhelming to take on such a daunting task of promoting brands on Instagram’s saturated market.

With millions of active users, among them some of the most popular brands and personalities, Instagram has become a viable marketing tool that can make your company viral with the right strategy. It is a goldmine for businesses of any sector, be it you’re a small-sized local business starting out or a full-blown tech giant.

The simplicity of Instagram’s overall platform can be quite deceiving, as its in this seemingly lax nature of user interface and engagement that can lure brands into a false sense of security. The reality is, however, that many brands struggle to fully adapt to Instagram’s social strategy.  

You simply cannot afford to procrastinate or wing it on such a complex platform. Having a clear-cut, actionable and tested Instagram strategy will be the difference between having a hundred followers and gaining thousands overnight.  

Taking advantage of business accounts

While this may seem like a no brainer, you’ll be surprised to find out how many people actually don’t know you can choose to create 2 different types of Instagram accounts: a normal profile and a business one.

For the purposes of your brand’s marketing, you’d want to go for the latter. This is for various reasons, the main one being that Instagram business accounts come with more extra features and tools that will help you understand and grow your business better using their in-house data.

Some of these include Instagram shopping, Instagram Ads funnel, and Instagram insights. All of these work together to bring you a more in-depth and thorough insight into your page’s content and data. Through this, you can learn all about your audience’s demographics, post impressions, post-performance, and follower growth.

Instagram business profiles are also given a dedicated section to display their business hours and location, and while this may not seem major in the grand scheme of marketing, having those extra spaces in your bio can prove to be useful (and even more aesthetically pleasing).

In a nutshell, business profiles provide far more features, flexibility, and opportunities than standard profiles.

The importance of semantics

These seemingly harmless, minute details may not catch your attention from a marketing standpoint at the get-go – but you should take extra care not to ignore them completely altogether. 

With a character limit of only 150 characters, you need to pay extra mind into crafting the perfect Instagram bio. This invaluable verbal real estate is your brand’s first impression with an audience and potential customers, so it presents the unique opportunity of being their first point of contact. You need to aptly highlight what your brand is all about and the kind of services you can offer, all within a limited space.

Username handles are also an uncommon and wholly undervalued aspect of Instagram marketing. When people search for your company’s brand, using a handle that is literal in its dictation and easily accessible will make brand recognition easier for you in the longer term. Choose a name that’s easy to understand and recognize, as early on into your development process as possible.

Then there is the issue of the actual posts and captions. It is a delicate balance between not being too wordy and throwing off potentials with your verbose descriptions, but descript enough they are left wanting to seek more information, and, ultimately avail of your services. 

Each published post must have its unique caption, even the seemingly smallest details of those captions can impact your engagement rate and whether or not your post is discoverable. You’ll notice that many businesses take a “less is more” approach to their Instagram captions.

Visual optics

This is probably the most utilized aspect of Instagram marketing, all for good reason. It starts from the very beginning: your profile picture. Like the 150-character bio, this is also one of the first few things that draw the attention of every person to your Instagram bio. It also shows up next to every comment and post that you share, so make sure it’s eye-catching from the get-go.

It’s also worth noting that you should also aim to use the same profile picture on all of your social media profiles. In doing so, it creates a sense of continuity across your channels and strengthens the brand’s presence. 

When it comes to the actual photos shared, you may find yourself slaving most of your hours away on Instagram tweaking the hues or paying off freelancers to create graphic design work for you. You may also find yourself hard-pressed to find both and seek to create your own brand content through various photo editing platforms like Canva. 

The reason for all these efforts is because, first and foremost, Instagram is a visual medium. It has built its empire upon being a photo-sharing service that allows users to successfully release their works out into the world, and view others’ life stories as it goes. At this point in time, it would be foolish to discredit the impact and power of visual communication. 

Conclusion

Instagram has carved itself as a powerful social media platform in its own right, as well as becoming in itself one of the most utilized social media marketing services over the past few years. With the right strategy, you can successfully create viral and high traffic content to bring in more conversions and interactions; all it takes is the determination to get your brand there.

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