Since debuting in 2010, Instagram has grown to one billion active monthly users. With almost everyone spending time on the social platform, it’s no wonder more brands have established a presence on Instagram. When it comes to using Instagram as a marketing tool, there are several different ways to increase your brand awareness.
Switch to a business profile.
Switch your existing Instagram profile to a business profile. A business profile allows followers to use an interactive contact button to message you from Instagram. You also get to create and publish Instagram ads sans Facebook’s advertising tools. A business profile also comes with Insights, an analytics tool that shows you statistics on how effective your posts are. Use your business name on your profile so readers will recognize it, and choose an easy to search username that will allow readers to engage with your brand.
Take advantage of free Instagram tools.
Of all the free Instagram tools that come with a business profile, Insights is priceless. The free analytics tool lets you see a breakdown of your followers by demographics, such as age, gender, location, and hourly activity. You can even find out how many impressions your top posts earned in a specific time period and see which posts were popular. Understanding how your followers interact with your content and, subsequently, your brand will teach you where to adjust content to increase engagement.
Be a tease with new products.
Instagram is a great platform to advertise products, but you have to find a balance between pushy and suggestive. Well-done product teaser posts feel natural and are short, sweet, and to the point. Followers are more likely to buy your product if they don’t feel pressured. Even if followers don’t make a purchase, they at least took the time to engage with your post.
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Utilize Instagram Stories.
Using Instagram Stories is a smart way to generate leads. These slideshow-style posts last for 24 hours, but they can be saved to your phone or computer to be recycled later. Every time followers view your Story, it is displayed at the top of their daily timelines.
Instagram Stories are a fun way to share behind-the-scenes insider posts with followers and experiment with different content formats. Because Stories are only live for 24 hours, they provide a chance to post content that veers from your brand’s usual aesthetic. See how well certain photos, short videos, live videos, or Boomerangs perform with followers, and tag the accounts of other brands or influencers you are collaborating with.
Post just enough at the right time.
Followers don’t enjoy over-posting and having their newsfeed blown up with the same brand, but you do want to post consistently so that you regularly appear in followers’ newsfeeds. Post during peak days and times when your followers are active on Instagram, and don’t worry if your specific audience happens to be more active during Instagram’s general non-peak hours.
Create an editorial calendar or use a post scheduling tool to manage your Instagram presence and streamline your content management. Figure out what type of posts you want, plan out captions, hashtags, and posting times with an editorial calendar.
Create a consistent brand aesthetic that reflects the personality, values, and definition of your brand. Tailor your content to match your brand aesthetic. Everything from the color palette in photos to compelling storytelling in captions and images that reflect brand narrative can make you more relatable to followers.
There are several great features in Instagram that make it an effective marketing tool—all you have to do is learn how to use them.