When Instagram was out, it was intended to be another social media app that has pictures of food, people, pets etc. Basically everything that people love. Over the last 9 years, Instagram has scaled out to be one of the best apps. It has released a whole new platform that helps both local and international business reach people. Just over the last one year, instagram has released a whole new bunch of features such as IGTV, analytics, shoppable etc.
As a business, Instagram is a platform that gets you close to your customers.
It helps you in a lot of ways such as branding, customer advocacy, and much more. But there is a catch. Not all brands are really famous on Instagram and not everything that you post can become a hit. This is because proper planning does not go into the posts. According to Hootsuite approximately 1 Billion people use Instagram on a daily basis. It is the second most popular app in the world.
Interesting Read : 14 Instagram Marketing Tips from influencers 2020
People see at least 1 100 posts everyday. There is something that needs to be in your post for it to stand out. Otherwise chances are high that it is going to get lost in their news feed.
Here are a few stats that you must know before you understand why it is important to plan content for Instagram: (Source - Hootsuite)
1 . Potential advertising reach: 849.3 million users
- Youth audience reach: 52.9 million
3. Influencers get paid between $100 and $2,085 per post
- 69% of the social media marketing budgets is spent on Influencers
- According to 73% of U.S. Instagram is the best way for brands to tell them about products or promotions
- About 200 million users visit at least one business profile a day
Here are a few things that you must follow if you want visibility on Instagram.
UNDERSTAND THE ALGORITHM
The algorithm decides the posts that people see on their feed everyday. This decides the priority of the posts, by pushing the most relevant ones for the user on the top and the less likely ones down. There are so many factors that Instagram takes into account when deciding what goes into the user’s feed.
1 . The post’s relationship with the user
The interest of the user
The recentness of the post
Relationship with the user - This is determined by the fact if the user has interacted with the content you have posted in the past. If the user liked your past content they are likely to interact with what you post in the present as well. They are your loyal customers.
Interesting Read : The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing 2020
Interest of the user - The interest of the user is captured by the interactions of the user with other posts. If you post content similar to what the user generally likes. They are likely to engage with your content as well.
Recentness of the post - recent posts will show up on the top of the news feed where as older posts will be pushed down.
Hashtags help people follow the things the like. Using hashtags on stories and posts is an effective way to reach out to audience who are looking out for you. Using popular hashtags that are not relevant to your post might kill the viewship and your followers. This is because when it comes to hashtags users are looking for a particular content, when they find that the content that you provide is totally different from what they are looking for, they are likely to get disappointed.
PLAN YOUR POSTS
Plan your posts before hand. This gives you the time to research your audience, hashtags, etc. Find the ideal time to post the content based on your demographic and post it. It is a great idea to save the posts as drafts if you are not ready to invest money in scheduling apps.
Hootsuite has compiled a list of best time to post on Instagram depending on your professional field:
1 . Travel & Tourism - Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
2 . Media & Entertainment - Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 to 3 p.m.
Food & Beverage - Fridays at 12 p.m.
Retail - Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 12 p.m.
Professional Services - Friday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 9 a.m. or 10 a.m.
Non-profit - Tuesday at 4 p.m. or 10 a.m.
Pharma & Healthcare - Wednesday and Sunday at 9 a.m.
Personal Care - Friday and Thursday at 1, 2, or 3 p.m.
Technology - Monday and Tuesday at 2 p.m.
Education - Thursday at 4 p.m. or 5 p.m.
USE GOOD EDITING APPS
This is a platform for pictures, therefore an editing app is a necessity. Use the best editing that you can give to the picture. If you have the luxury to hire a designer, you can try apps such as Lightroom, Photoshop etc. If not, there are apps like Facetune, Snapseed, Canva that will help you achieve what you are looking for.
MANAGE YOUR FEED
What you post and how your feed looks is very important. Your posts should have relevance to each other. One such way to do this is to create a seamless feed. This is where you layout multiple images to make it look like one giant image. Not every business can benefit out of this idea. But if you are into travel, beauty or fitness domain, you can leverage this idea to its full potential.
SHOW THE USERS WHO YOU ARE
Posting picture perfect images is what everybody is into and that is also a way that is done. But, people often need to be reminded that you are a organization and that it is filled with humans. Once in a while post the behind scene pictures of your employees, events etc. This helps you build a rapport with your users.
Posting what customers feel about you builds the sense of trust among your potential customers. The mere fact that somebody like them has believed in you and has gone back home contented can help your customer base grow. Always post references of customer stories, case studies, testimonials etc. If a customer appreciates your work on a personal message, take a screenshot of that and post it in your story.
CREATE CONTESTS, GIVE AWAY, AND DISCOUNTS
Creating a contest and giveaways can help you reach a wider audience of customers. Users like free stuff and if all that they have to do to get something free is to post your content on their feed, they will willingly do that. Use discounts and the shoppable feature to get audience buy your product. Using discounts on your story with strong message creates an urgency among your customers and fans.
As an organization, customers might often have questions that they’d want to get clarified. By going live, you create that platform for your customers and potential customers to know about the products or services that you offer. A live Q & A session is a great way to engage your customers and let them know what is brewing in your company.
While there is a high chance that your post might get hidden in the feed, stories are a great way to stay on top. Stories although are sorted based on the recency in which they are posted, get a wider reach.
Interesting Read : The Beginners Guide to Instagram proxies
Another effective way to leverage stories is to highlight them in your profile. You can group them based on discounts, specific events, etc. This way, a new potential user visiting your profile will get to know about your company.
Carousels in Instagram allows you to post multiple images in a single post. At present you can post about 10 images in a single post. This is a great way to tell a story to your customers. Make sure that your stories are engaging and yet have a strong brand value in them. Brands are thinking of different ways by which they can use this feature to its maximum potential.
BRING INFLUENCERS INTO THE PICTURE
Influencers are people who have a huge number of followers. Partnering with them brings your product into limelight. Rather that you selling the product directly to your customers, you are getting the help of influencers with huge followers to do it for you. These influencers are people who share a strong relationship with their followers. Their followers have a rapport with them similar to what one might have with a friend. This allows them to listen to their suggestions.,
For instance if a runner suggests a pair of shoes, you are most likely to remember and buy that brand when you are looking to buy shoes. This also increases the brand identity.
USE MONETIZATION TOOLS
Using monetization tools such as Like2buy or Havetohaveit makes it easier for your customers or potential customers to find your products on Instagram and shop it.
Interesting Read : How to Use Instagram Bots for Your Business?
It is a good practice to add your website link in your bio and have CTA’s in your post that redirects the user to the bio to purchase the product.
Although organic traffic is free, it contributes very little to your brand’s reach. Using ads, help you target and reach wider audience. There are powerful user stories on how running ads, changed their brandship and increased business.
Interesting Read : How to take advantage of Instagram stories?
Yoga International worked with an agency on a campaign to create free trial sign-ups worldwide. To accomplish this they used the interactive poll sticker ads in Instagram Stories. This campaign ran for 45 days and at the end of the tenure Yoga International gained:
1 . 3,510 new trial members
- 21% decrease in cost per registration
- 18% of total sign-ups during campaign came from poll ads, which had a smaller budget
RUN HASHTAG CONTESTS OR AWARENESS PROGRAM
One of the famous hashtags on Instagram was “Metoo” movement. This gained the attention of people across the world. Imagine you implementing the same thing for your product. Hashtags are powerful. They have the capability to grab the attention of people. Run a hashtag contest where everybody participating in the contest will have to use the same hashtag.