Instagram is one of the most widely used and popular social media platforms, but it’s also a great marketing platform. Yet, with so many users, it can be daunting knowing where to begin and how to use the platform successfully to grow your business. Whether you have an established business or your brand is still fairly new and you don’t yet have many followers, here are 5 top tips to help you gain visibility, engagement, and increase sales on Instagram.
1. Post High-Quality Images
Instagram is a visual platform, so it’s important that you use high-quality images if you want to capture the attention of its users. When thinking of which images to use to market your brand or company, remember to keep your audience in mind at all times. Share images and posts which will spark their curiosity. You also want to ensure that your posts and images reflect your wider brand strategy.
When taking photographs to share on your Instagram account, remember to follow the normal rules of photography, regardless of whether you have a high-tech camera or not. Wherever possible, aim to use natural lighting and avoid overexposure. You might also want to consider taking photographs from different and unexpected vantage points to create a more unique and distinctive image. Similarly, consider taking photos at different times of the day, particularly during sunset or sunrise. Finally, don’t forget to enhance your photos using an image editing app.
2. Create Short Videos
Generally, videos on Instagram generate twice the level of engagement, compared to other posts.
“Videos offer the opportunity to create more personalized content and to connect with your followers. So, it’s important to have a clear goal in mind whenever you share a video. What’s your intention? If you have a specific call-to-action, make sure that this is clear and that your followers are able to follow through on it. It’s also a good opportunity to share your products being used in action, or to share behind-the-scenes content with your followers,” says John Maddox, a project manager at Lia Help and Boom Essays.
When using videos on Instagram, you should aim to keep them short. The first few seconds are particularly important, as this will determine whether users continue to watch it or not. Another important factor to consider is that Instagram mutes all videos by default. As such, it’s a good idea to add captions to any video content that you create.
3. Run Contests To Generate Engagement
One of the most successful strategies to help you increase engagement and gain new followers is to run a contest or a giveaway on Instagram. Not only does it allow you to promote your services, but will usually also help increase your sales. Moreover, contests can also help to increase your brand awareness and in turn, gain new followers and ultimately, new customers.
There are various types of contests or giveaways that you can use on Instagram. The most popular tend to involve followers having to like, follow or comment on one of your posts in order to be entered into the contest. This can be a particularly good strategy if you’re looking to increase your engagement or follower numbers. Another good strategy is to encourage followers to tag a friend. This not only increases engagement with your post but also helps to bring you to the awareness of new customers.
Finally, one of the most effective types of contests is one that involves users creating their own posts and tagging your business in it. This is known as user-generated content and is a fantastic way for you to meaningfully engage with your followers.
4. Post User-Generated Content That Shows Your Products In Use
User-generated content (UGC) doesn’t have to be limited to contests. Sharing posts and content created by your followers is not only a great way to promote your products and brand, but it also allows you to create a more meaningful relationship with your followers. This in turn is more likely to lead to increased sales and increase brand loyalty. In particular, share user-generated content that shows your products in use.
“Encourage your followers to tag your business in their relevant posts and to use any branded hashtags you have, to help you to quickly identify any UGC that you may want to use. Above all, make sure that you always properly credit the user in any photos you use. You could then offer them a freebie or discount as a thank you. Such incentives will encourage others to create more content themselves and provide you with a regular source of great images to choose from,” says Ruth Nunley, a marketing writer at Paper Fellows and State of Writing.
5. Use Relevant Hashtags
Using a branded hashtag for a contest or UGC is important as it helps you to keep track of everyone who has entered and what content they have shared. However, using relevant hashtags for your products and services more generally is also extremely important, as this will determine how easily users can find you and your business.
It can take time to find the hashtags that are most effective for you and your business. Spend some time researching the most popular hashtags on Instagram and build on this. You can then create customized hashtags for your business as you grow. Whilst Instagram offers you 30 hashtags per post, make sure that you use hashtags that are relevant.
Using a mixture of common hashtags, alongside unique ones, tends to be the most effective strategy. Similarly, avoid using the same hashtags in all your posts. Instead, consider using different combinations for different posts to get the best results.
Instagram is a busy platform, but if you invest time in creating content that your audience is interested in, then you will be able to increase brand loyalty, awareness, and sales. Take the time to connect with your followers by responding to their comments, engaging with their content, and sharing it on your account. Above all, create content that is of value to them and this, in turn, will help turn followers into customers.