Instagram has become one of the key marketing channels for so many businesses.
Its popularity has grown to an enormous level with large volumes of people considering it as their ‘go-to’ or tier one social platform.
This is due to its simplicity and visual nature. There are many ways that you can leverage the sheer volume of Instagram audience to grow your business and create a valuable presence on Instagram.
Content is the key for any marketing success across all channels. Without content, you have nothing to share and are therefore irrelevant.
Of course the fundamental content format on Instagram is imagery. And therefore it helps if your business product/service has a positive or aesthetically pleasing visual angle to some extent.
However, there are other forms of content including video and these can come in different styles. Pictures, collages, slide shows etc.
The idea is to be consistent and creative with your content. Create a backlog of interesting imagery and seed it gradually to your current audience.
Building an Audience
Building an audience on Instagram is a long process. It requires a lot of graft and logical thought.
Firstly the identifying of your ideal customer profile and target audience. Who are they? Where are they? Locate your competition and those who have similarities to your own business in nature, style and appeal.
You will then need to begin the long and winding process that is following the followers of these relevant accounts. You can either choose to do this as a bulk, spam follow spree, or with more detail and thought behind the follow.
It ultimately depends on your intention of the platform, your view of vanity statistics and also the amount of time which you have at your disposal to build this following.
Many will begin the cycle of unfollowing the accounts which do not follow back. This in-turn frees up more (follow) space to begin attracting more accounts to your page.
Gaining followers will impact differently for every business. For some, it will be direct lead generation. For others, it will the first stage, top of the funnel marketing for pure visibility and awareness.
Essentially, once you have the follower, you then have the potential to market to that person again going forward.
Also, the gaining of a follower adds authority to your page and may have the influence to convince the next prospect or interaction to follow also. Therefore you may need to understand that it could take 4 irrelevant followers to act as the magnet to convert the follower who you do want.
That is something which is within the nature of social media and using it for business. Everything is about perspective, presence, context and ultimately is the purpose of creating a positive and authoritative perception of your brand.
People may be too fast to de-value the purpose of the hashtag. Although your post can become lost amongst a vast quantity of similar content, if you do not hashtag for your industry every single time that you post, to a large extent, you are depriving yourself of a great potential of impressions, visibility and potential engagement.
Activity is the key to Instagram. Do not think that you are too superior as a business to not jump into the comments and interact with every single person who is reacting.
Further to this, go out of your way to be visible wherever it is you need to be seen.
If you are restricted on following temporarily or have followed too many accounts, then drop as many likes as possible. Do whatever you need to do to catch the attention of that prospect. 15 likes from one account in your notifications is a serious ‘hello’. There is a strong chance that the account will look through to your page and you are therefore creating a potential for further development – that is if they are the correct fit for what you provide.
They will browse your page for sure but may even click through to your site – so make sure it is optimised for mobile!
The key to Instagram is to have an appealing page and to be as visible as you can through relentless graft. That is the truth. Then if the process is correct, you should organically begin to see a genuine growth. And with more growth attracts more attention. And so on.
Further to this. Boosting your most successful posts as a paid advertisement is an excellent way to maximise the potential of your views and likes.
Utilise stories to the greatest possible advantage. Once you have posted on your page, repeat the content through stories to alert that you have shared. Your page audience and story audience may be very different so ensure that all are receiving a chance to view your post.
Interestingly, you can now link directly from stories so this is a huge chance to instantly drive traffic to a website or landing page. Experiment more casually with your stories. They are not permanent so it is useful to try things out, assess how they are perceived and you can then consider having that particular content style on your page for new followers to view.
You can also pin these stories to your highlights to add further value when people arrive at your page from your various exposure tactics.
Never underestimate the power of the direct message. It is such an amazing outreach opportunity where you can instigate contact to whoever you want.
Create relationships. Develop leads and sales. And do not forget to check your message requests inbox as there could be unique offerings in there.
Remember – Do not get caught up in the frenzy of having the most followers. Aim for follower value. Ones who will have an impact on your business. 100 relevant followers is a better situation to be in that 1000 bot accounts. And who cares about ratios if you are actual making sales!