Marketers everywhere know that Facebook is huge, but Instagram is also making a big splash. Now owned by Facebook, Instagram is the fastest growing social network on the market. As of February 2016, it had a massive growth rate of 15.1%, compared to the average rate for other social networks at 3.1%. Additionally, analysts predict another 27 million users by the end of 2020, which is almost twice as many users as Twitter is expected to gain in that time.
Instagram is a visual-focused network, which perhaps explains the reason for its profound success. Overall, consumers respond better to visual marketing tactics than any other methods. As a result, Instagram should be a major part of every marketer's strategy.
In fact, it could potentially double the returns from your efforts if approached the right way.
1. Be Consistent in Your Theme
Instagram accounts tend to do better when they stick with a certain theme. It's easier for users to follow and become familiar with a company when they have consistency throughout their posts. Pictures should be congruent with your main theme and avoid those that go against company values. Also, a color palette and clear branding can significantly help drive your theme home.
2. Work in Combination with Your Blog
Your blog is primarily used for SEO and conversion purposes, and Instagram can help with that. Creating an Instagram account that yields returns doesn't need to take a lot of time or effort, either. Let readers know about new blog posts by posting a photo and a brief description. Then, let them know they can read the full piece by clicking on the link in your bio - you'll have to switch out the link anytime you mention a new post, but the process is quick and easy.
3. Experiment with Hashtags
Hashtags can lead to instant engagement - so long as they're used the right way. One of the simplest strategies is to create a hashtag customers can use when they post photos of themselves holding a product they purchased from you.
4. Use Instagram Tools
There are a variety of Instagram-friendly tools marketers can use to improve the performance of photos. Piktoria is one tool that can help you discover hashtags, locations, and trending content - use this to your advantage. There are also editing apps like Pixlr that let you enhance and size your photos. There are literally hundreds of tools you can explore to advance your Instagram strategy.
5. Join Instagram Community Groups
Competition keeps the market alive, but that doesn't mean brands can't work together sometimes. There are Instagram community groups where marketers can come together within the same niche and collaborate. Other marketers will comment on posts, like photos, and use their power to expand your audience reach. You'll do the same for other marketers in return.
6. Cross Promote
An easy way to add new Instagram followers is to cross-promote your images, giving consumers another route to connect with your brand. It's wrong to assume that all connected users will see a post, but if you post the same image on several social networks, you will significantly expand your reach.
7. Know Your Audience and Connect
You might think you know your audience, but it's always good to do more research to make sure. The more data you discover, the more you'll learn about Instagram preferences and marketing techniques that work. It makes it easier to connect in creative ways that catch the eye and expand your reach. Through your research, you'll be able to maximize audience responses.
8. Repurpose Your Content
Any time you have a piece of content that performs well across any network, it can be repurposed on your Instagram account for extra coverage. If the content performed well once, it can do well again, and those who didn't see it the first time will have an opportunity to see it the second time around.
With the rapid growth of Instagram, it's hard to ignore the potential from a marketing standpoint. Learn the ins and outs of Instagram and you'll be set up for success in the future.