A great number of studies have shown that content that includes images has a 94% greater chance of being viewed when compared to content without. Quality images can communicate detail, conjure up emotions and can drastically influence a viewer’s purchase decisions. For some, Instagram is one of the last platforms that’s considered in an overall digital marketing strategy, mainly because many businesses are unaware of how to tackle its untapped potential.
However, with over 800 million active users (and 500 million active every day), Instagram is certainly becoming one of the most influential social media platforms out there, which is why digital marketing agencies across the globe are embracing its usage as a critical part of any effective social media marketing campaign. But how can you leverage its potential?
Stay True to Your Brand
One of the key elements of Instagram marketing success is maintaining authentic, continuous branding which should be communicated through elements like the images you post, your content feed and the tone of voice you use on those feeds. Posts should include content that’s relevant to your business as a whole and should give readers a glimpse of who you are and what you stand for.
Posts should also be targeted at not only your ideal target market but several audiences, which will enable you to grow your followers and therefore your potential customers.
Post High Quality Images
One of the things that makes Instagram such a unique social media platform is its visuality. So when it comes to images, it’s a no-brainer – they need to be able to sell your brand, your product and ultimately your business.
Posting visually rich content that is valuable, authentic and personal will not only increase customer engagement, it will also build brand loyalty. Repeated imagery, stock photos and low-quality images certainly won’t win over your audience!
In order to be valuable, it needs to be worth a customer’s time viewing it and they need to gain something from it. Examples of inspirational, informative and shareable posts include news, opinions, quotes and infographics.
Images that are authentic are true and positive reflections of your brand and give your business a human face that can quickly build trust. In fact, research shows that Instagram posts that include people’s faces receive 38% more likes than those without.
Visual content that is personal will also resonate and capture the attention of the target market you’re appealing to. If it’s relevant, tells a story and creates an experience for your audience, it will help engage them and keep them following your posts.
Time Your Social Media Posts Well
As the old saying goes, ‘timing is everything’ and it’s particularly true when it comes to posting content to Instagram because with hundreds of thousands of posts uploaded every minute, you need to give your brand the best possible chance to be found!
Studies have shown that Mondays and Wednesdays are best days to post content, and in terms of times, 5pm and 10pm are the most effective. For those willing to test their content strategy a little further, 2am is also considered a prime hour!
An effective digital marketing campaign also involves engaging and being consistently active with your audience. Treat your Instagram responses like you would treat any customer enquiry – like, comment and respond regularly, which will enhance your brand awareness and reputation.
Use instagram ashtags Wisely
Although many businesses only use hashtags when posting on platforms such as Twitter, the trend is increasingly being used on Instagram as well. Hashtags are a great way to reach customers who are actively looking for products or services like yours, and benefits include increasing your post ‘likes’ and increasing the number of followers on your site as well.
While many hashtags are captions directly related to an individual image, there are a few ways they can be used more strategically to get effect, including:
- Researching your hashtags in terms of related content and what your competitors are using.
- Following your branded hashtags to see what others are saying about you.
- Checking out what’s currently trending in hashtags in the ‘explore’ tab on your Instagram
- Using at least four relevant hashtags – although bear in mind that Instagrammers aren’t as susceptible to hashtag fatigue as Twitter and Facebook users are, so there’s no need to be too restrained!
- Adding a geolocation to your post – people who are searching in or for that location are more likely to find your post.
Be Clever With Content
Using quality images and hashtagging are both ideal ways to leverage your brand on Instagram, however regramming is another way your content can be cleverly directed to the right target audience as part of an overall user-generated content strategy.
A regram is when an Instagram user posts material from someone else’s account on their own site, and it can give businesses fresh material to share, and encourage increased engagement by motivating followers to post content that’s worthy of a re-share.
‘Word of mouth’ feedback has been proven to the one of the most effective forms of marketing for decades, and studies have shown that consumer-centric posts are the most liked, the most popular and have the highest user engagement on Instagram accounts.
Encouraging users to share your branded hashtags allows you to receive, acknowledge and share positive customer feedback, it can effectively drive other consumers (and their family, friends and followers) to your site, plus you’ll be getting a stream of visual content for free!
Fine-tune Your Instagram Strategy
Closely monitoring and measuring your Instagram site’s traffic and conversions is the ultimate way to tell whether your digital marketing strategy is effective or not. Trends will become evident which will allow you to form your own best practices that are customised to your brand.
Further to that, Instagram For Business is rapidly developing, meaning you can post branded Instagram ‘ads’ that are carefully targeted, and if fully optimised, up to 75% of Instagram users will be reactive to your advertising. Regardless of whether they engage or purchase on the first click their actions are still valuable, allowing you to re-target them (and enhance the conversion factor), and because Instagram uses the same platform as Facebook to manage ads, it also has similar tracking capabilities.
And that’s where we come in! When it comes to social media in Brisbane, Soak Creative can help you leverage your Instagram content and assist with analytics and measurement to ensure you are getting the most out of your online marketing and social media strategy.
Working with us here at Soak Creative, you’ll not just gain access to website designers, but content creators, SEO experts, e-commerce specialists, branding wizards, social media marketing strategists and more. Our business is a nexus of collaboration, innovation and excellence, uniting the best professional minds in Brisbane under one full service banner – digital, brand, creative, development, design, strategy and online marketing.