If you’re relatively new to the world of Instagram, mastering the social media platform can seem like somewhat of a tall task. Fortunately, here at Kickstagram, we know just how effective Instagram for business can be.
We’re also here to let you in on a little secret—starting a successful Instagram account for your company and engaging meaningfully with your audience isn’t as impossible as you might think.
While it’s true that complete Instagram mastery will require some real time and effort, sticking to the five Instagram marketing fundamentals below will set you squarely on the path to success:
1) Put Away the Megaphone
For many companies, one of the biggest pitfalls of using Instagram for business comes into play before they start producing content—it’s the idea that Instagram is simply another channel through which they can talk loudly about their products or services.
The biggest problem, here? This isn’t what Instagram users want. Truth be told, Instagram is meant to be so much more. It’s a place where users go to find beautiful images and engaging ideas—not to be approached as if they were watching a commercial.
Your first key to Instagram marketing success is to realize that you won’t be doing a lot of direct selling on this platform. Rather, you’ll be giving your audience a unique look at your brand. Believe it or not, this will greatly boost your social credentials—and your business as a whole.
2) Offer Something Unique
There’s no denying that Instagram is becoming increasingly crowded as more brands jump onboard in an effort to reach new audiences.
So how do you stand out? The answer lies in providing something unique. Something that showcases your brand personality. Or even something that your followers couldn’t find anywhere else.
Saturday Night Live is an excellent example of this. While the show’s Instagram feed does include clips from recent episodes, it also provides something unique by offering behind-the-scenes photos of the set and crew.
These exclusive features give audience members unique insights into the show. As a result, SNL’s Instagram feed generates high levels of engagement.
3) Influencers FTW
We love to talk about Instagram influencers, and with good reason—they’re one of the best resources you have for building a booming Instagram account for your business.
Countless brands have already leveraged partnerships with Instagram influencers to promote new products and events, or simply to gain more exposure for their own account.
By working with influencers with an interest in your company’s niche, you tap into a larger audience that otherwise would’ve never discovered your brand.
These kinds of promotions generate positive word-of-mouth for your company in the digital realm and dramatically increase your follower counts and levels of engagement.
While reaching out to influencers can be a bit pricey—or at the very least, a time-consuming, relationship-building process—this is a great way to gain exposure on Instagram.
As we’ve already touched on, Instagram is more than a place for you to simply broadcast a marketing message, hopping the masses will magically gobble it up.
People come to Instagram to connect and participate in digital conversations, and the effort you put into engaging with your audience will ultimately make a big difference in how likely they are to become a loyal customer at a later date.
Many of the things you can do to engage with your audience are relatively simple, such as responding to comments, following your followers or “regramming” user-submitted photos featuring your brand.
While these may seem like small tasks, they demonstrate your willingness to engage with your online community, which makes audiences more excited to interact with your brand’s content.
You can also spur engagement through contests or creative captions. Remember, your call to action doesn’t have to be “click here to purchase.”
Fill-in-the-blank captions and asking questions are great ways to get more comments on your posts, and contests are a sure-fire way to get audience members posting about your brand.
5) It’s All About the Visuals
At the end of the day, Instagram is a visual platform. It doesn’t matter what type of business you run, if your account’s content doesn’t keep people from scrolling past your posts on their individual feeds, it won’t perform well on Instagram.
Visuals are key to your brand’s story.
It doesn’t matter if you’re showcasing your product, offering a behind-the-scenes look or even sharing user-generated content, beautiful, eye-catching photos are what will allow you to stand out when users are distracted by rival posts.
Whether you hire a professional photographer to curate content for your Instagram account or use high-quality stock images to craft a meme, using photos with a strong visual appeal will grab users’ attention and ensure they stick around for the long haul to engage with your content.
There’s a lot that goes into successfully using Instagram for business, but with these fundamental tools in your arsenal, you’ll be on the path to creating a solid, engaging account.
Don’t be afraid to dive into the world of Instagram! Trust us on this one—cling to the above five tips, and your efforts will be well rewarded.