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Instagram Marketing in 6 Easy Steps

Why Instagram Marketing is Such a Big Opportunity

Instagram’s Reach

Instagram marketing represents a massive opportunity for small and medium sized businesses. Instagram has much in common with Facebook. Facebook boasts about 1.3 Billion users, while Instagram just passed the 1 Billion user mark in June 2018 – roughly two years prior to publication of this post – and is growing at a rate that is more rapid than Facebook. In fact, recent studies revealed that Instagram is on track to surpass Twitter as a preferred news source among millennials. 

Benefits of Instagram Marketing over Facebook

Instagram also boasts a larger daily user count than Facebook, coming in at around 500 Million users each day. This indicates a different type of usage for Instagram. It indicates that Instagram users are habitual and steady. For contrast, many Facebook users have a love/hate relationship with the platform. They enjoy being able to connect to family and friends, but they resent the politics and perceived invasions of privacy. As a result, many people swear off Facebook from time to time, and only use it intermittently.

That’s not the case with Instagram. People not only use Instagram every day, but they use it multiple times each day. This is aided by the fact that Instargam was designed with mobile users in mind. The Instagram design paradigm makes it easy for users to perceive it as a frictionless experience. They treat Instagram the same way people of previous generations treated a newspaper. It becomes part of their daily routine.

Getting Started with Instagram

Just like I mentioned in my post Facebook Marketing in 5 Easy Steps, before you can start using Instagram as a marketing platform, you need to do the behind-the-scenes work that is required to make your marketing efforts successful.

This behind-the-scenes work includes:

  • Setting up your business profile
  • Researching hashtags that are relevant to your niche
  • Creating and posting a few weeks’ worth of content

As your profile grows and you begin to earn an audience, you can begin to move on to more marketing-centric tasks.

Instagram Marketing and Facebook

Instagram is owned by Facebook. This is an important detail because Instagram ads are actually configured as Facebook ads. During the publishing process for a Facebook ad, you have the option of deciding to also publish the ad on Instagram, and – aside from promotional posts – that’s the only way to publish ads on Instagram. 

So what do you actually do on Instagram? Why bother logging in if your ads are created, managed, and analyzed on Facebook?

The answer is that you establish and grow your persona which I’ll discuss in more detail in an upcoming post In a lot of ways, Instagram is a more personal platform than Facebook. It’s very focused on the individual users, their interests, and the connections they make with each other. In terms of your business profile, these elements define your persona. The way that you define those elements is through your content.6. 

Getting Started with Instagram Marketing

1. Start Small

One of the most common mistakes that new marketers make is launching a massive, shiny, impressive campaign that … falls flat. I know that it’s exciting to get started with marketing, and you may be eager to jump in and get your feet wet. That is perfectly, fine – in fact it’s a good thing. However, small experiments are key when you first start. 

2. Focus on Content

Some marketers make a big fuss over their Instagram profile. They ensure that they are pointing to multiple landing pages, that their description is full and detailed, and that they are using cute emojis to capture people’s attention.

However, that’s not how Instagram works. Having a solid persona is possible and your profile is certainly a part of that. However, it is your content that will largely define your persona, and will attract and engage people. Not your profile. 

3. Don’t Ignore Influencers

There are a lot of bad influencers out there. It’s undeniable. Some of them manipulate their follower numbers, others pretend to specialize in a niche they aren’t really interested in just to attract advertisers, and some are legitimate in every way but charge exorbitant prices for promotions. 

Because of this, many marketers ignore influencers altogether. That’s a mistake. If you’re suspicious of influencers – try to keep an open mind. 

4. Engage with your Audience

One of the most common and most frustrating mistakes that many marketers make is that they fail to engage with their audience. This is frustrating because it’s a simple thing to do and makes a big impact. To engage with your audience, simply:

  • Respond to comments
  • Acknowledge likes
  • Comment on content posted by other brands and people in your niche
  • Respond to direct messages

It’s as simple as that, and yet many marketers alienate their audience just by neglecting to do those things.

5. Post High Quality Content

Do not post low quality content. Your pictures should be high definition, your videos should be well made, your colors and designs should be congruent with your brand. The content you post should be the right resolution so it doesn’t get cropped. 

A good tool for creating good content is www.cavna.com. One of the great things about Canva is that they have dozens of templates for just about every social media platform. You shouldn’t rely solely on their templates, but it’s a good place to start.

6. Use Hashtags

Many marketers unwittingly underutilize Instagram’s hashtag system. The biggest mistake that they make is that they use too few and too general of hashtags.

To start out with hashtags use your best judgement and try to use 20 – 30 hashtags for each post.

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