In this post, I will be sharing some advice on how to market your business on Instagram.
Making Your Instagram Feed Perform
Once you have your account, you’re ready to start posting images and video. While there are lots of tips and tricks to help you get more from this, the most important one is simply to hone in on your niche, to hone in on your target demographic, and then to post frequently with a consistent tone and style.
So if you have a fitness brand, then that means lots of photos of people training
Having a consistent look for all your images is a slightly more complex and controversial decision. But know that 60% of businesses use the same filter on all their images! Of course, this will hamstring you somewhat in terms of your creativity.
Take a look at the pages of some of your favorite creators in your niche and decide what they’ve done that you like, versus what hasn’t worked.
Likewise, using consistent hashtags, and even following predominantly creators within your niche, will all help you to send strong signals to both Instagram and your followers as to what you’re all about and who should and shouldn’t follow you.
Defining Your Account
If you’re going to be using consistent filters, a consistent theme and more, then you need to think about what that theme is and what you will want to say. This is what will help you to really make a mark on Instagram and it’s what will allow the whole strategy to ‘click into place’.
This may be easy if you are a fitness account – you will likely want to promote a fitness lifestyle and that will mean posting images of training.
Pick a certain style and a certain schedule for posting, and you’ll gradually gain more and more momentum.
These images should each tell a story and should each evoke the feelings you want to produce in your followers. The travel pictures should make your audience yearn to visit a beautiful country, or marvel at nature (perfect if you have a travel blog, or you sell travel supplies).
Buyer Persona and Owning Your Niche
But once you’ve chosen your ‘angle’, you should also aim to stick to that angle. That will also mean defining and sticking to a specific ‘buyer persona’.
‘Buyer persona’ simply means the actual kind of person who will appreciate your business. Write a fictional bio for that person, and ask yourself their age, interests, hobbies, income, beliefs, personality, and more they might have. Use this to directly target them through your Instagram marketing.
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For example: is your fitness brand aimed at people who want to get a little healthier? Are you going to show happy people on the beach, or young couples working out at the gym together?
Or is the fitness angle you’re looking for going to be more ‘hard core’? Maybe you’ll target strength culture and post images of gigantic guys with chalked-up hands, grimacing under a barbell. This attracts an entirely different kind of audience, but it’s by having your specific message and knowing your direct audience, that you will be able to stand out against the competition.
Choosing your audience and buyer persona might be easy if you are inheriting this from an existing business: who are you trying to sell to? That is who you will target with these images.
Failing that, think about how you can stand out against the competition. Think about the kind of content that you want to produce and are honestly passionate about (this is absolutely fundamental to your long-term success), and think about the demographics particularly well represented on Instagram and where there is overlap.
With all this decided, all that is left to do is to post frequently (1-3 times a day), to use smart relevant hashtags that include a range of extremely popular and less popular terms, and to promote your Instagram account from other platforms.
People will find you through search thanks to the hashtags and through your other channels, and the high quality and consistent tone of images will mean they subscribe and share.
The Last Piece of the Puzzle – The Social Aspect
Posting great quality images and having a well optimized profile is the first step to Instagram success. But it is far from the only one.
In fact, Instagram is a social network and this is crucial to remember if you want to be successful. Primarily, this is a communication tool, and the way you communicate will greatly impact on your success.
By posting on other accounts, by talking to your followers, and by motivating your audience, you can greatly increase your growth and your engagement.
Here are a few tips to consider:
• Answer your audience – If someone comments on your photo and you ignore the comment, they won’t comment again in future. If you answer though, they’ll get a kick out of interacting with their favourite brand and will likely comment again (not to mention becoming even bigger fans!).
• Like and comment on others – If you like or comment on a video or picture in your niche, you’ll potentially gain a new follower in that person (they’ll enjoy the attention and check out your profile, especially if it looks like a business profile). Moreover, you might gain followers from other people who read the comments, and it further helps Instagram algorithm. It’s also a good idea to follow other people.
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• Run contents and use hashtags – Reposting photos from users who use your hashtag, running competitions, or asking for help all represent methods you can use to galvanize your following and turn them into a force for growth!
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• Collaborate – Collaborating with other users is a brilliant way to expand both your audiences. Just send them a direct message and ask if they would like to work together on something.
Pick a creator with a following that’s a similar size to yours and that way, you will both stand to gain a similar amount from the interaction. There are lots of ways you can do this – post each other’s’ photos, provide a shout-out in a story, or even make something cool together to share (like a short video or cool image).
Use these strategies in combination with frequently posting to your account, and your feed will go from strength to strength. Good luck!