If you’re talking about social media marketing, there are only a small handful of social networks that cannot be ignored.
With 5% quarter over quarter growth, Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms. It has become the social media channel of choice for many influencers, celebrities and brands.
Instagram is an “image-first” experience that is simple to use and invites new ways to communicate. Its mobile-centric design makes it easy for consumers to interact with and for businesses to target specific audiences via visual communications.
While Instagram says that 90% of its users follow a business, and there is a B2B case study on their marketing microsite, we recommend that Instagram be used exclusively for B2C marketing.
Instagram success requires more compelling visuals and creativity than other social channels. It is a brand marketing environment that excels at reaching potential end users of products.
Build for Success Before You Begin
There are four key things to consider when setting up your Instagram account and you need to address all of them before you start developing content and running campaigns.
- Build your account with the audience in mind: The first step is creating a comprehensive profile that reflects your brand personality. This should include a branded account name, profile image, contact information, and bio. Pro Tip: Rather than linking your account to your home page, link it to an optimized page that has specific, marketing-related links (including your home page), that will guide users to promotions, offers, and action-specific destinations.
- Set up a business account: This will allow you to build your brand presence, view analytics, connect your account with your Facebook page (you must have a Facebook page to run any advertising on Instagram), implement campaigns, and make it easier for followers to contact you.
- Hashtag It!: Hashtags are one of Instagram’s most important features for businesses. Users search with hashtags which lets them discover your content even if they are not following you. We recommend that you use, or adopt, hashtags that fit your messaging and are already being used on Instagram. You can quickly get some ideas with the top 50 hashtags for 2020. Research has shown that 7 hashtags per post delivers the best performance although you can use up to 30. Instagram provides a report that shows how many people used specific hashtags to find your post. Once you have a hashtag that is delivering traffic for you – keep using it!
- Identify Influencers: Influencers are people on Instagram that have an established audience that trusts them, shares their values, and looks to them for advice, inspiration, guidance or to emulate them. They have learned to monetize their influence and the 2020 influencer market is estimated to be an $8 billion industry.
Influencer marketing is particularly effective on Instagram and B2C marketers should at least consider engaging with influencers. Marketers should look for influencers who can either reach their audience or who are an expert in their industry.
The most common engagement with an influencer is a “paid post” but there are myriad ways to partner with them to help build your brand. We do caution that influencers have their own brands, frequently sell their own products and have wide range of compensation requirements. You can get a good idea of potential costs with the Instagram Rich List.
Market to Your Audience
Like all marketing efforts you must tailor your messaging to your audience. Instagram puts a premium on compelling visuals and creativity and offers a variety of formats to reach consumers.
Both Instagram and Facebook have good tutorials on how to build https://business.instagram.com/advertising/, place and track ad campaigns. You will need a Facebook Business Page and an Instagram with a Business Profile to run an ad program.
Instagram offers a variety of ad formats:
- Photo and Video Posts are best used when you are targeting a general audience and can include multiple images with Collection and Carousel ad options.
- Instagram Stories are the best way to reach Millennial customers. Stories are posts that allow users to share photos and videos that are only visible to followers and users that the Story’s sender follows. They are short term and only last for 24 hours but can run continuously if served as an ad to your target audience.
- Reels is Instagram’s newest format and is essentially a direct copy of TikTok. Reels are 15 second videos that primarily attract Gen Z audiences (though Reels is growing in all demographic categories.) Currently there is not an advertising opportunity using Reels but you can Reels to be set as “public” which will allow them to be found in Instagram Explore — remember those hashtags! Reels is expected to rapidly expand.
One of the most powerful aspects of Instagram is its ability to match audience interests with a variety of content types and content. Both through organic and paid channels, brands can find and nurture B2C audiences on Instagram.
Need a Little Help?
If you need help with your Instagram marketing, consider a Facebook and Instagram marketing partner, like Rainmaker Digital Services, that can help you plan, create, place, and evaluate your content. With the strong consumer focus and the need for strong messaging, some of the most creative and innovative digital content is being produced on Instagram.
You don’t need to go it alone. We’re in this with you. Just drop us a line, anytime.
Rainmaker Digital Services