Tricks to Improve Your Brand on Instagram
Readers of this blog need no introduction to the popularity of Instagram and why this platform is critical for your business. While a new user on Instagram might face challenges with respect to building a following or growing their account, businesses typically realize that a large following alone does not guarantee social media success.
Unlike other marketing channels, social media success relies a lot on visibility and branding. With more than 90% of all top brands having a presence on Instagram, the challenge for businesses is to set themselves apart from the rest of the accounts a user follows on Instagram.
Here are a few simple tricks to create a unique brand and visibility for yourself on Instagram.
Go Absolutely Niche
What’s the brand you associate with the term “running”? If you answered Nike, you are not alone. Nike makes shoes just like dozens of other brands in the market today. However, the brand focuses exclusively on athletes – on Instagram and elsewhere – and this has helped them reinforce the brand’s association with sports.
It is, however, worth pointing out that ‘running’ or ‘sports’ is not niche enough. While Nike has been successful in building a brand association with such a broad niche, a startup business would do well to go deeper than that. As Instagram marketing instructor Alex Tooby points out in this Candybar article, your brand must “niche down as far as you can” and then curate images that are very specific to this theme.
When you focus on a very deep niche, there are likely very few competitors you are going up against. This allows your business to build an association between your brand and the niche you are focusing on.
Hashtags with Personal Branding
Instagram marketing is incomplete without the use of hashtags. Although Instagram allows its users to include as many as 30 hashtags in a post, it is generally recommended to use not more than 5-6 per post. The idea is to associate your posts with the absolutely targeted hashtags. Also, by keeping your hashtags targeted, you increase engagement which also has a direct impact on your brand visibility as dictated by Instagram’s feed algorithm.
In addition to this, if you plan to stick to a specific niche for your submission, it is also recommended that you make use of the same hashtags for each of these submissions. Instagram allows users to follow hashtags based on their interests. By sticking to the same hashtags for all your posts, you could reinforce your brand and thus potentially builds greater exposure among your target group.
Establish a Consistent Uniqueness
An Instagram user’s timeline is built with posts made by various other users and brands; sometimes those that compete with one another. In order to be seen above the clutter, it is important to establish a sort of uniqueness that is discernible. Also, it is important to make this uniqueness consistent. This way, a follower is able to identify your brand simply by the submissions you make.
There are a number of ways to make this happen. If you publish a lot of videos, you could identify a format that your audience relates with (stop motion, motion graphics, whiteboard animation, etc.) and produce videos based on this format. Whiteboard animations, for example, are quite effective when you want to create lighthearted videos with a corporate tone. Find what format and filters align with your audience and stick with it to create consistency.
Speaking of consistency, it is also important to establish one when advertising to your prospective new followers. Instagram allows users a number of different advertising formats like single image ads, in-feed video ads, carousel ads and so on. While it is a good idea to split-test your ad campaign to find the most effective formats, it is highly recommended that you stick to one format and ad design for a considerable amount of time.
Instagram ads do tend to get shown multiple times to the same user. Keeping it consistent allows a target user to build awareness of your brand even if they do not click on your ad or choose to follow you.
Lastly, when it comes to consistency, it is also worth noting that your social media audiences tend to overlap across various platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and the like. It is a good idea to maintain this brand consistency across these platforms in order to enhance brand reinforcement.
Building a brand does not happen overnight and takes a lot of time and resources. The tips mentioned in this article should, however, allow you to make the process smoother for your Instagram audience. As one of the largest and fastest growing social media channels, using the tips above should help you build a brand on Instagram and this can be easily translated to audiences on other channels like Facebook and Pinterest.