Top 8 Secrets of Instagram Marketing
Instagram marketing is one of the most popular digital marketing trends at the moment. Brands and businesses of all types and shapes are currently leveraging Instagram to better position themselves in their marketplace and improve their marketing results overall.
Before we get to the practical stuff, let me show you why Instagram is so important for your business right now:
- Instagram is the second most downloaded application in the Apple Appstore.
- More than 1 billion people across the world use Instagram every month.
- More than 500 million people post and watch Instagram stories on a daily basis.
- 89% of Instagram’s users are outside the US.
- 63% of Instagram users have made a habit of logging every day.
- Every day, more than 200 million people visit at least one business page.
- More than 62% of Instagram users suggest that Stories have raised their interest in brands and products.
Why are these statistics relevant?
Well, first of all, they prove that Instagram’s popularity is constantly growing. Second, they prove that any business of any size and shape can leverage Instagram to create effective marketing and branding campaigns.
You’re probably reading this post because you want to learn some new tricks, or at least confirm some of the techniques that you’re already using.
In today’s article, I’m presenting 8 important Instagram marketing “secrets” that the top marketing brands don’t want you to know. In other words, here are the most effective and powerful strategies to take your Instagram marketing to the next level.
Secret #1: Scheduled Content Improves Performance
Consistency is the key to successful social media campaigns. Instagram marketing is a process, not a result. Therefore, the content you create, curate, and distribute on a daily or weekly basis needs to be properly organized. The best way to do that is to leverage various Instagram automation tools.
Every successful brand and marketing agency is taking advantage of such tools to save important resources like time, employees, attention, and energy.
Apps like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Later are some of the best options for developing a schedule and a content calendar for your Instagram campaigns. The purpose of these tools is to help plan your content in advance. Rather than perceiving them as a daily assignment, set them on an auto mode, and forget about it. This will give you extra time to interact with your fans and customers rather than worrying about what you’ll post each day.
Secret #2: Incentivized Instagram Contests
To run successful Instagram marketing campaigns, you need to know how to stimulate your audience. Most of today’s successful brands are specifically aiming to improve the quality of their interaction with their fans, and they’re doing it in different ways.
One of the “secrets” that many successful Instagram campaigns have in common is a combination of fun and engagement. More specifically, Instagram contests that give users the chance to win rewards for simple acts like commenting, liking, tagging, or sharing posts is one of the best ways to engage your audience in a truly organic way.
An Instagram contest should have a specific objective. If you want to improve your brand’s awareness, ask your users to share your brand on their social feeds. If you want to gather feedback in order to improve your future strategies, ask your fans to leave their suggestions in the comments section.
At the end of your post, let everyone know the prizes, how the winners are going to be selected, and when they’re going to be rewarded.
Secret #3: Partner with Micro-Influencers
Gone are the days when only famous public entities were considered influencers. Nowadays, things are looking pretty different. Micro and nano influencers are individuals who aren’t necessarily popular or famous but possess an active and engaged list of social media followers.
There are many relevant brands that are currently pursuing micro-influencers rather than big influencers because of more reasons. First of all, they are more affordable. Second, their audience is often more responsive and engaged. Third, it is much easier to collaborate with non-famous people than with famous ones.
`I’d highly advise you to study each micro-influencer with much attention. What you’ll want to find is people with audiences that might be very interested in your products and services. They should resonate with your brand’s culture and objectives and should be open for collaboration` – says Sam McGregor, the marketing specialist at the HR software.
Secret #4: Diversified Hashtags
Hashtags aren’t a secret. However, big brands are often using them differently than the majority of solo marketers. A solid Instagram marketing campaign should include four specific types of hashtags:
These are the hashtags that help you position your brand in the marketplace. They help you differentiate yourself from the competition while allowing you to create a distinct image of your brand. For example, Nike’s #JustDoIt hashtag is one of those hashtags that immediately send your mind to the company’s name.
Trending hashtags are hashtags that are very popular at the moment. Pay attention: every industry has different trending hashtags, so make sure you seek the hashtags that are frequently searched for and clicked by your own target audience.
These hashtags are very general and broad. For example #love, #family, #work, #goals, etc. Generally, they are defined by very popular words that lots of people randomly seek.
Lastly, specific hashtags are made of words and phrases that are strictly connected to your brand and products. You should always use specific hashtags in campaigns.
Here’s the secret. If you want to leverage hashtags to their maximum potential, ensure that you’re including all the categories of hashtags in your posts.
Secret #5: Research Your Industry
Here’s what most Instagram marketers won’t tell you: the #1 secret to improving your campaigns’ performance lies in your research. Studying your competitors, observing their PROs and CONs, detecting their problems and talents, well, this is one of the best ways to gain a competitive advantage on a long-term basis.
First of all, do it manually. If you already know who your competitors are, create a document and note down every important detail.
Second, you should leverage Instagram competitor analysis tools to gather the stats that you can’t gather manually.
Secret #6: Leverage Direct Messages to Engage with Your Followers
Direct engagement is an incredibly effective strategy to deepen the bonds with your fans. Big brands are already doing it. Of course, you shouldn’t get in touch with every fan. Try to figure out what fans are constantly active on your page and make a list of contacts.
Get in touch, ask about their experience with your brand, and give them the chance to offer their feedback. Even the slightest interaction counts!
Secret #7: Build an Engaged Email List
Instagram is the perfect social media channel that allows you to create, nurture, and improve your connection with your fans and customers. However, if you perceive Instagram as a powerful sales machine, you’ll find it difficult to achieve your goals.
Successful brands from all over the world are using Instagram to build engaged email lists. This is one of the best ways to acquire cheap and targeted leads. Generally, people use social media networks to communicate, have fun, interact with different ideas and concepts, and so on. The average Instagram user will not enjoy aggressive marketing.
Therefore, I’m highly suggesting you send your Instagram fans to customized landing pages that will give them the chance to sign-up for your email list. To make it more effective, offer an interesting incentive: a free ebook, a discount, exclusive content, etc.
Secret #8: Show Authenticity and Consistency
Lastly yet very importantly, one of the secrets that differentiate successful Instagram campaigns from mediocre Instagram campaigns is authenticity.
You need to show your followers what’s unique and special about you. Never try to fake it and do your best to post content that resembles your brand’s culture and objectives.
On the other hand, you need to be very consistent. You can’t expect to be successful if you post content only once a week. Get your followers used to a certain posting routine and stick to it no matter what. As I’ve suggested above, you should leverage automation tools to simplify the process.
Instagram is here to stay. If you’ve already started promoting your business on this interesting social platform, ensure that you’re leveraging the best practices that generate the most results. There’s quite a difference between Instagram marketing and successful Instagram marketing, and this difference is defined by the strategies that you use every day.
Take today’s tips and tricks into close consideration and start taking action. Test your results, measure your performance, and optimize your next moves. Stay up to speed with the latest trends and look at what the “big players” are doing. Stay sharp!