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Aug 06 2021

A Guide to Instagram Marketing in 2021

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Behind Facebook, Instagram is the second most used social media platform in the world. With an available advertising audience of over 1.16 billion users, Instagram offers access to everyone and their dog (literally). 

The potential of Instagram marketing continues to grow rapidly. 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business and nearly 40% of B2B decision makers use Instagram to research new products or services. 

Although the concept of Instagram is relatively simple, the reality of creating an Instagram marketing strategy is anything but. With countless features including Instagram Guides, the Instagram Story “Swipe Up”, Reels and more, it can be overwhelming to find a starting point and Instagram post ideas.   

To help you with your Instagram strategies, we’ve pulled together our top tips for nailing Instagram growth. 

Why you should use Instagram marketing

As we’ve mentioned, Instagram continues to be a rapidly growing platform. Even with tough competition from newer apps like TikTok and Clubhouse, Instagram has managed to stay on top of key social media trends, keeping its appeal. 

Instagram’s main selling point is it’s visual nature. It started out as one of the earliest visual social media platforms and has maintained this to today. This is particularly beneficial to businesses that have a product or service with a noticeable end result. 

Instagram has previously been known as the “square picture platform”, but it has begun making moves to focus more on video content, giving brands more opportunities.  

Video, static images, graphics and illustration all perform well on Instagram, but your overall social media strategy will dictate the type of content to publish (the best time to publish on Instagram depends on your audience). 

Establishing an Instagram strategy before diving right into a new social media platform will keep you focused on your goals and your audience.

Top Tips for Instagram Marketing

Have clear goals for Instagram

As with any social media marketing strategy, you need to have crystal clear goals. Without these, you won’t be able to measure your progress and it will be significantly harder to finalise the specific steps, actions and content you need to make. 

Your business’ reason for using Instagram will be unique. You may want to promote products, showcase your portfolio, improve brand awareness or build an Instagram community. Whatever your goals, make sure they are specific to your business and overall marketing objectives. 

You don’t have to pick one goal for your Instagram marketing, you can have multiple. You can post whatever content you like as long as you know why you’re posting it. If you know why, you can easily find the right Instagram metrics and analytics to monitor to ensure progress.

Know who your audience is

This is arguably one of the most important tips to succeed at Instagram marketing. You need to know who your audience is before you start implementing your strategy. If you have pre-existing social media strategies on other social platforms, you can draw some insight on who your audience is from there. 

Where are they from? What do they earn? How old are they? Do they have hobbies? What are their motivations?

Instagram makes it easy for businesses to define their audiences. Through the use of hashtags, location tagging and events, brands can find relevant profiles and audience members. The public access to following and follower lists also means brands can check out who follows their competition. 

Combining these will help you build customer profiles. These are your customers summarized into different individuals. From these profiles, you can plan the type of content you want to post, find when the best time to post on Instagram is and use relevant hashtags to help your target audience discover your brand.

Make a content calendar 

If you plan to post regularly on Instagram, it’s a good idea to create a content calendar in order to keep track. This not only ensures you are posting a variety of content, but allows you to keep track of how well particular posts perform. 

You can find the best time to post specific types of content based on the Instagram engagement received. Consumers have more free time in evenings, so posting longer or video content in the evening is better than midday.

How to make a content calendar - Socially Powerful

Use Instagram influencer marketing

Instagram and influencer marketing go hand in hand. Consumers are actively looking to make connections with brands but are untrusting of typical advertisements. Using influencers is a way to make this connection while growing a trusting relationship. 

When using an influencer, you are tapping into a pre-existing and strong relationship. An Instagram influencer’s audience trusts the influencer to provide content and authentic commendations for products, services and brands. Working with an influencer means you are able to gain this trust and loyalty by association. 

In addition, using influencers gives brands social proof. By seeing another real person recommend your brand, consumers are more likely to trust and go to your brand.

Have a complete Business profile

This may seem so obvious it shouldn’t be included on this list, but you would be surprised at how many businesses haven’t completed their profiles. 

Your Instagram profile will be the first time many of your target audience are seeing your brand. Having an incomplete profile that’s not recognisably branded will turn them away. 

For the best Instagram growth, ensure you have a branded profile picture, relevant username, completed biography and (if you can) a verified check. 

A great way to add engagement is by creating Highlights. These appear on your profile and are a brilliant tool to keep users on your profile for longer as they have a feature to interact with.

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to receive our industry insights, visit our Influencer Marketing & Social Media blogs here.

@ Socially Powerful

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