Instagram Marketing 101

You’ve likely noticed the little Instagram icon showing up on people’s promotional materials like business card, websites, and bus advertisements. What used to be a single phone number used to contact your business is now a list of social media icons that customers can use to reach you any time they want. We all know Facebook is a popular and useful marketing tool, but what about the others? Instagram is rapidly gaining popularity and use in the marketing world. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Next to Facebook, Instagram has the most amount of users with active accounts. That means if you are seeing success with your Facebook marketing campaigns and want to add another tool to your arsenal then Instagram should be your next pick.
  2. It’s incredibly visual. Instagram is different than other social media platforms in that it is image-heavy as opposed to text-heavy like Twitter and Facebook. Each post you make is required to have a 1:1 ratio image which can include a text caption if you choose. The main marketing tool on Instagram is choosing the right image to appeal to your customers. If you work in a creative industry, like fine arts or design, then Instagram is the perfect place to advertise your portfolio.
  3. Your profile is less detailed than Facebook. There’s not enough room in your page bio to explain all your products and services, your hours, location, or anything else. You get roughly 250 characters to concisely explain what your business does, and then you’re allowed 1 link to a website. Any other information customers need has to be found in your images.
  4. Your feed of images should have a theme or at least a consistent filter or color scheme used. The most successful business’s Instagram feeds have an exceptionally well thought-out and preplanned profile. There are various apps that help you plan your feed before publishing and it’s recommended to use one. Most businesses will have at least 1-2 weeks of Instagram posts ready to go.
  5. Following other pages and interacting with them is half the work on Instagram. You should choose around 100 pages to follow that are in your niche, represent your businesses ideals, or are people who you think would benefit from your business. Make a point to comment on the latest Instagram post of these accounts regularly. If you’re able to start a conversation in the comments that’s even better. When people who are browsing through their Instagram feed see one of their favorite pages interacting with you, you will no doubt have more people coming to your page. Then, you have to make your page appealing so that they stay.

Instagram is an incredibly useful digital marketing tool, especially for businesses with a visual element. Since Instagramis image-heavy, creating your images and choosing where to place them on your feed is critical. Do your own research of other businesses in your field and how they use Instagram. Notice what works for them and what could work for you, then start posting.