Instagram is arguably one of the most reliable social media platforms when it comes to creating brand awareness for your businesses. With the average user checking their feed more than 30 times each day, and with more than 600 million active users, the potential to grow your audience on Instagram is limitless.
This short guide will show you how you can build your audience with ease.
How Most People Use Instagram
Instagram is all about the mobile-user experience. While you can view an Instagram on your desktop web browser, you can’t post to your account. This results in users who are nearly 100% mobile.
The majority of Instagram users consume snack-size content: small moments throughout their day. Users often check it while they’re waiting in line at the supermarket or sitting through commercials during a show. It’s an easy, convenient way to stay stimulated when their immediate surroundings become tiresome or boring.
The best Instagram content is easily digestible and quick to consume. Offer quick bursts of entertainment or information in your posts allowing the viewer to move on to the next post on their feed instantly.
Instagram Content Marketing
The cornerstone of your Instagram marketing strategy should be content marketing. Find a style and theme for your content that resonates and appeals to your ideal audience. Create at least one quality post per day for several months to see substantial results.
Finding your niche might take some time, but it’s time very well spent. Brainstorm ideas about the kind of content your ideal audience will find appealing. And be sure to check out popular hashtags to get ideas! If you’re unsure about content topics, consider a trial run. Post content for a two week period and review your results. If you’re not reaching your ideal audience, repeat the process until you discover the style and type of content that resonates best with your ideal audience.
Identify Valuable Hashtags
Hashtags amplify the effectiveness of your content. Instagram uses hashtags to categorize its content. Making it easier for Instagram users to stumble upon your posts increasing your engagement rate.
Branded versus community hashtags
Branded hashtags are specific to your campaign or company or campaign and are ideal for tracking the effectiveness of specific social efforts. Branded hashtags also work well when coupled with user-generated content or social media influencers.
Community hashtags are more generalized and are better suited to generating increased brand awareness. Users frequently search for community hashtags and tagging your post with relevant hashtags can open up your content to a broader audience overnight.
Instagram permits up to 30 hashtags on a single post, but that doesn’t mean you should. At most, I recommend using 10 to 20 hashtags per post. The key to success using Instagram hashtags – as with most things on social media – is to track your results. When you identify the hashtags that generate the most engagement or drive the most traffic, stick with them and eliminate those hashtags that underperform. This is an easy, effective, and entirely free method to organically get more exposure for your Instagram posts.
When you post quality content daily, it won’t be long before people begin responding to it. At first, you’ll likely see your posts ‘like’ count increase without any attached comment. Enjoy your likes! They’re deceptively hardworking. Likes tell Instagram to give your post more prominence in a users content feed algorithm.
Comments will soon follow, and when somebody responds to one of your posts with a comment, you experience their genuine reaction to it. You’ve inspired them to share their opinions; you elicited a strong emotional response from a potential customer. And that is a beautiful thing.
Respond back to each comment you receive. Ideally, you’ll do this until you have so much Instagram activity that you can’t possibly keep up.
When two brands work together, their fanbases cross-pollinate. Each brand gains new followers from the other brand’s audience. By collaborating with other brands on a regular basis, you’ll be amazed at the upswing in audience followers.
It is not always easy to find collaborations, especially when you’re just starting out on Instagram, but having a solid content strategy is a step in the right direction. You’ll benefit when you’re able to create and release several new, relatable posts per day.
Once you’ve mastered executing your content strategy, reach out and try to connect with other brands. Consider sending a direct message offering to collaborate. When it comes to Instagram, you want to spread brand and campaign awareness as far as you can.
Be Prepared (For a Long Journey)
Success on Instagram is not instant. It requires patience and hard work. Brands typically experience a slower growth curve for the first 6-12 months of serious Instagram use. It’s only after that first-year exponential gains begin to stack up, bringing with them more significant promotional opportunities and collaboration possibilities.
To get the most out of Instagram, you have to give the platform a chance to gain momentum when it comes to your brand. And businesses that develop a steady audience on Instagram today are well-positioned to grow bigger tomorrow. Every big business was once a small business. What you do today will have a far-reaching impact on how you grow tomorrow.
About the author:
Freedom Ahn is an expert business writer & former journalist providing blogging, ghostwriting, and content marketing services. She specializes in finance, technology, marketing, and their intersection (FinTec, MarTech).