Instagram Marketing - Everything You Need For Social Selling Success


No matter the size of your brand or business, social media marketing is an essential tool for modern businesses to be using today. And if you're going to utilize social selling Instagram needs to be a major pillar of your social strategy. There are over 1 BILLION users on Instagram, over 500 million of which are using the application every single day. With all of these users, there are over 300 million pieces of brand new content being shared on the platform each day. Instagram has left Snapchat and Twitter in the dust over the past couple years, even cannibalizing some of Facebook's own younger user base in the process. Instagram is now truly the choice of Millennials and Generation Z alike after a Snapchat plateau.

This is truly astounding and provides unique digital marketing opportunities to businesses that were previously not available. No matter who your audience is, it is likely that they are now on Instagram

So what's the problem with IG? 

With all of these millions of users and millions of posts, it can be quite difficult to ensure that your content is seen by your target audience. However, Instagram is one of the best places to grow your reach, engage your target audience, and most importantly convert them into paying customers. 

With a few strategic efforts and a well curated feed, your business or brand can certainly benefit from the social media platform. Read through this complete guide to get started on your Instagram marketing strategy. 

1. Who Is On Instagram & Should You Be Too? 

Before beginning your marketing strategy, you must first understand the audience that currently uses Instagram. The majority, about 65 percent, of Instagram users are female. Over 85 percent of them are under the age of 50 and 80 percent of them are outside of the US. If your target audience is young and female with disposable income, then this is precisely the marketing tool that your business should be using. 

Even if you are not targeting that exact demographic, it is still worthwhile to set up an Instagram marketing strategy in order to attract new customers from all over the world. The younger generation always leads the older generations into the latest trends, so your target population will likely end up on the platform eventually. 

2. How To Select A Username And Account Name 

While this may sound reductive in your overall marketing strategy, it is worth noting that your Instagram account profile could potentially attract customers from the web rather than the platform. Your username handle is what begins with the “@” symbol. Make your username your brand or business name for the sake of consistency.  For your listed name, however, it is better to strategically place a few keywords into the name. This will help attract users from general searches on the web, thus increasing your exposure even further. Keep the principles of SEO in mind during your account creation.

For example, if you have a flower shop in Denver, Colorado named Flowers For You, then you have an excellent opportunity to plug some keywords into your profile. Your username handle would be @flowersforyou and your profile name would be listed as “Best Flower Shop in Denver”. This is likely the exact phrase that internet users will be using to search for a flower shop in the area. By making your name the exact phrase that people are searching for, they are more likely to discover your account. 

3. How To Scale Your Instagram Account 

As soon as you create your Instagram account, spend a little bit of time researching your niche market. Look for Instagram users within your niche that have over 10,000 Instagram followers and study their content. If their Instagram followers are highly engaged with the content, that means that whatever their strategy is, it is working. As a new brand or business on Instagram, it is best to emulate brands that are already successful on the platform because you already know that your target audience likes it and will be ready to engage and grow your following. But also make sure to inject your own personality and ideas on how to improve on your peers' strategies.

Growing your Instagram account following is easier said than done and it shouldn't be taken for granted. It depends on a variety of factors including the momentum that the Instagram account is enjoying or avoiding. No account automatically increases their follower count unless you’re using a black / gray hat software program that adds low quality or bot accounts. There is no guarantee of any follower increase on any account, but for most healthy accounts there would most likely be a daily or weekly organic increase in followers. But an IG account that isn’t posting very often, posting poor content, or even posting too frequently could actually lose dozens of followers each day. This is especially true if some of their followers are low quality or spam accounts.

4. Optimize Your Instagram profile 

In addition to placing some quality keywords within your profile, you must also create a bio / description that will help convert viewers into followers. The description should be personal to your brand and represent exactly what your business provide to its customers. You could even include your other Instagram handles and/or other social media handles like Snapchat and Twitter. Hashtags are also able to be utilized in your profile to help your profile be found a little easier or for increased branding potential.

Your profile picture should be with your logo or mascot so that way users can immediately recognize your brand. It needs to be high resolution and fitted correctly to the circle frame available. Your link should be relevant to your current campaigns or products. It is a great place to put a link to your latest blog post, giveaway, or landing page. Use it wisely. Utilize a shortened trackable link if you'd like for additional analytics. 

5. Creating Your Content Marketing Strategy 

Before you begin posting content, you must first create a few specific marketing goals. Setting goals at the beginning of the process will help you clearly define your content strategy for the future. Some common business goals may be to get Instagram followers, build brand awareness, get more leads to your website, drive direct sales, or build brand loyalty. Though each of these overlap in some capacity, they will be guided by different strategies. Instagram is usually just a small piece of an overall social media and digital marketing strategy but for some select influencers it is their entire strategy and they can't afford to make many mistakes. 

6. Creating A Content Plan 

Now that you’ve got everything set up, it is time to create a content plan. Before you begin, however, you need to be clear on what kind of content you’d like to put out. Many brands blatantly focus on their products, but that is not necessarily the best strategy for everyone. Sometimes a more subtle approach is best. Other brands like to promote building community, in which case user-generated content may be best. Some user-generated content might be best achieved with influencer partnerships. If you are going to be utilizing Instagram Ads then you may need to modify your content calendar accordingly. Don't forget about daily or weekly stories as well, which can even end up getting more views and engagement then actual posts these days.

By understanding the goals of your Instagram account, you can better decide which type of content works well to serve that. Trial and error is always required at least to an extent but the more you research a content plan the better your results will be.

7. Finding Your Best Frequency & Timing On Instagram 

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your audience engages with your content is by posting when they are most likely to see it. You can first achieve this by posting consistently, with daily posting habits being optimal. The second way to do this is to convert your Instagram personal account to a business account (if you haven't done so already) and utilize the Insights feature within the app. This will show you the best days and times to post your content according to when your audience is most active. 

As a general rule, Mondays and Thursday tend to drive the most engagement. The best time of day to post is usually early in the morning, Eastern time (in the US). Even so, you must check in on your posts and see which posts get the most engagement. Whatever works well for you, do more of it! 

But despite some of the data available and expert articles out there declaring optimal days / hours, your social sharing schedule will really depend on your business and location. Trial and error along with data analytics is the only true way to know which time frames are most productive. 

Digital services like HootSuite and SocialOomph can be very helpful when it comes to scheduling social media posts for hours when you are busy, asleep, traveling, working, etc.

8. Tips To Help Increase Your Growth & Engagement 

The easiest and most efficient way to get Instagram followers and boost engagement is by interacting with your target audience. This includes liking, commenting, and following users within your target niche as much as possible. Because most people, business owners or otherwise, simply don’t have time to do that, an automation tool may be helpful. Growr is one such service that automatically likes and follows users within your niche market for you. This targeted engagement helps users discover your brand and become loyal Instagram followers, naturally. Also, the more accounts you follow and interact with the more accounts will engage with you on average.

9. Measuring Your Results 

Perhaps the most important tactic of all is to continuously monitor your results. Try to better understand which types of posts your target audience responds best to. This could be in the form of videos, block quotes, GIFs, user-generated content, or simple photos. Pay attention to which hashtags receive the most attention, which captions bring about the most engagement, and which filters garner the most like. Post at times that have been successful for you in the past and engage with your community regularly. 

10. Get Your Account Verified 

This is by far the most challenging suggestion on this list. Getting verified on Instagram for most individuals and businesses is much more difficult than getting verified on Facebook and Twitter. It appears that Facebook (owner of Instagram) realized that they verified too many mediocre pages, and Twitter even more so, that they wanted to keep Instagram's verified blue check a much more select seal of approval. If you are a large corporation, have a large ad budget, or have a connection that will listen to you at Facebook headquarters then you might be able to earn a verification if you're close. Other than that the only real way to get verified is to become so popular on Instagram and create so much valuable content that they won't be able to ignore you any longer.

Social media marketing is a give and take between testing new strategies out and then adjusting your approach accordingly. If you would like to have a successful Instagram marketing campaign, you must give your target audience exactly what they are looking for. The more comfortable you get with your Instagram account in these ways, the more complex your strategy will become. For now, however, this is an excellent place to begin. Good luck and see you on the 'gram!


I hope you enjoyed this article about everything you need to know about social media marketing on Instagram.

Interested in more articles about social selling?

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- How To Use Social Selling To Generate Sales Leads

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