Instagram has become a massive platform with an audience of over 1.16 billion users, giving marketers a huge opportunity. And Instagram marketing‘s potential reach has increased significantly this year, rising by 76 million people in just the last quarter.
At least one company is followed by 90% of Instagram users. Market goods aren’t the only ones that prosper. More than 36% of B2B decision-makers use Instagram to explore new products or services.
But one question still remains.
During Covid-19, how would you market your company on social media?
It’s a complicated topic on which we don’t have all the answers.
Small business owners and social media administrators are struggling to pivot campaigns, change content schedules, and develop innovative ways to advertise their goods or services as people worldwide adjust to the new standard of social distancing.
People and businesses rely on social media to contact friends, absorb news, be entertained, and stay connected is more critical than ever.
This cheat sheet of Instagram marketing tips for 2021 will help you improve your Instagram plan, increase your ROI and get ahead of the competition.
So, let’s start:
Table of Contents:
- Make use of a business account
- Make a list of your objectives
- Understand your target audience
- Make your profile more appealing
- Choose the appropriate profile picture
- Create visually compelling content
- Create an Instagram “look” that matches your brand
- Craft excellent captions
- Leverage hashtags
- Engage with your community
- Use Instagram Stories to their full potential
- Go live with your community
- Create an Instagram Store
- Work with an influencer
- Use Instagram advertising to broaden the audience.
- The Takeaway
Make use of a business account
A business account allows you access to features that a personal account does not, such as:
- Profile Insights
- Instagram advertisements
- Shopping feature
- Inboxes for primary and secondary messaging
- contact details and a call-to-action button
For influencers and content creators, a creator account comes with its collection of benefits. However, for the majority of advertisers, a business account is the way to go. If you haven’t already done so, go and convert your account.
Make a list of your objectives
Every social media site is a tool. However, you can’t make good use of those techniques unless you know what you’re trying to accomplish.
To different marketers, Instagram marketing can mean several things. Are you attempting to:
- Establish an online presence for your company?
- Raise brand awareness?
- Acquire new leads?
- Create a name for yourself as an industry leader?
- Sell goods directly from the app?
You may want to mix some of these goals, but you’re unlikely to get there unless you have a clear Instagram plan.
Understand your target audience
When considering how to advertise on Instagram, research will help you determine who you can target the most effectively. Understand your target market to build content that speaks directly to them.
When it comes to choosing targeting choices for your Instagram ads, this will be crucial.
Make your profile more appealing
Your Instagram bio has just 150 characters to make an excellent first impression, express your brand personality, and tell people why they should care about following your account.
That’s a lot to expect from such a small area.
Fortunately, your Instagram profile has a few additional fields for showcasing your brand and making it easier for people to find you. These are some of them:
- Your name is 30 characters long and will be used in the search.
- Your handle is also known as your username.
- Your website: You can modify the clickable URL as much as you like.
- Category: A business feature that shows people what you’re about
- Contact information: Let users know where they can find you.
- Call to action: Allow Instagram users to message you directly from your profile page.
Choose the appropriate profile picture
Your profile photo should be your logo for most brands. This adds authenticity and encourages visitors to see who you are at a glance.
Your Instagram profile picture is 110 pixels wide by 110 pixels tall, cropped to a circle with a diameter of 110 pixels. However, Instagram stores the photo at 320 by 320 pixels, so consider that and upload a file that size to ensure it looks good even if Instagram changes how profile photos are displayed.
If you are a brand, use your brand logo as a profile picture, whereas if you are a creator, use a portrait that adds personality to your profile.
Create visually compelling content
Since Instagram is a visual medium, the posts must be visually appealing. You don’t need professional photography equipment, but at the very least, your images and videos should be sharp, well-lit, well-composed, and in focus.
If you’re using images other than pictures, such as infographics or animations, make sure they’re crisp, simple, and appealing to the eye.
More importantly, the visual content must be engaging. Great images are fantastic, but they won’t engage followers if they don’t tell a story.
Here are some types of creatives to help you start posting:
- Posts from behind the scenes: Show off your workplace, storefront, or manufacturing process to your followers.
- Text-based photos and quotes: Play around with text to produce visually appealing content that doesn’t include any images.
- User-generated content: User-generated content is by definition authentic and convincing.
- Posts with instructions: Teaching people how to reach a goal is one of the most exciting things you can do.
- Video: A video post is 60 seconds, but IGTV allows you to go much longer.
Keep in mind that if people are motivated to share your posts on their stories, you will expand your reach. So, focus on producing content that is deserving of a share.
Visuals of Earth has a striking feed that most travel lovers will fall in love with their curated photos. It is a compilation of different creators that share the same passions, and it’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing accounts on the platform.
Create an Instagram “look” that matches your brand
When you decide what kind of content you want, you need to figure out how it’ll look. Focus on selecting the right colors to affect purchasing decisions and brand awareness while creating an Instagram aesthetic.
Your Instagram profile should have a consistent look through all of your posts so that your followers can quickly find your content in their feeds.
Using Lightroom presets is a simple way to achieve this level of quality. To get started, you can download a variety of free Instagram presets.
Craft excellent captions
While Instagram is a visual platform, that doesn’t mean you should ignore your captions. Your brand’s voice is just as critical as its visual appearance. It should be consistent across blogs, just like your visuals.
Instagram captions can be up to 2,200 characters long, allowing you to say everything from a short joke to thorough storytelling. However, without pressing more, only the first two lines of text appear in the news stream.
Since people scan captions rather than reading them carefully, you want to pack as much detail as possible into the first two lines.
If you have something else to mention, say it. However, be sure that the extra text is worthwhile. Your caption should be timely, entertaining or educational, convincing, and consistent with your brand.
Hashtags are essential for increasing your exposure and discoverability on social media.
In an Instagram post, you can use up to 30 hashtags. But, realistically, it is probably not something you want to do.
But according to Instagram Engagement Report, on average, posts with exactly one hashtag get the most engagement.
Each post should have between five and nine hashtags. More than that can seem to be hashtag stuffing, a spammy technique that will annoy your followers.
Worse, if you use hashtags that are meaningless or redundant, users can choose to ignore your content. Choose hashtags that are important to your niche to get the most value.
Many brands create their own hashtags to create a community around their name. It can be an excellent way to increase your engagement, reach and create user-generated content.
NorthFace is such an example that creates dedicated hashtags for some of their campaigns. Searching the hashtags, we can see that many people are part of the movement, which is a great way to build loyal followers.
Engage with your community
If you want to get people to engage with you on Instagram, you have to commit yourself and be part of the community.
Posting high-quality content is great, but if you never answer comments or connect with other users, you’ll never succeed in this platform.
React to user comments on your feed at the very least. However, you should also look for famous accounts in your niche to follow, like, and comment on their posts. Make yourself visible without being self-promotional.
If someone tags you in a message, take a look and see any ways to engage. Is it possible for you to repost their post in your feed or on your Instagram story?
Another great strategy is to pin comments from your biggest fans or simply comments that are likely to start a discussion which is a great way to get more people to interact with your posts. This makes it more fun for you to participate because you’ll have more opportunities to interact with real people.
Use Instagram Stories to their full potential
Instagram stories are used by half of all companies. And they’re having a lot of success: businesses account for a third of the most popular Stories. A successful Instagram marketing plan must include stories.
Instagram Stories are available for 24 hours. Followers anticipate them to be more genuine and unfiltered than your carefully curated Instagram stream. They allow you to communicate with your followers and form relationships.
The following tactics are highlighted in our article on the best ways to use Instagram Stories for business:
- Make up a story having a message in mind.
- Add value by providing viewers with helpful knowledge or a connection to valuable tools.
- Have a call to action to encourage users to take action.
- Maintain a positive brand image: Your stories, like your Instagram feed, should represent your brand’s voice and aesthetic.
You can reshare material to your own stories if fans tag you in their stories. This can be a simple way to share user-generated content while thanking your most loyal fans.
Converse is one of these brands that use stories in perfect harmony with their feed and leverage this tool to its full potential to attract new customers.
If brands want their customers to remember something, they should wrap it in exciting, unique content and repeat it repeatedly, as Converse has done successfully.
Go live with your community
Instagram Live has a lot of potential for connecting with fans in real-time. We recommend the following techniques in our article on how to use Instagram Live effectively:
- Use the “Add a Guest” option to collaborate with an industry expert or influencer.
- Provide a live behind-the-scenes.
- Organize a workshop or offer a tutorial.
- Organize a Q&A session with a team member.
- Contact a client or a customer.
Chipotle is a Mexican fast-food restaurant that uses Instagram Live to share delicious recipes. Chipotle’s executive chef demonstrates how to make margaritas for Cinco de Mayo in the video below.
Chef Chad walks viewers through his margarita-making process step by step and describes his thought process behind each step in this Live. Because it comes from a top chef at the restaurant, viewers can trust and learn from this tutorial, particularly if they’re already a Chipotle fan.
Create an Instagram Store
Remember how we recommended that you build a business profile? Another explanation is this: To create an Instagram Shop, you’ll need a business profile.
This feature is not available for personal accounts, but having a business profile allows you to set up an online store inside Instagram.
On your Instagram profile page, you’ll also see a “View Store” icon, which encourages fans to visit your shop without having to view a particular post.
Even better, on the Explore page, there’s now a Shop tab where users can look for new products or see products from brands they already follow on Instagram.
Every month, 130 million Instagram users click on shopping posts, indicating that many people want to buy from the brands they follow. Shopping items can be tagged in blogs, Stories, and IGTV.
Work with an influencer
Working with an influencer will help you establish credibility while also introducing your brand to a new group of people.
Hosting an Instagram takeover is a simple way to get started with influencer marketing on Instagram. This means you invite an influencer to take over your Instagram account for a certain time, such as a weekend or a special occasion.
This broadens the audience while also exposing the influencer to new people.
Use Instagram advertising to broaden the audience
Running an Instagram ad is the most reliable way to get your content in front of a new audience.
You came up with your target audience in Tip 3. You can now use the data to target your advertising based on the data you have. You can promote your business in the Instagram feed, Stories, and Explore sections.
You can also build lookalike audiences by uploading custom audiences of people with whom you already have a relationship.
Lookalike audiences are a powerful way to expand your reach while ensuring that you have high chances of targeting potential customers.
This kind of audience has similar characteristics to an existing audience which makes targeting a more straightforward process.
Having an Instagram account in 2021 is crucial to building a brand. This small guide explains all the necessary steps you should take as a marketer to ensure you have a solid foundation to succeed on this platform.
Craft your profile in a way that corresponds with your brand and share your values in your bio. Pay attention to your content and encourage your followers to engage with your brand in the comments section or via direct messages.
There are no secrets when it comes to the Instagram game. Leverage your skillset and create a visual experience that your loyal fan base wants to share and engage.
Back to you now. Let me know if you have further tips on how to nail your Instagram game in 2021. I can’t wait to discuss them further with you.
Until the next one, keep creating.
Check out our massive Instagram Engagement Report and discover the best time to post on Instagram.