Just a few years back, Instagram was just a mere social site where users merely share selfie images and videos.
But today, Instagram has evolved to a major visual social media marketing powerhouse.
Yes! With 700 million monthly active users, and over 400 million daily active users, Instagram is truly a social media powerhouse, or one of the leading social media platforms that is making marketers, businesses, and brands remarkable ROI.
And with Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, this visual content platform will keep growing spontaneously.
Thus, with Instagram’s rapid and continuous growth, marketers and brands are leveraging its massive marketing potentials.
One major reason why you should leverage Instagram marketing  is because the average Instagram engagement rate is fascinating.
According to a statistics by Yotpo Instagram converts the most engaged traffic than any other marketing channel.
Yotpo points out that Instagram’s traffic stays on site an average of 192 seconds, beating out all other marketing channels.
The question is: How can you break through the noise and grow your business with Instagram marketing?
Here are some remarkable steps that’ll help you grow your business with an Instagram marketing campaign.
#1 Optimize Your Profile
Other social media sites allow users to add links to each post and share with their audience, but that’s not the same with Instagram.
Instagram does not allow links on the post, that’s why you need to optimize your profile and add a link to your brand’s website, or products and services page.
You have to view your Instagram profile as your brand’s homepage on the site and provide users with optimized information about your business, brand, product, and services with a link to drive traffic to your website or the product page.
Mari Smith’s Instagram profile above is an ideal example of an optimized profile. With a high-quality clear profile picture of herself, she tells her audience and potential clients who she is and what she does in her description.
Then, she added a link to drive traffic back to her personal website.
Areas to look at when optimizing your profile are:
- Your Profile Picture
- Your Bio
- Your Link
Optimize these areas for maximum reach.
#2 Create a Content Plan
A content plan simply means putting together a system that’ll help you maximize your Instagram marketing, and enable you to maintain consistency. This involves:
- Finding the right images that perform well in your niche.
- Identify when and how to post for maximum engagement.
- The best Themes, Colors, etc., to use on your posts to help improve visibility, traction, etc.,.
To help you create a successful content plan, you must find and study your competitors on the platform to learn about their strategies.
When you learn what your competitors are doing on the platform, your findings will help you create a unique content plan for your Instagram marketing.
So identify a few of your competitors and examine their marketing plans.
#3 Engage With Your Audience
Engaging with your audience has to do with communicating and interacting with your fans and potential clients.
Why Is Engaging With Your Audience Important?
It’s important because the more you engage with them, the more closer you become, thus, setting yourself up for a long-term relationship.
Just as you engage with your audience on other social media sites like Twitter and grow your followers, Instagram is no exception.
You can do this by replying to their comments, like, share, and comment on their posts, ask for their feedback, answer their questions if any, etc.,.
Look for different ways to engage your audience and build relationships that can lead to, or convert them to loyal customers.
#4 Create Engaging Images and Maintain Consistency
As with all social media platforms including blogs and websites, crafting high-quality content with a blend of engaging images is key to increased engagement and ROI.
Above is a collection from Rebekah Radice’ Instagram profile. Rebekah takes the time to create photos that entertain and resonates with her audience and potential clients while staying consistent with her brand.
You can easily identify her brand on any marketing channel by her color of choice alone. She has successfully created a brand for herself via blog content and visual images which she spices up with her unique brand color.
And since Instagram is an image sharing platform, you have to create irresistible, high-quality images to share with your target audience.
As you create and share your posts, try to be consistent across all channels, this will earn you trust and credibility.
Do you need a high definition camera to take high-quality pictures to share on Instagram? No!
Your phone’s camera can do the magic for you. With your phone’s camera, you can take high-quality images – edit them as required and share with your audience.
In her post on HuffPost, Kylie Singh said:
“If you want to step up your Instagram game, take better photos and curate an enviable feed.” — Kylie Singh
As she puts it, select your content first. That means before you do anything, you should think deeply about what you want to share with your audience.
- Will your photos resonate with your audience?
- Are the photos you want to post going to entertain and engage your target audience?
Having your target audience in mind will help you create images that your audience will love and engage with.
#5 Cross Promote your Instagram Posts
We are assuming that you already have other social media accounts with a considerable following. With that said, promote your Instagram on all other social accounts you operate.
Link your Instagram account with your Facebook and Twitter accounts and connect with your audience.
Repost your Instagram content on other social media sites including Facebook with a link to your brand or product and services’ website.
Why is this necessary?
It’s necessary because a study conducted by Buzzsumo found that images posted to Facebook via Instagram got 23% more engagement.
Thus, if you have a brand hashtag, encourage your friends and audience to use it when posting on Instagram.
Embed Instagram icon on your blog. Add your Instagram handle and hashtag on your business cards, email signature, etc.
These activities will help you gain more followers, more engagement, leads, traffic, and increase sales.
#6 Add Call-to-Action
Take advantage of your loyalty followers and ask them to share your posts with their followers on the platform and on other social media sites.
A call-to-action is important to your Instagram marketing campaign because it helps you reach a wider audience and potential customers.
Your followers need to know that you want them to repost your posts.
I never thought of a call-to-action until some friends began asking if they could repost my posts.
So if your fans have no idea you want them to repost your content, it’s likely they will not take action.
Here’s what Julie Neidlinger said about Calls-to-Action:
“Whatever form it takes, a call to action provides your reader with an actionable task.” Without a call to action, you’re wasting your best efforts.”” –Julie Neidlinger
With this in mind, add a call-to-action where appropriate and make it easier for your followers to share your Post.
For an in-depth knowledge on how to write calls-to-action, please, read this post of coschedule.
These tips are not all there is to Instagram marketing campaigns. There are lots of other ways to get more from Instagram marketing and grow your business.
For example, Instagram ads are fascinating in terms of reaching your targeted audience, generating leads, driving traffic, and upgrade sales.
But it’s way too expensive and is reserved for a few handpicked brands like the Fortune 500 companies.
However, with these simple steps, you’re sure to increase engagement and grow your business. Read about social media marketing trends for 2017 to stay up-to-date.
Hence, apply these tips and test your own strategies as well to figure out what works best for you. And please, try to avoid these social media marketing mistakes.