The Basics of Instagram Marketing - Part 1

The basics of marketing on Instagram: Part 1

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Are you on Instagram?
Is your business on Instagram?

Over the last year, I’ve heard such good things about marketing your business on Instagram that I decided to give it a try. Cue much head scratching and cramming on articles and workshops that explain what Instagram is and how to use it.

I’m not sure if it’s doing my business any good yet but I’ve fallen in love with it as a platform.

Last time on the blog, I talked about the new(ish) Instagram feature that is Stories. Because Instagram moves so fast, they’ve naturally made some alterations since then as well introducing more new stuff. Users in the US now get to have fun with live video. I assume that’ll be coming to the UK at some point.

Anyway, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Learning about Stories and live videos is all well and good, but first you might like to know the basics.

You’ve created your business account on Instagram…now what?

Before you start

Instagram is all about images and video. And pretty ones at that.
As a social media platform, it’s vast. So the keys to Instagram success are:

  • To have clear, simple goals.
  • To post consistently.
  • Have a particular style that fits your audience and brand.

You know what this means? As with all social media marketing, you need a strategy! Choose your goals and then work out how Instagram is going to help you meet them. Then create an editorial calendar so you know what’s being posted and when.

The bio

Your bio on Instagram is important. If someone wants to find out who you are and whether they should follow, that’s what they’ll go to.

Most people on Instagram use emojis to create bullet points. This makes it much simpler for users to quickly figure out if you’re a good match for them.

I really like Cara Chace's Instagram bio's use of emojis and bullet points.

But try and be creative when selling yourself with emojis and bullet points. Cara Chace here has done it right, quickly explaining everything with related emojis.
Honestly, I’m sick of the same buzz words coming up over and over. I just don’t follow them anymore.

Other people go the usual bio tact but use hashtags in there to get them found. Like this one from Visit Bristol who promote their own hashtag.

Visit Bristol use their own hashtag in their bio

And here’s my bio for Adminosaurus. Something I keep meaning to change and will be experimenting with throughout 2017.

The Adminosaurus bio on Instagram

Yes, you need to experiment. Change your bio every month or week and see what works best for your business by your engagement. One way to measure this is link clicks.

Linkage

The other reason your bio is important is because it contains the only external link on your profile. You cannot create live links in your posts.

So it’s worth updating the link in your bio to your latest blog post or promotion. But telling people to click on the link in your bio can create problems when that post is still live but you’ve changed the link. Which is why I opt for having the address on the graphic, just in case.

The other option is to have the link go to a landing page and into your sales funnel, rather than just your generic website. Give people a specific place to go.

Try using a Bit.ly link in your bio specifically for your account, that way you can keep track of who is visiting your website/landing page as a direct result of your Instagram marketing. 

What to write on posts

This is another one to experiment with. Captions can be up to 2,200 words but Instagram cuts off the text after three lines, unless the user clicks for more.

Some people write something short, others tell a story while others will write nothing.

Personally, I like a story, or at least to know what’s going on/where the photo was taken. Again, emojis can be your friend to separate the text and make it easier to scan.

Hashtastic

There are raised eyebrows and questions about whether hashtags are still worth it on Twitter and Facebook.
They are worth it on Instagram.

You can use up to 30 hashtags per post and if you start typing, Instagram will give you suggestions along with how many posts there are under that hashtag. Avoid the very small numbers and go for the big and medium sizes numbers. That way you’re more likely to get seen.

Instagram will give you suggested hashtags and how often they're used.

Again, experiment. Try out different hashtags with different photos and graphics, and see what happens to your engagement.

As Instagram is owned by Facebook, you may wish to share your posts to your Facebook page, hashtags and all.

Instagram is a massive topic

I’ve only scraped the surface here, there’s so much more.

Say, for example, Instagram contests, re-gramming and scheduling (they are possible!), cross promoting, interaction and paid advertising.
Those are for another day.

Next time, however, I’ll take a look at the images themselves and how to arrange your grids.
Oh, and check out my next post when I’ll be giving away a special something.

2017 will hopefully see great things for Instagram and Adminosaurus will be there! Come over and follow me @Adminosaurus.

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