As a business owner, you know that social media is a powerful tool to reach new customers and grow your brand. But with so many platforms out there, it can be tough to know where to start.
That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to Instagram marketing. We’ll cover everything from how to set up your profile to how to create stunning visual content that will get people talking about your business.
Ready to get started? Let’s go!
History of Instagram
Instagram was launched in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Originally, the app was only available on iOS devices. But in 2012, Instagram was acquired by Facebook and became available on Android devices as well.
Since then, Instagram has continued to grow in popularity. As of 2019, there are over 1 billion monthly active users on the platform.
How Does Instagram Work?
Instagram is a photo and video sharing app that allows users to post and share content with their followers. In addition to photos and videos, Instagram also offers features like Stories, Live Video, Boomerangs, and more.
To use Instagram, simply download the app from the App Store or Google Play and create an account. Once you have an account, you can start sharing photos and videos. If you want to reach a wider audience, you can also use hashtags, post at peak times, and run paid ads.
The Benefits of Marketing on Instagram
Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms out there, with over 1 billion monthly active users. And it’s not just individuals using the platform – businesses are getting in on the action too. So why should you join them? Here are some of the benefits of marketing your business on Instagram:
- Reach a young, engaged audience: The vast majority of Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 29 (59%), making it an ideal platform to reach this demographic.
- Showcase your products or services visually: Unlike other social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, Instagram is all about visuals. This makes it the perfect place to show off your products or services.
- Tell your brand story: With features like Instagram Stories and Live Video, you can give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your business and what goes into making your products or services.
- Boost website traffic: By including links to your website in your Instagram profile and posts, you can drive more traffic to your site.
- Generate leads and sales: According to a study by Forrester, 72% of US adults who are aware of Instagram say that they have purchased a product they saw on the platform. The numbers are comparable in the UK and Europe especially.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the top benefits of marketing on Instagram, let’s take a look at how you can get started.
Setting Up Your Business Profile
If you’re new to Instagram, the first thing you’ll need to do is set up a business profile. This is different from a personal profile, and will give you access to features like analytics and call-to-action buttons. To set up your business profile:
- Download the Instagram app and create a personal account, if you don’t already have one.
- Go to your profile and tap the settings icon in the top right corner.
- Scroll down and tap “Switch to Business Profile.”
- Follow the prompts to connect your Instagram account to a Facebook Page. If you don’t have a Facebook Page for your business, you can create one from scratch.
- Once you’re connected, fill out your business information, including your business name, contact information, and website URL.
- Tap “Done” when you’re finished.
Instagram Terms You Should Know:
If you’re new to Instagram marketing, there are a few terms that you should know. Here are a few of the most important Instagram marketing terms:
- Action Shot: An action shot is a photo that is taken of somebody in the midst of an activity, such as a sport or dancing.
- Affiliate Links: Affiliate links are links that are used to track sales, and they typically contain a unique code that is specific to the person who created the link.
- Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is a type of marketing where you promote products or services on behalf of another company, and you receive a commission for every sale that you make.
- Algorithm: The algorithm is the way that Instagram decides which content to show in people’s feeds. It takes into account things like engagement and the relationship between the person viewing the content and the person who posted it.
- Archive: Your archive is a collection of all the content that you’ve posted on Instagram, even if you’ve since deleted it from your feed.
- Bio: Your bio is the text that appears under your username on your profile page. It’s important to include keywords in your bio so that people can find you when they’re searching for relevant terms.
- Boomerang: Boomerang is an app that allows you to create short, looping videos.
- Brand Ambassador: A brand ambassador is somebody who represents a brand, and who promotes the brand to their followers.
- Branded Hashtags: A branded hashtag is a hashtag that is specific to your brand. Branded hashtags can be used to promote your brand or to make it easier for people to find your content.
- Brand Representatives: Brand representatives are people who represent a brand, and who promote the brand to their followers.
- Campaign Hashtags: A campaign hashtag is a hashtag that is specific to a marketing campaign. Campaign hashtags can be used to promote a specific campaign or to make it easier for people to find content from the campaign.
- Candid: A candid is a photo that is taken of somebody without them knowing.
- Caption: A caption is the text that appears under a photo or video on Instagram. It’s a great place to include hashtags and call-to-actions.
- Clicks: Clicks are the number of times that people have clicked on a link in your content.
- Close-Up: A close-up is a photo that is taken of somebody or something from close range.
- Color Scheme: A color scheme is a set of colours that are used in posts.
- Comments: Comments are a way for people to engage with your content. People can leave comments on your photos and videos, and you can reply to those comments.
- Consistency: Consistency is important in order to grow your following.
- Contests: A contest is a way to incentivize people to engage with your content. Contests can be used to increase engagement, to get people to follow you, or to get people to tag their friends in your content.
- Coupons: Coupons are a type of discount that can be used to incentivize people to buy products or services.
- Crowdfire: Crowdfire is an app that allows you to manage your Instagram followers.
- Discounts: Discounts are a type of incentive that can be used to get people to buy products or services.
- DM: DM stands for “direct message.” DMs are private messages that you can send to people on Instagram.
- Double Tap: A double tap is when somebody likes your content by tapping on it twice.
- Email Notifications: Email notifications are a type of notification that is sent to your email when somebody likes or comments on your content, or when someone tags you in a photo or video.
- Engagement: Engagement is the number of likes, comments, and shares that your content receives. The more engagement your content gets, the more successful it will be.
- Engagement Rate: Your engagement rate is the percentage of people who engage with your content out of the total number of people who see it.
- Exits: Exits are a way for you to see how many people have viewed your story, and how long they spent viewing it.
- Explore Page: The Explore page is a page on Instagram where you can discover new content.
- Filter: A filter is a way to change the look of your photo or video.
- Follower Count: Your follower count is the number of people who follow you on Instagram.
- Follower Growth Rate: Your follower growth rate is the number of new followers that you gain over a period of time.
- Followers: Your followers are the people who have chosen to follow you on Instagram. You can grow your number of followers by creating engaging content and using hashtags.
- Following Count: Your following count is the number of people that you follow on Instagram.
- Gallery: Your gallery is a collection of all the photos and videos that you’ve posted on Instagram.
- Giveaways: A giveaway is a type of contest where you give away a prize to a random person who participates. Giveaways can be used to increase engagement, to get people to follow you, or to get people to tag their friends in your content.
- Group Selfie: A group selfie is a photo that you take with a group of people.
- Handle: Your handle is your username on Instagram. It’s how people will find you and your content.
- Hashtags: Hashtags are words or phrases that are preceded by the “#” symbol. They’re used to categorise content on Instagram and make it easier for people to find relevant posts.
- HDR: HDR is a type of photo that is taken with a high dynamic range.
- Highlights: Highlights are a way to group together your best stories and keep them on your profile permanently. You can create highlights by adding stories to them, and you can edit the cover photo and title of each highlight.
- Hyperlapse: Hyperlapse is an app that allows you to create time-lapse videos.
- IGTV: IGTV was an app from Instagram where people could watch long-form videos. IGTV videos could be up to 10 minutes long, and some accounts could post videos that were up to 60 minutes long.
- Impressions: Impressions are the number of times that your content has been seen.
- Influencer: An influencer is somebody who has a large following on social media, and who is considered to be an expert in their field.
- Influencer CPM: Influencer CPM is the cost per thousand impressions of an influencer’s content.
- Influencer Marketing: Influencer marketing is a type of marketing where you collaborate with influencers to promote your products or services.
- Insights: Insights are Instagram’s way of giving you information about your account and your content. Insights can be helpful in understanding how people are engaging with your content and what kinds of content are performing well.
- Instagram Polls: Instagram polls are a way for you to interact with your followers, and to get feedback from them.
- Instagram Stories: Instagram stories are a way for you to share photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours.
- Landscape: A landscape is a photo that is taken of a wide area, such as a mountain range or a cityscape.
- Latergram: A latergram is a post that is scheduled to be posted at a later time.
- Layout: Layout is an app that allows you to create collages of your photos.
- Likes: Likes are a way for people to show their approval of your content. The more likes you have, the more popular your content will be.
- Location Tag: A location tag is a way to add your location to a photo or video. Location tags can be helpful if you want people to know where you are or if you want to make it easier for people to find your content.
- Macro: A macro is a photo that is taken of a small object, such as a flower or an insect.
- Media Kit: A media kit is a document that contains information about an influencer, and that is used to pitch brands and businesses.
- Memes: A meme is an image or piece of text that is shared online, typically with a caption that expresses an idea or concept.
- Mention: A mention is when somebody else includes your username in their content. This can be a photo, caption, or comment.
- Micro-Influencer: A micro-influencer is somebody who has a small following on social media, but who is considered to be an expert in their field.
- Nametag: A nametag is a way for people to find you on Instagram.
- Newsfeed: The newsfeed is the page where you see the posts of the people you follow.
- Notifications: Notifications are a way for Instagram to let you know when somebody has liked or commented on your content, or when somebody has tagged you in a photo or video.
- Organic Reach: Organic reach is the number of people who see your content without you having to pay for it.
- Paid Reach: Paid reach is the number of people who see your content because you’ve paid for it.
- Panorama: A panorama is a photo that is taken of a wide area, such as a landscape or a cityscape.
- PicStitch: PicStitch is an app that allows you to create collages of your photos.
- Popular Hashtags: Popular hashtags are hashtags that are used frequently on Instagram. Popular hashtags can be used to make your content more discoverable, and they can also be used to see what kind of content is popular on Instagram.
- Portrait: A portrait is a photo that is taken of somebody from the shoulders up.
- Posed: A posed is a photo that is taken of somebody after they have been asked to pose for the photo.
- Posting Regularly: Posting regularly is important in order to grow your following.
- Product Placement: Product placement is a type of marketing where you showcase products or services in your content, and you receive a commission for every sale that is made as a result of your content.
- Profile: Your profile is the page that people see when they visit your Instagram account. It includes your username, bio, and photos or videos.
- Push Notifications: Push notifications are a type of notification that is sent to your phone when somebody likes or comments on your content, or when someone tags you in a photo or video.
- Regram: A regram is a post that you have reposted from somebody else.
- Repost: A repost is when you share somebody else’s content on your own account. You can do this by using a reposting app or by taking a screenshot of the content and sharing it on your own account.
- Sales: Sales are a type of incentive that can be used to get people to buy products or services.
- Saved Posts: Saved posts are posts that you’ve saved to view later. You can save posts by clicking on the bookmark icon under the photo or video.
- Scheduling: Scheduling is a way to plan when you will post your content.
- Selfie: A selfie is a photo that you take of yourself.
- Silhouette: A silhouette is a photo that is taken of somebody with the background being brighter than the subject.
- Sponsored Post: A sponsored post is a piece of content that has been paid for by a brand. This type of content will usually be clearly labelled as “sponsored.”
- Sunrise: A sunrise is a photo that is taken at sunrise.
- Sunset: A sunset is a photo that is taken at sunset.
- Superzoom: Superzoom is a way for you to create zoomed-in videos with dramatic music.
- Swipe Up: A swipe up is when somebody swipes up on your story to visit a link that you’ve included.
- Tagged Photo: A tagged photo is a photo that somebody else has posted of you. Tagged photos can be viewed by anyone who visits your profile, even if they’re not following you.
- TBT: TBT stands for Throwback Thursday, and it is a day where people share old photos.
- Theme: A theme is a consistent look or style that is used in posts.
- Trending Hashtags: Trending hashtags are hashtags that are popular at a specific moment in time. Trending hashtags can be used to make your content more discoverable, and they can also be used to see what kind of content is popular on Instagram.
- Type: Type is a way for you to add text to your photos and videos.
- User-Generated Content: User-generated content is content that has been created by your followers. It can be helpful to feature this type of content on your profile because it shows that people are interested in your brand.
- Verified Account: A verified account is an account that has a blue checkmark next to the username. This means that Instagram has confirmed that the account is the official account of a celebrity, brand, or public figure.
- Watermark: A watermark is a logo or other type of mark that is added to a photo.
- Wide shot: A wide shot is a photo that is taken of somebody or something from far away.
Instagram Marketing Strategy
If you’re thinking about using Instagram marketing to reach new customers and grow your business, it’s important to have a strategy in place. Without a strategy, it will be difficult to measure your success and track your progress. When it comes to developing your Instagram marketing strategy, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Define your goals
What are you hoping to achieve with Instagram marketing? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Drive traffic to your website? Increase engagement with your followers? It’s important to define your goals before you get started so that you can measure your success.
Research your target audience
Who are you trying to reach with your Instagram marketing? What are their interests? What do they like to see on Instagram? When you know your target audience, you can create content that appeals to them.
Create engaging content
If you want people to follow you and engage with your posts, you need to create content that is interesting and engaging. Share behind-the-scenes photos, run contests, and post interesting facts and statistics.
Hashtags are a great way to reach new people on Instagram. When you use relevant hashtags, your content will be seen by people who are interested in what you have to share.
Monitor your progress
Once you get started with Instagram marketing, it’s important to monitor your progress and see how you’re doing. Check your analytics to see how many people are seeing and engaging with your content.
Creating Engaging Content on Instagram
When it comes to Instagram marketing, the quality of your content is essential. After all, if people don’t enjoy looking at your posts, they’re not going to stick around for long.
Here are some tips for creating engaging content that will get people talking about your business:
Use beautiful visuals
As we mentioned before, Instagram is all about the visuals. Make sure your photos and videos are high quality and eye-catching. Creating beautiful visuals for your Instagram posts doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are a few tips:
- Use high-quality images: Make sure the images you’re using are high quality and resolution. Blurry or low-res images will make your account look unprofessional.
- Edit your photos: Use a photo editing app like VSCO, Lightroom, or Snapseed to edit your photos and make them look their best.
- Use filters sparingly: Filters can be a great way to add some personality to your photos. But use them sparingly – too many filters will make your account look cluttered and unorganised.
- Create original content: In addition to photos, you can also share videos, graphics, quotes, and more on Instagram. Get creative and post content that will stand out from the rest.
Be creative with your posts
Think outside the box when it comes to your content. In addition to traditional photos and videos, you can also use features like Stories, Live Video, Boomerangs, and more to capture people’s attention.
- Use creative visuals: Share high-quality photos and videos that are eye-catching and original.
- Get creative with your captions: Write compelling, attention-grabbing captions that will make people want to read more.
- Use hashtags and geotags: Hashtags and geotags are a great way to reach new users and get your content seen by more people.
- Share behind-the-scenes content: Give your followers a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes of your business. This can be anything from photos of your team at work to videos of your product being made.
As we mentioned earlier, hashtags are a great way to get your content in front of a wider audience. When using hashtags, be sure to use ones that are relevant to your business and niche. Here are a few best practices for using hashtags on Instagram:
- Use relevant, specific hashtags: When using hashtags, make sure to use relevant, specific hashtags that relate to your niche.
- Use a mix of popular and niche hashtags: Using a mix of popular and niche hashtags will help you reach a wider audience.
- Use hashtags in your caption: In addition to using hashtags in the comments section, you can also add them to your caption. This is a great way to get more eyes on your content.
- Don’t use too many hashtags: Using too many hashtags can make your account look spammy and unprofessional. Stick to using a few relevant hashtags per post.
Post at the right time
Timing is everything when it comes to social media. Make sure you’re posting when your target audience is most active. Here are a few best practices for posting at the right time on Instagram:
- Find out when your audience is online: Use analytics tools to find out when your target audience is most active on Instagram.
- Post during peak hours: Once you know when your audience is online, make sure to post during those times.
- Use a scheduling tool: If you can’t be online to post during peak hours, use a scheduling tool to help you out.
- Test and experiment: See what works best for your account by experimenting with different posting times.
Tell a story
Use your posts to tell a story about your brand. Share behind-the-scenes photos and videos, give your followers a look at what goes into making your products or services, and more.
Crafting the perfect Instagram post takes time and practice. But once you find what works for your business, you’ll be well on your way to building an engaged following of people who are interested in what you have to offer.
Instagram Scheduling Tools
Here are the top 5, most popular, Instagram scheduling tools that you can use to start getting more regular with your posting schedule:
Instagram verification is the process of verifying your account with Instagram. This can be done by providing Instagram with your email address, phone number, and a government-issued ID. Once you have been verified, you will see a blue checkmark next to your name on your profile.
Why Would You Want to Get Verified on Instagram?
There are a few reasons why you might want to get verified on Instagram.
One reason is that it can help you to build trust with your followers. When people see that your account has been verified by Instagram, they will know that you are who you say you are, and they will be more likely to trust you.
Another reason to get verified is that it can help you to stand out from the crowd. With over 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram, it can be easy for your account to get lost in the shuffle. But if you have a blue checkmark next to your name, people will know that you are an important and verified user, and they will be more likely to pay attention to your posts.
How to Get Verified on Instagram?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the process of getting verified can vary depending on factors such as your country and account type. However, in general, the process of getting verified on Instagram involves submitting an application to Instagram and providing them with your email address, phone number, and a government-issued ID. Once you have been verified, you will see a blue checkmark next to your name on your profile.
Applying for verification can be a long and difficult process, so it’s important to make sure that you meet all of the requirements before you submit your application. For example, you must have a profile picture, a bio, and a business email address in order to be eligible for verification. You also need to have a large following on Instagram ( typically over 10,000) and a high level of engagement (meaning that people are regularly liking, commenting, and sharing your posts).
If you’re not sure whether you meet all of the requirements for verification, you can always contact Instagram directly and ask them about the process.
When to Use Instagram Marketing?
Instagram marketing can be a great way to reach new customers and grow your business. But when is the best time to use it? Here are a few scenarios where Instagram marketing could be a good fit:
When you’re launching a new product or service
If you have a new product or service that you’re looking to promote, running an Instagram marketing campaign is a great way to do it.
When you’re running a sale or promotion
If you’re running a sale or promotion, sharing it on Instagram is a great way to reach more people and get them interested.
When you want to build brand awareness
If you’re looking to build brand awareness for your business, Instagram marketing can be a great way to do it.
When you want to drive traffic to your website
If you want to drive traffic to your website, you can include a link in your Instagram bio. When people see your photos and videos, they’ll be able to click through to your website.
When you want to increase engagement
If you want to increase engagement with your customers and followers, Instagram marketing can be a great way to do it. Running contests, sharing behind-the-scenes content, and using hashtags are all great ways to increase engagement on the platform.
In addition to organic content, you can also use paid ads to reach a wider audience on Instagram. There are a few different types of Instagram ads you can run, including:
- Photo ads: These are simply ads that consist of a photo, with or without a caption.
- Video ads: Just like photo ads, but in video format.
- Carousel ads: These ads let you include multiple photos or videos in a single ad, and users can swipe through to see them all.
- Stories ads: These full-screen ads appear between Stories from people that users follow.
- Collection ads: These allow you to showcase multiple products in a visually appealing way, and link to a specific landing page where users can purchase them.
To create an Instagram ad, start by creating a new post as you normally would. Then, tap the “Promote” button in the bottom left corner. From there, you’ll be prompted to select your audience, budget, and other details about your ad. Once your ad is created, it will start running automatically.
How to Measure Results of Your Instagram Marketing Efforts?
There are a few different ways that you can measure the results of your Instagram marketing efforts.
One way is to track your engagement rate, which is the number of likes, comments, and shares that you get on your posts divided by the number of followers that you have. Another way to measure results is to track the number of new followers that you gain over time. You can also track the number of sales or leads that you generate from your Instagram posts.
To get started, you need to set up some goals for your Instagram marketing campaign. Once you have set some goals, you can start to experiment with different strategies and tactics to see what works best for your business. As you experiment, be sure to track your engagement rate, new followers, and sales or leads so that you can see what is working and what is not.