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How To Grow Your Business Using Instagram

In case you haven’t heard, visual content marketing is the way of the future. It has quickly outdone traditional text-based content marketing with its impressively high engagement rate.

Instagram, a photo sharing platform, is home to over 500 million active users as of June 2016. For business owners, this makes the platform a potent pool of potential customers just waiting to be tapped.

According to HubSpot, an analytics and consulting firm, Instagram has the highest organic engagement rate. This makes Instagram the king of social media engagement – trumping competitors such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by a mile.

Slowly, businesses are realizing that Instagram is a cost-effective platform where they can increase sales, engage with customers and maximize brand recognition. While we are seeing quite a number of brands and businesses use Instagram, we don’t see a lot of them using it to their fullest advantage.

Below, we’ve gathered some essential tips business owners need to know to maximize this platform for all of its marketing and sales benefits. Use Instagram to take your business to greater heights!

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Image credit: wersm.com

Tactics to Grow Your Audience

Produce Content that Resonates with your Tribe

Knowing your tribe is crucial to building your campaign. Building a good customer persona will let you customize your content to target the people you’re looking for.

A customer persona is a fictionalized and marginalized representation of your target market. This can help you better identify who you want to direct your content to. You can be better acquainted with your tribe by simply looking at your database of past and present customers.

Try to identify any trends that are common among all of them. What field are they in? How old are they? Where do they live? From there you can better identify who your content is actually for.

If you don’t have an existing database, you can create a questionnaire to send to new and existing customers. Include questions that will help you pinpoint who they are by capturing important personal information such as age, industry, location and so on.

Check out the comments on this photo. This guy clearly knows what his followers like:

Instagram follower engagement

You can also brainstorm with your sales team, who probably interact with your customers more than anyone else. This can help you develop your customer persona based on first hand information.

Instagram is a highly visual platform, so you must be able to translate your brand story in a visually appealing way that will resonate with your followers – who are potential customers.

Visual content marketing is not just about aesthetic. It also heavily relies on the real-world value you can provide to viewers. In order to nurture engagement and generate a positive reaction among your followers, you must provide them with content that is relevant and useful.

Identifying who your audience is using a customer persona can help you figure out the type of content to produce. What would that person like? That’s your target.

Optimize your Profile

You will not believe how many businesses and brands on Instagram neglect their profile. This not only leaves a bad impression on potential followers, it can also decrease your chances of being discovered at all by more people in the future.

An Instagram profile may seem pretty straightforward, but it has some nooks and crannies that can help you become more discoverable.

One of the first things you have to consider is your Instagram handle. Think of a handle or a username that is short and catchy, while describing you adequately.

It’s best to stick with your business name for brand awareness. This way, people who are looking you up will have a much better chance of finding you on the platform with just a quick search.

You also have to make sure your profile is open to the public – that means toggling your privacy settings to public. This seems obvious, but some businesses actually set their profile to private.

When filling up your profile, come up with a short and concise description of your service. Don’t forget to put a link to your website or sales page. Instagram only allows you to put 1 clickable link in your profile so be sure to choose it carefully.

World of Beer did a pretty good job with their profile, concisely describing what they do and providing a link back to their site:

World of Beer profile

Another thing worth taking a look at is your profile picture. You know very well the importance of brand awareness, and that’s why you need to choose your profile picture wisely.

If you have a business logo, use a high-res image that scales well and is easily recognizable even when used as a thumbnail. This is where a professionally done logo comes in handy.

Don’t be Shy on the #Hashtags

Hashtags are a way for users to find content about a specific topic or conversation. Properly using hashtags makes each of your posts more discoverable to a lot more people.

Instagram allows you to add 30 hashtags on each post, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should use up all your hashtag credit all at once. If your hashtags are longer than your caption, you might want to regroup. #Using #hashtags #on #everything can turn off potential followers so only use them when appropriate.

Don’t be like some people, who are clearly trying too hard and using any tags they think might get a view:

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When it comes to hashtags, the more specific you are, the better. This can help you attract the right kind of followers who are interested in the content you are putting out. Using a generic hashtag may garner you a few likes here and there, but they do not generate long term and effective engagement for your business.

You can be creative with your hashtags but remember to keep it short and sweet. The shorter your hashtag is, the easier it is for people to remember.

There are a number of online tools that can help you identify the best hashtag to use for each post. These tools can help you target the right audience for your content and identify the trending topics that are most relevant to your niche. Below are some helpful online tools to help you make the most out of hashtags:

Webstagram is a tool that tells you the trending hashtags at any given time. This can help you identify which hashtags will give you maximum exposure. You can also use it to find contextually-related hashtags to broaden your reach.

Hashtagify.me is a popular service that recently started Instagram tracking. They’re known for their comprehensive, high-quality results, but you’ll need to know exactly what you’re doing because these insights will cost you – at least $59 per month to track just two hashtags.

If you’ve been on Instagram for a while but haven’t been using hashtags to their fullest potential, don’t fret. You can always edit old posts and add in hashtags – and watch as new likes and followers roll in.

Grow Your Followers and Nurture Engagement

Visually stunning content won’t help if there’s no one there to see and appreciate it. In order to get the most out of Instagram, you need followers to engage with.

As we all know, growing a following on any platform can be a long, tedious and unpredictable process – especially for businesses who are just starting out.

If you don’t have the time (and let's be honest, the patience) for organic growth, purchasing followers and other social signals from a reputable provider is a viable option. This practice has a long history of use with brands and personalities who want to hack their growth on the platform.

When you do it right, purchasing followers and other social signals such as likes and comments can be beneficial for your business. There are hundreds of providers out there who offer this type of service, but you should know that some are more reputable than others.

There are less-than-earnest providers out there who will try their hardest to lure you in with attractively cheap prices. When purchasing followers and other social signals for Instagram, you should never forgo quality for quantity.

Sure, a ton of followers might seem impressive at first glance but if you take a good look at these accounts, you will know right away that they are nothing but phonies. These fake accounts can do you more harm than good.

low-quality-instagram-follower

For one thing, these accounts do not usually last long. They either get deleted or they unfollow you so they can follow other people. This leaves you with fluctuating numbers that can turn off potential authentic followers.

High quality followers, on the other hand, may not come as cheap but are in it for the long run. They have unique profiles, active feeds, and best of all – they don’t disappear on you.

In order to avoid getting negative attention from Instagram users, you must pair your newly bought followers with high quality social signals and engagement.

You can buy these engagement activities from high quality providers who sell Instagram followers. Instead of blowing your entire budget on a giant army of new fake followers, try to buy a proportional number of likes and comments to go along with fewer.

Unlike regular Instagram users, businesses and brands must be extra careful about their social media strategy. One wrong move can immensely affect your reputation – and thus your livelihood – in a matter of days.

Always do your research before making a purchase, and check out reviews and customer feedback. We’ve reviewed and rated the top providers to help you find the best one, so be sure to check out our in-depth reviews before you buy!

Be Firm with your Calls to Action

Neglecting to put firm calls to action on each of your posts is a fast ticket to nowhere for businesses like yours. Some brands fail to put a CTA in the two primo spots on Instagram – their bio and their posts.

Remember, every post you make is a chance to impress your followers. Use this opportunity to direct them to your website, sign up to your mailing list, or just check out more of your content – be persistent and consistent.

So what makes an effective call to action on a platform like Instagram? Well, first you have to understand that people by now are used to seeing requests like yours.

Make your CTA stand out from the rest by using stunning visuals – and reiterate the benefits they may reap from it. Work with the background image and colors of your photos, and make people notice your post, and then your CTA.

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Instagram also launched clickable calls to action for business accounts, buttons like Shop Now, Learn More, Install Now and more. This is a fast way to get people off Instagram and on your sales page. For some inspiration, Facebook Ad Guide offers a comprehensive tutorial on how you can set up your call to action button.

Collaborate with Influencers

If you don’t know who the influencers in your niche are, you’re missing out on some real marketing gold. Influencers are leaders and trendsetters in their fields, with the power to direct consumers to particular brands and products – and Instagram is home to hundreds of them!

Collaborating with influencers is a great way to penetrate a market you might otherwise miss out on. Getting an influencer to advertise your product is just like getting a celebrity endorsement on Instagram, and that’s why this is something you should truly consider.

Madewell is a fashion retail company that is no stranger to influencer marketing. To launch their signature tote, they teamed up with five influencers in their #TOTEWELL Campaign. They worked closely with influencers such as Jules Denby, Stephanie Sterjovski, Bethany Marie and other key figures in the fashion world.

Together, they were able to reach out to over 1 million targeted consumers, growing their audience and their potential customer base.

#totewell campaign

Of course, Madewell is a global brand, and wouldn’t get rejected by influencers. If you’re just starting out, however, don’t hesitate to reach out to influencers through their social media pages.

Collaboration begins with a good relationship. Familiarize yourself with the type of work they do and forge a bond with them through consistent social media interaction.

Once you have established better grounds with an influencer, you can always come up to them (by sliding them some DMs) and introduce the idea of collaborating.

Don’t feel the need to be extravagant when it comes to your offer. As long as your service or product is valuable to your target consumer, influencers will be more than happy to work with you. They thrive on providing their followers with helpful and valuable content – if partnering with you means getting just that, they won’t bat an eyelash about collaborating.

BuzzSumo is a great tool that can help you find key influencers in virtually any field or industry. It should also help you identify the type of content that’s getting the most attention at any particular time. This can help you generate topics and schedule your content.

When reaching out to influencers it’s helpful if you familiarize yourself with the type of work that they do. This makes initial contact a lot less awkward and more casual.

When working with an influencer for the first time, we suggest you do not offer cash upfront. Try simply giving them your product and ask them what you think. If they end up loving it, they’ll most certainly post about it – and you don’t even have to ask them.

Lisa Eldridge is a great example of a powerful influencer. She's a popular fashionista who can easily direct thousands of people to check out whatever makeup she posts:

Lisa Eldridge instagram

Once you have established a good professional relationship with an influencer, you can propose different deals such as giveaways and other sponsored posts.

Influencer marketing is a hidden gem, but before you get ahead of yourself, be sure to polish your initial proposal, find an influencer and establish a good relationship with them.

Never think your brand is too small to do sponsorships – influencers are far more approachable than celebrities and are open to all sorts of deals. They know that working with you can be good for them, just like it is for you.

Build a Comprehensive Instagram Strategy

If you’re looking for an online platform that can help your business grow, Instagram is a definite contender. With its record breaking engagement rate, no other platform can give you the same amount of interaction with followers and potential customers.

Instagram holds immense marketing potential, but success on the platform does not come cheap nor overnight. You can’t succeed on Instagram without a solid strategy.

We often think that numbers reign supreme on social media, but when it comes to truly succeeding on platforms like Instagram, numbers are simply not enough. You must have a solid strategy in place in order to hack your growth.

The tips mentioned above can build the foundation of a solid social media strategy for your business. On Instagram, it’s not just about looking the part but walking the walk, too – it’s all about how you play the #game.

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Date: December 1, 2016 / Categories: Buy Instagram Followers, Buy Instagram Likes, Marketing, / Author: Mariko

December
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