Updated: Nov 30, 2019
The nature of marketing naturally evolves as years pass and society changes. One of the major recent developments has been the rising importance of marketing on Instagram. The massively popular social media site has become a crucial component in the marketing toolkit of many companies, both large and small. Check out the seven essential rules for marketing on Instagram.
1. Have a Strong Profile
Your Instagram bio will be the first thing your potential customers encounter, so getting it right is critical. Instagram limits bios to just 150 characters, meaning you'll have to pack a lot in a small space.
Your bio needs to encapsulate, in a compelling manner, the essence of your brand. It should immediately give whoever reads it a good understanding of what you are all about. For the rest of your profile, choose a quality profile picture that relates obviously to your products.
2. Provide Useful Content
It might sound paradoxical, but oftentimes the best way to market on social media is not to actually market all that much. That's because of what most social media users want.
They are more interested in invaluable, useful content than direct advertising. Your content should focus more on the lifestyle surrounding your product than the product itself. For example, a beachwear company might post content related to days at the beach and water sports like surfing.
3. Make it look good
Instagram is primarily a visual medium. That means your posts have to look beautiful. Don't just use any old picture you find. Search out high-quality images that fit your content correctly. Be especially sure to make your products look great when you feature them.
Instagram also offers a variety of helpful filters to use. These can be useful for creating a consistent, distinctive look for your posts. A particular style will make your brand more memorable.
4. Sell Directly
While pure advertising can't be the sole focus of your Instagram activity, it should play a significant part. After all, selling products is the ultimate purpose of marketing.
If you've done an excellent job developing your content, the people viewing your posts will already be interested in the sort of product you are selling. In other words, they won't be bothered that you are trying to get them to buy something--especially if you are offering a quality product at a reasonable price.
5. Use Hashtags
Hashtags are the primary way people discover content on Instagram. As such, they are the primary path to a broader audience. Use the hashtags that are closely related to your content.
The most popular hashtags will attract the most traffic. However, resist the temptation to use popular but irrelevant hashtags. This sort of hashtag spamming is frowned upon and will only turn people off your page.
6. Be Professional, Seriously
Yes, social media is not exactly the typical business environment. And yes, it can be a good idea for businesses to participate in social media trends. However, there is a limit to all this.
Too much slang, too many jokes, or too much silliness will put off many potential customers. It's particularly important to be careful when it comes to edgy, off-color humor, or risque content. Keep up with trends, but avoid anything with the potential to offend.
7. Interact With Other Users
One of the advantages of social media is the way it can put businesses and consumers in communication with each other. On Instagram, try to respond to everyone who makes an effort to interact.
For example, if someone leaves a positive comment, reply with your appreciation. Doing this dramatically increases engagement, ultimately resulting in a loyal customer base. Respond even to negative comments; doing so demonstrates customer feedback is always important to you.
Your business should have an Instagram marketing strategy. There might be exceptions, but virtually all businesses today cannot afford to miss out on the opportunities presented by this social media giant. It's one of the most effective means for marketing, so make sure you get all you can from Instagram.