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Top 10 Instagram marketing tips that actually work

by Chloe Baird

There are around 9 million monthly active Instagram users in Australia alone. (Source) This makes it one of the most popular social media platforms in the country.

But if you’re trying to tap into that market, there are a few different ways you can boost your follower count, increase engagement, and convert followers into loyal customers.

Here’s our top ten marketing tips for Instagram you can use to start getting more out of your posts.

Who is your target audience, and how can you reach them?

1. Optimise your bio

First things first – if you’re trying to monetise your account, you need to make sure that your Instagram account is set up as a business profile. The reason for this is because business profiles on Instagram have more features than personal profiles, like Instagram Insights and adding buttons to your profile.

Next, you want to make sure your bio says everything you need to tell your audience. Instagram doesn’t offer a lot of space for you to do this, but that’s OK. You can give people exactly what they want without needing to write a rambling introduction. Try condensing your business’s core values.

Then, make sure your profile picture tells its own story. Most brands tend to use their brand logo. You don’t need to do this, but just make sure your profile picture is relevant and instantly recognisable.

You should also make sure that your username and the name field in your bio are filled out correctly. The name field is actually a really important asset for search engine optimisation (SEO), and can help potential customers find you.

Do you still need to nail down your Instagram marketing strategy? Read our blog first, ‘What is a social media marketing strategy?’

2. Create a consistent Instagram aesthetic

Your posts should always gel with your brand image, and they should always be recognisable as your work. Because straight after people read your bio, they’re going to be scrolling through your gallery to see if the content you’re posting is what they’re after.

The colours you feature, the filters you use and the type of content you’re sharing should all have the same look and feel. A consistent aesthetic will also help to further cement your brand identity, making you more recognisable and promoting brand awareness.

3. Curate compelling imagery

You should always make sure you’re sticking to a consistent theme in your posts. But you also need to make sure you’re posting the kind of content your followers actually want to see. Make sure your content reflects your audience and that you’re encouraging them to interact with your posts.

One of the most important things to remember here is to be authentic. Your followers will appreciate it, and they’ll likely ignore anything that feels false or inorganic. Many people feel that social media can be disingenuous and purposefully misleading. Which means there’s plenty of opportunities for unique, genuine, honest creators to find loyal followers.

Once you find your niche, stick to it.

4. Change it up with videos and memes

Variety is the spice of life. And mixing things up with different types of content can help keep your audience interested and engaged. Just make sure your posting stuff that’s in line with your brand image and still relevant to your audience.

5.  Make the most of Instagram Stories

Some businesses don’t make the most of all that Instagram has to offer, and they’re doing themselves a disservice.

You can use Instagram Stories to start a conversation or to act like a lead-in to your latest post. Asking your followers a question with a poll is an easy and popular way to engage your audience. It’s also a really easy way to connect directly with your audience.

As well as Instagram Stories, you should also experiment with ‘going live’ on Instagram Stories to engage your audience. This way, you can get real-time reactions and feedback from your audience.

6. Post on time

There’s a fine balance between posting too much and not posting enough, and finding the perfect middle ground can involve some trial and error. But if you don’t post enough, you’ll fall off your followers’ radars and your posts will stop appearing in their feeds. But if you post too much, you could come across as spammy and you may lose followers.

So, how often should you be posting on Instagram? This depends on who you are, what you do and what your followers expect (some brands post multiple times a day, and others still gain huge followings by posting once a day). If all else fails, you can always put the question to your followers in a poll!

Want to learn more about the dos and don’ts of social media marketing? Read our blog, ‘Social media marketing mistakes to avoid’.

7. If you have more than one platform, don’t post identical content

Using different platforms means that you can reach different sub-sections of your target audience. This is the main reason you shouldn’t just be copying and pasting your posts – different platforms talk to different demographics. The language you use on Facebook will probably differ slightly to what you post on Instagram, because you’re trying to reach different sections of your target market.

The other reason for posting differing content is because it gives people a reason to follow you across various platforms for fear of missing out on something worthwhile.

If you post the exact same content, then what’s the point of people following on different platforms?

You want to encourage people to tune into your different channels so they don’t miss out on anything.

What kind of content gets the most engagement from your followers?

8. Engage and reward your followers

One of the big rules of running a social media business account is: don’t feed the trolls! However, the opposite is true for your loyal followers who promote the spirit of your community.

When someone leaves a nice comment, tags you in a post or gives you a shout-out in their stories, say thank you!

You should also be encouraging your followers to create user-generated content (UGC). UGC is powerful stuff. For one, it acts as free marketing. Two, word of mouth is one of the most trusted ways in which people make a decision about a brand, because it comes from a person they know and trust.

Here are some examples of UGC:

  • Start your own hashtag and encourage people to use it.
  • Invite people to be featured in your posts by tagging you. (‘Want to be featured? Share a snap and tag us.’)
  • Share positive feedback and give shout-outs to your fans.
  • Launch a competition that encourages people to share posts promoting your brand.

Just always remember to ask for permission before sharing.

9. Branch out with your marketing strategy

Have you thought about investing in Instagram Ads? Or bringing an affiliate marketer or influencer on board?

When it comes to Instagram Ads, you can spend as much or as little as you want – the budget is completely up to you. And you can choose to display just one ad at a time, or several ads with the Instagram carousel feature. Instagram Ads ensure that your content will be seen by your target audience, and there are also options that allow you to track the success of your ads.

Influencer marketing can also offer great results if you’ve done your research. It just comes down to finding the right person to collaborate with.

Want to learn more about influencer marketing? Read our blog, ‘How to grow your business with influencer marketing’.

10. Always be open to learning something new

Technology is constantly evolving, and the same goes for social media platforms. Instagram is constantly updating the way its algorithm works and adding new and exciting features to its platform. This means that to stay relevant and avoid looking digitally illiterate, you need to stay ahead of the curve.

One way to do this is with an online course.

Created by Social Media College (SMC), the Instagram Marketing short online course will teach you everything you need to know – from how to create an engaging profile to making money from your account.

Give your business the boost it needs and enrol today.

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