Last updated on July 27th, 2020 at 10:22 am
Instagram, a social network that most people would easily recognize as aesthetic, fun, and majorly addictive, accounts for a whopping seven crore users just in India. Only second to its predecessor Facebook, the average Instagram user spends close to an hour a day on the network. Additionally, with an active user base of predominantly young people in comparison to Facebook, Instagram is the gold mine for digital marketing, publicity, and “viral” content.
However, without a map, even a gold mine is as good as barren land, and so without the right know-how and strategy, Instagram becomes no more useful than newspaper classifieds. If you have ever tried to market something on Instagram, you must be familiar with what I like to call, the Instagram Conundrum. Even top-class marketers struggle with this dilemma that poses mind-boggling questions.
- How often should I post?
- Should I post the same thing multiple times?
- How do I increase the viewership of my page?
I’ll let you in on a little secret, and social media marketing isn’t black and white. Often these answers depend solely on the nature of your organization and audience. That being said, by following these simple guidelines and abiding by some golden rules, you can easily make the most of Instagram.
1) Master the content game
Perhaps an essential part of engaging viewers is the content you put out. Many marketers miss out on a large percentage of viewership but having generic and dull-looking content. Don’t be shy with words that turn heads and styles that stand out. By this, I don’t mean to use a shocking red background that reduces visibility with controversial and offensive words.
Just make sure the next time you post content it has features that separate it from the rest. Often good digital marketing is not about giving the most information, it is about catching the user’s attention amidst the thousands of posts they mechanically scroll past. It’s not about informing at all, it’s about the art of making someone curious to know more.
2) Too many cooks spoil the broth
Here your cooks are the people who distribute your content. It has become a common practice to mix and match social networks by sharing post links through Whatsapp. Sharing on Whatsapp groups is often very detrimental as the audience is diverse and often uninterested; therefore, the content comes across with the same notoriety as internet pop-ups.
Instead, make use of Instagram’s features, such as sharing the post on stories or sending it personally to connections who might provide a much heartier response.
3) Advertising has its perks
Like all platforms, Instagram features an advertising utility on posts and stories; however, it is seldom utilized by most marketers. While this is a boon for publicity, it is prone to what I like to call the tap tap phenomenon.
Generally, with sponsored stories, if the user isn’t interested in the first few seconds of the advertisement, they tap away, which renders the novel waste of funds. The best way to overcome this problem is to include videos that start with an impactful message or even use interactive elements such as polls and sliders to draw attention.
4) Jack of all trades
Instagram marketing is like a balance scale. On the one hand, you want your content to be customized for your target audience, making sure whoever is likely to be interested gets the message. On the other hand, you want to expand and diversify your customer base with people to develop an interest in the service
To be the jack of all trades, diversify your content switching between the specific audience and the broader user base. If you are, for example marketing technical services, vary between posts that provide technically fat content and posts that use layman’s terms explaining how your service can benefit the general public.
5) United we stand
While some see Instagram as a purely standalone platform, your online visibility and productivity can easily be boosted using external applications and the audience can convert Instagram to mp4. Make a schedule for posting to stay regular using Trello, take notes of exciting post ideas using Google notes, and even use editing tools like Snapseed or WordSwag to make eye-catching graphics.
Hashtags are a popular but underrated tool for advertising. It’s no surprise that up to 95 million hashtags are used every day on Instagram. They are great for increased visibility by building a brand to attract a target audience and even an effective SEO technique.
Hashtag challenges are also a great way to go viral or to spread a message. So next time, don’t hesitate to use the trusty # to #create, #brand, and boost your Instagram #productivity.
7) Analyze, Revise, Rinse, Repeat
There is one golden rule that you must never forget: no plan is chiseled in stone. No matter how perfect an Instagram plan you come up with, it must always adapt as you learn what works and what doesn’t. If you find that you are posting too frequently (1-2 posts per day is an ideal starting point), revise your plan to cover more with a single post
If your content isn’t attracting new users, start diversifying, introduce a challenge or a giveaway, and see what your content lacks. Tools like Hootsuite, Iconosquare, or even Instagram’s Insights page are handy to evaluate your marketing strategy. Like every other online platform, Instagram, its trends, and its audience are continuously evolving, so it ultimately boils down to whether you can keep up with times.
The bottom line
It’s no mystery that effective social media marketing is shrouded by mystery. What works for others may not work for you; every single organization has a perfect recipe. With your newly acquired know-how, some experimentation, a lot of persistence, and of course, a little luck you’ll strike Instagram gold very soon!