A recent addition to the social media world, Instagram has grown rapidly and is now considered one of the leading sites for photo sharing by consumers and businesses alike.
Whether you are an experienced Instagram user or a newbie, there are right and wrong ways to utilize Instagram efficiently. If you are going to launch a successful advertising plan, this guide will introduce you to some best practices in order that you begin on the “right foot.”
Think about what you want to achieve by advertising on Instagram. Just because it is a photo-based platform doesn’t mean you cannot achieve results with its use. In fact, Instagram Advertiser statistics show 75% of users take action (i.e. visit a website) after viewing an advertisement on Instagram.
Best Practices to help you get the best return for your marketing efforts:
You have a great idea (or several) and are excited to share your content and photos. However, you want to be sure your message resonates with your audience. The wrong way to use Instagram would include bombarding your followers with irrelevant ads, so remember your buyer persona and target audience.
First Campaigns = Fishing Expeditions
If you are new to the scene or have been on hiatus, you might not have a good feel for what your Instagram audience likes or dislikes. So, use your first few campaigns to discover what makes them tick, what sparks their interest, and even what turns them away.
Split (A/B) Test Your Ads
If can be difficult to decipher what is successful when you start out with several ads. There are many aspects you can test, including visual (think photo choice/layout/content variety), as well as your posting schedule and call to action (CTA) style. Don’t just go crazy with testing, however; define a few categories you will focus on, and then refine over time.
Use the Right Ads for Your Engagement Type
Most advertisers think primarily in terms of sales when creating marketing campaigns. But there are several ways to engage your followers, such as:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Promoting specific products
- Driving traffic to landing pages
- Building a community feel
Win Brand Supporters with Ads
With consumers using social media at all stages of the buying cycle, there are several opportunities where you can engage your satisfied customers, transforming them into Brand Advocates. By asking them for feedback on previous purchases, soliciting ideas for new products, or even sharing their personal stories, you create a sense of exclusiveness and community.
Less is More
We understand; you are excited to share all your photos and video, and can’t wait to create a story about your brand, your company, and your products (or services). However, don’t overwhelm your followers with complicated (and busy) images which may not provide a clear spotlight. You need to consider what will draw your followers to your image and let that be the singular focus of the ad.
Back off the LogoRemember not to choke your followers with your brand, so be subtle about branding. Branding should be part of the look, feel and overall messaging of your communications.
Follow the 20% Rule, Although it Doesn’t Exist AnymoreThere was a time when Facebook did have a rule stating, that no more than 20% of an advertisement could be text. It doesn’t exist anymore, but the reasoning remains: those ads with less text simply perform better. So just use it as a rule of thumb.
If you want to connect with your audience, no matter the buyer persona, use real-life situations periodically. Nothing resonates more with followers than reality; we are a reality-driven world, where people are drawn to reality shows and enjoy seeing things that are fact, not fiction.
Video is a Step Ahead of Photo
Although it had a slow start on Instagram, video is really gaining in popularity. There are great ways to use video in unique ways:
- A behind-the-scenes look at your business
- A how-to video on using a product or learning new skill
- Promote your product, but elusively
Users Trust Other Users
User-generated content is a terrific way to take advantage of the consumer tendency to scan material they feel is authentic. Show off a satisfied customer’s experience, story or photos using your product, and you are sure to gain followers!
CTAs, Use Them Several Ways
Since you have specific marketing goals for your Instagram campaigns, make sure your CTA reflects that same distinctive plan. Additionally, you can use CTAs to stretch the use of your ads by developing posts which “reuse” them. This way, you can offer it to your audience again later.
Variety is the Spice of Life
Lastly, change your content up. Switch back and forth between photos, video, user generated content and maybe some new, unique ideas. It keeps your approach fresh and you may discover innovative ways to engage your audience!
These are just a starting point of best practices which will help you start—and stay strong—with your marketing efforts on Instagram. With the social media platform gaining users every day, now is the perfect time to start your Instagram marketing efforts!
About Digital Impact Agency
Digital Impact Agency is a creative firm specializing in interactive media and inbound marketing strategies for manufacturing and technology companies, professional service firms (architectural, engineering, construction, legal and consulting), nonprofits and enterprise companies. We are a team of innovative entrepreneurs focused on creating the most strategic and effective communication channels for our clients.