Instagram is the social network with the highest growth rate ever recorded. What does this mean for a business? Instagram gives the opportunity to make your business known globally, if used correctly, through a well-defined and defined marketing strategy.
Let’s find out together how you can use Instagram for your business!
What is Instagram
Instagram was born in 2010, from an idea by Kevin Systrom and Mike Kriege, an app created to take photos to be edited directly in-app through different filters and shared with everyone.
It was initially available only for iOS devices, but in 2012 the Android version was born. Following this great growth, Zuckerberg understands its potential and decides to buy it, transforming Instagram into a social network almost as powerful as Facebook, but with very different peculiarities.
Instagram is a social network with a lot more to give to its users: it is a perfect platform for the development of social media marketing strategies, thanks to the use of visual storytelling with the help of the numerous new features created by the developers.
How to be successful on Instagram
Instagram is an informal platform, marked by immediacy and sharing of the moment. Instagram is often used to highlight a less serious part of the brand, linked to the story, to people, to life, to the “behind the scenes”; or to show a more “creative” side, linked to the playful and artistic aspect.
STEP 1: Create an Instagram Business profile
If you are a freelance or a company, you should immediately switch from personal profile to business profile: just enter the settings and tap on the “Switch to Business profile” item, associate the linked Facebook page and indicate the contact options like email and phone number.
By providing these data correctly, when users land on your Business profile, they can contact you directly by selecting the “Call” or “Email” item.
For companies that have activated the “Instagram shopping” function, the “View the shop” item will also appear, which will open the entire product catalog of the company directly in the app (convenient isn’t it?).
Once the Business Profile switch has been made, a graph icon, i.e. the Insights, will appear at the top right.
The data shown are divided as follows:
Impressions and reach of your posts;
Photos with more interactions;
Insights data on Instagram Stories;
Insights related to promotions.
This section is very interesting because it allows you to check the socio-demographic data of your followers, in order to study a perfectly targeted Instagram Marketing strategy.
STEP 2: How to write your Instagram Bio
To implement a marketing strategy on Instagram, it is necessary to start from the details, that is, from the care of the bio field.
In this section it is mandatory to be as clear as possible, using keywords that best identify the sector to which the company belongs. Recently, the platform has introduced the possibility of inserting hashtags into the bio, making profiles more easily traceable.
The Instagram biography can contain a maximum of 150 characters and must be written with extreme care as, together with the profile image, it is what will prompt the user to click on the “Follow” button and on the Call to Action.
Tone of Voice
You must define a Tone of Voice consistent with the brand values and in line with your target audience. For the definition of the ToV it is necessary to build a social media monitoring activity, i.e. monitoring user conversations.
Listening to conversations is of fundamental importance to understand how users express themselves and what problems and needs they would like to see resolved: fundamental when studying a digital communication strategy.
Using emojis isn’t a kid’s practice, quite the opposite! The visual content attracts much more than the textual, therefore putting emoticons that help outline the bio is a way to get the attention of the user.
Another trick is to get by between one sentence and another, in order to better clarify who you are, what you do and the call to action to the user.
CTA – Call to Action
In your Instagram Marketing strategy you absolutely must include a call to action. Ask the user to take a specific action on your profile: “Visit our website”, “Follow us on Facebook and Twitter” … they are CTAs in all respects.
Remember that the message must be clear to users and, above all, traceable for you and your company, using a Google Analytics tracking code.
Creating an official hashtag to be used by users who take photos of your products is another important marketing strategy: this allows you to keep a check on all the content that revolves around your brand, to be used not only for monitoring sentiment in network, but also to insert UGC (User Generated Content) within the strategy.
UGCs are widely used for two main reasons:
Users are talking about you and this is much more credible in the eyes of potential customers;
They are free content and require no effort from the company.
The importance of photos and visual storytelling
Visual storytelling is fundamental in any digital strategy. The main reason? On average, the user attention threshold is 8 seconds! This makes you understand the need to be able to create highly attractive contents that make the user’s eye linger.
Doing storytelling means telling stories for persuasive communication purposes, especially in the political, economic and business fields. With the advent of social networks, users want to read and see original stories, which is why companies are required to continuously innovate in the art of storytelling and emotion.
Self-referencing no longer pays: it is necessary to use tools such as Instagram to create narrative universes useful for community involvement.
To be able to create a good Instagram Marketing strategy, it is of fundamental importance to experiment in order to find the correct and most appreciated way by users.
The feed created must be homogeneous so as not to confuse users: if you deal with catering, it makes no sense to publish travel-related content or other topics that are not strictly connected!
To follow on Instagram it is of fundamental importance to start from a good visual content. Only if the photo is interesting and engaging, users will stop to read the caption, where they can tell engaging stories with the microblogging technique.
Instagram constantly offers news, such as Instagram Stories, photo albums and IGTV: for this reason, it lends itself to experimenting with ever new techniques for creating engagement within the community.
Create a content marketing strategy on Instagram
Once you have identified our target audience, the first thing to do is to structure the right content marketing strategy.
Certainly “being on Instagram” is not enough to be able to say to use this vehicle properly!
We must study a path, even a creative one, which allows the user who follows the brand to receive interesting content, and which, through this path, can lead the user to become an ambassador and customer of the company.
Create an editorial plan and an editorial calendar
Once you have identified the clear content marketing strategy best suited to your business, you can create the editorial plan, i.e. a document with objectives, targets and content creation methods that becomes the guide to consistently create future content from post on Instagram.
These contents will be programmed and inserted into an editorial calendar. Having an editorial calendar is essential, because it allows you to never run out of content, as these are decided in time and with certain deadlines.
The ideal would be to have a calendar that requires posting at least two or three times a week.
What time posting?
Various research has shown that the best time to post on Instagram is between 15:00 and 16:00.
According to updated data from Coschedule, however, there have been updates on the best times, which are therefore 02:00 in the morning, between 08:00 and 09:00 and 17:00. Be careful though: each target has its own reference time! We therefore advise you to experiment and analyze the ideal times to develop a correct Instagram Marketing strategy.
Interact with followers and create a community
For the creation of a community on Instagram it is very important to create a Comment Marketing activity, or a strategy based on comments on photos similar to those published by your company. Unfortunately, the use of Instagram Bot has become widespread, i.e. automation programs that allow you to follow and comment on the basis of those who use specific hashtags within the caption.
The shortcut of Comment Marketing carried out with Bots does not lead to the creation of a real community !! The creation of a community is based on REAL interaction: it is always better to search through hashtags for photos in line with your brand and to comment them in a manual and regular way, writing something that also leads to a response and intrigues the user so as to push them to follow you in turn.
The creation of contest on Instagram is a very common practice to stimulate engagement in the already formed community, for the improvement of brand awareness and for the generation of new qualified leads.
The Italian legislation
For the creation of a competition according to the law, it is necessary to follow the following steps:
Drafting of the rules of your prize competition;
Communication to the Ministry of Economic Development;
Payment of the guarantee deposit which will be returned within 180 days of the end of the competition;
Preparation of the closing report and awarding of prizes.
Creating a conversion funnel
When approaching Instagram as a medium for digital marketing it is important to have a strategy upstream of the medium, to convert followers into leads and therefore into customers. This can only be done through a special conversion funnel.
Unless you are promoting an e-commerce and therefore the goal is direct sales, you must provide a landing page and a CTA that invites users to leave their data.
The applicable strategies are different and naturally vary depending on the type of business. But keep in mind that:
You only have one link, the biography link;
You have to be persuasive;
You need to have a funnel to convert the contacts received into leads and customers.
Instagram Stories: how to use them
Stories are 60-second mini videos that disappear after 24 hours. Applied to Instagram Marketing, they can be very useful, as exclusive content can be created for the creation of engagement within particular communities.
They can be used to show moments of exclusive events to involve the fan base, or to offer special discounts and promotions lasting only 24 hours.
Or, if you have a verified Instagram profile or with more than 10,000 followers, you have the possibility to show the products offered by the online shop by inserting the direct link, with a swipe up directly in the Stories.
Features such as questions, surveys and popularity via emojis have made them even more interactive, contributing to the enormous success that Instagram Stories are having between users and companies.
Tracking the results
Having created the strategy for the Instagram profile, it is useful to set goals and to periodically check whether those medium and long-term goals have been met. In addition to the simple and simple “engagement” on the platform, we will then check whether those followers have also become customers or users of our product.
In order to measure the results it is important to have correctly set up the conversion funnel and to be able to obtain quantifiable data from the set analytics platforms. If the goal is therefore to make users register for a service on our site, it will be important to identify how many users have come through our Instagram channel.
Reporting efforts and results in this way is first of all important to verify if the strategy we have adopted brings results and if not can correct it.