Instagram first launched in 2010 but took the world by storm in 2012 to around 27million followers. It used to simply be a photo sharing platform, but has since evolved into so much more. It has incredible features for businesses to market and sell their services and products directly from the app so has become many businesses’ best friend!
Instagram remains the current (2021) heartthrob of the social media scene for marketers and it’s not hard to see why. 13% of everyone on planet Earth is on this platform and a whopping 80% of them follow brands.
Unsurprisingly, a massive 75% of the audience on this social media platform are 18–24 year olds – a much younger age demographic than the previous platforms I mentioned in my earlier blogs: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Do take a look:
It’s built around the ever changing ‘algorithm’ that catches people out, frustrates others and is a formula that favours those accounts who use the platform correctly, utilising a mix of different factors that we will explore below.
21 Insta takeaways…
- Post consistently – this is something that has been drilled into us for a while, but it really does work. Whether you post twice a week, or 5 times a day, keep it consistent and avoid those random posts here and there. People check in for regular content and Instagram notices these patterns.
- Don’t preach—tell stories as these are much more interesting, dissectible, and personable. Nobody wants to be told off or embarrassed. We want to learn and grow together as a community.
- Build a strong brand – could someone tell what your brand is about from a post? Can they recognise your brand voice? If in doubt, get a brand specialist in as they can help you nail your messaging and get your brand out there.
- Have a visually consistent feed – people and brands really DO look at your grid aesthetics. If things are random and all sorts of colours and texts – it looks unprofessional and scatty. Brand look and feel are just as important as brand voice.
- Choose the right hashtags – these are really important and there’s even certain formulas that influencers swear by. Use up to 30 hashtags that are relevant to you, your brand or your audience. Make sure they are a mixture of small and largely followed hashtags so you hit different audiences and get a chance of being seen.
- The post with the most likes in 2020 was of course the football legend Cristiano Ronaldo’s photo of him and Maradona who recently passed away. That got 19.8million likes
- The top 5 most followed accounts in 2020 were Cristiano Ronaldo, Ariana Grande, Dwayne Johnson, Kylie Jenner and Selena Gomez – perhaps the ‘behind the scenes’ nature of stories on this platform helps people feel connected to the celebs they most admire.
- Explore the full range of Instagram video formats – these range from simple video stories, to ‘reels’ that are a new and wonderful collection of short video snaps all put together to form an interaction video with music and such like. Live videos are widely used by brands where you can join in real time.
- Use Instagram video subtitles – did you know most people watch videos on silent? Ensure you are utilising captions as well as sound to make sure your voice is seen and heard.
- You can embrace Instagram AR filters – we may have our off days and not feel up to an Instagram video, so you can consider using AR filters that freshen up the look without lifting a finger? They are widely used and very handy for something fun! However be authentic and don’t make yourself look like something you are not.
- In 2020, people spent 53 minutes per day on average logging onto this platform (Facebook is close at 58 minutes per day)
- Give Gifs a chance – they are short, snappy, get the point across and bring a smile to people’s faces. Go on, give it a try!
- Use Instagram insights – the insights are there for you to use in order to help you find out what is working and what isn’t, who your audience is, where they are from and when they are connecting with. This is all perfect when creating content.
- Influencers in 2020 – 91% of luxury brands work with influencers on Instagram, it’s a seriously powerful platform for brands to utilise in the form of collaborations
- Host an Instagram contest – you will have seen a few competitions across Instagram for freebies and these are fab. Why? They allow a different chance for collaboration which can help you reach new audiences and encouragespeople to share your brand far and wide in return for a chance to win.
- Convert Instagram followers into email subscribers – get a freebie like a download out there and grow your email list, a fantastic asset to have in your marketing bank.
- Add a link to your bio – this can be a direct website link or it can be a ‘linktree’ URL – is a clever 3rd party app that allows you to put in more than one link to direct website traffic. You can share links in posts so this is your only opportunity to direct people where you want them to go through links.
- Use emojis effectively – these break up large blocks of text and also catch your audience’s eye.
- Promote your Instagram channel on other social accounts, if you’re creating great content, encourage people to come follow you here too, that way you’ll have even more chance of catching their attention and allows cross promotion.
- Add CTAs, everywhere, these are a ‘call to action’. These are so important as it gives your content a purpose or reason. You are asking your audience to take action – whether it is to buy a product, head to a website or answer a question.
- Track and learn from your best-performing Instagram content – if you find something is working particularly well for you, then take it further, recycle that content or create some more posts or stories which follow the same theme or format – give your people what they want!
This platform may seem complex and a bit scary, but when you start to understand the algorithm and what content works, you are in for a chance of real brand awareness and success.
Be present, show up, do your homework and think about your audience – are you inspiring them, educating them, informing them or entertaining them? Having a reason behind your post is important when it comes to using Instagram for businesses.
Why not look into creating a marketing strategy using more than one of the channels we’ve covered so far this month? This will help you to be intentional and tap into your target audience. As for Instagram, if you keep up to date with changes and new features, and embrace the platform’s fun side, you will be hooked!
Want to know more? Why not book a power hour with me or one of my team for £99 plus VAT? Email firstname.lastname@example.org