With over a billion monthly active users, Instagram is a must-have marketing tool for small companies if they know how to utilize it. As the photo-sharing platform expands, so does its impact on consumers’ purchasing patterns. It is no longer merely a way to brag about your pet or favorite dish, but also for attracting new consumers.
If you are a business owner, it is apparent that you spend a big chunk of your time coming up with social media marketing ideas. And it’s not without cause. In the last 5 years, social media users have doubled.
Instagram proves to be an excellent platform to expand their business without having to break the bank. The social media platform gives businesses a way to communicate with their customers and even sell their products online. This is why a lot of small businesses have started using this platform for promotion.
If a business understands the audience and is able to successfully reach them, it will start noticing the upward trend almost instantly. After understanding the audience comes the content. However, hitting that mix between creativity and strategy may be challenging, especially if you’re new to Instagram marketing.
How to Build a Winning Instagram Marketing Strategy?
While social media is usually considered a tool for millennials to stay in touch, it has gradually transcended into something bigger than just connecting two friends. Today, to beat your competitor, you need a solid social media marketing strategy. Want to know how to build an Instagram Strategy that Wins? Here you go.
1. Set Up STAR Goals
The acronym stands for:
While most business owners today understand that they need to build social media presence, do they know why they need it? So, do you know the answer to this. To build an effective Instagram marketing strategy, you need to be clear about what you want to achieve.
The STAR is a way to help you understand your goals and achieve them. This way, you know exactly the goals you are setting and how much time you need to be able to achieve them. Like every project has a deadline, you need to set the same up for your goals too. To help you understand this better, consider you are working on increasing likes on your post. Using STAR, set up a goal like increase 10% likes on your Insta posts in the next 45 days.
This ticks all the boxes since you can tell if you’ve met your objective immediately. You may assess your engagement rate after two months to see if you achieved your target.
And of course, your goals or objectives must be attainable. To put things into perspective, you should set up tangible goals that are challenging but not leaning towards impossibility. Just like the goal we set up right now, we can’t accept a 10% hike in likes in a week. Keep in mind what the bigger picture is. You want your social media to help build brand awareness and trust.
2. Hashtag With Open Eyes
Do you know the most trivial part of the business on Instagram? Reaching your desired audience! No matter how good quality posts you share or the amazing service you provide, if your voice isn’t heard by the right people, your business won’t grow. For this purpose, you need to identify the right keywords or Instagram hashtags and use them effectively.
If your target market is young entrepreneurs, for instance, you should consider what kind of material they respond to the most.
You might create content on start-ups and challenges in entrepreneurship, or about marketing and branding. All of these subjects should assist you in developing topic buckets that will affect the hashtags you use for each individual post. It’s also vital not to use generic hashtags while selecting hashtags.
When you use a generic hashtag, you risk your message getting lost in the shuffle. Instead, look for hashtags that are more concise and specific to your target demographic. #youngpreneur #startupeducation are specialized hashtags that appeal more to a young entrepreneur and are more likely to reach your target demographic.
You might also use a hashtag relating to a community, such as #6amsuccess, which is an Instagram community to uplift entrepreneurs and inspire individuals.
3. Originality Sells
When people see your Instagram captions, they can’t help but be drawn in by the allure of fresh material. There are thousands of Instagram accounts like yours, so you need to stand out.
Make sure you have a distinct perspective or angle that your audience will enjoy. You don’t want to be known as someone who just tells you what’s going on in their lives without offering any value or making any effort. People may easily find the person they relate to thanks to Instagram’s infinite followers. However, if you want your message to be seen, stand out from the crowd and give readers something to remember.
4. Peeping Isn’t So Bad!
No, we are not asking you to sit with your binoculars and spy on your neighbors. No matter how fun that sounds, we do not advertise any such practices. What we mean is for you to peep into your competitor’s Instagram and see what they are doing.
You don’t have to pretend their Instagram profiles don’t exist just because they’re your competition. In fact, in terms of inspiration and analysis, your competitor’s social media profiles may frequently be excellent learning tools for your own firm. What aspects of your competitor’s profile do you appreciate and thank you might include in your own? Do they have a larger number of followers than you? Do they look to be more involved? If that’s the case, what are they doing that you’re not? Take a peek at their list of followers for a fast glimpse at their demographics if you have access to their followers. Is there a market that you haven’t yet considered?
5. Engage and Maximize Your Reach
To start with, your goal is to improve brand goodwill and grow brand awareness, right? So, your efforts should align with these goals. And how can you do that? It is simple, engage!
What is social media without engagement? The only way to organically grow your social media is to engage. It will maximize your reach and help you take your business to another level. Use the hit and trial method. That means, trying different ways to engage. See what is working and what is not. Rethink and strategize if something is not going by your plan.
The purpose of social media is to connect people. That is exactly what you need to do. Have discussions with other users. Comment on their posts. Create content that invigorates conversations. If a user is commenting on your post, reply to them. Build relations! For a small business that is building its Instagram from the ground up, this is something you need to do. Talk to everyone.
The good thing about Instagram is that it is free. That means you are able to promote your business without spending a dime. The only fix is that you need to find that right mix that will help your account to grow and reach your audience. Although, Instagram does offer ways to promote your brand via sponsorship too. You can choose that if you don’t have much budget constraints.
6. Dig Out the Best Influencers for Your Brand
Influencers do precisely what their name implies: they use their social media following to attract business and increase sales. The appropriate influencer understands the ins and outs of Instagram, which is why businesses pay them to make their products appear nice.
There are several websites that may assist companies in connecting with influencers, or you can start by conducting your own research to locate people who are eager to promote your brand in return for your products, services, or cash.
Micro-influencers are a new trend for tiny enterprises. These users have smaller audiences, but the information they provide is tailored to the specific demands (and finances) of smaller businesses. Influencers are used by at least a quarter of small firms in the United States as part of their digital marketing strategy.
7. Don’t Shy Away From Experimentation
Nobody ever gets it properly on the first try. There are a plethora of methods to make social media work for you; the key is to figure out what works best for your customers. The only way to know for certain is to begin. Experiment with a variety of options! Every small business’s social media plan should incorporate a fair dose of A/B testing. For instance, do a photo dump. See if it works for your brand or not.
Experiment with alternative techniques and content kinds for additional platforms. To the same audience, show two distinct adverts. Then take a look back to see which method succeeded best and drew the most attention. Use the free analytics tools that are built into each social media network. This is a simple method to see your conversion and engagement statistics.
Create more of the same style of content once you’ve figured out what works best for your company. However, try to be inventive and keep it new. Don’t let your need to be flawless limit you from trying. Perfectionism, we like to say, is procrastination in high heels. It’s fine to pick up a few tips along the way as long as you get started.
Wrapping It Up
Let your light shine and remind your followers why you do what you do by being yourself. Instagram is a small piece of the pie, but it’s a significant one. Your followers might convert into leads, which could turn into sales, money, and ultimately profits if you have a well-developed social media marketing strategy. It takes time to master the possibilities of any social networking tool, so keep these pointers in mind while you’re getting started.
This article is written by Pamala Brown who works as an editor at SHE In Charge. She has been writing about business and marketing for quite some time now. Keeping up with marketing trends, algorithm updates, and growing her knowledge in an evolving industry is a dream come true.