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10 Actionable Instagram Marketing Tips (That Work Like A Charm)




Instagram is no longer an option.

It’s a necessity.

As a business owner, having an online presence is key to finding new customers, maintaining relevancy and creating an impactful brand. 

Experts are betting that Instagram will have one billion monthly active users by the end of 2018. With over 95 million pictures and videos posted per day to the platform, finding a way to be heard above the noise is going to be a key element to your company’s Instagram success.

Use these 10 actionable Instagram marketing tips to increase your engagement, followers and sales.

Tip Number 1: Make Your Profile Easy To Understand

Surprisingly, this is where most brands go wrong. Instagram users are fast paced and hungry. They don’t want to scroll around your profile to figure out who you are and what you do. You want them to know what your brand is and what value you have to offer them within seconds. This is done by creating a simple but effective biography. You biography should answer two questions: 
1. Who am I/are we? 2. What do I do/we do? Let’s look at travel influencer, @WheresMollie’s profile. @WheresMollie on Instagram Her bio follows these parameters and immediately upon visiting her profile, you know who she is and what she does. 1. Who is she? A professional adventure seeker 2. What does she do? Create content Another example is Upwork, the freelance platform. Upwork Their biography immediately tells you what Upwork is and what the company does. 1. Who is Upwork? The world’s largest freelance website 2. What does Upwork do? They connect businesses with talented freelancers By showing users who you are and what you do, you have the highest chance of convincing your target audience to follow you.

Tip Number Two: Don’t Sell, Talk

An expert marketing secret is to stop selling to your customers. People don’t want to open the door to a salesman, they want to open the door and see their good friend. How can your content sell your product in the same words a friend would use to recommend it? Successful Shopify store Luxy Hair uses their Instagram to sell their product, high end hair extensions. Instagram Profile Notice how their caption isn’t solely focused on selling the product, but providing a recommendation at the same time. They could have said, “Get the Ombre Chestnut and Ombre Blonde @LuxyHair extensions to recreate this look.” Instead, they created a value point that would be shared amongst friends. Imagine your content as a conversation between you and your customer. Your customer, “I love how your hair looks today!” You: “Thanks! I mixed my Ombre Chestnut and Ombre Blonde hair extensions. I got them from Luxy Hair!” To create this conversation within your content, ask yourself: 1. What is the value of our product? For LuxyHair, this is in giving people better hair. Their content shows how much better someone’s hair can look with their extensions. 2. How do we highlight this in conversational captions? LuxyHair imagined a conversation that two friends would have and then created a caption from it.

Tip Number Three: Don’t Wait For People To Come To You, Come To Them

95 million pictures and videos posted per day means that there is a lot of noise to overcome in order for your brand to be seen in the Instagram world. How can you hack your way in front of more followers? By putting your business in front of your target audience. If you are a travel company, you want to leverage travel influencers to promote your brand. Why travel influencers? Travel influencers have already accumulated the audience you want. This is the same technique corporations like Home Depot have used to scale their company. If you watch HGTV, you’ll see several Home Depot ads. Why are they advertising on HGTV? The HGTV audience is hands on and interested in home renovations Where is a great place to get the supplies for home renovations? Home Depot. Jackson Groves on Instagram Kayak used the same technique but took their dollars to Instagram. They collaborated with travel influencer @LostLeBlanc to promote their Kayak Travel Hacker tool. 1. Who is LostLeBlanc’s audience? Travelers 2. Who is Kayak’s audience? Travelers The same technique can be used to increase the engagement or following of an account, as we’ll see below.

Tip Number Four: Leverage Giveaways To Increase Engagement, Following and Brand Presence

Giveaways use the same strategy that marketers use to promote new products but instead focus their call to actions on following certain accounts. In return for users following an account, they’ll have the chance to be entered into a giveaway to win a product or service. Instagram profile give away The key to a successful give away is in being clear about the rules and value point. Your giveaway post should be simple and to the point, answering these two questions: 1. What does a user receive? 2. What do they have to do to receive it? Let’s take a look at the giveaway above. 1. What does a user receive? A five night stay in a Bali resort 2. What do they have to do to receive it? Follow all the accounts @fantastictravelgifts follows To boost the power of your giveaway, increase the chances of a user winning by giving them extra entries in return for following the company’s other social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts.

Tip Number Five: Have Your Customers Market For You

Research shows that people take the recommendation from even strangers quite seriously. You can see this marketing technique being used on Google ads and Yelp. Advertisers use the power of stars and testimonials to power their advertisements. How can you bring this power into your Instagram content? By showing happy customers. Take a look at the The Five Minute Journal’s post. They focused on one customer and how much their product helped her. Paired with a relatable, Instagram friendly picture this post is also a great example of tip number two, selling without selling.

Tip Number Six: Repost Customer Content

This strategy is used for two reasons: Instagram story -  swipe up 1. It helps promote your product as a valuable tool. The Five Minute Journal reposting @ErikaGrowRich’s photo is a prime example of tip number five, creating content based on referrals. 2. It gives incentive for customers to market for you. By reposting Erika’s post regarding the benefits of The Five Minute Journal, it encourages viewers to create their own post. Posted content can be tracked by using a specific hashtag, in this case #fiveminutejournal. Not only did Erika promote The Five Minute Journal, at no cost to the advertisement budget, but she was able to start a conversation as to how the journal could help others.

Tip Number Seven: Give Out Discount Codes And Special Offers On Your Stories

The key to a successful Instagram account is in creating valuable content. How do you ensure viewers want to stay following you and paying attention to the content you create? You motivate them. This motivation comes in the form of discount codes and special offers, available not in the post themselves. Utilizing the story’s feature of your account you can promote special discounts to people who watch your stories. You can also highlight sales happening, exclusively to those that watch the story. This motivates users to watch stories which in turn tells Instagram to prioritize them on that user’s feed. The more people interested in an account, the higher it’s boosted by the Instagram algorithm. The fashion boutique, Kittenish, uses this strategy to promote sales. Instead of creating a post to share the sale item, they created a story with the swipe up feature. Viewers are only made aware of the offer through the story, encouraging them to continue watching stories for future deals.

Tip Number Eight: Focus On Your Call To Action

As with every marketing strategy, there is only one place to start. What is the end goal? Do you want to increase sales, drive web traffic, grow your following, etc.? Figuring out your over arching marketing goal is essential to determining how you create your content. What does your content promote and how can you create that into a concise sentence with an external link? This concise sentence is called a call to action. It’s the action you want users to take when they see your content. Let’s look at an example. Peter Mckinnon is a photographer and film maker. His Instagram showcases his photography skills and is used to promote his Youtube channel. His call to action is for users to click on the external link and watch his Youtube video. This is clearly written, in a concise sentence that is one of the first pieces of information a user receives upon visiting his profile. Instagram Followers Statistic This call to action not only supports his biography, as we discussed in tip number one, but he’s also not asking anybody to purchase anything. Mckinnon sells Adobe Lightroom Presets, filters that users can apply to their pictures to create edits similar to his. Instead of selling the presets in his biography, he went with a stronger call to action and asked people to watch a video. Within that video, chances are you’ll find several call to actions for viewers to take. As Gary Vee says, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook! This is translated to Give, Give, Give, Ask. If your call to action is for users to visit your website and purchase a product, you may not see the results you are looking for. Instagram Followers Statistic Ask yourself, What can I give in return for somebody’s click? For example, Luxy Hair might link to a video on their Youtube channel for the video, “How To Get The Perfect Curl”. Instead of selling their product in their bio, they’ll promote the product in the Youtube video.

Tip Number Nine: Post At The Right Time For Your Audience

Instagram analytics continue to expand with each update. At this point, account users can view major details into the demographic of their users. This includes location, age and gender. It also gives business accounts information regarding user engagement. Instagram collects data and will tell you when the best day and time to post content in order to receive optimal engagement. The backend looks likes this: Above you can see when the best day to post is for an audience. For this particular account, Thursday is the best day to post, with Monday and Wednesday tying for second. By switching the analytics to “Hours” in the top right corner, business accounts can see what time of day is best for them to post. Depending on the location of your audience, the time of day can be totally different than the timezone of the social media manager. 80% of Instagram users are outside of the USA, which means that the majority of users want to see posts outside of the Pacific to Eastern time clock. Posting at optimal times ensures the highest engagement and in turn tells Instagram that users are enjoying your content and they should promote it further.

Tip Number Ten: Always Answer Your Customers

Interact with customers on Instagram Social media has created a new transparency between user and business and people expect to be able to reach out to a company’s social profile and have their question answered. Consider your Instagram account as a customer service line, directly between your potential and current customers. If they comment, you answer. If they direct message, you answer. Kayla Itsines, a popular personal trainer who gained most of her traction on Instagram, uses this strategy to market her app, Sweat. When users comment questions on Kayla’s personal profile, the Sweat profile will answer for her. This makes sure that potential customers are receiving the answers to the questions that are holding them back from purchasing the Sweat app. This helps motivate users to become customers and to build a pivotal relationship between consumer and business.