With a successful Instagram comes great marketing. When you’re just starting out as an online business, brand, or influencer, learning how to market on Instagram can be a bit of an uphill task – but here at Kenji, we’ve got more than few tips and tricks to help you out.
With more than eight million Instagram business accounts, brands are going to need that extra oomph on their profile to stand out from the (ever-enlarging) crowd.
While there has been a myriad of different Instagram marketing methods profiles have experimented with over the years, below are some of the most effective, tried-and-tested ways of gaining new audience attention.
1. Optimize your profile
First things first: if you’re looking to draw new eyes to your profile, you’ve got to have a memorable one.
Every Instagram profile gives users a chance to introduce themselves and their brand through a bio. Take advantage of this, making use of the 150 character limit to impress your audience off the bat.
Try to describe your brand in a short, yet compelling manner – while stating what your profile can offer followers.
For example, NASA’s Instagram bio gives a brief, yet, memorable description of the type of content their account provides, catering to fans of space science:
You can also tag other accounts, and provide a link to your website or a separate social media channel. Influencers often use the popular Instagram marketing method of tagging (and thus, directing their audiences) to their other Instagram business accounts, as well as linking to their online store.
Youtuber Phillip DeFranco does just this, spotlighting his other Instagram accounts dedicated to his online magazine (Rogue Rocket) and hair product line. At the same time, he adds a simple link to his online merchandise store.
Having an Instagram business profile
Of course, be sure to have your profile switched to a business account, so you can access your profile analytics, Instagram Ads, and Instagram Shopping.
Having a business account also enables you to provide an e-mail address for easy consumer contact.
To convert your personal account into a business profile, simply access your account settings, and then select “Switch to Business Profile”, following the prompts from there.
2. Post regularly
Relevancy can play an important factor in your Instagram marketing strategy.
To get your products or services in the eyes of more potential customers, it’s imperative to stay visible on the platform. This means posting quality content on the regular, both on your feed and Stories.
According to the Instagram marketing service, SocialBuddy, research shows that Instagrammers should consider posting one to three times a day.
Higher-profile brands tend to post around 1.5 times a day.
While different strategies work for different accounts and niches, these numbers may be a good starting point.
Users are recommended to stick to a schedule that they can realistically maintain, to ensure consistent posting.
Using your business analytics, you can also determine the best times per day to post your content. This can help you achieve the highest engagement potential for each post, which can then increase your chances of ending up on the Explore page.
3. Establish your connections
Being a social networking platform, reaching out to others in your industry is an essential ingredient in anyone’s Instagram marketing strategy.
Partner up with other brands and influencers in your field, for a chance to not only build new, valuable business relationships – but also to potentially gain reach among their audiences.
This is particularly helpful when collaborating with users who have larger followings, thus exposing your content to a wide, untapped market of potential new followers and customers.
For example, fashion and beauty photography Brandon Lundby frequently works with large-scale Instagrammers and celebrities such as Jeffree Starr, Kylie Jenner, and James Charles.
Though Lundby’s Instagram holds a lower follower count than those of his subjects, his content continues to gain thousands of hits; due to both being of quality and partnered with users with millions of followers. The higher-profile his photo subject is the higher his engagement on the upload.
Followers of well-established figures on Instagram are likely to trust other featured accounts on their profile, therefore leading to a boost in reach and engagement for these users.
Frequently commenting or liking others’ content within your niche is also an incredibly easy Instagram marketing strategy that helps increase your profile visibility.
Showing your appreciation for others’ work can not only make their day – they may also feel inclined to give your feed a look, too.
4. Host contests
Contests are both a strategic and entertainment tactic in Instagram marketing; designed to engage followers while getting word of your brand out there. They’re also a great way of encouraging user-generated content that you can feature onto your own profile, helping your followers feel valued, and thus – increasing that authentic and trustworthy connection among customers.
One popular type of Instagram contest is a giveaway, where viewers are encouraged to follow your profile and tag friends in a comment to participate.
This not only builds your follower count, but it also generates higher engagement on your post. Higher engagement can thus make it more likely to appear on the Explore page.
You can also spur user-generated content by creating a competition requiring viewers to upload posts with a hashtag specific to your brand.
Not only will this provide you with content to share on your feed or Stories, but the expansive use of your branded tag can help your profile gain traction among the community.
For example, D Magazine once held a contest encouraging users to post pictures of how they were dealing with the “Dallas heat”, using the “#staycooldallas” hashtag to participate in the competition.
The contest generated over a hundred entries and competitors were incentivized with a $200 award to Harwood Grove.
5. Use Instagram ads
What better way to boost your Instagram marketing – than through the platform’s ads feature?
Studies show that 75% of users take action on Instagram ads, thus making them an ideal solution for anyone looking to gain product or service exposure.
Getting started with Instagram ads is easy – users can quickly create one through the app itself, or via Facebook.
Creating Ads For Instagram
If you’ve got your Instagram account hooked up to Facebook, simply enter your “Ads Center” page, select “Promote” on the left-hand navigation panel and hit “Boost an Instagram Post” to start making your ad.
You’ll then be taken to series of steps where you’re asked to determine your marketing objectives, ad type, audience, and budget.
By default, Facebook will automatically place your ads on both Instagram and Facebook where they see fit; however, users are also given the option to edit where they appear.
On Instagram, creating an ad starts with hitting the blue “Promote” button under your post.
Like Facebook, you’ll then be taken through a four-step process where you get to choose your call-to-action, target audience, and budget for the ad.
Ad costs will vary depending on your settings. The higher you spend – the higher your reach will be.
Once you start running your ad, Instagram (and Facebook) will feed your promoted posts on the feeds of potential followers and customers.
As long as you’ve got a captivating enough photo/video and caption, you’re bound to gain more consumers (and build a greater audience!) in no time.
Now that we’ve run through the basics of how to market on Instagram, let’s dive into the essentials of how to affiliate market on Instagram.
How to affiliate market on Instagram
1. Join An Affiliate Program
One of the easiest ways to affiliate market on Instagram is to join an affiliate network.
These are programs that enable you to partner up with brands and companies as an “affiliate”, allowing you to sell their products and drive new customers on their behalf. In return, you earn a commission from your sales.
Affiliate programs are a convenient go-to for influencers, as they generally handle your tracking, reporting, and payment for you. These programs also provide an easy sign-up process for anyone who wishes to become a part of a company’s affiliate network.
How to market your business on Instagram through an affiliate program
Popular affiliate programs that provide such services include ShareASale, Rakuten, and Amazon Affiliates.
Once approved into their network, you gain access to product links that you can then share among your Instagram content.
Typically, when audiences purchase your promoted product through your link, you get to earn a share of the sale.
When posting about an affiliate product, users are recommended to remain genuine in their efforts.
As with general Instagram marketing rules – keep your photo, video, or Story attractive and appealing to audiences; showcasing the benefits of your product without blatantly trying to push a sale.
Viewers will be more inclined to view your affiliate link when they’re given a legitimate reason to – rather than having a cold sales pitch shoved onto their feeds.
2. Optimize your affiliate links
While your bio link may be the first, obvious go-to for displaying an affiliate link, it may not be the most efficient – unless you’re affiliate marketing a single product for months at a time.
Instead, it’s best to create a one-stop-shop for all your affiliate links on Instagram. This is doable through a number of apps, some of which allow you to recreate your Instagram feed on their platform, adding the extra feature of making your product photos “shoppable”.
Apps that Create a “shoppable” Instagram feed
This is the case with Curalate’s Like2Buy service, allowing users to construct a clickable gallery of their Instagram products (affiliate or otherwise).
Viewers can then click on whatever goods catch their eye, instantly taking them to the designated product page to complete their purchase.
Other apps like Bio.fm allow users to create a profile for all their social media links, including any affiliate links or coupon codes.
By having a separate source such as these, users can simply leave one permanent link in their bio – directing followers to their entire catalog of affiliate products.
This, therefore, removes the need to constantly change your bio link, or have audiences copy and paste unclickable affiliate links from your post captions.
3. Ensure your affiliate products fit your content
As mentioned, affiliate marketing on Instagram should remain a genuine task – and nothing screams ingenuity more than promoting services or products completely unrelated (or even opposed) to your original content.
Audiences are more likely to trust affiliate marketing posts that align with your business and its goals. Promoting products or services from a niche you’re already passionate about comes off far more convincing than one posted out of the left field.
For example, influencer Mariah Land has a feed dedicated to much of her international traveling, fashion, and athletic ventures. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that she’d be repping brands like DRY Zero Sugar and MyFabletics in much of her posts.
Affiliate marketing on Instagram gone wrong
Of course, when signing brand deals with other companies, it pays to actually write well-thought-out captions dedicated to your product or service.
Tailoring the description (to authentically share your thoughts on the product) can help you avoid embarrassing slip-ups, such as Scott Disick’s infamous post on BooTea’s protein shakes.
Needless to say, failing to remove the brand-given template caused much uproar among audiences, solidifying the incident as a now-classic Instagram meme.
Got all the Instagram marketing tools you need?
With enough patience and persistence, growing an audience on Instagram can be as easy as simply uploading quality photos on the regular.
However, these marketing tools and strategies are sure to boost the growth process, gaining your business far more visibility among the community in a shorter span of time.
Start building that large, loyal following you deserve – and use these methods to master the art of Instagram marketing today.
In fact, you may even benefit from using a marketing service like Kenji.
This app is an auto-liking software powered by artificial intelligence. It helps you gain exposure among potential audiences in your niche.
Using specified hashtags and locations, as well as competitor audiences, Kenji gets to work on liking relevant content, increasing your profile discoverability among others of similar interests.
If you’re looking to boost your marketing in a few simple clicks, get on board with Kenji – new users can opt for a free 3-day trial, no credit card required.
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