Internet Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Social Media Marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram

By Yuv Malik on November 8, 2019

The views included in this article are entirely the work and thoughts of the author, and may not always reflect the views and opinions of Regex SEO.

Starting up a company is really hard, especially when it comes to marketing. Thankfully Social Media is literally the best free marketing tool that anybody can possibly use, it can boost your traffic and sales by an insane amount if you use it properly, so here are a few steps to creating an amazing Social Media account, that gets loads of valuable interaction, followers as well as sales, straight from Instagram.

1. Interact with your audience

The best way to keep your audience interested in your posts is to continuously interact with them by liking their posts or replying to their comments, it’s a fantastic way to keep your audience happy with your page. Remember, this is also the best way to convert your social media followers to customers. It’s a way to show your audience that you are not a pushy company, but a real, interactive company that’s invested in what customers have to say. To really boost your reputation with your audience, I always like to get a few logo themes (for different significant dates, such as Christmas), from Logodate. Updated logos and seasonal changes can show people that you regularly engage and update, which is a great signal for potentially interested customers and clients.

2. Comment on peoples posts, even if they aren’t your followers

This is literally a hack that can draw in so many followers. All you have to do is go to a hashtag related to your business, something like #startup would be great, then browse recent posts and engage. Find people talking about things relevant to your business and interests and join the conversation. The amount of interaction you will get from this is unbelievable, as well as followers. If you want to be seen as an expert in your market, comment valuable comments, that get likes and engagement. Do this around 50 times a week, and you will get loads of active followers.

3. Use hashtags

Hashtags are amazing, they are the key to social media hierarchy. You should take some time to create a list of amazing hashtags that relate to you and your business. For example, a web design company would benefit from something straightforward like #webdesign.

Hashtags are a great way to reach your ideal audience for a number of reasons. They cost basically nothing, maybe 30 minutes of your time, and they let you segment your audience by people that are already interested in the related hashtag. They’re also a vital part of social media posts because that’s how posts are sorted in certain search features.

4. Be creative

It’s important to make sure your brand has its own style, setting it apart from what people can find elsewhere. Attracting customers, particularly in a competitive market, requires a degree of creative thinking. Sometimes posts work to incorporate the like button into the final lines of the post with some stylish design work. You could also bring in interesting photos or infographics to engage readers with bite-sized, appealing information.

Creativity is vital not only because it’s one of the core means for attracting customers, but it also helps your business stand out in a completely flooded market. Instagram has incredible potential, but most businesses realize that. Standing apart from the competition, then, becomes absolutely necessary.

5. Be consistent with your posts.

For many, it seems that engagement is positively linked with the sheer volume of posts. I disagree. As the old adage goes, the real ticket is quality. Producing quality content at a regular pace will keep followers entertained while also building a steady backlog of content for people to return to.

It will also be significantly more successful than posting 20 times a day with terrible content. The risk there is that it may not only fail to attract followers, it could also negatively impact a business’s reputation. For those that struggle with creating content regularly, remember that it’s not necessary for everything you post to be immediate. What I mean is that you can store up content to post in the future as long as it’s evergreen and not time sensitive. That way you’ll have posts even on days where there’s not much going on.

5. Link up with influencers

Building bridges is an absolutely vital part of starting a business. Why not try it on Instagram, too? Reach out to an influencer or link to their page, and they will likely appreciate the collaboration. They may even share your account or follow you back. You could reach out to one influencer with a larger following that might share you audience, or you could try reaching out to several smaller influencers.

Keep in mind, however, that most influencers these days aren’t in it just for the exposure. They’re essentially running small personal businesses, and most are interested in compensation for access to their audience.

6. Use IGTV

IGTV is one of the best ways to get more views on Instagram. Videos almost always work better than stills, but due to Instagram’s new algorithms, posting IGTV videos regularly will require a decent amount of updates and work. The tradeoff is that these types of posts tend to work better than normal videos or posts, so here’s a formula to use for IGTV posts:

STEP 1: Post 10 different kinds of IGTV videos on your account. 

If you’ve posted a lot already, you might be able to skip this step. But if you haven’t posted very much, it’s a good idea to start here because it’s a key source of data. So find 10 videos from YouTube, Instagram, or other platforms and try your hand at it. Make your own video in the same formats that are popular at the time. Getting comfortable with this will allow you to optimize your own videos before posting them!

STEP 2: Find out which of your IGTV videos performs the best. 

IGTV videos are also one of the easiest content types to get on the explore page. If there’s a lot of engagement with the post, even without a ton of followers, your video can make it to the explore page. With an eye-catching video and placement on the explore page, the average amount of people that view or interact with your video will go up.

7. Use this comment formula on all your posts

Comment + Question + CTA (Call to Action) = THE. PERFECT. CAPTION.

Don’t forget to use what we’ve told you before: use emojis and hashtags, and your comment should include more hashtags as well

Example:

  1. Comment – “I’m getting ready for rainy days with these new boots!”
  2. Question – “Do you love rain boots as much as I do?”
  3. Call to Action – “Comment below if you want them!” 

What exactly is a comment? 

Technically speaking, a comment can be anything really, and you should use one to start your captions. Remember that you’re in a social network, so be social! Be conversational, keep a consistent tone (this depends on your strategy, of course), and use quotes when they are relevant.

Example: 

  • “BRAND’S NAME is launching the new fall collection in 7 days.” 
  • “This is my new giveaway item!”
  • “My birthday is on June 18th.” 
  • “The sky’s the limit.” 

Once you write the comment, finish it with a creative emoji (that makes sense) with your post or comment. The best comments are usually short and straight to the point. 

What exactly is a question? 

Questions are not hard either, you just have to get used to asking them. They are used to let your audience know that you care about them and that you’re interested in knowing about their lives as well. By asking questions, you can strengthen the bond between you and your followers! If you’re a brand, the basics are the same: ask your audience whether they like your products or not, what they think about your posts and your offers. There’s always a ton of info you can ask for.

Instagram’s algorithm works on a daily basis when it comes to hashtags and daily trends, such as holidays, days of the week, or cultural events, to mention a few; don’t forget to use that in your favor when you are writing those crushing captions of yours!

Example:

  • “Do you prefer rainy days or sunny days?”
  • “What’s your favorite place in the world?”
  • “What’s your favorite song?”
  • “Have you ever played Assassin’s Creed?
  • “What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to personal budgets?”
  • “What’s your favorite season? Mine is winter!” (Yes, you can answer your own questions from time to time.)

What exactly is a call to action? 

A call to action basically tells people what you expect them to do. Yes, it sounds useless, but how will your followers know what to do unless you tell them first? When you encourage them to reply or to do something with your content, to interact with it, you’ll get the engagement you’re looking for. You always need to include a call to action and make it specific. It can refer to your question or to the post as a whole, and you should always tell people to reply in the comments.

Example: 

  • “Answer yes or no in the comments” 
  • “Comment below”
  • “Tag your three best friends”
  • “Tell me why you should win in the comments”
  • “DM me if you want this special offer”

8. Create a plan

It might sound weird, but the best social media campaigns are planned. Here what you need to include:

  • A rough scheme of how often you are going to post on your story and on your feed
  • A plan of your hashtags
  • What style your posts are going to be
  • What giveaways you are going to have
  • What is your audience is going to be
  • How are you going to reach them
  • What hobbies you audience have
  • What creative measures are you going to take?
  • What time is your audience most active?
  • How are you going to measure your results

9. Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit of money on marketing

It won’t always work out, but it is a fantastic way to learn what posts and tactics work, and what doesn’t. This is a fantastic way to increase your followers, your engagement, and your plan in a matter of hours. It’s perfectly easy to use and reach your audience, so at least once I would recommend using an Instagram marketing tool to get a feel of your market. You may also want to try reaching out to influencers, for shoutouts, in your specific niche. Afterwards, you can compare which had the largest ROI and then continue advertising with your preferred version.

How to monetize your Instagram

When you start Instagram, it’s not easy to monetize at first due to a lack of followers. For those operating a business, there are a few tips that might help convert current customers into followers:

Try running a giveaway.

It doesn’t have to be a huge giveaway. Something as small as a coupon could be enough to generate some interest. By spreading the word, it’s possible to generate a good amount of leads, followers, and potential clients. By setting up a discount, either through a coupon or some other type of giveaway, it’s also possible to gauge interest in your business or product.

Once there’s interest, campaigns can be tailored to the data you collect. If a certain product sells better than others, consider showing off more products from that line or that pair well. If everything is about even, consider a general discount that you advertise for a brief period of time. As a tool for building out sales tactics and for learning about your audience’s interest, giveaways are more than just an exposure tool.

Once again, be creative.

Instagram has a lot of potential as a tool for marketing and research. Of course, it’s important to remember that as a social media program, Instagram also exposes your company to the public eye. While that’s great for generating new interest or potential leads, it means the company is now more heavily scrutinized, even by people that might not have been part of your intended audience.

The key lesson is that flexibility will take you far with Instagram. Try combinations of giveaways, video posts, stories, and standard posts. Interact with your own audience and the audiences of the people you’d like to be associated with. If one idea doesn’t work, change it a little each time you test it out until it does work.

Give these ideas a try, and then innovate on your own!

Yuv Malik
CEO and CMO at Gradient Designs

Write a Comment