25.02 2018 14:30h
25.02 2018 14:30h

5 Instagram Marketing Tips All Brands Need To Know In 2018

Because it's not enough to just upload a picture, throw on a filter, add a caption and hashtag anymore...
by @Laura Andrea Kell

Marketing your brand on Instagram is harder than ever before.

Not only are marketers competing with other brands and influencers for users’ engagement, they now need to keep up with an ever-changing platform.

In the past year, Instagram has updated the app with new features and refined some old favorites. This means that new Instagram marketing strategies need to be put into place and brands need to approach the photo-sharing platform with a different mindset.

Gone are the days of simply uploading an image, choosing a filter, adding a caption and tagging a hashtag. Now marketers need to concern themselves with everything from crafting a perfect bio to posting relevant Instagram Stories.

Here are the top five most important Instagram marketing tips all brands need to know in 2018.

Make The Most of Your Bio

When it comes to your Instagram bio first impressions count.

According to researchers, it takes less than two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to form an impression of a social media account. This means an Instagram marketing strategy should include a carefully-crafted bio to help consumers easily understand what your brand is selling.

Be sure to incorporate industry and niche market keywords to help draw in potential customers. Remember to showcase what products/services your brand is offering, along with a strong call to action (that may involve directing followers to click on the link in your bio).

Overall, don’t overlook the power of your brand’s Instagram bio. After all, It’s the first thing consumers will see when they pay a visit to your brand’s Instagram account.

Don’t Forget About Instagram Stories and Highlights

Instagram Stories aren’t just for influencers. They’re an excellent way for brands to share new products, behind-the-scenes sneak peaks and discount codes with their followers.

Social Media Today reports that Instagram Stories has grown at a rapid pace this past year, doubling its audience from 150 million daily users in January 2017 to 300 million users last November. If your brand isn't making most of the feature, it's time to figure out a way to include it in your marketing strategy. 

It’s recommended that a brand always tag their location and use hashtags in their Stories to optimize audience engagement. And if a brand’s account has the ability to include links within their Stories, it should utilize it. Use a call to action and encourage consumers to visit your brand's website or sales page by swiping up. 

And if you feel that you’re creating awesome content with your Stories, but don’t want it to disappear consider adding them as a Highlights in your brand's bio. By taking your best Stories and repurpose them into your profile, they can live on indefinitely for your audience to enjoy at a later date.

Bottom line: Don't overlook Instagram Stories when developing your brand's social media marketing strategy. 

Go Live

Instagram’s live feature has evolved a lot since it was incorporated into the photo-sharing platform in late 2016. It may not be the right tool for every brand, but going live can be an excellent way to increase brand awareness and interact with consumers on a personal level. 

One of the more recent updates has been the ‘Live guests’ option, which enables a brand to go live with someone else, via their Instagram account. Brands should make the most of this feature by getting creative and collaborating with industry experts, influencer or celebrity clientele. For example, consider doing a interview or a Question and Answer session with an influencer that shares a niche market with your brand.

While going live can be risky, it’s a great way to promote your brand's on Instagram. Given the prominent listing of Live broadcasts on the platform – both in users’ feeds and in Explore (where there’s a dedicated ‘Top Live’ Story pinned to the top of the page) – it’s an excellent opportunity to snag some exposure.

Create A Sense of Community With Your Followers

This is the secret of many successful influencers, that boast high levels of engagement and interaction rates with their followers on Instagram.

Figure out a way to create a sense of community with your audience, and users will be keen to buy into what your brand has to offer. Be sure to reply to comments and direct messages, and make sure you're intereacting with followers that tag your brand's Instagram handle and hashtag in their posts.

Many successful Instagram accounts have been built on reposting other users' content. You may want to consider trying this with your customers' or followers' images, and "regram" their posts that relate to your brand's core values. Always provide credit by tagging reposted content with the owner's handle.

Be Authentic

Above all, it's important your brand’s Instagram posts and Stories are authentic.

While you should maintain a sense of professionalism with your brand’s Instagram account, it’s also important to be spontaneous with your posts. Don't worry about posting pictures that are polished, professionally edited and shot in perfect lighting. 

Instagram was created to share moments between friends, and your audience will value authenticity over a perfectly curated feed.

Keep it fun, and keep it real.

Did we miss something crucial? Share your Instagram marketing tips in the comments below...

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