To say that social media has changed the way that we interact with one another would be an understatement. Currently, more than 59% of people across the globe are active on social media, with the average user spending more than 2 and a half hours per day scrolling through their social media feeds.
For businesses, social media marketing has proven to be a powerful tool for driving higher revenue. In an age when 9 in 10 customers report that they are more likely to buy from a brand that they follow on social media, businesses that don’t incorporate social media into their marketing strategy are at a distinct disadvantage when compared to businesses that post content on platforms like Instagram.
In fact, 98% of marketing experts find Instagram to be the most effective platform for influencer marketing. Because there are so many different businesses vying for customer attention on Instagram, your business must be strategic with the kind of content you post on the platform in order to stand out from the competition. Here are some tips to help your business convert Instagram followers into long-term customers.
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Post a Variety of Content
When it comes to developing a strong Instagram marketing strategy for your business, posting a wide variety of content is key to keeping followers engaged. Posting strictly promotional content can become dull for followers, who are likely to feel as if they are being hit over the head by sales propositions. On the other hand, only uploading content that is completely unrelated to your business can cause followers to forget about your products or services completely, making them unlikely to purchase from your brand.
An effective Instagram marketing strategy strikes the right balance between promotional materials and other types of content that speak to your audience on a more personal level. Because 86% of customers report that they prefer to buy from brands that are more transparent on social media, business owners looking to grow their business should use Instagram as a way to give their followers a peek behind the curtain of their brand. Sharing behind-the-scenes videos and content that speaks to the history, core values, or mission of your brand is a great way to foster a sense of authenticity with followers and make them feel more connected to your business’s vision.
It’s not just about the kind of content you post; to develop the most effective Instagram marketing strategy possible, it also matters when you post, and the frequency with which you do so. With over 1 billion monthly active users currently using Instagram, it can be challenging to know whether you are actually getting your messages across to your audience. Consistently sharing content on your account is the best way to ensure that your brand remains at the top of your followers’ minds, and helps prevent your content from being buried amidst a sea of other posts on followers’ feeds. Customers are also much more likely to follow accounts that regularly post than they are pages that post only sporadically or appear inactive.
On the other hand, posting content too frequently can adversely affect your Instagram marketing strategy. Publishing a large number of posts in rapid succession can make customers feel as if you are spamming their Instagram feed, making them more likely to unfollow your account, and less likely to consider buying from your brand.
Create a Posting Schedule
To successfully market your brand on Instagram without making followers feel spammed or overwhelmed by information, it’s important to be strategic about the types of content that you share, and when. Creating a regular posting schedule is a good way to ensure that you are posting on Instagram consistently. If you have a regular Instagram posting schedule, customers are more likely to know when to anticipate your posts, in turn making them more likely to see and engage with your content.
When you’re planning your social media approach, you should also keep in mind that there are days of the week and times of the day when Instagram posts have been proven to drive the highest engagement, and avoid scheduling posts for times when engagement is generally lower.
Post Instagram Stories
Publishing regular Instagram stories is a great way to optimize your Instagram marketing strategy by continuously providing your followers with fresh content. Because Instagram stories disappear after 24 hours, and can only be viewed when someone clicks on your profile picture, you can post as many stories as you want without having to worry about spamming your user’s Instagram feeds.
Recent studies suggest that simply using Instagram stories as a part of your marketing strategy can help drive higher sales, with more than 1 in 3 people reporting that they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it featured on an Instagram story. Because Instagram stories typically have a more candid, casual atmosphere, they can help business owners build customer trust by allowing followers a glimpse into their brand’s company culture, values, and daily operations.
Using Instagram hashtags is another simple practice that can help take your social media marketing strategy to the next level. Using hashtags on your Instagram posts and stories causes your content to show up on that hashtag’s main page, meaning that any search for that particular hashtag will yield results that include your post. If, for example, you run a personal health and wellness brand and use the hashtag “wellness” on one of your posts, your post will appear in search results for anyone who searches for the term “wellness” on the app.
While using more general hashtags is a great way to reach new audiences by targeting users whose interests and values are aligned with your business, creating unique hashtags for your business can also help to make your Instagram marketing strategy more effective. Designing and using a distinctive hashtag that includes your brand name and/or incorporates some of your company’s core values can help increase brand awareness and build a more cohesive brand identity amongst your followers.
Tag Your Location
Tagging your location in your posts and stories is another good way to boost your business’s Instagram marketing strategy by enabling your social media content to reach new audiences.
Just as with hashtags, when you tag your location your post automatically is shared to that location’s mains page. This means that anyone who searches for or follows that location’s tag is much more likely to see your content, allowing you to spread the word about your business directly to individuals within your community.
Interact with Your Followers
Much like social media has transformed the way that we communicate with friends and family, platforms like Instagram have also revolutionized the way that customers and businesses interact with one another. More than seeing corporate social media profiles as just a source of information about a particular company or the products they offer, customers look to social media as a way to engage with brands on an individual level.
Currently, over 80% of consumers claim that they expect businesses to interact with them on social media, with over 78% reporting that positive interactions on social media make them more likely to buy from a business. This means that for brands looking to drive higher sales with their Instagram marketing strategy, prioritizing customer interaction is key.
Monitoring, liking, and responding to your followers’ comments and messages are simple ways to forge a more personal relationship with customers and can help to build trust by making your followers feel as if their opinions, comments, and questions are valued by your brand. For many customers, posting a quick comment or sending a message on Instagram to ask a question they have about your business is also much quicker and more convenient than waiting on a customer service phone line or submitting an inquiry through an online form.
Encourage Follower Engagement
Beyond liking comments and responding to followers’ questions, Instagram also provides business owners with the opportunity to drive higher engagement on their posts by actively encouraging follower interaction. Brands with successful Instagram marketing strategies frequently share content that includes a specific call to action inviting customers to engage with their posts.
Posing questions at the end of your posts and asking followers to reply in the comments is one effective way to encourage customers to engage with your posts. This strategy also helps to build customer trust by demonstrating to your followers that you value their feedback, experiences, and opinions. Holding giveaways or sweepstakes that ask followers to share a post or story from your brand on their own page and/or tag friends is another great way to drive higher overall engagement, while also enabling your content to reach new audiences.
Encouraging followers to interact with one another can also lead to increased engagement and sales. Inviting followers to make their own posts or stories using brand-related hashtags can help foster a sense of community amongst your followers, encouraging them to view themselves as an integral part of your brand.
Make Videos with Instagram Reels
In an age where we can hardly open up our phones without coming across clips from the latest viral video or top trending Tik Tok, video is a powerful tool for businesses seeking to convey important information about their brand to customers in an effective and engaging way.
Recent studies suggest that businesses that don’t post video content as a part of their Instagram marketing strategy are missing out on a prime opportunity to drive higher sales. Here are a few statistics that illustrate the importance of including video content in your Instagram marketing strategy.
- 88% of customers surveyed claim that watching videos from a brand has influenced them to purchase a product.
- 91% report that they want to see more videos from brands.
- 66% of people surveyed say that short-form video is the most engaging type of social media content.
With a wide selection of songs to choose from and easy-to-use filters and editing tools, Instagram’s Reels feature is a great opportunity for business owners to get creative with video marketing by creating high-quality, engaging content. Posting reels with viral audio or that feature viral dance moves is also a creative way to engage your followers and cash in on the latest social media trends.
Get Support from an Expert
Because every business is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to creating a social media marketing strategy that works. Although the best practices listed above are building blocks to develop a strong presence on social media, the work doesn’t stop there. To effectively convert Instagram followers into customers, business owners should consider key factors like their audiences’ demographics, pain points, buying habits, and more.
The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. To help your business get the most out of your Instagram marketing strategy, consider consulting our team of Instagram experts who have experience helping businesses use Instagram to increase their bottom line. Our professional Instagram marketing services can help you identify solutions that are specifically tailored to your business’s unique needs, and design an Instagram marketing strategy that provides you with the highest possible return on your investment.