Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms used by millions of people every day.
But, how do you use Instagram for business? And how do you build your brand on Instagram?
Stay tuned, as the Loomly Team answers all your burning questions on Instagram marketing.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What does Instagram marketing mean?
- How does Instagram work for marketing?
- How do you use Instagram for business?
- How do you start marketing on Instagram?
- What is a good Instagram marketing strategy?
- How do you build a brand on Instagram?
- How can you increase engagement on Instagram?
- How do you become successful on Instagram?
- How much does it cost to advertise on Instagram?
- What are the most successful Instagram accounts?
- What are the best tools for Instagram marketing?
What does Instagram marketing mean?
Instagram marketing is how brands use Instagram to connect with their target audiences and market their offerings. Instagram allows users to upload photos and videos to their profile and edit them with various filters and effects.
How does Instagram work for marketing?
Here are ten powerful Instagram marketing tips from Neil Patel:
- Switch to a business profile ASAP
- Use free Instagram tools
- Post product teasers that will (gently) urge people to buy
- Create sponsored ads
- Use Instagram Stories
- Partner with influencers for a wider reach
- Collect user-submitted photos
- Come up with an interactive branded hashtag
- Post at the right times (but don’t over-post)
- Make sure you track the right metrics
How do you use Instagram for business?
The best Instagram features for business are:
You can use up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram post, but using too many hashtags looks spammy and can turn visitors away. The optimal number is between 5 and 10.
You can use hashtags in or after your caption, or you can add them in the comments section. The key is to be consistent and stick with one place for your cohesive look and feel.
For instance, Grammarly always posts hashtags in the first comment:
Whereas Lego includes them in the caption:
You can also include hashtags in your profile bio and Instagram Stories.
Stories are growing 15x faster than the traditional Feeds on all social media platforms. So it’s hardly surprising that most new features launched on Instagram involve the Stories format and stickers. For instance, you can:
- Add a donation sticker to allow people to donate to a nonprofit that you care about.
- Add a challenge sticker to participate in popular challenges.
- Add a quiz sticker to write your own multiple-choice question and customize the answers.
- Add a countdown sticker to count down to any moment, such as building anticipation for a product launch.
- Add a questions sticker so people can ask you a question or send you a song.
- Add a music sticker and search for a song.
- Add a poll sticker or emoji slider sticker to write your own question and customize the answers.
- Add a location sticker by searching for or selecting nearby options.
- Add a hashtag
- Add a current time or weather
Instagram even added a couple more new features to help businesses through the pandemic:
Instagram Stories are a quick, easy way to share moments and experiences. You can use text, music, stickers, and GIFs to bring your story to life. And, generally, they can be a little more unpolished than your regular Feed content.
Stories are successful because they create the best replication of a social experience — they make our brains light up with the recognition of knowing another person.
Instagram Stories Stats:
- Businesses post one-third of the most-viewed Stories.
- Brands post an average of 5 Stories per week on Instagram.
- Brands pay Instagram influencers between $43 and $721 for Stories.
U.S. marketers spend 31% of their Instagram ad budget on Stories and 69% on the Newsfeed.
Stories Highlights lets you share your Stories for more than 24 hours by posting them as highlights on your Profile.
For example, Sephora uses highlights albums to showcase their different product categories:
Reels are the latest feature to hit Instagram. The short-form video and audio clips rival TikTok. But businesses are using them successfully. For example, Sephora features user-generated content demonstrating how to apply their makeup products:
View this post on Instagram
Instagram gives you the option of broadcasting live videos, which can run for 60 minutes. After a live video has ended, it’s no longer visible in the app, but you can share a replay of it to your Story.
IGTV (Instagram TV)
Instagram’s IGTV allows you to upload long-form videos to your profile, rather than the Feed. So now you have up to 60 minutes instead of 60 seconds to engage your audience.
Instagram Shopping is a set of features that lets people buy your products within the Instagram app. They include:
- Shops – A customizable storefront where people can shop directly on business profile pages.
- Shopping Tags – Allow brands to highlight products from their catalog in Stories and the Feed so that people can learn more.
- Instagram Shop – An in-app shopping destination where people can discover products and brands they love.
- Collections – Allow businesses to customize their shop by curating products into themes.
- Checkout – Allows all eligible businesses and creators in the US to sell their products directly on Instagram with Facebook Pay instead of sending customers to third-party stores like Shopify.
- Live Shopping – Unlocks a new channel for checkout-enabled businesses to sell products through their Instagram Live broadcast in real-time.
How do you start marketing on Instagram?
Here’s how to start marketing on Instagram in 13 easy steps:
- Optimize your Instagram account.
- Follow industry-relevant accounts.
- Find popular hashtags in your industry.
- Get shout outs from others.
- Share your posts on Instagram regularly.
- Use hashtags in the comment section.
- Run Instagram contests.
- Tell your followers to like your content.
- Build relationships with other influential accounts.
- Comment on photos from other accounts.
- Use Instagram Stories regularly.
- Use both images and video content.
- Run Instagram ads.
What is a good Instagram marketing strategy?
Follow our six-step Instagram marketing strategy:
- Step 1 – Set your Instagram marketing goals
- Step 2 – Brand and maximize your profile
- Step 3 – Create and optimize your content
- Step 4 – Schedule and publish your content
- Step 5 – Engage and promote your content
- Step 6 – Measure and review your performance
Step 1 – Set your Instagram marketing goals:
Before you start creating a profile and posting content, it’s essential to know how Instagram fits into your business strategy and what goals you have.
Step 2 – Brand your profile:
There are four main factors to building a solid profile on Instagram – your bio, profile image, website link, and Story highlights.
- Your bio description
- Your profile image
- Your website link
- Your story highlights
Step 3 – Create and optimize your content:
Successful brands on Instagram have one thing in common: consistency.
They have a cohesive look-and-feel to their account so that it’s instantly recognizable by the color scheme, the type of photo or video shared, the tone of voice used in captions and on images, the hashtags used, and the way they interact with users.
Step 4 – Publish your content:
Plan your content with an editorial calendar so that you get the right mix and timing.
- Post at the right times
- Schedule and publish your content directly to Instagram
Step 5 – Promote your content:
Try these five ways to promote your content:
- Engage with your followers
- Partner with other brands and influencers
- Source user-generated content
- Run a contest
- Try Instagram ads
Step 6 – Measure your performance:
After you’ve created, optimized, published, and promoted your content, you’ll want to see what impact your posts have made and where you need to adjust in the future.
- Check your key metrics:
- Post-level metrics
- Account-level metrics
- Evaluate and adjust
How do you build a brand on Instagram?
Here’s how to build a brand on Instagram:
Define your goals
For example, do you want to:
- Increase brand awareness
- Grow your community
- Acquire new customers
- Connect with current customers
- Increase blog traffic
- Increase social media impressions
- Improve your current KPIs
Find your focus/theme
For example, Coffeenclothes build their brand with pictures of coffee and clothes:
Create a style pattern
For example, Foundr’s grid stands out really well:
Publish quality content consistently
Schedule your content using Loomly’s new Instagram direct publishing feature:
Instagram Direct Publishing allows you to create, preview, approve, schedule, and publish single photo and single video posts from Loomly to Instagram.
Stay active to build a brand on Instagram
For example, you can do this by:
- Following others
- Commenting on other profiles
- Liking other people’s photos
Take advantage of hashtags
Using too many hashtags looks spammy and can turn visitors away. The optimal number is between 5 and 10.
Create a branded hashtag
You can use your brand name, tagline, or slogan to create a branded hashtag.
Repurpose content from other accounts
Search for posts that meet your style pattern and feature them on your account. This is a surefire way to increase engagement and connect with people at the same time.
Find branded hashtags/accounts
If you’re looking for exposure, you can find branded hashtags or accounts in your industry to get featured on.
Partner with other accounts
Arrange a reciprocal shoutout for shoutout with similar accounts.
How can you increase engagement on Instagram?
Here are 23 tips to increase engagement on Instagram:
- Post consistently.
- Don’t preach—tell stories instead.
- Build a strong brand.
- Have a visually consistent feed.
- Choose the right hashtags.
- Create a branded hashtag.
- Focus on user-generated content.
- Explore the full range of Instagram video formats.
- Use Instagram video subtitles and closed captions.
- Embrace Instagram AR filters.
- Take advantage of Instagram’s video ad formats.
- Give Gifs a chance.
- Use Instagram traffic to increase website traffic.
- Use SEO to ‘win’ Instagram.
- Partner with micro-influencers to create brand authenticity.
- Host an Instagram contest.
- Convert Instagram followers into email subscribers.
- Embrace Instagram Stories.
- Add a link to Instagram Stories.
- Use emojis effectively.
- Promote your Instagram channel on other social accounts.
- Add CTAs, everywhere.
- Track and learn from your best-performing Instagram content.
How do you become successful on Instagram?
You don’t have to be a celebrity to enjoy success on Instagram. Follow this useful five-step guide:
- Plan out your content strategy:
- Research the best posts in your industry and track your competitors.
- Start building a plethora of content around a similar theme or idea.
- Try to be as unique as possible with your content.
- Use branded hashtags:
- Seven out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded.
- Make it unique, memorable and engaging.
- Run Instagram hashtag analytics.
- Have a call to action:
- Use captions to drive conversion.
- Don’t forget the link in your bio.
- Link to a specific landing page that’s aligned with the post.
- Engage with Instagram users:
- One in three users will go to a competitor if they’re ignored.
- Follow your fans and “power users” if they produce relevant content.
- Avoid robotic interactions.
- Connect with influencers:
- Find and follow your industry leaders and niche influencers.
- Engage with influencers but don’t jump straight to asking about collaborations.
- Start small and build your way up to those who have massive followings.
How much does it cost to advertise on Instagram?
The average Instagram CPC (cost-per-click) ad costs around $0.50 to $1.00 per click. But, in highly competitive industries, such as apparel, Instagram CPC ads can reach up to $3.00 per click.
On average, Instagram advertising costs between $0.20 to $6.70, depending on the bidding model.
- For CPC (cost-per-click), advertisers pay $0.20 to $2 per click.
- For CPM (cost-per-impressions), advertisers pay $6.70 per 1000 impressions.
What are the most successful Instagram accounts?
Here are the top 20 most-followed Instagram accounts, ranging from soccer players to musicians to brands:
- Instagram (384m followers)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (254m followers)
- Ariana Grande (216m followers)
- Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (211m followers)
- Kylie Jenner (210m followers)
- Selena Gomez (203m followers)
- Kim Kardashian (199m followers)
- Lionel Messi (177m followers)
- Beyoncé (161m followers)
- Justin Bieber (158m followers)
- National Geographic (149m followers)
- Kendall Jenner (148m followers)
- Neymar (145m followers)
- Taylor Swift (144m followers)
- Jennifer Lopez (138m followers)
- Nike (128m followers)
- Nicki Minaj (127m followers)
- Khloé Kardashian (127m followers)
- Miley Cyrus (120m followers)
- Katy Perry (110m followers)
What are the best tools for Instagram marketing?
Here are the top 10 Instagram marketing tools:
- Social Pilot
- Meet Edgar
- Sprout Social
Manage all your social media accounts in one place.
Craft, schedule, & auto-post content to all your social channels, then track analytics and manage interactions from a single, easy-to-use dashboard.
Instagram Marketing in a Nutshell
Here’s a quick recap of the key points from this Instagram marketing FAQ:
- Make sure you brand your Instagram profile and maximize the limited space.
- Optimize your content with the latest features to boost engagement.
- Publish content consistently to build your presence on the platform.
- Build an active community to help amplify and promote your content.
- Analyze your Instagram marketing performance to see where you can improve.