In the burgeoning era of social media, Instagram has become one of the most used platforms of this generation. Thanks to the number of users of this application, you can potentially find your target audience simply by strategically approaching how you present your business on this platform.
Why should you be strategic? Nowadays, people are more critical of the type of content they consume. They want content that is relevant to them and can be of any use to them. This is probably why you are reading this blog too, because it has to do with how you can use Instagram to benefit your business.
But be aware that simply posting images and adding generic captions to your feed won’t help. When you plan to sell to audiences these days, you have to stand out. You have to present them with a concrete idea of what your company’s brand stands for and what sets you apart from all of your competitors on Instagram.
So how do you do this?
We will list 7 tips on how to do this:
Build your image by knowing your target market
You don’t start any marketing strategy if you don’t know who you are selling to. This should be the foundation of how you build your social media image – targeting a specific group of people. If you want to target a specific market, you need to adapt your Instagram brand to the criteria of your target market; create a concrete image of how they should perceive you. Here are some key questions about how to define your target market:
Who exactly are you talking to?
Know that what a 16-year-old high school girl wants is not exactly what a woman in her 25s would want. The key to effectively building your brand image on social media is targeting a specific age group and working from there. If you are selling a car brand, of course, you need to promote it to people who can actually afford it, which is usually people in their 30s and 40s. So, before identifying their interests, find out which demographic you plan to talk to.
What social class do they belong to?
You need to present your product to the social class that can benefit from it. The image building in your Instagram account is related to the type of crowd you want to lure. Is this an upper-middle-class college student who loves to hang out in cafes, or is it a high-end socialite who loves designer bags? In any case, know the people who can or should relate to you.
What kind their likes and dislikes?
When communicating your message to your target market, it is very important to do thorough research on what interests them and what to avoid. What are the latest social media trends that might grab their attention? What are their age groups focused on, and what could be of any benefit to them? What social norms are they protesting against? What series are they interested in? Where do they like to spend their time? As much as possible, you should dig deeper so that when you start making information about your business on social media, they have an idea of what message or image your brand wants to create.
Manage your feed
If you plan to promote an image-driven social media platform, it is very important to keep an eye on your feed. Whether you hire a designer or do it yourself, you need to post promotional images that speak to your business brand and can grab the attention of your audience. This tip focuses on “visual appeal”.
So where do you start?
This is where your idea of your target market comes in. If you create a specific image of what they look like, you will know which images to post in your feed. However, don’t just post random pictures that you think they’ll like and add some ad content to your signature. You also need to think about your brand. What color combinations work best for your look? What should you do: an emotional call, a call for a winner, a call for humor, or a call for a supporter? Will the latest trend help your marketing approach, or should you create your own trend?
Also you should check the quality of your images. Keep the image size at 612 by 612 pixels to avoid compromising the beauty of your image. Placing blurry or unflattering images in your news feed will make your target audience just flip through your post without even looking at it again. Have a consistent creative direction for your brand so that they not only know right away that this is your content, but also react to your message or update.
You might think it’s easy, but when you curate your feed effectively and find the right visual direction that grabs the attention of the people you want to reach, it will increase brand awareness.
Use attractive captions, use a call to action
In addition to the pictures in your feed, your target audience will also look at your signature. A picture is worth a thousand words, but one powerful line or message will have a big impact on how your audience views your image. Moreover, it also encourages them to act.
Also, avoid long signatures in your message. The reason people use Instagram is because they want to use as few words as possible and focus on the images in their news feed. If they wanted paragraphs, they’d be looking for blogs instead.
Minimal but powerful is definitely the best option.
Know trends and use relevant hashtags
Know the trends in your industry. Knowing what’s new, you know what your audience is interested in at the moment. This will help you determine the options for your marketing campaigns, whether you should join the winning group or be different.
Hashtags play a key role in introducing your brand to users. According to a recent report, posts with at least one hashtag generated 12.6% more interactions than posts without a hashtag. But before we get down to WHY we need to use appropriate hashtags, we must also identify the reason WHY we need to add #hashtags to our posts to promote products or services in general.
As you browse through the Instagram search bar, you’ll see a variety of recommended hashtags as you scroll through them looking for the content you want. Adding hashtags to your posts makes your content more visible to your target audience. However, you also need to know which hashtags to use in order for your posts to reach the specific market that you want. You can choose between community hashtags and industry hashtags like #fitness or #gymrat, which appeal to people who love going to the gym, or general hashtags like #love or #relationshipgoals, which appeal to just about everyone.
Plus, adding hashtags fosters engagement, and engagement is what brands need to build relationships with the people they serve. When you attract people because they paid attention to what your post said, you better keep the water boiling. If possible, get them to talk more about it. If necessary, ask them to use your hashtag so that more and more people can do it. The more people are talking about the message you want to address or the product you want to promote; the more followers and conversions you will have.
However, it’s also helpful to note that adding too many hashtags to your post can also affect your visibility. Although there is a limited number of hashtags of 30, adding up to the limit can cause your post to become spam, leaving it below your social media competitor.
So be strategic again. Not just #wingit. Make your #research.
Plan your post frequency
You might think that a media plan is needed only for television and radio advertising. Well guess what? The frequency and timing of your posts on social media should also be planned out if you want your audience to be engaged. Nowadays, Instagram’s organic reach algorithms are constantly changing, and fresh and genuine engagement with your target audience is more important than ever. So how often do you need to post on Instagram to get your audience interested?
Recent statistics show that posting 1 to 3 times a day is a general rule of thumb. In addition, you must maintain your posting frequency at all times. If you plan on doing excessive posting throughout the day to catch up on previous days that you were unable to update, this can lead to less engagement. Hence, if you disagree with updating your social media, your audience will look for another competitor that is more active and more responsive.
In conclusion, stick to your frequency. But, of course, don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
Be interactive, connect with your audience
A brand that a consumer can relate to or respond to is a brand that they consider to be their friend. When you tackle your audience’s concerns or questions, it gives them a general idea that they can rely on you and that you are trustworthy when it comes to customer service. In other words, it creates or maintains brand loyalty.
And as we said again, Instagram wants genuine engagement. This means that the more consumers search, mention, or promote your products online, the more brand awareness you get from marketing on that social media platform.
At the end of the day, customer satisfaction is your top priority, so stay connected.
Determine if your business SHOULD be on Instagram
In the age of social media, one might think that making the most of each platform is the way to get your business to market. However, you also need to know if your business should be on Instagram at all. Are your potential consumers scrolling through their feed to find your services in an image-based app? This may not be the case, and that’s okay, because there are many other platforms you can use, like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Instagram is just one of the many popular platforms you can use to promote your business and drive customer engagement, so choose your media wisely. Planning an internet marketing strategy is not a one-size-fits-all formula. Over time, the trends and interests of the generation you want to please change change.
So we don’t emphasize it enough, research it, plan it and experiment. Get the most out of Instagram’s image-driven platform to market your product, business, or message.
Did you think this article was helpful? Share this with a friend or colleague today!
Banner Image Credit: tapscape.com