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How to Market on Instagram: A Step by Step Guide

Instagram is one of the world’s largest social media platforms – like Facebook, social media marketers and online companies often use Instagram to attract new customers to their websites or stores and improve their brands’ general public awareness.If you run a small business and haven’t seen much success in the online marketing arena quite yet, don’t worry. With our Instagram marketing tips, you can start advertising on Instagram and see much greater traffic to your site, plus higher conversions for some of the key products.But how do you create a successful Instagram marketing strategy without wasting a ton of your marketing budget? In our blog post, we'll break down exactly how you can make an Instagram business account and how you can use that account to start creating converting video content and ads.

Create and Optimize an Instagram Account

Before you can start advertising new products on Instagram, you have to create an Instagram business profile. You can do this if you already have Instagram profiles for your personal use.

  • Download the Instagram app and either create a new account or sign in to your existing account
  • Then go to your profile page and tap the icon that looks like a hamburger in the top right-hand corner
  • Click “Settings” and “Account”, then click “Switch to a professional account”
  • Click “Business”
  • Instagram will then take you through a few prompts to provide more information about your business, like its industry and what it does, and finish setting up the account for use on both Instagram and Facebook. You'll have to add a business profile picture, a business Instagram bio, and your business username.

Once this is done, you can start running Instagram advertisements and enjoy other aspects of the platform that are perfect for digital marketing.

Research Popular Brand Hashtags and Competitor Accounts

Before you begin dedicated Instagram promotions, you need to do some niche research. Start looking for the most popular hashtags that are relevant to your industry. For example, if you sell apparel, hashtags like "glamorous", "shopping day", and "new kicks" are just a few examples of what might be trending at any given time.You’ll also want to research the Instagram accounts of your chief competitors. This includes any other businesses that sell similar products to what you provide your customers.Why? Because you’ll be able to take some of their best ideas and see what works for their Instagram marketing. This isn’t to say you can directly copy their video or advertising content, of course. But you can, for example, note that:

  • A certain type of ad seems to convert highly for your target consumers
  • Some content is more popular among your core audience
  • Certain posting times seem to be more successful than others

All of this is valuable information you can leverage with your own digital marketing efforts. Don’t skip the research step, as it may determine how successful your Instagram advertising is in the long run.

Create Excellent Content for Instagram

You’ll need to create high-quality content on Instagram if you want to drive conversions, increase brand awareness, and get people to click through to your website and main product pages. What kind of Instagram content? While you can make Instagram ads (more on those below), you can also look into making branded video content. You use Instagram Stories. You can use traditional Instagram posts for photos of your product. You can even produce live content on Instagram Live. This content will appear right in your audience's Instagram feed.Branded video content isn’t exactly advertising. Instead, it’s informative or entertaining content designed to improve brand awareness and get people interested in your company as a distinct entity or expert in your industry.In exchange, people will want to get to know your brand more closely and may visit your website when they need something to provide. Plus, making branded Instagram video content prevents you from burying your core consumers in ads, which can turn them away from your company.The best types of branded video content to make on Instagram include:

  • Informative videos that share actionable and useful information for your consumers. For instance, if you make cleaning products, you can make video content showing how to use your products for the maximum cleaning effect
  • Entertaining videos that showcase people happy using your products. For example, if you run an orthodontic practice, you can show people happy that they got their braces off and beaming with their new, straight smiles after treatment from your office
  • You should also create engaging content that encourages your Instagram users and new followers to interact with your profile.

These are just a couple of basic examples. You’ll want to hire a good video marketing agency to create this branded video content and to ensure it converts without compromising your brand identity. VisCap Media is a great place to start since we specialize in making video content and ads for businesses just like yours.

Share Posts Regularly

To market successfully on Instagram, you’ll need to post regularly. Accounts that post regularly and at around the same times each day are favored more heavily by Instagram’s algorithms. So you’ll have a better chance at connecting with your core consumers if you post lots of content all the time.After you share posts, you should use the available Instagram Analytics tools to monitor your Instagram insights.This is where hiring a social media manager or marketing agency becomes very beneficial. If you run your own business, odds are you don’t have the time to devote to this aspect of marketing yourself.Hiring a professional to do it for you can ensure that you post content all the time and that you are always visible to your target audience on Instagram.

Comment and Share Posts from Other Users

In other words, engage!Social media as an industry is all about engaging with other people. Your brand can and should use this inbuilt functionality on platforms like Facebook and Instagram:

  • Connect with your target consumers and improve brand loyalty as a result
  • Answer questions from your consumers about your products or goals
  • Drive engagement with your brand overall, as well as boost awareness of your brand simultaneously

By commenting on posts from other users on Instagram, you’ll also enjoy another benefit: you’ll become a major force on the website in your industry. In essence, the more you participate on Instagram and other social media platforms, the more people will get to know your brand and treat you like an authority on what you sell or provide.Furthermore, by engaging on Instagram by commenting on posts from other users, you’ll make business associations and partners. A lot of Instagram’s marketing and advertising efforts are run by influencers.The best way to forge relationships with those influencers so they advertise your product or brand is to share their posts and regularly engage on the platform. In our opinion, it’s a good idea to hire a social media manager whose sole job is to engage with your customers on Instagram and other platforms.This is not an optional part of digital marketing. It’s a cornerstone element that cannot be ignored.

Run Instagram Ads, Too

Instagram marketing isn’t complete without running a few Instagram ads. There are several different ad types you can take advantage of, including:

  • Stories ads, which are posted on users’ stories in between their content
  • Photo ads, which are self-explanatory
  • Video ads, which can be up to two minutes long
  • Explore ads, which are perfect for improving brand awareness and traffic to your website
  • Carousel ads, which are great for diverting traffic to specific products in your store
  • Collection ads, which showcase several items or products in a given collection
  • And more

Each of these ads is designed for different consumer types, metrics for goals, or advertising needs. Understanding when and where to leverage these different Instagram ad types is key to using this platform successfully.Again, it’s important to hire a digital marketing agency that knows how to create high-quality Instagram ads that showcase your brand in a positive light before posting them. Only the best ads will successfully get your target audience’s attention and prevent them from swiping away in favor of other content.When leveraged carefully, Instagram ads can significantly improve conversions to your core website and specific product pages. Furthermore, Instagram ads can better establish your brand as a force to be reckoned with in your industry.

Why VisCap Media is the Obvious Choice

While Instagram ads and marketing can be successful, it’s also possible to waste a lot of money on these efforts if you don’t have a highly skilled digital marketing agency on your side. That’s why you should contact us today.VisCap Media specializes in creating emotionally connecting video content for your social network that’s sure to capture traffic for your site and build relationships with your consumers for years to come.We’d love to get started working on your business, so strike up a conversation and let us explain how we can help your Instagram marketing efforts succeed!SourcesInstagram: age distribution of global audiences 2021 | StatistaHow Frequently You Should Post on Social Media According to the Pros | ForbesInfluencer marketing - Statistics & Facts | Statista

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