Guest Post by Shane Barker
With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms. The Stories feature of the platform attracts a massive audience too. More than 500 million users watch Instagram Stories daily.
The engagement rates on Instagram are also far higher than other platforms. For instance, nano-influencers on Instagram have an average engagement rate of about 8%.
It is due to these reasons that Instagram has become the favored choice for marketers to promote their brands. However, to get the most out of your marketing efforts on Instagram, here are some of the best Instagram marketing hacks that successful brands use.
1. Use Hashtag Marketing
Hashtag marketing is one of the best methods of hacking growth on Instagram. Whenever you create an account on the platform, ensure that you create a branded hashtag. All you need to do is add a hashtag with your brand’s name.
What this does is that it helps create a buzz on the platform about your brand. As it gets more popular, your customers will also start using the hashtag, hence increasing your brand awareness. You can also create other branded hashtags such as the slogan of your brand, or a short form of your brand’s name.
For instance, Pepsi uses the hashtag #pepsico. People have created more than 101k posts using this hashtag. This has helped Pepsi increase their brand awareness on Instagram.
Apart from the branded hashtags, you should use hashtags which are relevant to your niche in your posts. To find such hashtags, you can use Hashtagify. It’ll show you how popular the hashtag is along with a host of other things such as its variations and locations where it’s used.
2. Use Carousels
Instagram gives you the option of creating Carousels. These are essentially posts where you can insert up to 10 images in a single post rather than creating multiple posts. The Carousels can hold the attention of your followers if the pictures are attractive and similar.
Here are a few situations where they are helpful:
- If you’re posting several items from the same collection, a Carousel helps you arrange them all together. All of your followers who are interested in the collection may look at all of the images. They may even visit your website to see more.
- When you’re launching a sale, you can use Carousels to your advantage. You can have an image that announces the sale, and the following images can showcase the items that are on sale.
- You can post photos from a single trip or an event in one post rather than creating multiple posts. Not only is this less spammy but it may also hold the attention of your followers longer.
9GAG uses this technique pretty frequently to showcase various collections of images. This particular one got over 300k likes in just 1 hour.
3. Influencer Marketing
According to a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub, about 79% of marketers said that Instagram is the most important channel for influencer marketing. The main reason for this being that the engagement rates on Instagram are incredibly high.
Many famous brands, such as Daniel Wellington, have made it big through their influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram. With just $15000 in seed funding, they turned the business around and made it into a $200 million company in just 4 years. All of this was possible through influencer marketing.
They sent out watches to influencers who posted photos of them on Instagram. This helped the brand become more popular and increased their following on Instagram to over 4.2 million followers.
You can use the power of influencer marketing to promote your brand on Instagram and grow it. However, you need to be wary of fake influencers. These people buy likes and followers to become influencers. Partnering with them can be harmful to your brand’s image.
To find reliable influencers, you can use tools such as Influence.co. It can help you find influencers in your niche. The platform also allows brands to post their campaigns and accept applications from influencers.
4. Use Instagram Live
Facebook and Instagram both allow their users to create live videos where they can interact with their followers in real-time. This gives you a huge opportunity to increase your engagement. That’s perhaps the reason why 95% of marketers planned to incorporate live streaming in their marketing strategies in 2018.
There’s so much that you can do using Instagram Live. You can have Q&A sessions with your audience. Or you can create live how-to videos during which you show viewers how they can use your products. If there are any big announcements that you want to make, you can do them through Instagram Live too.
Instagram Live gives your followers the feeling of interacting with your brand. It helps you grow your followers and engagement too. This is perhaps the reason why many famous brands are using it.
Huda Beauty, for example, hosted a live interview on Instagram with Bella Hadid. It got them a lot of views and engagements. In fact, more than 6000 people were watching the video at one point.
5. Use Stories
As stated before, more than 500 million users watch Instagram stories on a daily basis. You can tap into this audience by creating engaging Stories regularly. They can include photos, graphics, polls, questions, and videos. The best part about Stories is that they disappear in 24 hours so you can create lots of short-term content for them.
Additionally, if your account is verified or is a business account that has more than 10,000 followers, you can add links to your Stories. If you want to generate leads or sales, you can add links to your landing pages in your Stories.
If you are unable to add links to your Stories, you can create a paid promotion. These allow you to insert a link in your Stories and are visible when people are scrolling through them on Instagram.
In addition, Stories allow you to add hashtags as well. You can add them as a sticker, text, or even as a location tag. Instagram also lets you stylize the hashtag the way you can with a sticker or text.
The only drawback is that your Story may not be accepted into the hashtag listings. It depends on your Story’s engagement and the quality of the image or video used. If done well, your Story may end up getting loads of views and engagements.
Nacho Analytics, for example, uses this method of marketing to reach out to potential customers. They have put a “Learn More” button at the bottom, which takes viewers to their landing page.
Marketing your brand and growing your presence on Instagram is no easy task. You need to plan in advance and execute your campaigns well. Using the right hashtags can help you get increased visibility. Additionally, branded hashtags can increase your brand awareness. You can also partner with influencers to promote your brand on the platform.
Using Instagram Live and Stories, you can further boost your brand awareness and increase your reach.
What are the other Instagram marketing hacks that are used by successful brands? Let us know in the comments.