It’s a known fact that Instagram is one of the most popular and fastest growing social media platforms. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably swiping-up through posts, ‘hearting’ and trying out new filters on Instagram Stories everyday. You might even be using the app to shop, one of the many new features introduced to Instagram this year.
It’s important your business has an Instagram marketing strategy in place to make the most of the platform. It’s a really powerful network and your business deserves a unique presence among other accounts.
Here are my 10 top tips for optimising your profile, planning a strategy and creating an attractive account to win your clients in 2020!
1. Create an eye-catching profile and optimise your BIO
First of all, make sure your profile is optimised for your business and target audience; your feed should reflect these.
Your profile should convey your business values and clearly tell the story of your brand. Don’t be too formal though and remember to be social and approachable.
Your Instagram BIO is really important. It should be interesting and informative. Use your brand voice, include branded hashtags e.g. #SocialBrighton and convince potential followers that your account will add value to their feed.
Top Tips: Do some research, see what your competitors are posting and learn what your audience is attracted to. Use linktr.ee to include more than one link in your BIO (to different pages/events/etc.)
2. Plan your feed carefully and ensure it’s visually appealing
“Customers think that the quality of a product’s image is more important than product-specific information (63%), a long description (54%) and ratings and reviews (53%)”
– Jeff Bullas
Creating an aesthetically pleasing Instagram profile might be difficult, depending on your resources and content, as well as photography and design assets.
I usually hear people say they are struggling with those, but the main thing to remember is to keep everything consistent in terms of colours and your branding. This will help you to make a clear brand image in your followers’ mind.
Top Tip: Organise a photoshoot of your products/business/service to use on Instagram and create templates for your graphics with branded design. I recommend using Canva for design and VSCO for editing pictures. You can read more about my favourite tools in my latest Wednesday Wisdom.
3. Balance your content
Your Instagram content should be balanced. There is nothing more annoying than repeatedly seeing the same content on someone’s feed. It shows that you have a shortage of content or no clear vision/strategy for your marketing in place.
Answering these questions should help you to find ideas for your content and then balance them accordingly:
- Refer back to your objectives – what content will help achieve them?
- What assets do you have / can create that are engaging?
- What are your resources and how frequently can you gather and publish new content?
Top Tip: Categorise your content into themes or topics and find a balance that works. Use Instagram Insights to help you learn what works and what doesn’t (more on this later).
4. Make your business easy to find
Make it clear online where are you based and in what areas you deliver your services or products.
In addition to your BIO, you should also include your contact details – address, mobile number and email.
It really helps when you use location tags within your posts and/or in your Instagram Stories so people in your target area are more likely to discover your content.
Top Tip: Use location hashtags as well e.g. #BrightonBusiness but do not overuse them e.g. #London is very broad and make sure they are relevant to your target audience.
5. Be consistent
Consistency is key! Like with anything else you should post consistently on your feed to stay recognizable and help with the algorithm.
This relates not only to your profile picture and content but also regularity of publishing, engagement and interactions.
Use a consistent tone and as mentioned above, stick to your branding. Do not confuse your followers.
Top Tip: Use a scheduling app to draft your captions before and organise content for the whole week/month – depending on how far ahead you’re planning it. I use Plann as well as Preview app for my accounts.
6. Get creative with captions
To attract more followers and your potential clients it’s important to use captions that are interesting and creative.
People always ask us “So how long should my caption be?. There is no wrong or right answer – it all depends on who your audience is and what you want to include in the caption.
Are you sharing a story? Or are you trying to educate someone on a topic? Or maybe just sharing an update from your business?
Use longer captions for this type of content but otherwise, keep it short and sweet and don’t forget about emojis – they increase the chance someone will stop and engage with your post.
Top Tip: Be clear and concise, but don’t just describe what’s in the image/video, add value to it!
7. USE hashtags strategically
Before you start adding hashtags to your post, take a strategic approach and do your research first. Hashtags on Instagram are there to find the content users are looking for.
- Incorporate at least 12 hashtags into your post
- Pick hashtags that have at least 1,000+ uses rather than unpopular hashtags that no one is looking for. The more uses, the more competition, so don’t opt for many with 1m + uses because your content will get lost among other posts.
- Use only hashtags that are relevant for your audience – it’s all about the quality rather than quantity
- Use hashtags in your first comment, especially if the caption is very long. If you use them in your captions, make sure to separate them from the copy.
Top Tip: Create branded hashtag(s) and include them in your BIO. You can also encourage your customers/followers to use your hashtag whenever they share something about your business. This will create a great gallery of posts only related to your brand.
8. Use Instagram Stories features
As you may have noticed, Instagram Stories have recently changed the way we use the app. Around 500 million people are using them daily in addition to traditional feed content!
They are not only fun and creative but also allow you to share more engaging ‘in the moment’ content that doesn’t necessarily require a lot of time.
My personal favourites are stickers: GIFs, Instagram polls and questions. I love doing boomerangs too! It’s great how you can use all of it to engage with your audience, to ask questions about or for your business, or simply share everyday moments and thoughts.
You can not only inspire or educate but also get to know each other better. Followers can also send direct messages to you via the Story – communication with businesses has never been easier!
Top Tip: When you use any stickers, I recommend adding the hashtag and location sticker to your Story – it’s another simple way to get discovered! People from that specific location or who are following that hashtag will see your content.
Bonus: If you have more than 10K followers on Instagram and a business account, you can add links to your stories using the swipe-up feature (we’ll get there soon 😉).
9. Engage, engage, engage!
To keep your Instagram working well for your business you should engage with (potential) followers.
This increases the chances of your content being seen by a larger audience.
Make sure when you are engaging with people and commenting on their post it’s meaningful. Be social and real, don’t just try to sell your products and services and don’t sound like a bot.
Top Tip: Incorporate Gary Vee’s engagement strategy – engage with relevant hashtags within your niche. Reach out to the top post in each hashtag and comment. It’s a perfect way to get to know others in your niche.
10. Make the most of Instagram Insights
Check your data monthly (or weekly) to see which content performed the best. By doing this, you’ll see what’s most interesting to your audience. This will help you with future ideas.
I always check Instagram’s analytics and analyse posts – what image I used, which caption and hashtags, if I tagged anyone/location/etc. and at what day and time I published the post. It all matters and helps me to strategically plan next month’s content.
Top Tip: Regularly check your Instagram Insights – it’s free for business accounts and will give you lots of information about your content, activity on Instagram and followers.
There you go; those are my 10 ways to up your game on Instagram. Include them in your strategy plan, implement and let me know how it goes. I hope it helps you with marketing your business on this platform in 2020.
And if you need any help, do not hesitate to contact me.
We also have an upcoming Instagram Masterclass on 20th Feb so make sure to check it out. It’s ideal for both beginners and more advanced Instagrammers.