Instagram marketing for beginners is as simple as being able to understand, develop, and execute a strategy. If you are able to begin your Instagram marketing career with the understanding that you’re going to make mistakes, you will soon see success. With more than 30 million businesses now using Instagram to promote their services, that success can be very lucrative.
Instagram is the new home for brands. Engagement on the app has reached absolutely insane levels with a majority of the world now using it, and those people are shown to be very loyal to brands who use the app correctly. If you have marketing goals set, Instagram can help you achieve them.
To get you to that point, I’m going to give you a quick rundown of the things you need to know to understand Instagram marketing for beginners. If you want to know how to get more followers on Instagram, I can tell you that. However, in this article I’m going to break down what goals Instagram is best used for and how to achieve them.
Before we can get to actionable points with Instagram marketing for beginners, you’re going to need to have your page set up. If you’re already using branded content on your personal page or have a following you don’t want to lose, you should convert your personal page to a business account. This is the best way to go if you’re building a personal brand – go check out my personal branding checklist if that’s your goal.
If you’re working for a client or for a new business, you’ll want to set up a new page. Once the page is set up, you need to convert it to a business page to be able to run ads and access insights. After that’s set up, it’s time to get to your strategy.
Instagram Marketing for Beginners Strategy
The key to Instagram marketing for beginners is to focus on SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Before you can begin setting goals, though, you need to decide what your objective is.
If you know anything about how to market on Instagram, you know that Instagram is a powerful branding tool. The primary objective of most Instagram marketing campaigns should be to develop a brand that sticks with customers and primes them for sales. You can make sales on Instagram, but this should be a secondary goal – build the brand, then leverage it.
How you want to build the brand is the Specifics: what sort of brand do you want? Then, how can you measure it? With likes, followers, engagement?
Once you know that, you can decide what’s reasonable to shoot for. If you’re looking for followers, it might be reasonable to hunt for 100 in your first 2 weeks. This is relevant if you’re just starting out, and timely because you’ve given yourself a time limit to succeed in.
When your goals are SMART, you will succeed.
Your Performance Metrics
In keeping with your SMART goals, make sure that you’re focusing on your performance metrics. These are followers, likes, comments, and your engagement percentage. When you’re advertising, this will also include reach.
Followers are a good overview of how well you’re doing at reaching people, while likes, comments, and engagement percentage tells you how much of an impact you’re making. Even if you’re more focused on followers, you should be keeping on top of engagement metrics – and vice versa.
Additionally, make sure to commit to a regular posting schedule. Try posting once a day when you start out, or making specific kinds of posts on certain days. You can always test this to see how it does with your audience, but make sure to avoid posting too frequently.
Optimize Your Profile
One aspect of Instagram marketing for beginners that most people gloss over is the profile. Before you get started, make sure that your bio has been tweaked to use your brand voice and include relevant hashtags. Include emojis and linebreaks to format your bio in a way that makes the profile look good.
In your profile picture make sure that you’re using the face of the brand, whether it’s a person or a logo. Use the same picture across all of social media to create brand consistency.
Make sure to take advantage of business profile features, as well. Include contact information like your phone number, address, and email address. Set your business category, and include a relevant call to action.
Share Great Content
With your profile all set up, it’s time to get posting. Good Instagram content looks well produced and includes relevant content. Remember that Instagram is a “short form” social media – your ideal post will include a little bit of information, or be a video under a minute long.
If long-form is more your style, you should know how to use IGTV.
One great way to get content for a service is business is to ask for a customer testimonial. You can get a video of a recommendation, then post the best minute. You can also show people behind the scenes, showing a bit of personality from your day.
Keep the look and feel of your content consistent by using a consistent color palette or using the same filters. This makes your content easy to recognize, and also helps to make your brand resonate. Colors create strong associations psychologically.
Make sure that your photos are amazing, too. A modern mobile phone can get the job done with good, natural lighting. Try a lot of different angles, and remember the rule of thirds.
Use Instagram Stories to Tell Your Brand Story
400 million people use Instagram stories daily, so you need to take the opportunity to get in front of them. Stories should be very natural content with a beginning, middle, and end. Include strong call-to-actions in your Stories, because this is the best way Instagram gives you to create sales or drive people elsewhere.
You should know how to create Instagram story ads, as well.
Write Compelling Captions with Relevant Hashtags
The captions on your posts should use your brand’s voice, and be short and to the point. Try summarizing the post content, or doing something that will evoke a feeling in your audience. Make them think or laugh, and do it as your brand.
Hashtags are a powerful tool on your belt, too. Use hashtags that are relevant to your industry to make sure you’re getting in front of searches. You can also create a branded hashtag, and use that as a way to get user-generated content or engage with your audience.
You can also crawl hashtags yourself to grow your audience. Search through hashtags to find users and engage them in discussion. Follow people who participate and they’ll likely follow you back.
Other Sources of Followers
In addition to all of this, make sure that you’re using other social media to drive to your Instagram. Share it on Facebook, or include links in your YouTube videos.
Reach out to influencers, as well. Influencers are a great way to tell an organic brand story and get in front of an already engaged audience. Even smaller, micro-influencers can have a huge impact on your brand. Paid influencer promotion and collaboration are both effective.
Use Targeted Audience Ads
In addition to growing organically on Instagram, Instagram ads for beginners is important to learn. Instagram marketing for beginners normally glosses over this, but you need to get started sometime. With Instagram ads being so effective right now, it’s a good idea to get on the platform while you can.
There are 5 formats of Instagram ads. Photos and videos are just like a usual post, as Story ads are with Stories, and Carousel ads are similar but allow for a full album. You can also do a Canvas story ad to make your ad more immersive.
Create engaging creative with a strong CTA and your ad should perform well. Make sure that your CTA gets directly to where you want customers to go so you can siphon traffic directly from Instagram. You should also narrow your audience down by age, location, and interests to make sure you’re being seen by the right people.
If you want to go from Instagram marketing for beginners and make a career out of it, all you need to do is measure your efforts. Evaluate what isn’t working, and try something new. Continual iteration of your Instagram marketing strategy is how you succeed.
Check regularly, and pivot often. If you want more information about Instagram marketing for beginners, check out my YouTube channel.