Instagram is the “it” social media platform for 2019. But before building your brand’s profile and posting pretty pictures, give serious thought to how to position your Instagram activities so they contribute to your strategic marketing goals. Even though your linking options are limited, you can drive a flood of leads by including a relevant and enticing call to action on your bio page. Check out Olga Rabo’s guide to the best Instagram scheduling tools, which includes a handy chart (below) on acceptable image specs. Add a human touch But your posts don’t need to be picture perfect all the time. Put your brand value on display Even if your content team is photo-phobic, you have lots of creative options. Encourage your viewers to create user-generated posts featuring your product or message. In addition, you can promote your content by placing ads within Instagram Stories, which display your campaigns between image- and video-centric Stories that users click to view. For more details on using paid promotions on Instagram (and other social channels), check out my quick-start guide. They’re not urged to follow the brand but are encouraged by the influencer to see what he or she is doing on your brand’s account.
Instagram is the “it” social media platform for 2019. There, I said it.
With plenty of creative possibilities, targeting opportunities, and personalization potential, the youth-friendly platform offers the power to connect with influential tastemakers, break through the competitive noise, and build active, engaged communities of customers.
And it might just offer brands the biggest bang for their content marketing buck. Though slightly in the shadow of big sister Facebook, Instagram boasts over 1 billion active monthly users globally. It’s eclipsed elder social statesmen like Twitter (335 million monthly users), LinkedIn (260 million monthly users), and Pinterest (250 million monthly users).
Given these advantages, the hunger for information and marketing on Instagram should be no surprise. Several of CMI’s most-read articles published in 2018 covered the platform, and it’s consistently among the top searches on this site.
I rounded up the best insights and advice we offer on the topic, making it easier for the Insta-uninitiated to find their footing, while giving expert tips and tricks for power users to level up their initiatives.
Determine your Instagram strategy
Instagram puts a visual spin on the micro conversations that turned “tweet” into a marketing verb in 2006. With its unique photography filters, streaming video storytelling features, meme-friendly editing tools, and ease of use on mobile, it’s the perfect platform for capturing those authentic little moments that bring out the human side of your business.
But before building your brand’s profile and posting pretty pictures, give serious thought to how to position your Instagram activities so they contribute to your strategic marketing goals. (If you need some help, follow the step-by-step process outlined in my guide to building a smart yet simple social media marketing plan.)
For example, if lead generation is a top marketing priority, be aware that Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links in post descriptions/captions or comments the way other social networks do. You’re allowed one hyperlink – in the bio on your profile page. You’ll need to optimize your bio content for lead-gen purposes and choose your link wisely. (You can edit that link when you want to drive users to a landing page for a campaign or promotion.)
Even though your linking options are limited, you can drive a flood of leads by including a relevant and enticing call to action on your bio page.
Here’s a prime example from Foundr Magazine:
For more tips on using Instagram to drive leads, check out Catalin Zorzini’s four-step strategy guide.
Set up a verified business account
While anyone on your content team can set up a personal profile for your business on Instagram, it is easier to manage content activities with a verified business account. Once activated, these accounts can be managed by multiple authorized users and provide deeper insights on followers, performance analytics for posts, advertising tools, and additional post promotion options within the Instagram app.
Use third-party tools for scheduling
One critical feature that business accounts don’t have is the native ability to schedule posts. Thankfully, third-party tools can let you keep your fans’ feeds full of conversations and activity day and night – even if one social media manager does all the posting.
Of course, no matter who (or what) publishes your content, there are guidelines to follow. For example, due to the limitations with Instagram’s API, scheduling tools can only publish images and videos formatted in an acceptable aspect ratio.
Check out Olga Rabo’s guide to the best Instagram scheduling tools, which includes a handy chart (below) on acceptable image specs.
Craft your creative with care
Looks (and lewks) count on Insta. Show off your most appealing brand imagery and supply descriptions that draw viewers more deeply into your brand experience. I mean, c’mon, who could possibly look at this post from NatGeo and not want to dive right into an undersea adventure?
Add a human touch
But your posts don’t need to be picture perfect all the time. In fact, Monina Wagner and Clare McDermott have outlined a few formats…