In the growing age of social media, Instagram has become one of the most used platforms of this generation. With the number of users this application has, you can potentially find your target audience by simply being strategic with how you present your business on this platform.
Why do you have to be strategic? Nowadays, people are more critical about the type of content they consume. They want content that is relevant to them and that could benefit them in any sort of way. That’s probably why you’re reading this blog, too, because it’s relevant to how you can use Instagram to your business’s advantage.
But know that simply posting pictures and adding generic captions to your feed just won’t cut it. When you’re planning to sell to an audience in this day and age, you have to stand out. You have to present a concrete image to them as to what your company’s branding stands for and what makes you different from all your competitors on Instagram.
So how do you do that?
We list down 7 tips on how you can go about it:
Build Your Image by Knowing Your Target Market
You don’t start any sort of marketing strategy when you don’t know who you’re selling to. This should be the core of how you build your image on social media – by targeting a certain group of people. If you want to reach out to a specific market, you need to mold your brand on Instagram to the criteria of your target market; create a concrete image as to how they should perceive you. Here are some key questions on how you can determine your target market:
What age range are you specifically talking to?
Know that what a sixteen-year-old girl in high school wants isn’t exactly what a woman in her mid-twenties would want, as well. The key to effectively creating your brand’s image on social media is to target a certain age group and work from there. If you’re selling a car brand, of course, you’d want to promote it to people who can actually afford it, which is typically people in their late 30s or 40s. So, before you identify their interests, learn which demographic you’re planning to talk to.
What social class do they belong to?
You need to present your product to the social class that can benefit from it. Image building on your Instagram account involves the type of crowd you want to lure in. Is it the upper-middle-class college student who likes hanging out in coffee shops or is it the high-class socialite who loves designer bags? Whatever the case, know the people who can or should relate to you.
What are their likes and dislikes?
When conveying a message to your target market, it’s crucial that you do thorough research on what interests them and what you should avoid. What are the latest trends in social media that may capture their attention? What is their age group focusing on and what could benefit them in any way? What kind of social norms do they protest against? What kind of TV shows are they interested in? Where do they like hanging out? As much as possible, you have to dig deeper so that when you start making your business’s presence known on social media, they have an idea as to what kind of message or image your brand wants to establish.
Curate Your Feed
If you’re planning to market on a social media platform that focuses on images, curating your feed is highly crucial. Whether you hire a designer or you do it yourself, you need to post promotional images that speak about your business’s brand and can capture your audience’s eye. This tip emphasizes on “Visual Appeal.”
So where do you start?
This is where your idea of your target market comes in. If you create a concrete image as to what they look like, you will know what pictures to post on your feed. However, don’t simply post random pictures you think they will like and add in a little promotional content in your caption. You also have to think about your brand. What color combinations best suit your image? Should you go for the emotional appeal, bandwagon appeal, humor appeal, or the endorser appeal? Will the latest trend help in your marketing approach or should you create your own trend?
Also, you have to check the quality of your images. Keep your image size to 612px by 612px to ensure the beauty of your image is not compromised. Placing blurry or unflattering images on your newsfeed will have your target audience simply scroll through your post without even giving it a second look. Have a consistent creative direction for your brand so that not only will they recognize it’s your content right away but they will also act on your message or update.
You may think it’s simple, but when you effectively curate your feed and find the right visual direction that will capture the attention of the people you want to attract, it will boost brand awareness.
Use Eye-catching Captions, Make Use of Call-to-Action
Other than the pictures you have on your feed, your target audience will also look at your caption. Pictures are worth a thousand words, but one powerful line or message would create a big impact as to how your audience will view your image. Also, it also moves them to act.
Moreover, avoid lengthy captions in your post. The reason why people are on Instagram is that they want to consume as little words as possible and focus on the pictures on their news feed. If they wanted paragraphs, they’d search for blogs instead.
Minimal yet powerful is definitely the way to go.
Know the Trends and Utilize Relevant Hashtags
Know the trends related to your industry. It’s by knowing what’s new that you know what your audience is interested in at the moment. It helps you determine your options for your marketing promotions, whether you should join the bandwagon or be different.
Hashtags play a key role in introducing your brand to users. According to a recent report, posts with at least one hashtags have generated 12.6% more engagements than those without. But before we get to WHY we need to use relevant hashtags, we must also identify the reason WHY we need to add #hashtags on our posts to promote products or services in general.
Going through your Instagram search bar, you’d see a lot of recommended hashtags as you scroll through, searching for the content you want. Adding hashtags to your posts makes your content more visible to your target audience. However, you also need to know what hashtags to use to make your posts reach the specific market you want. You can choose between going for community and industry-specific hashtags, like #fitness or #gymrat that speaks to the individuals that like going to the gym, or general hashtags, like #love or #relationshipgoals that speak to just about anyone.
Also, adding hashtags encourages engagement, and engagement is what brands need to build a relationship with the people they cater to. When you bring people in because they paid attention to what your post had to say, you better keep the water boiling. As much as possible, get them to talk more about it. If needed, have them use your hashtag as well so that more and more people will. The more people talk about the message you want to address or the product you want to promote; the more followers and conversions you will have.
However, it’s also good to note that adding way too many hashtags in your post could affect your visibility as well. Although the limited number of hashtags is 30, adding until the limit could result in making your post spammy, leaving it below your social media competition.
So again, be strategic. Don’t simply #wingit. Do your #research.
Plan the Frequency of Your Post
You’d think that only television advertisements and radio advertisements need a media plan. Well, guess what? The frequency and time of your social media posts need to be planned out too if you want to keep your audience interested. Nowadays, Instagram’s organic reach algorithms continuously change with fresh and genuine engagement with your target audience being more important than ever. So, how often should you post on Instagram to get your audience interested?
Recent statistics conclude that posting 1 to 3 times a day is the general rule of thumb. Furthermore, you should be consistent in maintaining the frequency of your post. If you’re planning to overpost during the day just to catch up on the previous days that you were unable to update, it may result in a decline in your engagement. Consequently, if you’re not consistent with updating your social media, your audience will look for another competitor that’s more active and more responsive.
In conclusion, stay consistent with your frequency. But of course, don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
Be Interactive, Communicate with Your Audience
A brand that a consumer can relate to or respond to is a brand they consider their friend. When you entertain your audience’s concerns or questions, it gives them the general idea that they can rely on you and that you are dependable when it comes to delivering customer service. In other words, it creates or maintains brand loyalty.
And like we said again, Instagram wants genuine engagement. Meaning, the more consumers search, mention, or promote your products online, the more brand awareness you get out of marketing on this social media platform.
At the end of the day, your customers’ satisfaction is your top priority, so stay connected.
Determine if Your Business SHOULD be on Instagram
In the age of social media, you’d think that maximizing every platform out there is the way to promote your business to the market. However, you should also know if your business should even be on Instagram. Are your potential consumers scrolling away on their newsfeed, finding your services on an image-based app? Perhaps, they aren’t, and that’s okay because there are many other platforms you can benefit from, like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Instagram is just one of the many popular platforms you can use to promote your business and ensure customer engagement, so choose your media wisely. Planning your online marketing strategy is not a one-size-fits-all formula. As years change, the trends and interests of the generation you want to please also change.
So, we do not emphasize this enough, research, plan, and experiment. Make the most out of Instagram’s image-focused platform to sell your product, business, or message.
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