Launching a new business on Instagram can feel daunting as Instagram is one of the most competitive social platforms for brand building today. After all, with over a billion active users, the platform is abuzz with businesses of all sizes aiming to build a space for themselves among the right clients and collaborators. So, how do you successfully build your brand on Instagram without losing out to competitors who already have a strong brand presence on the platform?
Whether you are a B2B or a B2C, having the right marketing strategy can help you build your business successfully on Instagram. Wise use of time and effort can help overcome the most giant stumbling blocks any new business account faces on the platform. If finding your first followers feels like a challenge, give your account a head-start by investing in authentic real-time service providers like Socials UP. However, this is only a short-term solution, and you must be able to supplement this investment with a strategy that attracts organic engagement and growth for your IG account.
How do you do this? Here are a few fool-proof tips on how you can establish a successful presence on Instagram even when you start with 0 followers on your profile.
Pay Attention to Your Profile
Your Profile page is the most SEO-friendly space on Instagram. To build a brand reach, ensure you have a public and discoverable profile. Optimize your profile by:
Using a business account
Creating the correct type of Instagram account can give you several benefits that can help you market yourself. We will look at some of these features shortly. With a business account, you have public settings by default. It is recommended you keep them as such so that anyone can find your handle.
Complete all profile details
1. Put up a profile photo that can double as a visual representation of your brand.
If you have active accounts on multiple social platforms, use the same profile image to build brand recognition. A profile photo accompanies your username. Hence choose a picture that is suitable for representing your business. You could use your company logo, a popular product, the face of your CEO, or even the image of your company’s building if you are not operating a cloud business.
2. Keep the bio keyword-enriched.
Although you can only use 150 characters, the bio is the most SEO-friendly part of your account. Use primary and secondary keywords related to your business in your description to ensure you attract visitors’ attention from the right audience pool. You can also add a call to action here, asking visitors to follow you or visit your URL.
3. Ensure your landing page works.
Provide a working and up-to-date URL for your audience. Your landing page does not always need to be a website. It could be a survey form, a link to a product review. Remember, you can change this space as frequently as you wish.
4. Add functioning call-to-action buttons.
A business account allows you to add CTA buttons to your profile. If you sell products using cloud spaces, check with the list of third parties who are currently partnered with Instagram for the purpose. If this service is available to you, your visitors can directly reserve tickets, book tables or appointments, or schedule visits using the call-to-action button you create on your profile.
5. Ensure your public details are complete and accurate.
In addition to your URL, bio and CTA, ensure that you have provided exact information for your company’s contact details. Choose your preferred mode of communication and be prompt in responding when you are contacted via the same. Double-check to ensure you have provided the right business category for your profile display.
Pay Attention to Your Content Creation
Now that you have checked your profile presentation, it is time to focus on your content creation strategy. Although this requires independent planning, it has to be in sync with your overall marketing strategy to build your brand up successfully. What you post, how and when are essential as your content speaks for your brand. Your genuineness, authenticity, and product quality are judged by the quality of posts you put up.
Have a posting plan:
It is an excellent idea to organize and create posts as per a posting schedule. Decide in advance what you want to put up and how. You can choose to build a brand image by concentrating on only one post type, you can post multiple posts simultaneously, or you can schedule them in order of your choice. Whether you decide upon regular posts or create a Story, a Reel, or an IGTV video, ensure that you have revised and edited them before publishing them. Choose to go live at a time when you are likely to get the most audience views — experiment and test what works best for your brand-building agenda. Be consistent and stick to your schedule of posting to build a loyal, active audience and boost your visibility on Instagram feeds.
Use Instagram insights:
Keep a tab on how your posts and hashtags are faring using this tool. You can track your engagement metrics and demographic outreach. This can help you plan when and how to post to bring in the best engagement results for your posts. Use it to organize your posting schedule.
Use hashtags appropriately:
Hashtags are Instagram’s equivalent of keywords on search engines. You can have a maximum of 30 hashtags on posts and reels; and 10 on your stories. Choosing relevant hashtags can build brand visibility on the Search and Explore tabs. You can create your hashtags or tailor content to adapt to trending hashtags. Research and use hashtags well.
Check your captions:
Present your posts with keyword-enriched captions to increase visibility and reach. Further, enhance it by using the Alt Text feature that makes Instagram content more accessible for the visually challenged. You can further add calls-to-actions inviting your audience to engage with your post, visit your URL, and follow your account.
Use visual branding:
Establish your brand’s image visually by being consistent with your presentation type. This includes being attentive to the use of colors, fonts, music, and all the finer details of your posts. Furthermore, you can organize your post grid as a display case for your services and products to make your business stand out at first glance for casual visitors.
Build anticipation for important announcements:
IG Stories are an excellent tool for announcing special events in advance, but you can use all other post types to suit your content creation strategy here. Create notifications about soon-to-come events, releases, and other such surprises for your audience. You can create teasers and countdowns. Incorporate a call to action with phrases like “follow us for more” to build and sustain the excitement. You will also be creating a brand presence alongside.
Broadcasting live content allows your audience to see raw and unedited footage — be it of a product’s use or an interview. You can also use this feature to engage directly and answer audience questions. Incorporate live sessions in your marketing strategy to build trust and organically grow audience reach.
At present live sessions are part of Stories which means only followers get real-time notifications about live sessions. However, you can collaborate with up to 3 other persons and create Live Room sessions to extend your target audience reach to include the audiences of your collaborators. Once your session is over, you can post it to your IGTV content and thus open it up for public viewing. An unsaved Live session remains a part of your stories for only 24 hours, but it still allows your followers an opportunity for later viewing within the set time if they missed joining in Live.
Use shoppable tags:
This feature is not currently available everywhere, but use shoppable links in your posts if available in your region. Shoppable links can be added to photos, videos, and even into your Live sessions. Shoppable links let your visitors try your products out by directly purchasing them from you without leaving the Instagram interface. If your posts can generate direct sales, they will automatically build a favorable brand image for your business.
Incorporate Influencer Marketing into Your POA
Having a great content strategy is only part of the battle won. For your content to bring in great engagement, you must first ensure they have a great reach and impression. This is hard to achieve if you have little or no attention, as Instagram algorithms automatically increase visibility and reach for accounts with high engagement. It is for this reason that you must factor in collaborators as part of your marketing plans. While collaboration projects can be done with anyone, consider having a specific influencer marketing strategy in place to achieve your goals. Influencers are independent l content creators and are trusted by their audience because of this. In other words, while influencers may endorse and review your products, they would not usually speak as your brand voice. The right influencers can direct significant organic traffic and engagement to your account. Hence:
- Choose influencers that meet your business ethics in addition to your budget.
- Verify the influencer’s reach and potential market growth by observing them before making a contract.
- Allow your influencers to be in charge of the content presentation.
- Ask your influencers to make shareable content and incorporate Call-to-Action and Shoppable tags as part of the post to ensure you receive real organic engagement and not just vanity metrics.
Promote Your Brand with IG Tools
A significant advantage of using an Instagram Business account is that you can now use many inbuilt promotional tools. Here is how:
- Connect your Facebook and Instagram accounts to create full-budget ads using Facebook advertising tools. You can choose to publish your ad on any platform depending on your target audience demographic and budget for the ad.
- You can choose to create low-budget ads specifically for Instagram from existing posts by simply using the “promote” button that appears. When you use this option, you will be required to specify further details like the goal of promoting the post, budget of expenditure for the ad, and promotion duration. Presently, you have the option of directing audience engagement and traffic to your:
- Account Profile;
- Landing Page;
- Direct Messages.
Using Instagram Promotions automatically increases your visibility and reach as it gets your content featured on the home feeds of Instagrammers who have never interacted with your account. This exponentially increases your chances of gaining organic followers, visitors, and account engagement. It is hence a good idea to set aside a part of your budget for periodic promotions. Keep track of the results to plan this aspect of your investment carefully.
Socialize with Other IG users
Instagram is, after all, primarily a social networking platform. Hence to create a brand presence, you must use the forum by actively engaging with other users. Interact with real users as part of your brand-building strategy and humanize your brand. Here are a few tips on how to make yourself an active and social brand:
- Follow and engage with business accounts that benefit your brand. They include businesses from your niche, peers, collaborators, and influencers.
- Follow back real-time audience members like your initial set of followers. These would include personal accounts, so engage with their account activities in a way that does not seem intrusive.
- Be alert to engagement on your account. Keep your notifications on so you can respond to queries, comments, and mentions promptly. If needed, use an automatic reply system for a quick initial response.
- When interacting with others, always be mindful of your language and thought presentation. Make your brand an approachable one by being polite and friendly.
- Be an active participant in community discussions and topics about your field of work. Like, share, comment, and add value to your niche community. Be an organic contributor to quality content.
- Work to increase engagement with your account by organizing socially interactive and audience-oriented polls, giveaways, and competitions. Do not forget to give shoutouts, make appreciation posts and share client experiences. In other words, be socially engaged to soft-sell your brand.
- Social awareness campaigns trend quickly and are great for building brand goodwill. Please organize such campaigns locally or actively show their support by creating content that spreads social awareness messages. Choose your campaigns wisely here. For instance, you can always support universal education regardless of what niche your brand belongs to.
Adapt to the ever-changing features of Instagram and use them to your advantage. To successfully create a brand presence on any social networking platform, you must keep yourself informed of what you can do with the platform. Instagram is no exception. Keep yourself on top of the game by knowing your environment. Study audience behavior and create a marketing strategy that is most favorable in keeping your target audience hooked.
At the same time, be mindful of the rules and regulations that bind Instagram usage in your country. A successful strategy needs to be dynamic. You should be able to think out of the box, be spontaneous, intuitive, and innovative. While you experiment and explore how best to use Instagram for your business, do not forget your budget and micro-goals!
If you are authentic and hardworking, you can rest assured that you will gain your audience’s trust and more on Instagram. So, keep your focus and work on bringing in real-time organic audience engagement. You will soon see your brand flourish as desired!