There’s a lot to learn from each social media channel, especially if you want your business to stay relevant and keep up with the competition.
As you build your brand, knowing the ins and outs of a platform like Instagram will truly make your business stand out and get noticed by your audience.
This is why we’re giving you the top Instagram marketing best practices in 2020 that have been proven to generate more awareness and engagement.
Let’s dive in!
Why You Need an Instagram Account
Why does your business need Instagram? Let’s see some stats:
Instagram’s platform has 800 million monthly active users and more than 500 million Instagram profiles are active on a daily basis!
To not mention that 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram, 200 Million+ Instagrammers visit at least one business profile daily and 80% increase in time spent watching videos on Instagram.
Instagram is mainly your golden path to reach your target audience, driving sales and making real brand awareness.
Instagram Marketing Best Practice #1 – Identify Your Overall Post Strategy
Instagram is the place where your brand will reveal who you are, what you do, and how you can help your target audience solve their problems.
People come to Instagram to be inspired and because of a need to discover things they care about from brands and businesses so, do you keep them engaged?
It’s simple: carefully study your target audience and show them who you are by engaging them with great content.
The message you deliver should be tied in with the goals you would need to achieve.
Combine it all to make them feel an emotion and you’ll be set.
That’s right! Emotions and authenticity drive engagement and awareness, increasing your followers and earning possible clients in the process.
As your first Instagram marketing best practice, it’s important to start setting clear goals in mind, helping you define your strategy and create content that will help you achieve your targets.
Try setting 2 main goals for your posts. Some great ideas to get you started are:
- Showcase your products or services
- Build your community
- Increase awareness of your brand
- Showcase your company culture and values
- Advertise to potential customers
- Increase brand loyalty
- Share company news and updates
Ideally, each of your posts should reflect one of the ideas above.
Instagram Marketing Best Practice #2 – Create an Instagram Business Account
If you already have one, good! If not, this is a must-do in order to get all the benefits you can use to keep on track impressions, demographics, insert a call to action, access insights and so much more!
By having a business account, you’ll be found and recognized as a business!
With a Business Account you can:
- Get real-time metrics on how your stories and promoted posts perform throughout the day.
- Get insights into your followers and how they interact with your posts and stories.
- Add information about your company like business hours, location, and phone number.
As you can notice, by switching to a business account, it will make your Instagram’s platform super valuable if you’re aiming to target a niche audience, especially since Facebook already has an in-depth history in all-inclusive detailed demographic targeting options!
So, are you ready to switch to a business account?
Let’s take a quick look at how!
- First create your profile including your bio and added links!
- Go to your Instagram account settings.
- Go to your profile, then tap the hamburger menu in the top right corner of the app.
- Switch to an Instagram professional account.
- Choose a Business account.
- Connect your Facebook Page!
Instagram is a highly visual experience. So, tell your story through captivating photos, videos, and captions in the right way and you’ll be ready to go!
Instagram Marketing Best Practice #3 – Optimize Your Instagram Profile, Bio, and Feed
As we mentioned, Instagram gives the unique chance for you to tell great stories through visual content and especially through Instagram videos, which are surely highly effective at telling your brand’s story within a short time frame.
Instagram is not the place where you would market your products or services in a boring old school marketing way, but it’s the “home” of brands where you can get creative by showcasing your products or services in a new light, talk directly to your users through lives, engage by starting contests and so much more!
Showing off your brand’s versatility or humanizing it with a “behind the scenes” look, is an amazing way to market your brand and create engaging images and videos by blooming your feed with interest.
First, find a good profile picture that reflects your brand, and don’t be afraid to be bold! You can also have a fun profile picture, but this is really up to you and should reflect your brand’s natural tone.
You can have a logo for your business to look professional or have your personal picture by making it creatively fun or interesting, especially if your brand is centered around a sole identity or person.
Take a look here below at some ideas:
Next, you’ll want to optimize your Instagram name.
Not only will this section allow you to insert something different from your Instagram account name, but it will also allow your name to be searchable by those who don’t know you yet.
As per example, if you’re a marketer and your Instagram account is named by your name, in the instagram bio section you could insert what you do, like marketer, SEO and/or Digital Marketer in order for people to search and find what they are looking for even if they don’t exactly know your Instagram name.
Mainly, this will allow your name to be “searchable”. If you just insert your name and people don’t know who you are, how will they ever find you?
Don’t lose the opportunity in catching the attention of thousands of people, especially if your business is small and you need to reach out!
If you’re looking for even more tips on how to make a killer first impression with your bio, make sure you check our Instagram bio ideas’ article.
Instagram Marketing Best Practice #4 – Use Instagram Stories
Stories are one of the top Instagram marketing best practices you need to apply to your business to be successful in 2020.
Not only as it relates to showcasing your products, but also taking advantage of the “swipe up” feature, addressing users directly to the linked landing page to purchase it!
They surely knew how to use this “swipe up” right!
The swipe up feature is a game-changer for businesses, allowing the user to access directly to a sponsored product or service by just swiping up and landing directly to what they saw and want.
It’s a simple move, within your Instagram story, that eliminates the problem of having many links in bio through ads and posts. Now, you can showcase products in your Instagram story to drive traffic directly to specific landing pages you pick!
You need your business profile to reach 10k followers to have access to this feature.
But, wait! There is another smart and quick way! Check this video to get the Instagram SWIPE UP HACK without 10K Followers.
Just promote a product or service on your story, and add the swipe up function with a link to a landing page about your promotion.
Another one of the Instagram marketing best practices is to use lead magnets in your posts, as they are a great way for you to drive more traffic to your website and, ultimately, increase conversions. Now you can also use your Instagram story to sell your products the same way you did with shoppable posts.
Take a look at an example here below:
Some use their stories to create connections with their followers, asking to tag their brand, just like in this extraordinary example.
Check it out!
“What are you having for brunch”?
People surely didn’t miss that chance to tag their pictures, hoping to increase their followers!
This is another way to grow your brand awareness on Instagram by reaching out to people who might not fit your target audience but could still be interested in your products or services.
You also need to make sure the timing of your story is relevant since it will disappear in 24 hours after it gets uploaded. Use this story as a possibility to drive your users into buying by adding discounts or running contests to increase engagement.
The whole idea here is having your brand on their minds. If they’re thinking about your brand, they are more likely to make a purchase.
And don’t forget to go live!
Instagram Marketing Best Practice #5 – Go Live on Instagram
Users love when their favorite brands go live, having the opportunity in asking them questions and this also helps those brands themselves in connecting with their audience in real-time,.
Make sure you respond to your audience’s comments and try to acknowledge your users.
This will not only help you increase engagement metrics, but there are endless possibilities and opportunities to earn and use that information within your live streams.
With live streaming, you can demonstrate and show off new products, introduce some of your employees, or even do a live demonstration on how to use your product.
As you can see, there are so many ways you can use this opportunity to your advantage.
You can also alert your audience ahead of time in order to make sure they’ll know when you go live!
Another way to use your Instagram lives is by working with other brands.
This means you can connect with brands that are similar to your brand and talk about a common issue, a new product, or anything you’d love to talk about, helping your target audiences and increasing both brands’ engagement!
In fact, Instagram is the top social platform in terms of brand collaboration across the globe.
And now, let’s run some targeted ads!
Instagram Marketing Best Practice #6 – Create an Instagram Ad Campaign
To increase brand awareness you need to reach users on Instagram who don’t follow your account – and that’s no easy task.
While using the strategies here isn’t a guaranteed overnight success (especially if your brand is new) running targeted advertisements will decrease the time it takes to see a solid ROI on Instagram.
As Instagram has been acquired by Facebook, you can set up your ads the same way on both networks.
Make sure you have funds to invest in your marketing budget or you would have to stick with the free strategies on this list for now, but make sure you save up to do it later on.
Take a look here below at a sponsored ad!
As you can see, they’re all shown as “sponsored” where the location tag would normally be and there is a CTA (Call-to-action) button at the bottom!
There are many different types of ads you can use to bolster your marketing strategy:
What’s cool about sponsored ads is that when a user is scrolling through their feed, this post will beautifully blend in with the rest of the content they’re consuming without being invasive nor annoying.
This is one of the Instagram marketing best practices that you might not have the budget for right now but should be added into your strategy as soon as possible.
Instagram Marketing Best Practice #7 – Post at Optimal Times
Another social media marketing best practice you’ll need to keep in mind is to reach your audience when they are online, otherwise, your post won’t be seen immediately or it won’t be seen at all.
There are a few points to keep in mind: if you post a product once and never promote it again, people will forget about it.
Users quickly scroll through their feeds and if they see your product, they may not have a reason to buy it yet and will not even consider checking further, but if they see it more than once, it may start to pique their interest.
According to the Sprout Social case study, more than 60% of people need to see something on social media between two and four times before they buy it:
Don’t post the exact same image four different times on your Instagram page, but be creative, promote a product in different ways with different content without becoming boring and too pushy or people will unfollow you.
So, when should we post?
Best days and hours where followers are online:
You don’t want to implement new content types at random times and days, so make sure you test your post engagement by reviewing your data on post times, engagement rates, and how users are connecting to you.
Make sure your data-driven decisions are backed by knowledge of trends within the industry and on Instagram as well.
Now, let’s partner with the right influencer that fits your brand identity and get that brand awareness you need!
Instagram Marketing Best Practice #8 – Partner with Influencers
Using social influencers to promote your brand, products and services is an extremely efficient tactic on Instagram and 94% of marketers say their social influencer strategy was effective for their companies.
Social influencer’s followers have earned the trust of their followers and their followers can become yours.
82% of people are more likely to follow recommendations made by micro-influencers and 94% of consumers believe these influencers are highly knowledgeable and a good strategy to help their brand expand.
Most influencers could charge from $200 or so for a post, but if you’d rather work with celebrity influencers, then expect to spend significantly more and we are talking about over $1000.
For sure it’s a cost-effective marketing strategy that will work if your brand is at a good point to take that step for such investment.
Ideally, any influencer you pick would need to have between 10k and 50k followers to be successful.
Instagram Marketing Best Practice #9 – Run Contests & Giveaways
Promotional contests and giveaways are some great strategies for brands to engage with their audiences on social media.
By following these Instagram marketing best practices, you will definitely increase the exposure of your page and give users a reason to follow you and engage with your brand in no time.
You can even partner with other brands to sponsor a giveaway to make a stronger engagement impact. As per the below example, if your brand is about travel and discovery, you could partner with a brand that sells products to people who travel and love to discover new places.
Take a look at what @adventurenthusiast did!
It’s a strategy that will drive more users to your page and other accounts will post information about the giveaway by directing other users to follow that profile in order to win.
As you can see, it’s all about being creative and smart while still staying relevant yo your brands’ identity and goals.
Instagram Marketing Best Practice #10 – Use #Hashtags
We all know the importance of #Hashtags, right?
One of the most popular features on Instagram is the Explore Page which helps people to find users or posts that are highly relevant to their interests, but that they don’t yet follow.
Hashtags help your account to get discovered, archive content, and participate in highly relevant discussion.
Be sure to engage with the community around your brand’s niche by using relevant hashtags and not the one of #likeforlike or #followforfollow that will not get your brand anywhere!
You want your hashtags to aim at finding your target audience or lookalike audience and not random people who just give you a useless “following number”.
And then, we have the best creative hashtags ever: Interactive branded #hashtags!
Interactive branded #hashtags are the greatest Instagram best practices you could ever apply to your Instagram marketing strategy.
So let’s check how some big brands used these brilliant interactive #hashtags to get a full vision of what we’re talking about:
Can you see why they’re so amazing? This is the most brilliant Instagram marketing best practice for your business that you could ever apply to your Instagram marketing strategy to gain instant engagement so, are you ready to create your own?
Instagram Marketing Best Practice #11 – Monitor Post Type Engagement Rates
Identifying where your brand is can payoffs your social media strategy.
Analytics can tell you what’s working, what needs improvement, and where you need to spend the majority of your marketing energy.
In order to have a truly complete Instagram marketing strategy, you need to track post performance, monitor Instagram trends, track comments and hashtag usage, and measure audience engagement.
Paying close attention to your audience growth, and the number of likes and comments your posts receive will give you clues as to what’s working and what could maybe be improved.
Tracking your performance and results is crucial to any social media strategy in order to enable you to understand which types of content your audience finds most engaging and allowing you to optimize your strategy as you move forward.
If you’d like to understand even more in-depth your performance, you can calculate your engagement rate per post.
How? The engagement rate is calculated by the number of likes + comments and divide that number by the number of followers your account had at the time of posting.
We took buffer’s example of calculating their engagement rate on Instagram:
In fact, they’ve stated that the above post received 210 likes and 8 comments.
They had 12,343 followers at the time of the post so, the engagement rate would be worked out as follows:
- 210 (likes) + 8 (comments) = 218
- 218 / 12,343 (followers) = Engagement rate of 1.76%
Now, calculate your engagement rate per post and see which one is working better!
Creating and testing different posts will help you adapt the right changes on which one is getting higher engagement than others and apply it to your next programmed posts to earn the same results!
Instagram Marketing Best Practices: Conclusions
Since Instagram is growing at such a rapid rate, it makes sense to use this platform as a primary method of driving sales, but remember to always be unique, creative or/and fun and never be pushy.
Instagram has features that allow businesses to sell items directly through its platform, so take this opportunity in promoting and sharing products and services directly in an easy and direct way.
We hope our Instagram marketing best practices’ article cleared all your doubts and will help you elevate your Instagram presence and increase sales as a result!
If you have extra tips about Instagram marketing best practices, don’t hesitate to drop them in our comments below!