Continuous follower, growth, actions, and engagement are necessary for the success of your business on Instagram. The social networking site is regularly used by companies for promoting their brands and reaping great returns. However, the way big brands are marketing on Instagram nowadays might not be the same next year. 2019, in fact, is about to arrive with new challenges for Instagram users. The companies will have to draft new marketing strategies to enjoy a win-win situation. The new challenges that Instagram users may have to face include SEO, social branding, organic marketing and more. Let us look at 10 best ways through which a brand can be managed on Instagram in 2019.
1. Create a Unique Brand Profile
Instagram is visited by around 300 million people every day. It is perhaps the most dynamic and versatile platform for promoting the brand. While choosing Instagram for the marketing of the brand, it is important to consider the competitors who are already using the platform for the promotion of goods and services. Following their strategies can definitely give you an idea of what strategy you need to adapt to attract the attention on the social media. Besides that, you also need to have a unique brand profile. Suppose you run a real estate business in California, US. There might be many like you that might be using the platform for promoting the brand. To stand against them, you will need a strong profile.
Here is what you can include in the profile for efficient marketing on Instagram:
a. The name that you choose for the Instagram profile should include your name/brand’s name. It should be something easy to remember. If the name is too long, shorten it for something like this ‘TNL’ for Thursday Night Live. You can also include the important keywords that may help people discover you quickly.
b. The username is not just the name that you use to log in, but it also completes your Instagram address (instagram.com/username). Your username will appear on Instagram as @handle. Choose one handle for the entire social networking site, as it will make it convenient for people to find you.
c. Instagram allows its users to share website link and it is the only website that offers clickable links. Use the option as a sales pitch by encouraging people to click on the links and bring direct traffic to your business website. People interested in your Instagram profile are more likely to visit the website as well.
d. Choose the right category for your business. The category will appear under your Instagram name and would provide an idea to the people about your business. By using the category, you can free up some space in your Instagram profile as you will not have to repeat the information in the bio.
e. Do include contact info in the profile to allow people to contact you via phone call, email and personally. The contact info will appear at the bottom of your profile and will be visible to the users.
f. The profile is your first pitch to attract a prospect to the brand. Use the opportunity to attract the reader by making the profile attractive. Include all useful information and refrain from repeating any information.
g. Get a verified badge from the social networking site to assure all your users about the official Instagram account. You can apply for the verified badge by contacting Instagram. You will have to fill a form providing accurate information, upload a photograph of yourself and an ID. The social media platform will review the application and approve it if it finds authentic. Once approved a blue coloured batch will appear on your account.
2. Schedule the Posts
Your audience wants to hear from you more often. The more they hear from you the more they are likely to feel connected with you. Never miss a day to post an update or anything relevant to the brand. You can always schedule the posts for a future date. This way you will be able to have a daily update on the social platform without having to visit the account every day. It is absolutely free to schedule the post in advance and it takes a few minutes to do so. Many companies schedule posts to gain followers as posts always boost engagement. However, to be able to schedule the post you might have to upgrade your personal account to a business account.
3. The right hashtag is a king!
The hashtag is not just for Twitter, but also for the Instagram. By using the right hashtag, you can enhance the presence of the brand on the platform. The right way to use a hashtag is to include all the relevant keywords. You can add as much as 30 hashtags, but it is better to use less than that. Five to ten hashtags are good to start with. See if the hashtags get you the results which you are always looking for. If not, try and add some more keywords as a hashtag. But as rule of thumb don’t overdo the hashtag. The hashtag is the king but overdoing is bad. You can use the hashtags search tool to find the most relevant keyword, or you can start your own hashtag campaign with most popular words like #love which is used in almost 700 million posts and #instagood which is found in almost 300 million posts. Refine the hashtag according to the business you are dealing in. Make sure to use relevant hashtags. For instance, if your business is about real estate hashtags such as #realestate or #realestateupdate will work fine. For positive results, it is recommended to make use of Instagram search tools to find the most relevant keyword for your brand.
4. Creative Visuals
Instagram is all about visuals. Creative images and colourful banners always catch the attention of Instagram users. Instagram marketing in 2019 will be about creative and vivid visuals. Promoting the brand on the platform in 2019 stick to the colour scheme and use it wherever you can. Apply the same strategy for filters. Use the filters that you always use and do not experiment. Try and keep the image simple. Don’t overcrowd it with texts and caption. On successful execution, the brand would be recognized instantly. Nike is among one of the brands that have used the strategy to promote the brand on Instagram. The brand uses images to feature its products in a subtle yet striking manner.
Adding video in the posts is also a great way to attract the attention of the users. Social media users use video to better express their thoughts. Videos can be used to promote the brand in a stylish manner. Apps like Boomerang and Hyperlapse can be used for editing the videos. Many companies use these tools to edit videos as part of their marketing strategy.
5. Seek Professional help
Creative content leaves a lasting impression on the readers. You can seek the help of an Instagram expert for drafting unique posts with a creative edge. Set a budget to either hire or outsource work to a social media manager with experience in photography and design to help you tune up the posts for enhanced exposure. This will help you to get the best results in quick turn round time. I know this because once I hired professional from assignment writing service available online and it saved my time, allowing me to focus on other tasks with ease. Instagram experts, in fact, can also give some of the best Instagram marketing tips.
6. Optimize the images before sharing
It is a very common practice to share images once uploaded on different social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. However, companies often forget to optimize the images. In 2019, you will have to pay great attention to how you share images on these platforms. Images are universal when compared to text, and this makes them shareable. Great images can build a bridge between the brand and the audience. If you are planning to target a specific set of the audience, it is necessary to make sure that you optimize the images for greater reach. The image should be of at least 180 X 180 pixels. The image dimension on a smartphone should be of 128 x 128 pixels, and the profile image should be located 24 pixels from the left, 2 pixels from the bottom and 196 pixels from the top cover. These are some of the dimensions that are needed to be considered while uploading and sharing the image. A professional is fully equipped to optimize the images according to the purpose. Still, if you feel like optimizing the image by yourself, here are some guidelines that can help you in optimizing images in a perfect manner:
a. Cover photo appears on the front page and should have a dimension of 820 x 312 pixels. The cover photo should have a minimum size of 400 x 150 pixels, and anything less than that will not be visible. The cover photo appearing on the smartphone will have a dimension of 640 x 360 pixels. For best results use JPG image not more than 100 kb. For logos or text use a PNG file.
b. Shared Images – Images uploaded with the purpose of sharing should have a dimension of 1200 x 630 pixels. The shared images appear in the feed with a maximum width of 470 pixels.
c. Shared clickable images: For sharing images that also carry link, the dimension should be of 1200 x 628 pixels.
d. Event Image: To share an image of an event makes sure that the image is of a dimension of no less than 1920 x 1080 pixels.
e. Business Image: The business page profile should have an image with a dimension of 180 x 180 pixels.
7. Join a good cause
Partnering for a good cause is just a way to make the world a better place to live. But it is also a good way of promoting the brand. By joining a good cause, the company can also target like-minded individuals and promote the brand. This is an Instagram marketing strategy for companies that source products such as organic products, life-care products, etc. Promoting the responsible sources of the product is a good way of marketing the brand. Instagram can also be used for talking about any recent investment or donation for a cause. But, it is necessary for the cause to align with the brand. For instance, a publication company supporting NGOs in the welfare of kids is a good way to promote the brand.
8. Entertaining yet inspirational
Digital media has been used for promoting goods and products for decades now. One thing that has not changed in digital marketing is entertaining and inspirational content and images. People still like to read inspirational thoughts and entertaining images. Any post that you decide to go online should have these two elements to attract the targeted audience. However, such content should be free from the sales pitch. The sole purpose of such posts should be only to entertain the audience. Instagram offers advertisement services as well as services to business firms. For promoting the brand and business, you can always use such services. Investing in ads can prove to be lucrative.
9. Promoting and reposting
Not many may recommend but to stay in the competition you may need to promote and repost other posts. Using ‘shout-outs’ you can promote other posts. There are basically two types of shout-outs – paid and unpaid. The paid shout-outs are for the companies with a bigger budget. In the paid service, you pay the brand with much larger followers to promote the brand, product, and services. This is one of the best ways to gain maximum exposure in short turnaround time. You can ask the brand to include call of action such as “follow us here”, “for more click here” etc. The unpaid shout-outs allow two brands to promote each other just like a barter system. You promote the other brand with an equal number of followers on Instagram. In turn, the brand will promote your brand. Both types of shout-outs are a great way of promoting the brand. You can also repost the post of your customers. Tag them in the repost to make them feel connected.
No matter whether you decide to promote on Instagram, FB or Twitter public engagement is a must. You should engage with the followers and other Instagram users that can be turned into customers. Instagram is not just a place to post images but also to interact with the users. Engaging with the industry influencers, partners, and bloggers can really help you at the end. You can also follow media houses and magazines where you would like the brand to be featured in. Your audience will also be willing to hear from you and your clients’ success stories. Sharing it on social media is a great way to allow the followers to stay connected. Here are some of the things that you may include in your post for maximum exposure –
a. Testimonial: You can ask your client to write a testimonial for you explaining how the brand helped in his/her success.
b. Share client story: You can share client’s story on Instagram after seeking their permission.
c. Educational posts: Randomly post about the brand educating the followers about it and how it can benefit them. Sometimes people don’t know about different ways through which they can benefit from a service. Educating them can help in the long run as people finding the brand useful would like to stick to it for long.
d. Quotes: Use quotes to define the brand and services. People are more interested in reading quotes with vivid graphics.
e. Behind the scene photos: Share photos of employees working on projects as a team. This will help followers better connect with the company.
In 2019, Instagram is going to the most popular platform for marketing and promoting the brand. Using it wisely is the best advice that anyone can give to the companies who are planning to use the platform for marketing and promotion. Instagram and other social media platforms offer free of cost facilities to promote a product, brand, and service. Companies should gear up for strong Instagram marketing strategies as companies have turned to digital media as a way to promote their brand. To stay competitive in the market each company will have to stay abreast to shun rivals and win more customers.