Instagram Marketing Strategy – Complete Guide

Instagram marketing strategy complete guide

Instagram is a powerhouse for businesses looking to connect with a vast, engaged audience. With over one billion active users, this visually-driven platform offers unique opportunities for brands to showcase their products, tell their stories, and build meaningful relationships with customers. However, making Instagram work for you and your business means creating a well-thought-out strategy. This complete guide to Instagram marketing strategy will walk you through everything you need to know, from understanding the platform’s potential to implementing effective tactics and best practices. Whether you’re new to Instagram or looking to refine your approach, this guide will equip you with the tools and insights needed to use Instagram for your marketing success.

What is Instagram Marketing?

Instagram marketing involves using Instagram’s social media platform to promote your brand, engage with your audience, and drive sales or awareness. Businesses and influencers create content tailored to the platform’s visually-driven nature, including photos, videos, Stories, and Reels. Through a strategic mix of organic posts and paid advertisements, Instagram marketing is a great tool to build a brand’s identity, foster community, and encourage consumer action, such as website visits or product purchases. The interactive features of Instagram, like comments, direct messages, and likes, allow for direct engagement with followers, fostering a sense of loyalty and connection.

Why Market on Instagram?

Instagram is a powerhouse in the social media world, with over a billion active users, with a large portion of those users engaging on the platform daily. Instagram’s visual-first nature is ideal for showcasing products, services, and brand personality in a creative way. Instagram users tend to be younger, more engaged, and more likely to interact with brands compared to other social networks. Also, Instagram offers a wide selection of features, such as Stories, Reels, and livestreams, which provide diverse ways to connect with your audience and stay top-of-mind. The platform’s sophisticated advertising tools also enable precise targeting, ensuring that your marketing efforts reach the most relevant audience. For these reasons, we believe that an Instagram account is important for businesses to have.

how to market on instagram

How to Market on Instagram

If you’re ready to jump into Instagram marketing for your brand, it’s time to learn some of Instagram’s best practices. These tips will help you create a strong Instagram strategy that maximizes results for your business.

Instagram Best Practices

Use a Content Calendar

A content calendar is an organization tool that helps you plan and schedule your posts in advance, which helps keep your Instagram feed consistent and coherent. This tool allows you to organize your content around key dates, promotions, and themes, maintaining a steady flow of posts that align with your overall marketing strategy. Additionally, a content calendar can help you balance different types of content, from promotional posts to user-generated content, ensuring a well-rounded presence on Instagram.

Outsource Your Social Media Management

When adding social media to your overall marketing strategy, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and let the small (but important!) details slip. At Blare Media, our team of experts is ready to jump in and grow your social media presence for you. Our social media agency can handle your daily posts, engagement, and long-term strategy, freeing up your time to focus on other aspects of your business. Working with our team also gives you access to our expert knowledge and advanced tools, leading to more effective and efficient social media marketing. Get in touch with our team of social media marketing experts today via our contact form.

Create an Instagram Business Account

Switching to a business or professional account on Instagram unlocks a suite of features designed for marketers. With a business account, you gain access to Instagram Insights, which provides valuable data on your followers and the performance of your posts. You can also add contact buttons to your profile, making it easier for potential customers to reach you. Additionally, business accounts can run ads directly on Instagram, allowing for targeted advertising campaigns.

Instagram Hashtag Strategy

Hashtags are a powerful tool for increasing the visibility of your posts on Instagram. By using relevant and popular hashtags, you can reach users who are searching for or following those tags. It’s important to research and select hashtags that are pertinent to your industry and audience. A mix of broad and niche hashtags can help maximize your reach while targeting the right followers. Keep an eye on trending hashtags and consider creating a branded hashtag to encourage user-generated content. These are all important factors in a complete Instagram hashtag strategy.

How Often to Post on Instagram

Consistency is crucial when it comes to posting on Instagram. Aim to post at least once a day to keep your audience engaged and maintain a presence in their feeds. However, quality should never be sacrificed for quantity. It’s better to post less frequently with high-quality content than to post daily with mediocre posts. Use Instagram Insights to monitor your engagement and adjust your posting frequency based on what resonates best with your audience.

Best Time to Post on Instagram

Timing can significantly impact the success of your posts on Instagram. Generally, the best times to post are early mornings, lunch hours, and evenings when people are most likely to be active on the platform. However, the optimal posting time can vary depending on your specific audience. Use Instagram Insights to determine when your followers are most active and schedule your posts accordingly to maximize engagement.

Edit and Filter Photos In the Instagram App

Instagram’s built-in editing tools and filters can help enhance the quality of your photos, maintaining a consistent look and feel for your brand. Experiment with different filters and editing features to find a style that reflects your brand identity. Consistent use of filters and editing styles can create a cohesive aesthetic that makes your profile more visually appealing and recognizable.

How to Write Engaging Instagram Captions

Captions are an essential part of your Instagram posts, providing context and encouraging interaction. Crafting engaging captions involves a mix of storytelling, questions, and calls to action. Share behind-the-scenes stories, ask your audience for their opinions, or prompt them to take specific actions, such as visiting your website or tagging a friend. Captions should reflect your brand’s voice and personality, making your posts more relatable and engaging.

how to create an instagram marketing strategy

How to Create an Instagram Marketing Strategy

Know Your Audience

Understanding your target audience is the foundation of any effective marketing strategy. Identify who your ideal followers are, what they like, and how they interact with Instagram. Use this information to tailor your content and engagement tactics to meet their preferences and expectations. Knowing your audience allows you to create content that resonates with them, fostering stronger connections and higher engagement rates.

Know Your Marketing Goals

Clearly define what you want to achieve with your Instagram marketing efforts. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, generating leads, or boosting sales, having specific goals will guide your strategy and help you measure success. Your goals should be aligned with your overall business objectives and be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Develop Actionable Steps to Achieve Your Goals

Once you have defined your goals, outline the specific actions and tactics that will help you reach them. This might include content themes, posting schedules, engagement strategies, and promotional campaigns. Break down your goals into smaller, manageable tasks and assign responsibilities to ensure everything gets done. Regularly review your progress and adjust your strategy as needed to stay on track.

If you’re struggling with any step of creating your social media marketing strategy, reach out to our social media experts today to get started on a winning Instagram strategy and implementation plan.

Instagram Post Formats

One of the reasons Instagram is great for marketing is its wide range of features and post formats. Let’s explore Instagram’s top-performing post types, and learn when to use each one for your content.

Instagram Image Posts

Single photos are the most common type of post on Instagram and are great for highlighting products, services, or aspects of your brand personality. High-quality images with compelling compositions and lighting can capture the attention of your audience and encourage likes and comments. Use captions to provide context and engage with your followers. Instagram recently added the ability to add music to image posts – use this feature to add a song that catches scrollers’ attention.

Instagram Carousels

Carousels allow you to share multiple images or videos in a single post, making them ideal for storytelling, detailed product showcases, or step-by-step guides. This format encourages users to swipe through the content, increasing engagement time. Use carousels to provide more in-depth information or showcase different angles and features of a product. You can also add music to carousels.

Instagram Reels

Reels are short, engaging videos that can be up to 90 seconds long. They are designed to be discovered through the Reels feed and Explore Page, which can help you reach a wider audience. Reels are perfect for showcasing creative content, such as tutorials, behind-the-scenes looks, or entertaining clips. The platform’s editing tools and audio options allow you to create dynamic and engaging videos.

Instagram Stories

Stories are temporary posts that disappear after 24 hours, making them ideal for sharing real-time updates, behind-the-scenes content, and interactive elements like polls and questions. Stories appear at the top of the Instagram app, ensuring high visibility. Use Stories to keep your audience engaged and informed about your latest news, promotions, or events.

Instagram Livestreams

Livestreams allow you to broadcast live video to your followers, providing real-time interaction and engagement. This format is great for Q&A sessions, product launches, live events, and behind-the-scenes tours. Livestreams can create a sense of urgency and exclusivity, encouraging followers to tune in and participate.

Instagram advertising strategy

Paid Ads on Instagram

While organic posts are a great way to communicate with your followers, a balanced Instagram strategy should also include paid content. This is because paid content can have a much larger reach, and is able to be targeted to your specific audience’s demographics, locations, and interests. There are two main paid advertising features that Instagram offers:

Instagram Ads

Instagram Ads are sponsored posts that appear in users’ feeds or Stories, targeted based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. These ads can take various formats, including photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and Stories ads. Instagram’s sophisticated targeting options ensure that your ads reach the most relevant audience, maximizing the effectiveness of your advertising budget.

Instagram Boosted Posts

Boosting existing posts is a simple way to increase their reach and engagement. By paying to promote a post, you can ensure it appears in more users’ feeds, including those who do not follow your account. Boosted posts can help you reach a larger audience and achieve specific goals, such as increasing brand awareness or driving traffic to your website. It is a good idea to boost posts that are performing well organically, because if your followers liked it, chances are that similar Instagram users who aren’t following you yet will like it as well.

Types of Content on Instagram

Instagram isn’t just for pretty photos and funny Reels – you can use Instagram to share an array of content types. Let’s look at some of the top-performing content types on the platform that you may want to consider using.

Entertainment Content

Entertainment content is designed to amuse and engage your audience, encouraging them to share and interact with your posts. This can include funny memes, entertaining videos, and light-hearted photos. The goal is to capture the attention of your followers and keep them coming back for more.

Case Study: Duolingo

A brand who does this extremely well is the language learning app Duolingo. When Duolingo’s pushy reminder notifications became the subject of a viral meme, Duolingo used it as an opportunity to laugh along with social media users. They started creating entertaining content around their mascot, Duo, who is (jokingly) threatening when users don’t do their daily language practice. Duolingo now has over 3 million followers, many of whom love to engage with the funny videos in the comment section.

Instagram marketing strategy example: Duolingo

Informational Content

Informational content provides value to your audience by educating them about your industry, products, or services. This can include tips, tutorials, how-to guides, and informative articles. Sharing useful information helps establish your brand as an authority in your field and builds trust with your followers.

Case Study: Fallon Geiger Dance

A great example of using informational content to educate your target audience is @fallon_geiger_dance on Instagram. Instead of relying solely on promotional posts for her private dance lessons and online courses, Fallon provides informative posts for dancers on how to improve their technique. These types of posts are attractive to her target audience – leading them to follow and engage with her account and eventually, purchase her paid content.

Instagram marketing strategy example: Fallon Geiger Dance

Influencer Marketing

Collaborating with influencers can help you reach a larger and more engaged audience. Influencers have established credibility and trust with their followers, making their endorsements powerful. Choose influencers whose audience aligns with your target market and work with them to create authentic and engaging content that promotes your brand.

Case Study: Prime Student

Amazon’s Prime Student program allows college-aged consumers to access the benefits of Amazon Prime, plus student-geared additional benefits, for a discounted price. To spread the word among college students, they launched a Campus Ambassador program that uses student influencers at universities across the country to promote Prime Student to their peers. This program has been a huge success because students are more likely to listen to recommendations from their peers than from companies or older people.

Instagram marketing strategy example: Prime Student

User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is created by your followers and can be a powerful way to build community and trust. Encourage your customers to share their experiences with your products or services and repost their content on your account. UGC serves as social proof and can inspire others to engage with your brand.

Case Study: The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary is a tourist destination in Long Beach, CA, that regularly reposts user-generated content that is shared to Instagram. They encourage visitors to post content about their visit and tag @thequeenmary for a chance to be reposted on the official The Queen Mary Instagram account.

Instagram marketing strategy example: The Queen Mary

Content Curation

Curating relevant content from other sources can provide additional value to your audience and save you time on content creation. Share articles, videos, and posts that are relevant to your industry and audience. Be sure to give credit to the original creators and add your own commentary to provide context and insight.

What Is Instagram Insights?

Instagram Insights provides analytics on how your posts are performing, who your audience is, and how they are interacting with your content. This data is crucial for refining your marketing strategy and making informed decisions. Key metrics include engagement rate, reach, impressions, follower demographics, and post-performance. By regularly analyzing these metrics, you can identify what works and what doesn’t, allowing you to optimize your content and engagement tactics.

How To View Instagram Insights

To view Instagram Insights, you need to have a business account. Navigate to your profile and tap on the three lines in the top right corner to access the menu. Select “Insights” to view data on your followers, content performance, and engagement. You can see metrics for individual posts, Stories, and overall account performance. Use this data to track your progress and adjust your strategy as needed.

Best Social Media Marketing Services for Instagram

At Blare Media, we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all Instagram marketing strategy. That’s why we offer a wide range of services that we combine into custom Instagram marketing packages for each client. Let’s look at some of our most popular service types that we provide our Instagram management clients.

Comprehensive Instagram Management

Comprehensive management services handle all aspects of your Instagram marketing, from content creation to analytics. These services ensure your account is consistently active and engaging, freeing you to focus on other areas of your business.

Instagram Video Production

High-quality video production services can help you create engaging Reels, Stories, and livestream content. Professional videos are a great tool to establish your brand and capture the attention of your audience.

Targeted Instagram Advertising

Expertly crafted advertising campaigns can help you reach your target audience more effectively. These services include ad creation, targeting, and optimization to maximize your ad spend and achieve your marketing goals.

Instagram Content Creation and Curation

Content creation services provide original, high-quality posts that align with your brand’s aesthetic and voice. Content curation services involve selecting and sharing relevant content from other sources to keep your feed fresh and engaging. This is usually done to supplement original content and boost audience engagement.

Instagram Analytics and Optimization

Analytics and optimization services help you understand your performance and make data-driven decisions. These services include regular reports, insights, and recommendations for improving your strategy and achieving better results. 

Best Instagram marketing strategy services

Recap – How to Create a Winning Instagram Marketing Strategy

Plan Overall Social Media Marketing Goals

Creating an effective Instagram marketing strategy for your business starts with a clear overall social media marketing goal. Is your goal to get more sales, more leads, or something different? Your Instagram marketing strategy will differ depending on your marketing objectives.

Begin by converting your Instagram account to a Professional account to access useful analytics from Instagram Insights. Craft a content strategy that aligns with your brand’s voice and goals, using a mix of entertaining content and audience-relevant informational content. Plan your Instagram content calendar to ensure consistent posting of engaging content that resonates with your target audience.

Use a variety of Instagram post formats such as Carousels, Stories, Reels, and live streams to keep followers engaged. Employ Instagram marketing best practices like utilizing hashtags and geotags to expand your reach. Don’t forget to engage with your audience by responding to comments and DMs promptly.

How to Engage Your Target Audience on Instagram

With your Instagram marketing, understanding your target audience is critical. Learn what your audience likes to engage with on Instagram, and use that information to create Instagram posts that resonate with your target audience. Use Instagram analytics to gain insights on what type of Instagram posts perform best for you. This is part of a comprehensive marketing strategy that should align with your social media goals.

Don’t forget to consider engagement tactics that appeal directly to your target audience. For example, utilizing interactive features on Instagram Stories is a great way to engage with your target audience and make them feel connected to your brand. Use a mix of entertainment and informational content for maximum audience engagement. Keep a close eye on Instagram analytics to monitor the effectiveness of your campaigns and adjust your Instagram marketing efforts accordingly. Consistency is key in social media, so make sure you post regularly and use Instagram posts that intrigue your target audience.

Use influencer marketing and user-generated content to extend your reach, engage your fans, and tap into new segments of your target audience. When planning your Instagram strategy, remember to diversify your content marketing approach, including photos, Reels & videos, and Instagram Stories, to keep your target audience engaged. If you’re the do-it-yourself type, tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite can help in managing your social media efforts. If you’re ready to take your Instagram presence to the next level, consider hiring a professional Instagram marketing agency to get the ball rolling.

By understanding your target audience and creating appealing Instagram posts, you can develop an effective Instagram marketing strategy that drives engagement and business growth. And again – don’t forget to track Instagram analytics at least bi-weekly to refine your marketing strategy continually.

Ready to get started with a custom Instagram marketing strategy?

Want to get a customized professional social media strategy for your business? If you’re looking for a client-focused top social media marketing agency that specializes in creating engaging branded content, you have come to the right place. Our professional social media and video agency is dedicated to delivering high-quality content that stands out from the crowd. We have a creative team that can help you produce social media content that will capture your audience’s attention.  Our production company / video agency has produced branded videos for Taco Bell, Mercedes, Microsoft, and many major global brands. We are available for consultation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere in the world. Our track record shows we have been trusted time and again by major brands for their social media and video production needs from concept to production. Contact us today to get started on your winning social media campaign.

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Instagram Marketing FAQ’s

How do I get on the Instagram Explore Page?

To get on the Explore page, create engaging and high-quality content that encourages likes, comments, and shares. Use relevant hashtags and interact with your audience to increase visibility. The more engagement your posts receive, the more likely they are to appear on the Explore page. We can help you discover what content will get the most engagement from your audience – contact us today to get started.

What is Instagram Shop?

Instagram Shop allows businesses to sell products directly through the app, providing a seamless shopping experience for users. You can create a shop on your profile, tag products in posts, and enable a checkout feature, making it easy for followers to purchase without leaving Instagram.

How do I create an aesthetic Instagram account?

To create an aesthetic Instagram account, maintain a consistent theme and style across your posts. Use high-quality images, apply a cohesive color scheme, and edit your photos to match your brand’s aesthetic. Consistency in your visual presentation makes your profile more attractive and recognizable.

How do I get more followers on Instagram?

To gain more followers, post consistently, engage with your audience, and use relevant hashtags. Collaborate with influencers and encourage user-generated content to reach new audiences. Creating high-quality, valuable content that resonates with your target audience will naturally attract more followers.

What is the most important metric on Instagram?

Engagement rate is often considered the most important metric on Instagram. It indicates how actively your audience interacts with your content, reflecting the quality of your posts and the strength of your relationship with your followers. High engagement rates suggest that your content is resonating well with your audience.

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