4 steps to drive sales with Instagram marketing strategies

Instagram marketing activities support one of the most successful overall marketing plans a business can have. However, to

Instagram marketing activities support one of the most successful overall marketing plans a business can have. However, to achieve the success, you must have a winning Instagram marketing strategy. You can’t just expect to achieve success by merely posting on Instagram. Through an Instagram strategy, a business should establish the specific goals and lay out a plan that will help achieve the goals. In this article, we focus on the four basic steps for winning, while marketing on Instagram. We will also give you real examples of companies that have won by applying the cutout strategies. But first, it is important we justify why Instagram has such a huge potential for businesses.

Instagram has proven to be one of the best social channels for marketing. This is for both the large and small businesses. To begin with, Statistics by Sprout Social indicate that Instagram has more than 700 million active monthly users. Of these, 250 million are active users every day. This is a huge audience with great potential if the right strategies are employed. Further, over 70% of successful businesses in the US were using Instagram by the year 2017. Therefore, this illustrates the great potential that lies in Instagram marketing.

250 million of Instagram users are active every day! Click To Tweet

As illustrated, it is not just enough to post content and wait to achieve success. Businesses should ensure they have the right marketing strategies in place to win through Instagram marketing. So, which are the winning Instagram marketing strategies? Keep reading to find out the winning Instagram strategies.

#1 Determine Your Specific Instagram Marketing Objectives

To achieve success, you need first to determine what it is you want to target. This is usually the first thing every business person does when crafting a marketing strategy. Having a clearly defined objective is a must for newbies and also for pro-Instagram marketers.

There are various objectives that businesses will want to achieve through Instagram marketing. The objective will depend on the industry, and also your specific brand. Some of the common objectives that businesses will focus on through Instagram marketing include;

  • Drive more traffic to your website to increase sales

A common objective is to get more clicks on a website. However, advertisers might argue that Instagram doesn’t allow the use of hyperlinks on photos. Adding a URL to the profile is the strategic way of getting more clicks to your website. E-commerce websites employ this technique and add tracking parameters to determine performance.

  • Video views to showcase company products and services

Companies will also use Instagram as a platform for sharing videos that educate potential clients on the services and products the company sells. This can be better achieved through Instagram stories and video sharing.

  • Increased brand awareness and loyalty

Brand awareness campaigns focus on ensuring Instagram users discover your brand and also find the content shared via Instagram. You can determine the success of brand awareness campaigns, by viewing the likes, the comments, and also interactions on your hashtag campaigns. The number of new followers is also another metric that can be used to determine the effectiveness of your brand awareness campaign.

Read More: Metrics to Measure Brand Awareness

  • App Installs

Drive more installs of your mobile application, by sharing links through which users can download the App.

These objectives are also critical, in determining the type of campaigns that you will run on Instagram. With Instagram marketing, it is possible to run one campaign that focuses on achieving more than one objective. The marketing managers should work together with an Instagram marketing expert. Together, they can craft the objectives to come up with a good campaign that will help achieve the goals. Once the specific objective has been determined, you will then need to determine who your target audience is. Of course, the audience should be the clients you aim at selling to and can be classified based on the location or even the demographics.

Fashion Nova recently employed influencer marketing on Instagram with an objective of popularizing the company’s new Jeanswear for ladies. This is an example of an Instagram campaign that was run to achieve an objective. The campaign successfully reached out to 2 million people and attracted over 500K comments. Here is a screenshot of the campaign.

How to contact Instagram influencers to endorse your brand

#2 Come-up with Content Strategy

Content is key to the success of any Instagram marketing campaign.  It is critical that the content you share is engaging and relevant to what your targeted audience want. If you post irrelevant and disengaging content, you will not be able to achieve your marketing objective as crafted above. To begin with, it is important that you determine the type of content that you are going to share. Instagram marketing content can be categorized into the following types;

  • Product-Centric Content

Generally, most Instagram marketers will use the product-centric content with their campaigns. So what do we mean by product-centric content? Generally, this describes content that directly features the company’s products.  Therefore, the videos and photos that are featured will be those illustrating the products and services offered by the marketer. Essentially, you are asking your audience to check out some of the great products that your company is producing. The product-centric content aims at increasing sales of a particular product.

A good example of product-centric content on Instagram marketing is Nikesportswear as shown in the image below. The company posts product-centric photos to show its followers some of the best sportswear they sell. The success of this campaign can be illustrated by the number of likes the photo achieved.

  • Culture Centric Content

In some instances, the product might not be as exciting to look at. In other instances, it is not all about monetizing your Instagram content; it is about establishing brand awareness. Therefore, companies that wish to showcase what they are all about will do so successfully with Instagram culture-centric content. Culture centric content is important in that it helps to drive more engagements with just an aim of communicating what you can offer to the audience.

  • User-Generated Content

Instagram marketers will also sometimes post content that is generated by loyal fans. This is a great way of achieving brand loyalty and appreciating the already exciting audience. Companies can take advantage of user-generated content to showcase how much they value user response, hence attracting more engagements from other potential users.

  • A Balanced Mix of above Content Types

You can mix product-centric and culture-centric content together with user-generated content to come up with great engaging content. However, keep the balance to ensure you achieve the major objective of your campaign.

Content scheduling is another important part of content strategy for your business. There are several write-ups that suggest the appropriate posting frequency, but only you can determine which schedule best suits you.

However, remember that posting your Instagram marketing content regularly increases the visibility and helps, in increasing chances of achieving the objectives. It is important to ensure you post fresh content to keep your audience engaged. You can use post scheduling tools like Buffer and Later if you don’t have a social media manager. Space out your content appropriately so that engagement can be balanced well. Lastly, on Instagram marketing content, it is important to consider creation and editing of your content. Remember Instagram is more of visual appeal to drive engagement. Therefore, attractive photos with great clarity for your graphics will boost the overall engagements.

#3 Take Advantage of Instagram Tools

Through the latest app upgrades, Instagram offers marketers various tools to enhance their campaigns. Taking advantage of the capabilities that come with these tools is important to increase the chances of achieving success. Some of the Instagram tools include;

  • Instagram Stories

This is a brilliant Snapchat rip off that helps marketers to increase their engagements with the Instagram audience. Through Instagram stories, you can take advantage of real-time marketing, which is more appealing to the audience. The Instagram Stories feature offers a more genuine way of reaching the audience via Instagram. Since the introduction of this feature, it has become one of the successful rollouts from the Instagram community. This is because it allows brands to show most recent stories which the audience is interested in.

  • Instagram Live

This is an appropriate feature for the brands with many followers. Through live videos, you can achieve high user engagement since the live video shows up on top of the new fees. A good example of how to use Instagram live is hosting a Question and Answer session with your Instagram fans. You get an opportunity to respond live to your audience which is a great engagement drive.

  • Use Carousel Media to Post multiple Pieces of Content

This feature allows you to combine several images to form one post about your product. You can add different colors and arrange the photos in preferred sequence improving their quality and also use them to tell a story about the products.

  • Hashtags on Instagram

Instagram hashtags are important not only for marketing but also for tracking your Instagram campaigns. Instagram audience like being ahead of what is happening through following the Instagram hashtags and therefore marketers can take advantage of this tool to achieve discoverability. Once users discover you on Instagram, there are higher chances of clicking through to your website. When using Instagram hashtags;

    1. Make sure you make them easy to discover, and also easy to remember and read.
    2. Use hashtags that attract new followers like #follow4follow
    3. Use less popular hashtags that are highly relevant and
    4. Make use of popular hashtags with best chances of getting searched, e.g. #tbt
How to Effectively Use Trending Hashtags in Social Media Channels

Embrace Targeting Techniques

For higher engagements, you can target audience based on location and demographics. The location-based targeting should be carefully implemented to ensure you share content that is specifically for the audience you are targeting.

#4 Analyze your Instagram Marketing Regularly

Once you have implemented the above strategies for Instagram marketing, it is then important that you keep tracking the results. This includes tracking how your content performs and also the following growth. Based on the results, you can identify where there is a need for improvement and also identify the strategies that work well so that you can implement them in your future campaigns. It is important to note that not everyone’s strategy will be the same. Therefore, don’t expect that what worked for another person will still work for your campaigns. While analyzing the Instagram campaigns you should;

  • Calculate the conversions coming through from your campaigns

This will help you identify where you could be losing any prospects. Whenever people click on your Instagram ads and land on your website, these are warm leads with high conversion potential. If you have a high number of closed deals, this should tell you that you are doing well. On the other side, a low number of conversions will mean you should check out your Instagram marketing campaigns.

  • Checkout Follower Growth to Benchmark your goals

Check out the number of followers every month and keep the record on a spreadsheet. You can also use Google sheets to keep these records for ease of access. The follower growth rate indicates that your community is expanding.

  • Follow the Comments on your Posts to Determine Follower Sentiment

Likes and comments indicate people have engaged with your recent posts. To get their sentiments, read through the comments session and take action where customers require you to act. In most cases, prospects will ask pricing and general questions which are important for them to convert. You can make use of comments monitoring tools like Simply Measured which tracks comments and other metrics.

Instagram metrics are important since they give valuable insights into how effective Instagram marketing campaigns are.

Key Points to Remember

With the above key Instagram marketing strategies, businesses can be able to achieve great success. Always remember that success in marketing requires that you have a good marketing plan. First, determine your Instagram marketing objectives, and then come up with the campaigns that are appropriate. These campaigns should help you to reach the marketing objectives. To achieve the objectives, you need to come-up with well-developed content. The Instagram marketing content should be catchy and relevant.  This means that you will be required to spend some time analyzing what it is that interests the audience.

Once you have determined this, you should develop appropriate content. Alternatively, you can hire a professional to develop for you some good quality content that catches the reader’s attention. Note that if you miss on content development, there will be very minimal chances of attracting the attention of Instagram users. Post fresh content regularly to ensure it is attracting existing and new audience

Make use of Instagram tools to improve your content and also to measure the impact of your campaigns. Regularly check out the analysis tools to determine the effectiveness of your campaigns. Regularly analyzing your campaigns will help you re-strategize to easily reach your objectives.

Eva Thanu

About Eva Thanu

Eva is a Digital Marketing graduate and Customer Success Director at Mentionlytics. You can find her on Twitter! Follow Eva on Twitter