The complete Instagram master class 2018

Instagram came in 2010 and started off as a platform that was used for sharing photos and videos only and that too just for the sake of fun. But it has come a long way since then because now it is among the most popular and powerful social media networking mediums that can be brought to use for increasing the reach of a business irrespective of the magnitude of its size.  So, it became imperative that the power of Instagram was well understood and acquainted with for it needed to be harnessed properly as a marketing tool that could be employed by any particular business for increasing its user base and also, to convert them from followers to loyal customers.

So what exactly is there that the Instagram can’t do for marketing your business!

There is plenty in the coffers of this social media application that came into offing as just a photo sharing app and became rather more famous with its users because of the differences it provided in comparison to other social media platforms. But what really?

Let’s take a look:

  • An amazing content driven page can be created that can allure the prospective customers.
  • The number of followers can be transmuted into customers who would buy the products or services.
  • A fine marketing plan can be created that will be able to increase the consumer base of the business irrespective of the segment the business might have started off from.
  • The knowledge of best type of content can be gained which will be able to attract the intended audience for the page.
  • It provides analytics that can be effectually used to measure whether the business is making any head way with the consumer or not, where it is lacking etcetera. Thus, an entire picture can be drawn that will elucidate upon where the loopholes are and what are the potential areas that can be targeted to become even better.
  • Instagram contests are another way of increasing the traffic to the page or the official website of the business.

 

Now let’s get familiar with Instagram on a deeper level so that it can be used to build a presence despite the type of business you might be dealing with (ecommerce, education, media, apparel, white goods etcetera). Here are a few things that you must be thorough with if you are planning to make yourself visible on the Instagram with substantial traffic.

  • Instagram marketing behind a thriving ecommerce business: The trend today is that of the online shopping even though it gained prominence through its business model because of which consumers were able to enjoy massive discounts. But with the trend setting itself, many new businesses came into picture and thus the competition has only intensified with due time. So here Instagram can play a very supportive role being a very good marketer that it can be owing to itself being high on the visual format. Since the products of any ecommerce business are sold through not by gaining the touch and the feel of the products but by the photos and the videos that are being put up by the respective businesses, this property of these businesses can be easily complemented by Instagram through its visual contents and a recent addition of Instagram stories.

Moreover, the user engagement on the Instagram has been found the highest in comparison to both Twitter and Facebook. To boot, majority of the users of the Instagram are also the online shoppers and thus are most probably liable to make a purchase decision after they sight something on the Instagram that might come under the rubric of clothing, accessories and cosmetics. So, Instagram becomes a very potent tool for the ecommerce businesses because of this behavior of the users.

  • Goals and objectives setting: The very first thing that must be done is the identification of the reason underpinning the creation of an Instagram account in the very first place. Now this can range from increasing the brand awareness or developing a clear brand perception or using the Instagram as a medium to reach out to its intended customers or to display the products and services or to accentuate the loyalty of the customer towards the brand.

After this we arrive at setting the goals for which we will need particular metrics to measure the success. To illustrate, consider the goal to build a larger audience with more engagement then the parameters/ metrics employed to measure whether any furtherance in the goal has been achieved or not would be number of the likes, shares and comments. The more the number the better the business was in achieving its intended goal.

Simply put, consider the following generic questions to demarcate your goals –

  1. Why have you employed Instagram, as in what is the particular reason behind using it?
  2. How can Instagram help you in achieving your goals?
  3. The budget that can be committed to the platform?
  4. The time that can be specifically allotted to it?
  5. How does Instagram differ in comparison to other social media platforms?
  • Who after the why: We have already discussed the importance of the why behind establishing an account on the Instagram. The next step is to take into the consideration of who.

Now this encompasses the type of audience a business might be targeting since businesses usually cater to the needs of a particular segment only through a set of products. So, it becomes imperative that the ideal consumer base is identified with, their in and out is well familiarized with.

After this identification part has been achieved the next thing to deal with is the extrapolation of the target customer to the Instagram profile. This comprises the kind of content this particular segment deals with, the hashtags employed by them, the communities they might belong and some more on such lines.

Though another path to reaching the same destination is to make a due research on the competitors by visiting their profile and vetting their follower base.

  • Analyze yourself: After the two most important criteria (who and the why) have been identified with clarity, common sense entails that the next step is to make an audit of whether the identification will prove to be constructive and take the business in the intended direction of reaching its goal. This will be achieved by taking a critical look at everything with one question in the mind that whether the needs are being met or not.

So, examine whether each element of the Instagram profile is dedicated to the achieving those needs or not ie. see if the elements are intentional or not which will encapsulate the profile photo, the bio, captions, hashtags, stories etcetera.

When you have been done with the vetting, you must have answers to the following questions –

  1. Did you have defined goals and objectives?
  2. Is the branding lucid enough?
  3. Is the engagement strategy good enough?
  4. Is the content aesthetic?

 

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