Instagram is one of the fastest-growing platforms of all time.
With more than 4 billion people on the platform, Instagram represents a massive opportunity for brands and marketing teams.
With the right strategy, you can connect with your audience on a deeper level, build a more loyal customer base, and even increase your chances of sales. However, as the social media landscape continues to evolve, it’s worth making sure that your strategy is up to date.
If you want to connect with the 90% of Instagram users that follow at least one business, then you’re going to need a plan. Here’s how you can generate growth in 2021.
1. Get On Board With Instagram Shopping
The number of impressive tools on Instagram for Business these days is growing at an incredible pace. Instagram is rapidly becoming a place where you don’t just advertise your products – you can actively sell them too.
“Instagram Shopping” is a full set of features for business account users, designed to help people shop your videos and photos in a more convenient way. Just some of the ways that you can turn your profile into a shoppable storefront include:
· Instagram shops: Instagram shops give business leaders a customisable storefront where they can list the items they have for sale. Customers can even use filters to help them find the products they need.
· Shopping tags: Otherwise known as Shoppable Posts, shopping tags allow you to highlight the products in your catalog on your pictures and stories. When a customer taps on the tag, they’ll go straight to your website or shopping page.
· Collections: Create Instagram shops with full collections that help your audience to find the items most suitable to them in a hurry. Each product in your collection can come with it’s own detailed page, including information on sizes, pricing, and shipping.
· Shoppable stories: Just as you can add shopping tags to your standard Instagram posts, you can also tag the items in your Instagram stories too. There’s also the option to add shoppable links to the “swipe up” function on Stories.
· Instagram checkout: The checkout function on Instagram means that all eligible companies can sell their items directly through the social media platform. Customers can even use Facebook pay so they never have to leave their app.
2. Convert Customers With A Link In Bio Tool
One of the most important things any brand can do with their Instagram growth strategy, is optimize their bio. Having the right hashtags and information on your bio makes you more appealing to your target audience. With a business account, you can even add a “category” that your company belongs to and include contact details that make it easier for customers to reach out.
A successful bio needs to make a great impression, convey the unique personality of your brand, and convince your audience to follow your brand. However, it should also generate action with the right link. Unfortunately, you can only add one link to your Instagram bio.
Other ways to optimize your Instagram bio include:
· Call to action buttons: Use a button to allow your users to contact you directly from your Instagram page. This is a great way to encourage engagement.
· Get the description right: Use your description to convey your personality with emojis and hashtags. Show your customers what your brand is all about.
· Use a great profile picture: Showcase the unique nature of your brand with a picture that perfectly encompasses your company’s image.
3. Create Consistency
Your followers on Instagram want to know what they should expect from your brand. If you haven’t started looking for ways to boost consistency yet, then this should be a crucial part of your Instagram growth strategy. The more consistent you are, the more familiar your brand becomes, which helps with building better relationships with customers.
Creating consistency on Instagram starts with choosing the right theme. @TheMindfulMaison has a muted and natural color scheme for her account, which appears in not just all of her photos, but her Stories highlights too.
Pick a color that resonates with your brand aesthetic, and make sure that you stick with your theme as consistently as possible. Another way to build consistency with your brand is to schedule your posts in advance. This way, you can ensure that you’re always publishing content at the right time for your customers. To choose the best time, check out your Instagram Insights.
Your analytics will show you when your customers are most active and engaged. Scheduling posts ahead of time for the most moment will help you to grow your following more effectively.
Speaking of scheduling, a full social media plan could come in handy for your Instagram growth strategy too. Planning what you’re going to post and which promotions you’re going to run at certain times of year will help you to take advantage of the best sale opportunities.
4. Partner With Influencers
Sometimes, generating growth on social media is difficult when you’re just starting out as a brand. Your customers don’t know you very well yet, and they’re not sure if they can trust you. Partnering with influencers is how you boost your credibility instantly.
Influencers already have the attention and respect of your target audience. Working with them can help you to reach new customers and enhance your brand reputation – but only if you choose the right people. Track down influencers that target the same industries, and kinds of consumers that you’re looking for. You can start by searching for hashtags related to your brand on Instagram, or just look at who your followers are already following.
Remember, Influencers don’t have to be huge celebrities to be effective. Companies like Glossier regularly work with micro influencers to show the authenticity of their brand.
Once you find the influencers that are suitable for your needs, make sure you know how to use them. Promotions and contests are usually some of the best ways to generate attention through Influencers, as they instantly get people involved with your brand. You could ask your influencer to request that their followers send photos of them using your products for a chance to win a prize.
Not only do these photo-sharing contests generate engagement, but they also give you resources for user-generated-content based marketing too.
5. Create Engaging Content
Finally, although many things may change in your Instagram growth strategy for 2021, there’s one strategy that will always be crucial to social media marketing: creating great content. Although building a large follower base is great, it’s not going to do you much good if you can’t convince those followers to engage with your content.
Research your target audience and find out what kind of content they want to see from you. Experiment with different styles of posting and look at your Instagram Insights to see which of your content gets the most engagement already. You can even take inspiration from your competitors – just be sure to give it your own spin.
Generally, video performs better than pictures when it comes to engagement. Video is also the medium that Instagram has been giving the most love to lately. If you haven’t added some video content to your strategy yet – now’s the time to start. Options include:
· Instagram Stories: You can add mini video clips to your Instagram stories to give them more depth and shake things up for your target audience. Why not try experimenting with some video clips in your Stories that build buzz for an upcoming live session?
· Instagram Live: Instagram Live is one of the best ways to engage with your target audience. It gives you an opportunity to connect with your customer on a more authentic level, through raw, unedited video. Live is a great place to host Q&A sessions, discussions, interviews, and tutorials.
The options are endless.
· IGTV: Experiment with long-form video on IGTV, and you’ll benefit from access to a whole new tab on Instagram. Ranking for IGTV is a great way to expand your brand reach. Just remember that IGTV videos are usually more professional in style than video content for standard Instagram posts.
Instagram also recently introduced Reels as an alternative to the rapidly growing TikTok trend. Brands are starting to use Reels as a great way to generate attention and connect with customers through mini clips. One company called @SecondShotCoffee gained almost 40,000 impressions when experimenting with their Reels strategy.
Get Ready For Growth In 2021
A new year means another chance to update your Instagram growth strategy.
As Instagram continues to grow as one of the most powerful platforms for engagement, there’s no doubt that businesses of all sizes can benefit from building the right campaign. If you want to leverage Instagram to its fullest potential this year, make sure that you follow the tips above, and track your Instagram Insights for further growth.