5 Most Effective Instagram Marketing Strategies for Your Startup

By on June 15, 2018

The massive popularity of Instagram is evident by the fact that in just 5 years, its growth skyrocketed from 90 million users in 2013 to 800 million monthly active users in 2018. Although Facebook still dominates the social media world with over 2 billion users, but the phenomenal progress that Instagram app is showing clearly makes it one of the hottest buzzwords, especially in the e-marketing domain.

If the data from 2016 Pew Research center is anything to go by, Instagram is emerging as the favorite social media platform among American youth. 26% of male and 38% of female mobile users of the United States are blissfully on Instagram, while 59% of users in the age group of 18-29 are sharing moments of their life with others on Instagram.

Why is Instagram becoming so popular?

One of the coolest factors that go in favor of Instagram is that it is apparently the best platform for celebrities as it provides them a quick and easy way to share great moments of their life and connect with fans globally and in a scale, like no other social media is capable at this point in time. The second great feature of Instagram that attracts more users is “Stories”, though originally developed by Snapchat and later copied by Instagram engineers. People increasingly love posting their stories on daily basis on Instagram. Thirdly, the keystone feature for content sharing on Instagram is Hashtag. Users can associate it with a specific popular topic for other users to discover.

With these obvious advantages going in favor of Instagram, businesses have already smacked the opportunity to leverage this platform in an attempt to reach out their target audience. Turns out social media in general and Instagram in particular are a perfect place for businesses to market their products to a more interested and wider audience base without spending an enormous amount of money on paid advertising.

If you have just launched your startup, Instagram marketing can be extremely helpful in terms of promoting your brand and achieving success.

Here are the most effective Instagram marketing strategies for startups:

1.      Get started with hashtag marketing and expand your reach

Create hashtags in order to increase your reach. You can either make them campaign specific or general; the important thing, however, is they should be relevant. Begin by setting up your brand name hashtag and your punch line hashtag. For example, the most used hashtags of Nike are #justdoit (14%) followed by #nike (10.5%). This makes it easier for people to find content related to you as well as your main account. As your business gains popularity and people start buying your products, you will notice more people using your hashtag. Though the maximum number of hashtags that you can use per Instagram post is 30, but you should try to keep them fewer because typing them every time is annoying. Your hashtags should be in the first comment of every post you write. You can also use popular hashtags like #instagood in order to increase the discoverability of your content. Tools like “Hashtagify” and “Top Hashtags” allow you to find popular hashtags for your niche. All you need to do is type in your keyword in these tools and a list will populate with some of the most popular hashtags with that particular keyword. 

2.      Leverage Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is the feature that is providing a better user experience. You can now upload off-the-cuff photos and videos to your Instagram Story that lasts only 24 hours before disappearing. By clicking “plus” arrow at the top left corner of your Instagram feed, you can start a new story. It provides you an excellent avenue to make creative content that helps you attain your business goals – whether have someone to buy clothes, read a post or download a song. With Instagram stories, it is easy to experiment on various content types: photo, short video, Boomerang (GIF-like image), video filmed backwards (Rewind) and live video. It also includes fun additions like face filters, text and stickers that help you edit images on-the-go.

The Instagram Stories is helpful especially in targeting new audiences, while CTAs to your collages will be useful for promotions. It’s almost like a miniature TV channel for your brand where you can go to your audience with out-of-the-box concepts. Instagram Stories are quite capable of creating curiosity among viewers as they discover something they didn’t expect. The best part is viewers start sharing the content that they find really exciting, which is also known as viral loop content. It is important to note that Stories are only available on the mobile app. Furthermore, after sharing your content on Stories, you can also view Stories Insights in your Instagram business account analytics. These insights show the people who are viewing your Instagram story as well as the impressions, reach, and other engagement metrics.

3.      Reach out to Instagram influencers

Working with Instagram influencers can help you create a buzz for your product or service. A recent study by Neilsen and TapInfluence reveals that influencer marketing drives 11 times more ROI than other forms of digital media. Since Instagram is visually-driven, its content is widely shared in the form of smartly captured photos and short videos rather than lengthy posts and rants. Leveraging Instagram influencer marketing therefore makes a lot of sense if you want to build a positive identity regarding your brand. Influencers are quite able to use their photos, videos and targeted hashtags to help drive their audience into making purchasing decisions. This is the reason why Instagram influencers offer such an unlimited potential for today’s businesses. So how can you identify an effective influencer? You need to look for influencers’ following and their engagement rate. You can calculate an influencer’s engagement rate using this formula: (# of likes + # of comments) / # of followers. 

4.      Share video content to enhance your marketing efforts

It is now easier to promote your brand and generate more leads for your business by sharing videos on Instagram. According to Cisco’s prediction, 80% of online content will be video by 2019. Videos are an excellent way to advertise your brand and build trust with your customers. You can show viewers a sneak peek of your product, which gives them a nice feel for what the product looks like and any notable features it offers. You have to keep in mind that the video should be unscripted and an impromptu representation of your product in action. When you create product videos, showcase your products in a cool way by focusing on few key features to keep your audience interested.

Creating a short how-to video say for 1 minute can work wonders for you. Also short commercials on Instagram can be funny, emotional and inspirational. With the help of these short videos, you can portray your products in an artistic way or link them to a particular lifestyle. Doing some research and finding a particular visual style that resonates with your target audience could work in your favor. After identifying a style, try to create something that’s different from what your viewers are used to seeing. For better engaging your audience, you can use subtitles and text overlays. 

5.      Be creative

Being creative pays heavily, so start by creating a winning profile. With so many new features available on the Instagram app, there are more ways to become a creative genius in order to make your brand stand out. For example, you can use Slideshows for “Before and After” reveals. This strategy is effective for new haircuts, repairs, weight loss transformations, sunsets, makeovers, and redecorating. Secondly, you can use “visual chaining” to keep your feed attractive, which increases the aesthetic appeal in your products. Also try some of the following cool strategies:

§  Go behind the scenes: Take pictures and videos to show how your products or goods are made, especially if the process is unique or interesting. Customers have a natural curiosity to know about the history of products they use. This strategy is highly effective for companies that sell eco-friendly products.

§  Post exclusive deals on your Instagram: Give back to your Instagram followers by offering them discounts for following you. Share an image with instructions on how to use the deal. Also running giveaways and promotions allow your customers and followers to market your brand further.

§  Run contests: Running contests such as a “Selfie Contest” (selfie with your product) can help you grow your audience faster. Use hashtags like #contest to get more but untargeted entries. Make sure to also include niche hashtags to get more targeted audience.

§  Theme your Instagram: If you want a solid base of followers, consider giving your Instagram profile a consistent theme. Themed Instagrams are far more likely to attract followers, because followers know what types of posts to expect. 

Conclusion

Owing to its exploding popularity in the digital domain, Instagram is no less than a goldmine for marketers. So in order to create a successful Instagram presence, you need to have authenticity, consistency and engagement with your audience. When you let the Instagram’s handy features meet the above mentioned tips, you create a winning strategy for the success of your startup.

 

 

About Birbahadur Singh Kathayat

He is director of an online marketing firm Lbswebsoft and is an active contributor on Semrush, Search Engine People, etc. He has 10 years of experience in digital marketing and provides consultation for small businesses growth. You can follow him online at Google+, LinkedIn or Twitter.
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