Instagram is a photo sharing network with more than 800 million monthly active users. It’s also one of the most innovative social platforms that has begun to evolve from simply somewhere to share images to a way to harness selling and advertising opportunities too. For many industries – such as food and fashion – Instagram is an obvious social channel to invest in. However, it has something to offer any organisation if you know how to integrate it into a bespoke digital marketing strategy.

Why choose Instagram?

Instagram is not yet a crowded market so marketers who use it to reach an audience don’t face the same kind of competition as on a platform such as Facebook. Instagram users engage more with brands than users on other platforms and Instagram has 58% more engagement per follower than Facebook. If you’re looking to reach more of your followers with every post then Instagram is the social platform of choice, as brands on Instagram reach 100% of their followers (the figure for Facebook is just 6%).

Plus, when it comes to organic reach, Instagram beats most other platforms out there. We’ve seen a lot of negative press about how difficult it is achieve organic reach now on Facebook – organic marketing reach on the platform has dropped 63% in just 4 years – but that’s not the case on Instagram. In fact, in the same time period, Instagram saw organic marketing reach rise by 115%.

How to use Instagram in your bespoke digital marketing strategy

Instagram clearly represents a significant opportunity for any brand looking to better engage with followers and boost organic marketing reach. But it’s also a platform that has some fairly specific rules of engagement when it comes to achieving real success.

Never forget that the visuals are key

Clear, high quality images that are aligned with your message are crucial. Keep colour schemes consistent and if you’re going to use filters then stick to one.

Don’t forget the hashtags

While many people associate hashtags with Twitter they have also become crucial for Instagram use, not just with respect to creating momentum for your own brand but also attracting the attention of a potentially interested audience. The maximum for each post is 30 but using 10 works just as well. Opt for a mix of the most popular hashtags and your own niche words and phrases.

Avoid salesy posts

Anything too salesy just does not work on Instagram. Because of the emphasis on visuals, most users are there to be inspired or entertained – not sold to. That can mean a shift in social strategy for Instagram, more than any other platform. You may need to find subtler ways to get your message across.

Make sure you populate the bio

Especially the link in the bio, as links in posts are not clickable on Instagram.

Engage as much as possible

Like any other social channel, the more you engage the more you get back.

Look for partnerships

Working with influencers will enable you to reach a wider audience but can be expensive. However, partnerships exist at all levels – focus on those influencers who have your brand values in mind.

We can help you to create a bespoke digital marketing strategy that incorporates Instagram for your business – contact Iconic Digital today on 020 7100 0716 to find out more.