Reaching its 10 year anniversary on the 6th of October in 2020, one of the fastest-growing social media platforms has certainly made the most of the decade by accumulating over a billion monthly active users, and becoming the 2nd most engaged network after Facebook.
We’ve already discussed why Social Media Marketing is the way to go, but in summary, you’d essentially be exactly where the people are looking- their mobile screens, and according to HubSpot; over 72% of Instagram users have purchased something they’ve seen on the platform.
Seeing the potential of its platform, Instagram made alterations in its functions- finally creating fool-proof, effective marketing available for as little as nothing.
So we’ve taken the liberty of accumulating everything you should know about how marketing works on Instagram; considering both the app’s functionality and the psychological components.
The days of using regular accounts for your business are gone; as the alterations mentioned before made it so that you can now open an Instagram Business Profile filled with useful tools that you can use for efficient SMM, and apart from that- they’re basically free!
The Contact Button
This gives people the immediate option to contact your business upon visiting your page, taking away the hassle of having to turn to Google for its contact details. This minor improvement in convenience changes the disposition of the user, making the possibility of conversions more likely.
Even something as simple as posting has been optimized to become more convenient for businesses. With the ability to schedule posts, your Social Media Manager will no longer have to set reminders to manually post content at a certain time, and can just rely completely on automation.
With the ability to link your social media accounts across multiple platforms like Facebook and Twitter to your Instagram, the need to post through each platform individually is removed.
Truth be told, anyone can afford Instagram marketing, and that’s because it’s tailored to fit your budget, and won’t exceed it.
Apart from that, users no longer have to follow you to be able to see your content. With sponsored posts, Instagram will show your posts to users that seem like your suitable audience, and exclude anyone who seems otherwise.
As it is with SMM, the ability to target your audience saves resources in comparison to conventional marketing, which has a lack thereof. Similar to its parent, Facebook, Instagram can narrow down your audience using anything from gender and interests to the model of their device- making sure that your content is only seen by potential customers.
From being able to display one piece of content at a time, Instagram now allows businesses to use multiple with Carousel advertising and stories that can feature up to 3 pieces of media at a time- expanding your room for creativity.
Besides just showing consumers what you have to offer, you can now immediately direct them towards purchasing it. With Instagrams new “Shop” feature, all you have to do is simply curate a list of products which can be tagged in posts just like regular users, allowing your viewers to go through basic product details with just one tap.
If consumers are interested in what they see, an additional tap is all it takes to lead them to your Instagram shop where they can browse, save items to look at later, share them with their friends, or be directed to the website where they can purchase it.
Knowing how your users interact with your existing posts is vital to understanding just how you should adjust your content to boost engagement.
Instagram insights allow you to see just how each one of your posts is doing through their reach and impressions, and even calculates how many times people have interacted with your account and visited your profile.
This will tell you which posts are more likely to lead to conversions based on how their performance has led consumers to engage with them.
Additionally, you could also get a breakdown of your follower demographics according to gender, age and location- information that you could use to create more personalized content that can be catered to your audience to boost their engagement.
Besides that, it also analyzes the times your followers are most active, telling you exactly when you should be posting. Combine this with the scheduled posting, and it’s near impossible to go wrong.
About The Algorithm
Much to the displeasure of many users, and following in its parent’s, Facebook’s, controversial footsteps, Instagram too took the life-changing decision to disrupt the peace on the platform by changing the order of its posts from chronological to basing it off relevance.
This means that the platform tries to justify which posts would be most relevant to the individual user, and push them to the top of their feed. While it still displays recent posts, this is mainly based on users’ previous interactions with you and their engagement with similar content.
While this will not affect any sponsored content, it could affect all posts that are not boosted.
When you think SMM has reached the pinnacle of convenience, it takes one step higher. With stories, you’ll be right at the top of Instagram users’ feeds, meaning they don’t have to scroll at all to find you, and all they have to do is tap once to see you in their automated lineup.
Apart from sharing new content, with the ability to add posts from your feed to your story, you could also revive old content, and draw more attention to the new.
Stories are also the ideal place to conduct Q&As and polls, which are great ways to get some insight directly from your followers regarding what they want to see from you. Features like countdowns also prove to be useful tools to keep your viewers on the edge of their seats and get them excited for things like new campaigns, products and more- experiment with your options.
The days of directing your followers towards your bio for a link to fill out a survey or check out your updated website are gone, and have been replaced with the “Swipe Up” option. Links can be added directly to stories, making it much easier to lead your followers to what you want them to see.
With a life-span of just 24 hours, stories are a great way to post that extra content you have without cluttering your feed and clashing with its aesthetic.
The Age of The Influencers
Humanity will never stop idolizing each other. The olden days of using Audrey Hepburn to publicize her approval of the Lux toilet soap is no different from the Kardashians posing with their Sugar Bear Hair gummies – aeons may pass, but brand ambassadors will always remain.
This is probably one of the most useful tools that Instagram could provide you with- the people themselves.
Studies on social psychology reveal the human tendency to follow- we subconsciously take cues from our surroundings for social proof on how we should act, and that affects consumer behaviour.
As their title states, influencers have the ability to affect the purchasing decisions of their followers by indirectly selling a lifestyle- which is essentially what the brands they partner with want them to do; leading to future interactions with followers that are associated with the people they admire.
Once again, the role of convenience comes in- users no longer need to take the time and effort to find out if a product is good or not, they can just look to the people they trust more than the companies- them being the personalities who would, surely, only use the best.
As Robert Cialdini explains in his publication of “Influence”; by using words like “best selling”, businesses don’t have to say that a product’s good to convince others to buy it- they just have to imply that others think so too, and we all know that a picture speaks a thousand words.
By partnering up with these influencers, brands can expose themselves to a larger following than they have. Let’s take Sugar Bear Hair for example- while the page itself has approximately 2.6 million followers, Kylie Jenner has 157 million.
However, contrary to popular belief, you do not need to target the mega-influencers in order to get high pay-off. This is because it’s not really about your follower account. What really matters is your engagement rate.
Although Kylie may have millions of followers while I have a few hundred, the average likes I receive on my post as a proportion to my followers tells me that I have more engagement than she does. Thus, bigger is not always better.
However, this exposure does wonders for a business, and increases brand awareness, the generation of traffic, and boosts conversions and sales.
Thus, by providing an appealing contract or offering benefits in return, acquiring brand ambassadors has become easier than ever.
Play all these tools the right way, and you’ll be able to master the art of marketing on Instagram in no time.
Now that you’re Instagram-savvy (at least with the basics), take some time to learn the marketing strategies that’ll help launch your business’ online presence in 2020.