In record time, Instagram has grown into one of the most popular social media destinations globally. Instagram had close to 1 billion users logging into its social media network every month even before being purchased by Facebook.
Instagram has cultivated a hyper-active platform in a way many other social media networks have failed to do. When it comes to marketing your small business, we’re talking about game-changing stuff here.
It is deceptively simple to get started with Instagram. That can lure people into being lazy with their Instagram marketing strategies, but that’s not somewhere you want to find yourself.
Know Exactly Who You Want to Follow Your Instagram
There is one sure way to kill your Instagram marketing efforts, and this is a step that an overwhelming majority of people getting ready to market on Instagram struggle with. In fact, ignoring this crucial first step will end up costing you.
You cannot find success on any marketing channel until you know exactly what your ideal customer wants and likes most and the kinds of content they engage with. To know that, you have to be very clear on who your perfect customer is. This is the heart and soul of an effective marketing approach and the only way you will be able to hit the ground running on Instagram.
Don’t make the mistake of creating and promoting only the Instagram content that you are most interested in. A lot of the time, you are not the best customer for their products or services.
Instead, create a customer profile that is as detailed as humanly possible. Then and only then will you be able to make the kind of Instagram and other marketing content that truly resonates with your prospective customers.
Check Your Competition on Instagram
Unless you are inventing a never-seen-before product or service, the odds are pretty good that businesses are selling exactly what you have to offer – and they already on Instagram. Find and follow them to get the lay of the land. By watching what they do, you can strategize on ways to do it better.
You have the opportunity to watch the kinds of content that they post, scope out the engagement, and use their efforts to inspire your own Instagram strategies with all the effort of A/B testing on your profile.
It’s really all about finding leverage points and not just throwing any content on Instagram. Look at your competitors and see the kind of content they are sharing, and you’ll get a feel for what your market is interested in.
When you engage with complementary (non-direct competitors) businesses on Instagram, you can offer to create and provide the kind of content they have a history of posting for them to use in exchange for a mention. This lets you piggyback off of their following and jumpstart your success.
Watching competitors and complementary businesses give you valuable insight into what is working so you can find a way to do the same. Probably even more useful is you’ll also see what is not working. The ability to avoid those pitfalls and pivot faster is a clear competitive advantage.
There is value in making sure Instagram is a small part of your marketing and advertising machine. More visual and creative industries get more engagement, more easily within the content creation part of Instagram. But that also means that other sectors are less saturated because they don’t think they can get traction. That leaves an opening for your small business to publish content that gets noticed.