12 Tips for Dominating Instagram in 2020
Tips To Dominate Instagram in 2020
More than 13% of the global population is currently using Instagram.
Not only has it proved itself to be a major social media platform to help generate revenue through ads, but it has also been classified as a major business market to sell products right after Facebook. Businesses have successfully made almost $11 billion using Instagram ads alone in the year 2019.
Statistics reveal that more than 72% of teens in the United States use Instagram on a regular basis. And almost 35% of the adults in the United States are found using Instagram. It indicates that a significantly large market of the United States is found on Instagram.
With so many people using Instagram alone in the United States, it is hard to avoid that Instagram observes a massive amount of engagement. As far as engagement is concerned, it depends on how many likes, shares, and comments activity the platform observes from its relative consumers.
Forrester reports that engagement on Instagram boasts a rate of 4.21% which is approximately 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest and 84 times higher than Twitter.
Yet, businesses still complain that their Instagram accounts are failing to grasp enough attention.
So if you’re one among the link of social media marketers who are wondering why their strategies aren’t working out quite the way you expect them, here are organic and paid marketing tips for you.
Learn how you can tweak your Instagram marketing campaigns to create the perfect engagement.
Follow Up a Periodic Posting Schedule
If you want to attract followers or boost your engagement rate, you need to make sure that your brand remains active on Instagram. Research indicates that a brand can stay active on Instagram if it consistently posts at least 1-2 posts a day.
Alongside the frequency, it is also necessary that brands should know when it is the best time to post on Instagram especially when you’re dealing with its algorithmic timeline.
Researchers advocate that the best times to post on Instagram are 8 AM, 9 AM, 2 PM or 5 PM.
Start out by studying the behavior of your audience on Instagram; study their habits and at what time they are the most active. Based on that data, you can identify when your audience is most active.
Only then, you will be able to truly make sure that your post starts appearing at the top of their feeds.
Go for Story-Telling instead of Marketing
Brands usually get so engaged in devising Instagram marketing strategies that they forget that the whole purpose of a social media platform is to create inspirations by sharing stories. Brand messaging is important but it is not everything; if you want to sell your product, don’t brag about it.
Instead, use your brand messaging in a concealed way; share it in the form of a story to communicate.
By becoming a story-teller, you can automatically increase your engagement rate. For example, how effectively @rawmazingbyrimsha has used a powerful story-telling aspect to describe a simple image.
Start publishing micro-stories with the right captions, videos and at the right time and see it all grow.
Some brands leverage user-generated content to entice other users. A remarkable testimonial from one of your customers can really trigger others to start talking about your brand to create resonance.
There are some remarkable inspirations which you can take as examples such as Airbnb, Red Bull, Lego, and Nike. These brands set examples by sharing experiences or posts based on empathy.
Explore Different Instagram Video Formats
A picture might be worth a thousand words, but a video is worth 1.8 million.
From Instagram Stories mashing up videos together to stills appearing into a single ad, from standalone 60-second videos to long-form video content, videos have become quite the norm.
These videos are really doing wonders for brands marketing on Instagram.
Imagine, you’re planning to start a new brand for t-shirts and you want to go viral with it. Images displaying your product with a price caption might not have the kind of impact as a bunch of guys and girls wearing your t-shirt at a party! If you can convince a celebrity to appear wearing one; then it’s quite the plus point for your business. For months, you can just post clips of that video on Stories.
You can show your audience around some of the back-stage sneak peeks during the video production. You can gain testimonials from your happy customers in video formats and publish them online.
I mean there is so much more you can do with Instagram videos, all you have to do is be creative.
Choose the Right Hashtags for Instagram Posts
Hashtags define whether your post is going to appear at the top or sink at the bottom of Instagram. Hence, it is highly essential that you use the correct and most relevant hashtags on your Insta-posts.
One great way of empowering your business on a social media platform like Instagram is that you can use generic hashtags. For instance, if it’s a holiday season and Christmas is just around the corner, then you can use the #christmas hashtag so your brand can compete against a million others on the Internet. If you want to target an audience interested in fashion, you can further add the #fashion tag to your Instagram post. Just mix the right hashtags and your post will start appearing right away.
The best hashtags are the ones that you mix and match. It helps you reach the maximum audience.
As a result, your brand will not only earn engagement but will also find interested followers.
By the way, don’t forget that the number of hashtags which you will use in your Instagram post also decides how it is going to perform. While, Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags in a single post, but my recommendation is that you keep it to a bare minimum, enough to get the job done.
For me, 7 is the ideal number. 7 hashtags are good enough to give your brand quite the exposure. Don’t just take my word for it, almost 91% of posts by the top brands use seven or fewer hashtags.
Funnel Down Instagram Traffic to Your Website
One of the best things about having an Instagram account is that you can attract some good traffic to your website. You can include a single clickable link in your bio if that’s your choice. You can even host special offers and promotions to encourage followers that they visit your website and make a purchase.
By making use of strong call to actions, you can engage your audience and convince them.
Do remember that all Instagram’s ad formats offer a call-to-action button which Instagram followers can click and reach to your website. You can even partner up with an influencer who can help you promote business using their own content. Finally, to make sure you can check your traffic stats and deploy good analytics software at the backend to glean insight on how much traffic you’re observing.
But, let’s dive into specific tips for crushing Instagram in 2020. Here are our top 10:
1. Use a business account
Just in case you skipped over the section above and plan to dive into the rest of the tips while using a personal account, here’s why you should reconsider.
A business account gives you access to features you can’t use with a personal account, including:
- Instagram Insights (see Tip 17)
- Instagram ads (see Tip 16)
- Instagram Shopping (see Tip 13)
Contact information and a call-to-action button on your profile
A creator account has its own set of benefits for influencers and content creators. But for most marketers, a business account is where it’s at. Hop back up to the top of this post and convert your account if you haven’t already done so.
2. Clearly define your goals
All social platforms are tools. But you can’t use those tools effectively unless you know what it is you’re trying to build.
Instagram marketing can mean different things to different marketers. Are you looking to:
- Increase brand awareness?
- Get new leads?
- Establish your brand as an industry leader?
- Make sales?
You might even want to combine several different outcomes. But unless you know where you want your Instagram strategy to take you, you’re unlikely to get there.
3. Define your audience
A little preliminary research can help you figure out who you can best reach using Instagram. For example, our post on Instagram demographics shows that:
- The most active Instagrammers are between 18 and 29.
- The United States is the largest Instagram market.
- More urban residents use Instagram than their suburban peers.
But that doesn’t mean you should only use Instagram to try to reach Urban Americans in their 20s. Instead, you need to define your target market so you can create content that speaks directly to that audience.
This will also become critical when it comes time to choose targeting options for your Instagram ads.
4. Optimize your profile
In just 150 characters, your Instagram bio needs to make a great first impression, convey your brand personality, and tell people why they should bother following your Instagram account.
That’s a lot to ask from a small space.
Fortunately, you also get a few other fields on your Instagram profile to showcase what your brand is all about and make it easier for people to find you. These include:
- Your name: 30 characters, included in search.
- Your username: AKA your handle. Up to 30 characters, included in search.
- Your website: A clickable URL you can change as often as you like.
- Category: A business feature that tells people what you’re all about without using up bio characters.
- Contact info: Tell people where to find you.
- Call-to-action buttons: Give Instagrammers a way to interact with you directly from your profile page.
G Adventures does a good job of making the most of all the fields the profile has to offer.
For more profile strategies, check out our blog post on how to optimize your Instagram profile for business.
5. Choose the right profile photo
For most brands, your Instagram profile photo should be your logo. This helps provide credibility and allows visitors to see at a glance who you are.
Your Instagram profile photo displays at 110 by 110 pixels, cropped to a circle with a 110 pixel diameter. However, it’s stored at 320 by 320 pixels, so you should upload a file that large to make sure it still looks good if Instagram changes how profile pics are displayed.
If your logo is a square, you’ll need to zoom out to make sure the whole thing shows within the circle, like Home Depot does:
6. Create visually compelling content
Instagram is a visual medium, so your posts have simply got to look great. You don’t need professional photography equipment, but your photos do need to be sharp, well-lit, well-composed, and in focus, at a minimum.
Even more important, your visual content needs to be compelling. Great photos are nice, but if they don’t tell a story, or get viewers excited, they’re not going to help you use Instagram for marketing.
Not sure what to post? Here are a few ideas:
- Behind-the-scenes posts: Give followers a look at your office, your storefront, or your manufacturing process.
- Quotes and text-based images: Play with text to create visually interesting content with no photos required.
- Regrams and UGC: User-generated content is by nature authentic and compelling.
- Instructional posts: Teaching followers how to achieve a goal is about as compelling as it gets.
- Videos: The maximum length of a video post on Instagram is 60 seconds, but you can go much longer with IGTV.
We’ll release a blog post packed with content ideas for Instagram soon, so stay tuned if you need more inspiration.
7. Write great captions
True, we just said that Instagram is a visual medium. But that doesn’t mean you can neglect your captions. Your brand voice is just as important as your brand look. Like your visuals, it should be consistent across posts.
Instagram captions can be up to 2,200 characters long, so you can use them for everything from a quick quip to detailed storytelling. That said, only the first two lines of text appear in news feed without tapping more.
Since people tend to scan captions rather than read them thoroughly, you want to get all the important information into those first two lines.
In our post on the best caption length for every social network, we recommend the following Instagram caption lengths:
- Organic posts: 138–150 characters
- Instagram ads: 125 characters
If you’ve got more to say, go ahead and say it. But make sure the extra text is worth it. National Geographic is the classic example of long-form Instagram content. If you can match their level of storytelling, don’t be afraid to go long.
Your caption should be relevant, entertaining or informative, compelling, and on-brand.
8. Use hashtags wisely
Hashtags are a key way to increase your visibility and discoverability.
You can use up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram post. But, realistically, you probably don’t want to do that.
We recommend using between five and nine hashtags per post. More than that can look like hashtag stuffing, a spammy tactic that turns followers off. Worse, if you use irrelevant or repetitive hashtags, users can choose not to see your content for that tag.
To get the most benefit, choose hashtags that:
- Are relevant
- Are specific to your niche
- Do not encourage follow or like-swapping (think #like4like or #followme)
If you want engagement on Instagram, you have to engage, too. Posting quality content is great, but if you ignore comments and never interact with any other profiles, you’ll have a lonely existence on the network.
At a minimum, respond to comments users post on your feed. But also seek out popular accounts in your niche, follow them, and like and comment on their posts. Make yourself visible in a non-promotional way.
If someone tags you in a post, check it out and look for opportunities to engage. Can you re-share their post in your feed or in your story?
10. Story Story Story
Half of businesses on Instagram use Stories. And they’re getting great results: A third of the most viewed Stories are posted by businesses. Stories are a key part of a good Instagram marketing strategy.
Instagram Stories disappear after just 24 hours. Followers expect them to be more real and raw than your curated Instagram feed. They provide a great opportunity to connect with followers and build relationships.
In our post on the best ways to use Instagram Stories for business, we highlight the following strategies:
- Tell a story: Have a message in mind, even for this in-the-moment format.
- Get interactive: Use Stories features like polls and questions.
- Aim for personal connection: Stories are a huge driver of Instagram direct messages that help build follower loyalty.
- Use a call to action: Don’t rely on the small “swipe up” Instagram overlays for outside links. Use text to tell followers why they should swipe.
- Be consistent: Like your Instagram feed, your Stories should align with your brand voice and aesthetic.
11. Use story highlights and covers to boost your bio
We covered all the components of your Instagram bio in Tip 4. But there’s a bonus component we didn’t mention: Stories highlight covers.
You can create highlight albums to preserve your top Stories content, so it doesn’t disappear after 24 hours. Your highlight albums appear right under your bio, and you can create custom covers for each.
Used effectively, this adds a whole extra component to your bio, giving potential followers loads more information about your business and why they should follow you on Instagram.
For example, Rocky Mountain Soap Company uses highlights covers to share some of their core values.
12. Post at the right times
Did you know that the best time to post on Instagram varies based on your industry? It’s true.
Social Media Agency leaders analyzed 258,956 posts from 11 different industries and found that there really is a best time to post, even though Instagram feeds are no longer chronological.
Here are the best times to post for each industry they analyzed:
- Travel and tourism: Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Media and entertainment: Tuesday and Thursday, 12 to 3 p.m.
- Food and beverage: Friday, 12 p.m.
- Retail: Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 12 p.m.
- Professional services: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9 or 10 a.m.
- Non-profit: Tuesday, 10 a.m. or 4 p.m.
- Non-retail e-commerce: Thursday, 4 or 9 p.m.
- Pharma and healthcare: Wednesday and Sunday, 9 a.m.
- Personal care: Thursday and Friday, 1, 2, or 3 p.m.
- Technology: Monday and Tuesday, 2 p.m.
- Education: Thursday, 4 or 5 p.m.
We could go on and on, but we’ll stop here and update you as we close out 2019. We hope this helps you audit and adjust your Instagram strategy where necessary so you can win in 2020!