As we discussed in last week’s post, Instagram is a great opportunity for reaching younger consumers with your product. This week’s post will be in two parts: some tips for posting to Instagram, as well as a look at the paid advertising options Instagram offers.
Posting to Instagram
Instagram’s features are pretty easy to understand: you choose your picture, you add a captions, and you post. But a few quick and easy tips can help make the most of every post.
- Make it pretty – Instagram is all about the aesthetic. Every image you post should be visually pleasing, and high quality. Don’t just throw whatever picture you took on your iPhone onto Instagram. If you’re unsure of how to build an aesthetic, read more here.
- Use caption space wisely – I’m sure you have plenty to say in the caption area, but you should be aware of a few rules. First of all, any links put into a caption will not just open for the viewer. Instead, any link you want to share should be placed in your bio. Reference this link by saying “Link in the Bio” in your caption. Secondly, be sure not to be too wordy. Instagram limited the characters view able from the Feed to 3 lines of text. Be sure to keep everyone you need to say within 3 lines.
- Hashtag, better – Studies show the optimal number of hashtags to gain follower engagement is 11. Use Hashtag Helper to see what Hashtags are popular to use, and use them to identify your product. Remember, hashtags help categorize your profile for others to see. Use relevant hashtags on all your pictures to increase viewership.
- Play nice with others – Don’t be afraid to like or comment on your follower’s posts involving your product. Everyone likes to get noticed for what you post. In a few weeks, I’ll post some more creative engagement options for your followers.
Instagram offers various ways to expand your reach past your followers, through paid advertising. A fairly new feature, Instagram ads come in the form of regular posts you would typically see on your feed, except sponsored by businesses. Paid ads are not only seen by your own followers, but to followers Instagram believes would want to see your post. In this way, Instagram ads help expand your product’s digital reach.
Paid ads can be either Photo or Video content (like any regular post), or a Carousel Ad, made up of a max 4 photos a viewer can scroll through (accessible only by paid advertising). Below is an example of a carousel ad, created by GMC.
Instagram offers various uses for paid advertising on their website, as well as some specific features to fulfill these goals. They include:
- Click to Website – By touching the image, users are sent to the business’ website.
- Website Conversions – Similar to Click to Website, expect users are directed to a specific page on the Website.
- Mobile App Install – By touching the image, users are directed to the App Store to download or purchase the app associated with your product.
- Mobile App Engagement – Similar to Mobile App Install, except users are already users of your app and instead the app is opened.
- Video Views – Share a specific video with users outside your follower base.
- Reach and Frequency – Instagram ads help reach outside your current follower base and attract new fans.
- Page Post Engagement – By sharing an existing post on your Instagram with paid advertising, businesses can get higher engagement levels (likes and comments) on individual posts, or even attract new followers.
- Mass Awareness – A feature designed for bigger businesses, posts can be placed at the top of the Instagram feed for specific users to make an immediate impression.
Mixing and matching these paid promotional options will help make your follower base expand!
Next week, we’ll be taking a break from posting. The following Wednesday, March 16, 2016, we’ll talk about some exemplary Instagram accounts of all kinds. In particular, we’ll discuss what makes their accounts so unique.