Instagram has proven to be a money-making platform for small business owners. To date, Instagram has 500 million active monthly users. Each day over 90 million photos and video are shared while more than four billion likes are given. When it comes to social media marketing, Instagram shows no signs of slowing, as it continue to rise as one of the most popular outlets.
As noted among Instagram’s various case studies, a modern wallet design startup, the Ridge Wallet, targeted men and women ages 20 to 55 with interests in shopping and technology, and it used Custom Audiences to reach people who visited its website, but did not make a purchase. A/B testing paired with a smart targeting strategy proved successful, as the brand was able to boost its online sales by 30%.
“If you have a product, service, or company that you’re trying to market, and you aren’t already using Instagram, you’re missing out on a massive market that is glued to their screens for hours a day,” according to Lyndsi Stafford, Founder and President of eLuminate Marketing, which helps businesses grow through creative and innovative online strategies. “You’ve got to learn the ins-and-outs of the app, gain followers, and build your company’s presence,” explains Staffod, who, in just two short years, has grown her business to over 25 clients. Prior to eLuminate Marketing, she worked in sales and marketing at Carnival Cruise Lines, OfficeMax, and On the Ball Marketing.
Stafford shared with BlackEnterprise.com tips for mastering Instagram for your business, based on a column she wrote.
1. Perfect Your Photos
“Instagram is a completely visual experience. While descriptions and hashtags help to guide viewers towards your company and describes what they are seeing, your photos will be doing most of the talking,” explains Stafford. “Great photos will not only keep your followers interested, but they’ll also help you to gain new followers.”
2. Strive for Authenticity
“Instagram is an opportunity to showcase your product or services in a genuine light. Stock photos and bad graphics will stick out like a sore thumb, and you will be sticking out in a bad way,” notes Stafford.
3. Pay Attention to What’s Popular
“You need to pay attention to what’s trending, and particularly, to what hashtags are getting a lot of use in the moment,” she adds. “A simple Google search for popular Instagram hashtags will help to lead you in the right direction. Pick a few and try to find ways to relate them back to your company.”
4. Add Video
According to Instagram’s blog, in the last six months, the time people spent watching video increased by more than 40%. “Some video content ideas include a tour of your store, testimonials of customers, people utilizing your product, and behind the scenes of how your product it made,” suggests Stafford.