In June 2015, Instagram announced that it would be rolling out call-to-action buttons like Shop Now, Learn More and Install Now. However, these new call-to-action buttons only took users to mini-apps within Instagram. Not brand websites. Hardly ideal.
Instagram’s few brand partners could place sponsored posts, which are similar to Facebook boosted posts. However, regular ads weren’t available.
Instagram is now (finally) offering advertising opportunities for all brands as long as you enter through one of their developer partners. The developer partners include Ampush, Brand Networks, 4C, Kenshoo, Nanigans, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, SocialCode and Unified.
Don’t get too excited, though. They require a minimum ad spend, which means small businesses likely won’t be able to take advantage of the new ads platform until later in the year.
However, since you won’t be able to jump on board Instagram ads until later in the year, NOW is a great time to get started with Instagram marketing (if you haven’t already done so).
Check out these top three tips for getting your business started on Instagram.
Share a variety of great content.
You’ve probably heard me talk before about the value of sharing a variety of different types of content on Facebook, and Instagram is no different. Choose a diverse mix of content that combines different elements of your business.
Make a list of the multiple aspects that make up your brand – think of them as your content buckets. And don’t forget that you can post up to 15 seconds of video!
Some types of content that you may want to share on Instagram include images or videos of:
- Products (ideally images taken with a unique perspective or that are visually appealing in some way)
- Sneak peaks of new products or services
- Behind the scenes tours of your business
- Employees or clients/customers
- Blog posts
- Inspiration that’s related to your business
Use relevant hashtags.
Hashtags are essential for having your content discovered on Instagram. Sure, your current followers will be able to see your content if they log into the newsfeed at the right time, but hashtags are a great way to get NEW eyeballs on your Instagram posts – not to mention get new followers.
Compile a list of the top hashtags around your niche/business and then store them in a note on your phone so that when you need them you can quickly copy and paste them into the first comment under your picture or video. You may need to alter them a big based on the content, but this will still save you a ton of time when you’re posting new content.
Keep in mind that it’s completely acceptable on Instagram to post 10-15 different hashtags. You can technically post up to 30 but I wouldn’t recommend that.
Engage your audience.
This is really nothing new. Social media 101… great content + consistent engagement = success.
Use a call to action in your profile encouraging users to post their own images related to your brand that you can repost. How do you do this? Well, avoid the temptation to just take a screenshot and post it. Instead you can use apps such as Repost because it gives a shout out to the person you shared it from.
When you post new content, use a call to action and encourage people to respond to a question, double tap to like, or tag a friend. Using a call to action will significantly increase the likelihood that your followers will engage with your content.
Are you using Instagram now or are you thinking of using it moving forward? What tips would you give someone just getting started?