Instagram is, undoubtedly, one of the most popular social
networks in the world; and even more so, it’s one of the best,
most effective platforms for marketing.
Not only does it have over 1 billion active users
per month (out of which 500 million are active every day!), but its
users often search for products and interact with brands directly
on the platform, much more so than they would on other popular
In fact, Instagram claims that 90% of their users follow at
least one business account on Instagram.
Not to mention, Instagram is one of the few social networks
where shopping – and promoting/selling your products – is not
only quite common but encouraged.
So as more people use Instagram to find new products and
services, this is the perfect opportunity for brands to establish a
strong Instagram presence and boost their social selling in the
In this blog, discover 5 top Instagram marketing tips to boost your
strategy; you’ll find out:
- When and how to post on Instagram
- What to post for maximum engagement
- How to leverage videos on Instagram
- How to keep improving and optimizing your strategy
When and how to post on Instagram
Being active is essential to generating followers and
engagement, but when is the best time to post on Instagram?
Studies say that scheduling 1 or 2 daily posts are enough for
Instagram. It seems that the best engagement times on this platform
are on weekdays, more exactly on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
According to Recode, the average online time spent
per day by an Instagram user is 53 minutes.
According to Later, the best
posting hours are between 9 AM and 11 AM.
That being said, depending on where your audience is located –
and who forms your audience – the best times to post will differ
considerably. While following studies are great, the truth is, you
need to create a personalized posting schedule based on the
consumers you are targeting.
Here are some useful tips to help you do this:
- Use a tool like Hopper
to calculate the best times to post based on your Instagram
- Check the information offered by Instagram Insights on your
business account and analyze the times of day your users are active
and the time zones you should have in mind.
- Try some experimental posts and see how they are performing in
Instagram analytics, depending on the times they were posted.
Take for example National Geographic. They
are posting an average of five to seven posts daily. The rate of
engagement is a successful 0.24 percent, judging also by their 131
Each post on Instagram has a limit of 2,200 characters. To get
the best engagement opportunities, these are the ideal lengths you
should keep in mind:
- Captions – from 138 to 150 characters
- Ads captions – 125 characters
Hashtags – include between 5 to 10
Hashtag characters – use a maximum number of
What to post for maximum engagement
To get good engagement results on Instagram, you have to
deliver strong and unique content based on the needs of your
One of the newer features on this social media platform is the
ability to save posts. If you provide interesting information, then
consumers will likely engage and hit the save button.
Here is an example of a tip-style post that’s worth keeping.
It offers five strong mood-changing self-reminders to raise your
spirit even if you are having a bad day. This type of numbered-list
post can be easily shared and saved for later reading.
If you want content that’s worth saving, you need to think of
your audience first. What would they like to read or see,
Infographics, checklists or videos? What type of content have they
enjoyed the most in the past?
Do some research before you start the creation process so you
won’t waste time providing unreadable or unwanted knowledge.
Based on these answers, you can start creating useful content to
make them engage with your brand.
Have some fun
Social media isn’t all about business and sales. Social media
platforms were created to offer people a place to post, comment,
and communicate. Businesses can leverage them to find new customers
and create brand awareness, but if you’re constantly selling,
you’re likely to put off your audience as a lot of people use
social media to relax and have a laugh – so your posting strategy
should reflect that.
In order to achieve better engagement results on Instagram and
build better relationships with your followers, you should try to
appeal to their fun side as well. Even if you are a company, it
doesn’t mean that all your posts have to be business-related.
You can try to spice things up a little bit and provide
something that puts a smile on your audience’s face. Show them
you have a funny side, too – and that you’re not all about
business and sales.
Here’s a great example from Ahrefs’ Instagram
Or take a look at Buffer’s Instagram feed;
humor – and dogs! – is a big part of their strategy and these
types of posts tend to generate hundreds of likes:
However, be careful what you post because it should also fit
with your brand’s style in some way.
How to leverage videos on Instagram
Video has become the most popular form of online content, across
channels – and Instagram is no different.
Far from just a passing fad, this is a case of natural
progression from text and image that has taken over feeds across
the globe. And it’s not just on a personal level – 87% of all businesses have
now latched on to the fact that social video is an excellent
marketing tool, with 83% finding that this strategy
gives them a good ROI.
The first step in developing your video marketing
strategy for Instagram is to think about the different types of
video you might want to use. Establish clearly exactly what it is
that you want to get across to your audience, and choose the right
style to fit with that goal. A few examples are:
Explainer video: An explainer video does
exactly what it says on the tin, offering an introduction to your
brand and what you do. Alternatively, it can also be a video
explaining how to do something, something that is useful for your
audience; here’s a great example from
Product video: Your opportunity to get
creative, a cleverly put-together video can make your product stand
out to any onlookers. You could follow the Instagram trend of
producing inspirational content, beautifully illustrated here by
Reebok. If you prefer, you could take your cue from the likes
Oreo. This is a great demonstration of a product video that is
quirky, fun and kind to your budget – all the while leaving a
lasting impression on your viewers. And while the sound undoubtedly
adds its own dimension to the content, it very deliberately ensures
that nothing is lost for those watching with the volume off on
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by OREO (@oreo) on Mar 29, 2016 at 7:53am PDT
Behind the scenes: This is your chance not only
to showcase your setup but to add that much-needed human touch to
your brand. Take your audience on a whistle-stop virtual tour of
your office/factory/shop and introduce them to your workforce where
relevant, giving them a snapshot of what a day in the life of your
business looks like. It’s light-hearted, fun and a great way to
help your followers warm to you.
Interview: Fairly self-explanatory, the
interview video is a simple and effective way to tell people what
your company does. Whether an interview is with clients,
colleagues, experts or all of the above, just hearing it spoken
plainly from a real human being can be one of the most effective
ways to make the message stick.
How to keep improving and optimizing your strategy
Getting results from Instagram – or almost any marketing
platform for that matter – won’t happen overnight. Not only
that, but there’s always room for improvement. The more you use
Instagram, the more you can understand your audience, their likes
and dislikes, the times they’re online, what types of content
they like and so on.
The best way you can achieve this is through a lot of testing
and experimenting – and by carefully studying your results.
Here are some of the things you should test:
Different content formats: Experiment with
different types of posts, such as short and long videos, Stories,
infographics, quotes, and any other visual content
Different topics: Apart from trying out
different types of content formats, you should also experiment with
various topics in your Instagram visuals to see how they impact
your results. For example, take a look at Sprout Social’s
Instagram feed – it features different content formats (videos,
images, etc.), as well as all kinds of topics (from behind the
scenes image to videos with useful tips):
Hashtags: Try using
different hashtags (as well as different numbers of hashtags)
to see how it affects your reach and engagement.
Posting times: As discussed earlier, the best
way to understand when your audience is most active is to
experiment with different posting times to see when you get the
Apart from the insights from your Instagram account, you can use
a tool like
Falcon to publish and analyze your Instagram data while you are
performing your tests.
As I mentioned earlier, Instagram is one of the best platforms
to use for marketing your brand. Follow these tips and best
practices and you’ll be one step closer to reaching your
Instagram objectives – just remember to always keep analyzing and
optimizing your strategy, by learning from your audience and your
Guest author: Lilach Bullock is highly
regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and
Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly
influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20
women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social
Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one
Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient of a
Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and
leadership in business. Check out her site Lilach Bullock or connect
with her on LinkedIn.
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5 Expert Instagram Marketing Tips to Optimize Engagement