Do you want to get a much better ROI on your Instagram marketing efforts? Instagram can be a fantastic PR tool and a great way to connect with customers—but it can also end up being a huge time sink.
These tips are designed to help you get 10x ROI (or more!) on your Instagram marketing efforts. Even implementing just one or two of them should help significantly move the needle.
1. Make sure you and your team have a solid grasp of the basics
If you’re working alongside other team members to manage your company’s Instagram account, make sure everyone involved has a solid grasp of the basics. You might think that your graphic designer just needs to focus on creating the graphics, for instance, or that your intern can be left to put up a photo and caption on Instagram without much guidance. But you want to have everyone on the same page, so that your whole team understands how to use Instagram effectively.
If your team needs a refresher, check out the first few tips here—they’re aimed at brands that are just starting out on Instagram.
2. Get clear about what you want from your Instagram campaign
Maybe your latest Instagram campaign looked like a “success” because you had lots of likes and shares but it didn’t seem to result in any new leads or customers. This is why you need to get clear about analytics that move the needle vs vanity figures.
Before you can 10x your ROI, you need to know what your true goal is. Understanding Instagram analytics is crucial, so you know what you’re trying to measure and achieve on the platform. This can also help you to dig into your audience demographics, which is a big help for the next tip.
3. Create a clear buyer persona (customer avatar)
Do you have a buyer persona or customer avatar for your “ideal” customer? If not, it’s definitely time to create one. Without a clear idea of who you’re targeting, your Instagram posts are likely to end up being a little bland and boring.
Figure out who your customers are and what they need. Tailor your Instagram posts accordingly. For instance, your buyer personas might determine the types of images you use, the influencers you partner with, and the words and phrases you use in post descriptions.
4. Collaborate with influencers—and measure the impact
While 89 percent of marketers believe that influencer marketing is effective—with Instagram being the top choice for a whopping 96 percent of marketers—you do need to make sure you’re getting a good return on your investment.
If you’re not currently tracking how your influencer campaigns are doing, make that a habit. You can use trackable links to see how much traffic you’re getting from a specific influencer, and you can drill down to figure out whether those individuals are converting into leads or customers. While you might get excited if an influencer’s post about your product has lots of comments and likes, this won’t necessarily translate into actual sales—so make sure you’re tracking what matters.
5. Always use (relevant) hashtags in your Instagram posts
More than three-quarters of all posts on Instagram include hashtags, and you definitely need to include these to get the most visibility for your post.
It might be tempting to include lots of popular hashtags, even if they’re only tenuously related to your post or your product. After all, Instagram lets you add up to 30 hashtags. But it’s better to focus on a smaller number of more relevant hashtags: these may not be so popular, but your post is much more likely to stand out within these less crowded categories.
Most posts by top brands have between two and five hashtags, and very few have more than ten. Don’t just use the same hashtags on every post, either: vary them so you reach a wider audience.
6. Engage with your audience on Instagram
Create a poll on Instagram or try to respond to comments on your Instagram posts. You don’t need to give everyone a long response, but simply writing a short reply or using emojis or gifs to engage in a creative way with your audience can make a huge difference. It helps them connect to your brand on a more personal level.
Answering questions is particularly important, especially if someone has a question about your product or service. You might well be able to encourage someone to become a customer if you can clear up misconceptions or help them see why your product could work for them too.
7. Include a call to action in your Instagram posts
What do you want people to do after seeing your Instagram post? Perhaps you want them to come to your site to check out your products. Maybe you’re hoping they’ll share the post with lots of friends.
Make sure you give them the next action. This could be something very simple like engagement (e.g. “double-tap to agree” or “tag a friend”) or it could involve sending them to your website to get a free download or a special discount offer.
8. Use custom audiences for your Instagram ads
If you’re running ads on Instagram, make sure you develop custom audiences for each ad. This lets you retarget people who’ve already clicked through from a specific ad. You can create a highly specific funnel so that you’re showing people exactly what they’re most interested in.
This is a great way to make the most of your advertising budget, as you’ll already have an eager and engaged audience who are interested in hearing more about your products.
Don’t forget that you can also use the Facebook custom audience feature with Instagram, so you can create more synergy between your Facebook and Instagram marketing efforts.
9. Encourage user-generated content (UGC)
Your customers want your brand to seem authentic and “real” – and user-generated content is a great way to accomplish this. It lets people see what your actual customers are saying about your products, or how they’re using them.
For instance, if you’re a clothing company, you might encourage customers to post shots of themselves wearing their latest purchases. This is a great way to show off your products without having to pay for photographers and models, plus it can be highly effective at boosting sales.
10. Create Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are a great way to engage your audience more fully. Because these only last for 24 hours, they work well for content that feels more personal and casual. They’re a great way to experiment with different types of Instagram content, plus Instagram Story ads can perform very well.
You’ll likely want to post at least one story each day, and you may want to post as many as seven. Any more than that is probably overkill.
For many brands, Instagram is a fantastic marketing tool. The tips above should help you get the most from it—and if you want to go even further, check out these great Instagram hacks too.