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How to market your business on Instagram

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | Feb. 23, 2016
Social media, marketing and business experts share their tips on how brands can get the most out of the photo- and video-sharing site.

instagram

Last September, Instagram announced it had over 400 million active users, many of which are businesses. In fact, eMarketer predicts that in 2016, nearly half of U.S. companies will be using Instagram as part of their marketing strategy (about a third did in 2015), with the number climbing to 70 percent in 2017.

While Instagram isn’t necessarily right for every business, for brands marketing products or services (e.g., food, fashion and photography) that could benefit from being seen, it can be a powerful marketing tool. However, with an average of 80 million photos being uploaded to the site each day, if you want to attract followers and keep them coming back to your Instagram page – and then going to your website – you can’t just post the occasional photo and hope Instagram users will find it.

So to help your business get found, and get followers, on Instagram, check out these 16 simple Instagram marketing tips.

1. Use quality images. “The quality of your images can determine the success of your account,” says Ariana Gomez, marketing & PR manager, LA Fashion District Business Improvement District. So “avoid out-of-focus or poorly constructed photos and overly corporate images, i.e., stock photography.”

Also, take a moment to edit photos on Instagram before you post them.

“Editing your photos really makes them pop,” says Anne-Marie Faiola, CEO, Bramble Berry Soap Making Supplies. “If you are photographing products, edit carefully so you do not misrepresent the product. Personally, I like to brighten my photos, increase the contrast slightly, sharpen [them] and increase the saturation a small amount,” she says. “Your style of editing might be very different, so play around with [Instagram’s editing tools and filters] and find a style that suits your products and business.”

2. Brand your content. “Whether that means watermarking your content with your logo, using a specific font or [creating an] overall style, it's important for people to be able to recognize that you're the original source of the content,” says Chris Gatbonton, founder, Creation Crate, which provides tech education in a box. “This especially helps when your content is reposted by other people.”

3. Make the link in your profile trackable. “Tracking clicks to your website from Instagram is tricky, because you're only offered one clickable URL (the link in your profile) and all clicks to that link open in a new window on your mobile device,” says Mallory Whitfield, an entrepreneur and small business consultant and the owner of MissMalaprop. “Use URLs with UTM codes and/or set up a trackable link with a shortening tool like Bit.ly. Better yet, create a custom landing page just for Instagram users and link to this page from your profile. The landing page should be set to ‘noindex’ so that it doesn't get picked up by search engines,” she explains. Finally, “optimize the landing page for a great mobile experience and use it to convert your Instagram visitors into customers.” 

 

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