Instagram Marketing: How to grow and drive engagement

22 October 2021

Behind Facebook, Instagram is the most accessed social networking platform. It sees over one billion active monthly users and 500 million daily Instagram stories. Everyone and their dog is on the social media platform, including businesses!

According to Oberlo, 71% of US businesses use Instagram for marketing. If your business isn’t using Instagram, then you really should consider taking advantage of the platform.

It’s obvious that Instagram isn’t just for personal use anymore. The global platform allows brands to humanize their content, recruit new talent, showcase products, and inspire their audiences. Furthermore, Instagram users are engaged. 59% of active users visit the app daily and they spend at least 7 hours a week interacting with brands.


Let’s get started

  1. Set your goals for Instagram

Before you begin your Instagram journey with your business. Ask yourself one thing: Why are you on Instagram? In order to be successful on the platform, you should set goals so you can justify your time, energy, and monetary investment.

Brands use Instagram for many different reasons. For example, posting and selling your products to customers or leveraging Instagram to share portfolio content so followers can see your product (or service) in action. Perhaps you want to use Instagram to simply build brand awareness. Or the platform can be used to share user-generated content so that followers can see real people using your product or service.

Whatever the reason, be sure to define your Instagram goals in the beginning. It's less about the posts you share on Instagram and more about why you're sharing them.

  1. Determine your target audience

Once you know your Instagram goals, it’s time to determine the audience. Consider factors like age, location, gender, income, interests, motivations, and pain points. You can also take a look at your competitor’s followers to determine your target audience on Instagram.

  1. Analyse your competitors

Be sure to do a competitive analysis to see what other marketers in your field are posting. If you already know who your top competitors are then start to review their Instagram profiles. If not, you can search for words/phrases related to your business and industry to find similar accounts.

Look at related accounts to see what posts are getting the highest engagement, what hashtags they’re using, how they write their captions and how often they’re posting. Most importantly, take note of any opportunities that similar business accounts might’ve missed. Try to create unique content to ensure your business will stand out from the rest.

  1. Create an editorial calendar

This can help you save time and manage your Instagram presence! Planning your captions, hashtags, and posting times in advance will help you massively at the start. Your editorial calendar is also a great place to note down any key events/dates to highlight on your Instagram accounts, such as new product launches or special offers.

  1. Build a consistent brand on Instagram

Maintaining a consistent brand aesthetic on your Instagram account is super important to ensure you don’t lose followers! Random or disjointed content confuses your audience and can cause your follower count to drop. Figure out what this looks like by thinking about your brand identity and personality.

  1. Grow your Instagram follower base

This takes serious time and energy! Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to take the easy way out and buy followers. This won’t actually drive engagement, which is really what you need to ensure your posts are being seen.

Our top tips include making sure your username is recognisable and searchable. If your audience can’t find you, they can’t follow you! Furthermore, fill out your bio. It’s the thing your audience sees before they decide to follow you so be sure to include who you are, what you do and an engaging call to action. Maybe to click the link included in your bio!

It’s a great idea to fill your feed with 10/15 high-quality Instagram posts before you start engaging with your audience. Users are unlikely to follow you if they visit your profile and find it empty.

Make sure you start following accounts that interest you and relate to your business. If you think of Instagram as a community, this will help you grow! Look out for other businesses in your area or influencers who might enjoy your product or service. Be sure to interact with other accounts’ content once you’re following them. This is the most natural way to draw attention to your own Instagram account. It’s also important to acknowledge your followers by responding to comments and engaging with their content.

We hope this blog has convinced you to use Instagram to market your business. If you need help getting started, don’t be afraid to get in touch with Gather Social and we can help! Enjoyed this blog? Head to our website and find another blog post by clicking here.

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