I am pretty sure you are already using Instagram as a part of your marketing strategy to get your blog in front of a wider audience, but that it is not enough. In this article, I will discuss more on what you can do to harness the power of Instagram. Instagram as a medium is visually appealing. But it doesn’t mean your blog or website needs to have enough images for you to start promoting it on Instagram. The best thing about Instagram is that, you needn’t spend a dime on advertising if you know how to optimize your posts before sharing. Previously I had shared an article on how brands, businesses and influencers can use Instagram’s carousel feature for marketing their products. Now, I am focusing exclusively on the blogger community because many people in the blogosphere don’t know how to use Instagram properly for marketing their content.
Find, Follow & Engage
Do some research and find similar bloggers in your niche, I’m pretty sure you are already following a few established bloggers in your niche. Go right away and follow them on Instagram too – it will give you an idea on what to post. Have a look at their profile description (see if it is keyword-rich), posts and more importantly the hashtags they have used along with their posts.
Next step is to engage with their followers through the comment section. Try to follow the people who have commented and liked on their posts. Most probably these people will follow you back if you have posted similar content – make sure your timeline is not empty. This is just the beginning. It may take some time to grow your initial followers but once you’re all set, it won’t take long for you to hit the ceiling. Also, make sure you don’t over-follow/unfollow users and keep hitting Instagram’s limit repeatedly. Currently Instagram doesn’t allow anyone to follow more than 7,500 people to combat spam (read it on Instagram’s help centre).
Use Hashtags & Call-to-Actions
Hashtags play a very important role in Instagram as it helps users identify what the post is about. You shouldn’t be stingy while using them neither should you overdo or it will make you look spammy. When you click on a hashtag, you can have a look at other public posts tagged under the same category. Using the right (combination of) hashtags can help you get your posts more discoverable on Instagram.
Even though you can add up to thirty hashtags per post, using eleven hashtags is optimal in general. For more details on how to use Instagram hashtags properly for better ROI, you can have a look at Hootsuite’s Complete Instagram Hashtag Guide. Another pro tip is to publish the hashtags in the comments section rather than adding it to the caption directly. You can find WordPress.com (@wordpressdotcom) following this technique in all their posts.
Use your caption space for adding call to action terms (CTA) such as asking them for their feedback, opinion or a simple suggestion. You need to drive engagement with your posts so that Instagram can start displaying your account in follow suggestions to similar accounts.
Collaborate with other Bloggers in Your Niche
By working together and collaborating with other bloggers, you can reach a wider and diverse audience. Also, you can monitor bloggers who repost other bloggers’ posts and you can repost it in the hope that they will return you the favor. But under any condition, do not delete the repost you have made just because they did not return your favor – it will make you look unprofessional in front of your followers. If you do not want to go through all this hassle, you can directly message and chat up with them on the prospects of collaborating. Most of the bloggers in the same niche will accept, but if they don’t just move on and don’t spread hate.
When you are trying to collaborate with other bloggers, don’t approach bloggers with a huge following. You may get benefited from their followers but it won’ work vice versa and there are more chances for them to turn down your offer. For example, if you have followers around six or seven thousand, then approach bloggers with a similar following not bloggers with twenty to fifty thousand followers.
Repost Content in Your Niche
You cannot come up with new content every time you want to post on Instagram and that’s where apps like Repost for Instagram and the Repost app comes into play. Using these apps you can repost your favorite posts while at the same time providing credit to the original poster. But to be on the safe side, I would recommend you to ask permission before reposting them on your timeline. By reposting content you can keep your audience engaged while at them same time you can gain more ideas on what to post.
Schedule Instagram Posts
For better results it to recommended to post at least two times per day to keep your followers engaged. It is really boring to come up with and publish two posts each day and that’s where Instagram posts scheduling comes into play. Not only does it help you save time but also it reduces the stress on you in the long run. By scheduling all posts for the week in advance you can concentrate more on creating content rather than breaking your head over what to post each day. Have a look at these 6 Instagram marketing tools to help you in analyzing your followers and scheduling your posts in advance.
Join Instagram Engagement Groups
You can perform a quick search on search engines like Google or DuckDuckGo and come up with a list of active Instagram engagement groups. These engagement groups are nothing but a group of people (usually bloggers, #igers and small business owners) who like and comment on other member’s posts in exchange for likes and comments on their own posts. Joining an engagement group has got its own advantages – by boosting the engagement with your post as soon as you publish it, you trick Instagram into thinking that it must be a valuable content and it will start displaying it in under the explore tab of Instagrammers falling under the same niche as yours.
Upgrade to a Business Account
Upgrading to a business account on Instagram is totally free – all you require is a Facebook page for it to pair up with. By upgrading to a business account you will be able to add a phone number (call button), email address (email button) and a physical address (get directions button) to your Instagram account. Also, you will get access to Instagram Insights using which you can learn more about your followers, how your posts are performing and how your audience are engaging with your posts.
Add Link to Your Website
Instagram is the stingiest of all social networks and allows you to add a link to your website only in your profile section – so make the best use of it. If you have got a specially designed landing page for your Instagram visitors, add it to your profile. Other links in the bio and comments section do not work on Instagram, this step was taken long back to combat spam on Instagram.
You can use a tool like Soldie’s Have2HaveIt to track your traffic and conversions from Instagram. Soldsie claims that Have2Have.it visitors have an 87% click-through rate and spend 50% more time on the site compared to the average user, on average viewing 5 pages per session. I haven’t tried them out yet but big names like the New York Times and TechCrunch seem to have tasted success with their services.
Instagram has around 800 million monthly active users on its platform and around 500 million daily active users. This one statement is enough for you to convince yourself not to avoid Instagram totally from your marketing activities. There are so many bloggers in Instagram who might be interested in the same niche as you. So don’t just use Instagram to share your favorite selfie but also use it to garner some fresh traffic for your website.
You can certainly find some influencers on Instagram who are already sharing posts in the same niche as you and have got many followers. Try to learn from them and see what works for you. Not every method will work for everyone, if it worked that way, everyone would become an influencer in their own niche. Engaging with other Instagrammers via engagement groups are a safe bet provided you have enough time allocated for that activity every day.
What about you? What methods have worked for you and what didn’t? Share it in the comments section so that other bloggers can find it informative and implement it in their schedule.