With more than one billion monthly users, Instagram is the fastest growing image and video sharing platform that has caught the attention of every company, digital marketer, and millennials. Currently, more than 71% of the businesses in the United States are using Instagram to reach their target audience and boost their business. Surprisingly, their return on investment in Instagram marketing has been good and every dollar spent has brought back more customers. Instagram is fun, easy to use and it appeals to our senses. The colorful pictures and photos attract everyone, especially the millennials. That’s why many companies in the fashion, beauty, and clothing sectors have been using Instagram to market their products since the time it first hit the market.
2018 has been a good year for Instagram with a number of updates. Now, let’s see how you can improve your Instagram marketing strategy in 2019.
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IGTV is a game changer
It’s time to focus on IGTV and share mobile screen friendly vertical videos which are also long form. The best way to grab your potential customers attention for a longer period of time on Instagram is by sharing longer-form videos on IGTV. This latest offering from Instagram allows you to share videos which are up to one hour in length and compete for head-on with YouTube, though the chances for it to overtake in terms of popularity ranges from slim to none. Many people won’t ditch YouTube for IGTV as long as all the content creators flock to YouTube for sharing and promoting their videos.
Facebook + Instagram vs. YouTube
We just can’t ignore the fact that Facebook is trying to grab a bigger share of the video marketing industry with IGTV and its own Facebook Watch platform. Facebook has already started allowing users to monetize their videos on Facebook just like YouTube. After the introduction of IGTV, Instagram earned a quick 20M additional users in June 2018 alone. If video content works well for you and you’re already using YouTube and Facebook in your video marketing strategies, it’s time to add Instagram to that list.
You can literally share anything on IGTV, right from interviews, product reviews, how-to videos, to educational videos, promotional content, and whatever comes to your mind that can help you grow your business.
IGTV is entirely based on vertical videos to suit the mobile user audience. Embrace it. You can upload a video as long as an hour and it is a great place to broadcast your series or V-logs. Try to avoid content which adds no value to the user. Instead, share videos which are mostly informational and sometimes promotional.
Don’t forget to share your IGTV videos with your followers by adding it to your Instagram story. Also, add a ‘swipe up’ link with an interesting thumbnail so that your followers are intrigued to find what it is about. Once they start watching, you can keep them hooked with your quality content.
Ask me a question feature
In 2016, after the introduction of Stories feature, Instagram became immensely popular. Everyone using Snapchat stories previously jumped onto the bandwagon to join existing Instagram users. Since then, Instagram has been constantly working on and adding many interesting options to the Stories feature. Instagram Story links or the Swipe Up feature is a great way to bring more traffic to your website and make direct sales.
A fun way to engage with your followers
Amidst all the filters, boomerangs, polls and pictures, there is also a hidden ‘Ask a Question’ feature that can help you interact with your audience. This feature is often used by celebrities to interact with their fans when they have got some free time. But it is not limited solely for this purpose. As a brand, you can ask for feedback from your customers, find what they want, and kindle interest in your upcoming product. You can also answer questions your customers have about your brand or product and share them with your Instagram Stories directly.
Get deep business insights from your followers directly
Following this activity once in a while can give you enough insight into what people think about your brand. You can also formulate an Instagram case study, put together FAQs on your website, and get interesting ideas for blog posts from these answers. Now, how cool is that for business. It would literally save you a lot of time and efforts needed for brainstorming new ideas.
Tips: Try to use the feature naturally without overdoing it. If you choose to interact with your audience, don’t let them down and always reply. Don’t always try to sell something because building brand authority, reputation, and loyal customer base are more important for business growth than one-time sales.
Shopping on Instagram feature
The new ‘Shopping on Instagram’ feature introduced in 2018 is aesthetically amazing and highly functional. Besides using Story’s ‘Swipe Up’ feature, the new shopping on Instagram feature is a wonderful addition for retailers. The white shopping-bag icon on your posts differentiates the buyable products from other posts and makes them easy to find. It drastically reduces the number of hops the user has to make to land on your product page thereby improving your chances of making sales.
How to enable shopping on Instagram
This is a little tricky. First, your business and Instagram account must fulfill certain requirements as outlined in this Instagram shopping setup guide. Then, you’ll have to connect your Instagram business profile to a Facebook catalog. Once your account is reviewed, you can start adding your products and finally, you can create and share shopping posts or stories with your followers.
It’s as simple as selecting a photo containing your product, clicking on the tag product button, identifying the product you want to tag in the picture and following the on-screen instructions.
Instagram marketing isn’t going away anytime soon
Another feature you can incorporate into your Instagram marketing strategy in the Instagram Carousel feature. It allows you to share up to ten videos and images of your products, all at once. Instagram is here to stay, at least for now until it gets overshadowed by a competitor powerful enough to overtake Facebook’s strength in marketing its product. I definitely think Pinterest has got all the potential it needs to overtake Instagram in the future. Moreover, Pinterest hasn’t gotten into any controversies unlike Facebook, which is the parent company of Instagram.
By the way, you can also learn how to drive traffic to your website from Instagram to take your Instagram marketing strategy one step higher than your competitors. And here are some of the best Instagram marketing tools to help you along the process.
There is a lot more to build a good Instagram marketing strategy. Just keep yourself updated with all the new features available on Instagram that can help you market your brand, try out something new, and see if it works for your brand to power-up your Instagram marketing strategy.