Do More with Instagram

Do you use Instagram for your digital marketing?  2020 may be the year to do more on the platform. Instagram has more than a billion monthly active users.

The number of brands incorporating Instagram marketing into their business strategy has surged in recent years. While just over half of U.S. marketers used Instagram in 2016, more than 75% say they use it now.

Here are some Instagram marketing tips for your Instagram strategy.

Set Up an Instagram for Business Account

Before you get started with Instagram marketing, you need an Instagram for Business account or an Instagram Creator account. For most marketers, a business account is the best choice.

If you need to create a business account here’s what to do:

  • Download the Instagram app
  • Open the app
  • Create an account

To switch to a business account, go to your profile and tap the hamburger icon at the top right.

  • Tap Settings, then Account
  • Connect your account to your Facebook business page, if you have one
  • Tap Done

Define Your Strategy

Before you start, decide what you want to accomplish on Instagram (your goal). Knowing your goal will help you decide what to do on the platform. Look to your digital marketing strategy and determine the best goal or goals that can be advanced with Instagram.

Keep these audience demographics in mind:

  • The most active Instagrammers are between 18 and 29
  • The US is the largest Instagram market
  • More popular in urban areas

Optimize your Profile

Your Instagram bio needs to make a great first impression, convey your brand personality, and tell people why they should follow you. Make sure the information you share here is completely consistent with your profiles at other online locations. Consistency is key to great visibility online.

Be sure to complete all fields for your profile, including website, category, contact info and call to action. G Adventures does a good job of making the most of all the fields the profile has to offer. Add quality images, preferably ones that match your images at other online locations.

Create Visual Content

Instagram is a visual medium. You don’t need professional photography, but your photos do need to be sharp, well-lit, well-composed, and in focus. The first impression here is a visual impression.

Along with those great images you need to say something your target audience cares about. Instagram captions can be up to 2,200 characters long, but only the first two lines of text appear in news feed without tapping more.

  • Behind-the-scenes details
  • Quotes
  • Step by step help
  • Common questions and answers
  • Details about the team and customers

Be Visually Consistent

Your Instagram look should be consistent across your posts, helping followers easily recognize your content in their feeds. Maintain a consistent color scheme, look and feel.

Use Hashtags that Matter

A wall of every hashtag you can find doesn’t help. You can use up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram post. But, you don’t want to do that.

Use the hashtags that are most closely related to your brand and your content. Target to have 5-9 hashtags per post. More than that can look like hashtag stuffing, a spammy tactic that turns followers off.

Send AND Share

Posting quality content is great, but if you ignore comments and never interact with any other profiles, you’ll have a lonely existence on Instagram and you will miss the whole point of being on social media.

Respond to comments users post on your feed. Find accounts in your niche, follow them, and like and comment on their posts. Make yourself visible in a non-promotional way.


Great Ways to Tell YOUR Story

Humans love stories. We always have. Today, those stories are often told with online content.

How do you tell your brand story in a way that gets noticed? Here are some approaches that work.

Be fresh.

Tell unique stories or give old ones a new twist. Keep in mind that saying something is unique doesn’t make it that way.

Really dig in and find something that people haven’t seen or read before. Look for something different or surprising in the brand, product or service itself or the way you tell the story.

Pose questions.

Asking the right questions can help you figure out whether the story will matter to your audience. Some great questions to ask and answer in your content:

  • Who should care about this? Frame the story in a way that matters to the target audience.
  • When did this begin? Timeliness matters.
  • Why does this story matter? The more you can reflect why the story matters right now, the more it will resonate.

Writing some of your content in question form is also effective. Ask people a question and they will want to know the answer.

Paint the picture.

Stories need context. Give the reader all the details – in words, images and/or video – to understand the completeness of what you are talking about. Allow people to make a connection to your story by giving them ample context to relate to it.

Start somewhere compelling.

Don’t equate “story” with a chronology. You don’t have to start at the beginning. In fact, it may be more interesting to jump in at the middle or end, then fill in the details before and/or after.

Just make sure not to leave out any important details. Loose ends can ruin the impact of your story. You want people to focus on what you are saying rather than missing pieces.

Storytelling Interview Questions – A Tool for Gathering Stories with Emotional Connection

Guest Post by Elissa Leif, CEO, MiniMatters, LLC

As Jill wrote in a recent post, getting emotional with your audience is a good strategy, as emotional connection with your organization leads to more engagement and spending.

At MiniMatters Video + Marketing, our prime area is video, which provides many opportunities for building this sort of emotional connection with audiences.

Conversation Icon.pngHaving done this work for many years, we’ve come to see that the interview portion of video making is critical to drawing out video clips that can make this emotional connection. In particular, carefully crafted storytelling interview questions help.

If an interviewee is asked about why they support a particular nonprofit organization or buy a certain product, there is a huge difference in emotional punch between a rambling answer that covers several different reasons and one that focuses on one powerful thing.

Here’s our free primer on Storytelling Interview Questions, from which you can download a free PDF with our “Top 7 Interview Questions for Storytelling.”

Your subjects will appreciate a good interview because the resulting story, whether in print or video, will make them look and sound better. It will also serve as more effective advocacy for your cause or product. And it helps your viewer connect on an emotional level with what you’re promoting.