With 700 million monthly active users as of April ’17, Instagram is solidifying its position as the third most popular social media platform, behind only Facebook and YouTube. As Instagram strengthens its grip on the social media world, it’s time for more businesses to join the party.

Increase brand awareness and build credibility by channeling a portion of your marketing efforts towards this platform. To help you take advantage, here are three tips on marketing your business on Instagram:      

1. Realize All Businesses Have Potential on Instagram

Instagram has always encouraged a higher level of creativity than other social media platforms. Simply, the more artistic and original your posts are, the more engagement you can expect. But it’s not always easy for people to see how a creative platform that’s worshiped by millennials can benefit their business.    

By increasing the creative potency of your posts, however, you’ll cast a larger net across the platform. In turn, you’ll draw more users and increase your exposure — regardless of whether or not all your followers match the specific demographics you’re targeting.

A lot of people fail to recognize how valuable Instagram is when it comes to connecting with people on a personal level. Even if you feel like your industry might be disconnected from this medium, you can eventually find an inventive way to make your brand more entertaining.

Take risks. Act on those hilarious ideas you and your co-workers talk about. Let your audience know you’re not all business. Show them you’re there for the same reasons they are: to have fun, enjoy a couple laughs and check out some cool stuff. This isn’t a place where you want to be too formal. Save that type of language for emails and reports.

Instagram is where users go to escape all the formality in their lives. So don’t dampen the mood with overly salesy or serious language. If you want in, you have to prove to users that your creative approach to marketing your brand is special enough for them to follow.  

2. Include All Types of Content in Your Posts

Videos on Instagram can run anywhere between 3 and 60 seconds long, which gives you plenty of time to impress your audience. Let’s say, for example, you run a demolition company and you recorded a clip of a bulldozer tearing down a ten-storey building.

Or perhaps you captured the progress of your landscaping crew as they mulched, and planted trees and flowers throughout an entire business campus. Or maybe you recently purchased new exercise equipment for your fitness center, and you had the chance to shoot a video of members testing out the machines.

Or imagine that a professional athlete came into your store and purchased an expensive watch, and before leaving, he gave you permission to record a brief conversation about the product. Either way, when you get the chance to take videos or create an Instagram Story that features your staff, customers, the projects you’re working on or even a crazy turn of events, post them.  Post  all  of  them.

Users want content that’s exciting, fun, humorous, relevant and real. While they’re sitting in the back seat of a car, for example, taking a break at their desk, waiting for the bartender, standing in line at the store or lying in bed, they’re craving original posts that make them laugh, dazzle their imaginations and get their adrenaline pumping.  

Don’t be mistaken; you can achieve the same level of interest from users by posting infographics that are easy to understand or funny memes. And of course, single images or slideshows of before and after photos, for example, finished projects, unexpected dangers or funny encounters, will also work to satisfy your audience’s hunger for more. 

To sum it up, users are going to follow those accounts that invest a significant amount of time and effort into posting genuine, entertaining content. At this point, it’s best to stop brainstorming ideas about how to sell your services with social media marketing. Rather, you be thinking more about how you can take new, creative angles that draw unique connections between users and your industry.

This way, they’ll respect you for your efforts, and also for not shoving salsey material in their faces. And when the time arrives for users to request services such as yours, your brand will come to mind and be associated with positive emotions. This is how you’re going to generate more leads for your business using this platform!

3. Write Captivating Captions, Throw in Emojis and Include Killer Hastags

Similar to writing on other mediums, Instagram posts must include cool, crisp copy. Grammatical errors will only make users question your credibility. However, that’s not to say you can’t include some of the slang you probably use while texting — as long as you feel like it would go over well with your targeted audience.

Conversational writing is always the most engaging and, as a social platform, Instagram is a place where it’s completely acceptable to stretch the boundaries of the English language. When it comes to the significance of grammatical correctness, it’s a good idea to view Instagram captions as existing somewhere between texts and blogs.

If you think it’s appropriate, try to include informal contractions that reflect casual language like the following examples:

  • want to = wanna  
  • going to = gonna 
  • tell them = tell ’em
  • who saw you = who saw ya
  • have to = gotta
  • is not ready = it ain’t ready
  • give me = gimme
  • what are you waiting for? = whatcha waiting for?
  • kind of tired = kinda tired

Of course there are more, but these are just a few that you might want to include if you’re aiming for a more casual tone. You can also end the present participle of words (those that end in -ing) with just an “-in’.” Be careful, though; there’s a fine line between sounding cool and “with it,” and appearing as if you don’t know how to write correctly. And try to save acronyms just for texting.

Everyone knows a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s why emojis help to convey big ideas quickly. But don’t overdo it; instead, use these clever tools moderately — when you really want to drive a message home. By saving emojis until the time’s right and sprinkling them into your captions, you’ll help users get a better feel for your brand’s voice. 

When it comes to hashtags, learn which ones are trending on Instagram, and if they relate to your brand, use them. This way, your posts could potentially be seen by thousands of people in just a few minutes. Just like with keywords, shorts hashtags target a general audience, while long hashtags allow you to focus on those that are more specific.

You can always do a little bit of both; just try to figure out which ones might give your posts the most traction and the least amount of competition. Remember to avoid using too many hashtags, though, since posts that are stuffed to the gills with them usually look spammy.

In addition, if you want to write a long caption, just make sure it’s written well enough to catch and hold your audience’s attention from the very start. Going with a short, straightforward caption that doesn’t go above and beyond with what you’re trying to say is usually the most effective route. Let your image or video do most of the talking.

Wrapping it Up

Every day, Instagram gains popularity — and your account can, too, as long as you find creative ways to tell your story to users. Broaden your scope to appeal to an even larger audience, and in turn, you’ll end up reaching more of the users you’re really trying to reel in.

Nowadays, people are obsessed with the instant gratification of fast entertainment. So, do your part in scratching this itch by creating fun content that relates to your industry. Prove your expertise with creative images and videos, instead of over-the-top sales tactics. Let the fact that you’re a reliable, confident source do most of the heavy lifting for you! 

Want to learn more about marketing on Instagram? Check out the Social Media page on our website!