As you plan your Instagram marketing strategy, it’s important to know what works for business posts and what to keep in mind. With more than 25 million companies worldwide already using Instagram for business, and more than 200 million users visiting at least one business profile every day, creating compelling content is even more important so your business can stand out.
The Instagram community has reached over 1 billion active users every month and with so many joining this highly visual and engaging platform daily, it’s a valuable asset for any business to engage, inspire, and educate as well as help others discover fresh and valuable content.
You can take advantage of this growing online community to reach your desired audience through an organic social media marketing plan that incorporates posting to your branded Instagram business account.
To create an eye-catching Instagram post, consider the following best practices.
Use Engaging, High-Quality Images
Not a photographer? No problem! It’s not too difficult to create quality videos and images on Instagram via your cell phone. Take your time and choose bold, high-quality images with lots of contrast.
People tend to skip over grainy or blurry images. You should also choose natural lighting, whenever possible, over less flattering artificial light. For example, a composed photo of a nicely plated dish will look drool-worthy if given the proper lighting.
Even if your company does something like accounting, you can still share attractive photos. Include pictures of all your employees at a holiday party or the sunset from your office. You can even create a unique hashtag to showcase your business and its culture.
Make Logos Small and Minimize Text
Posts on Instagram work best when they resemble content from typical users. Instead of placing a large logo or a slogan in the image of your post, mention the name of your brand in the text below the image.
Instagram doesn’t limit text in images, but too much text is cumbersome to read and can be distracting. Most people won’t take the time or make the effort to decipher the message if you don’t make it easy to understand at a quick glance.
If you use a logo, don’t make it an overt focus of the post. Instead, incorporate your logo naturally and showcase how your brand is essential to your target audience. For example, posts for a coffee shop can be effective just by showing people drinking coffee from cups with the store’s logo on them. The coffee drinkers don’t need to stand in front of a poster for the coffee shop or the store’s sign.
Utilize Community Building Hashtags
Hashtags are the easiest and most engaging way that users on the platform engage with topics they enjoy. A post with at least one Instagram hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag. The right hashtags can put you in front of your target audience, even if they haven’t heard of your brand before.
Starting in 2019, Instagram created a way for people to follow hashtags like they are an account so every post using that hashtag shows up in their feed without the need to follow tons of individual accounts. This is how you can gain more attention to your posts even before people know about you!
Hashtag Best Practices:
- While you can use up to 30 hashtags on a post and 10 on a story -don’t.
- So you do not overwhelm a post; choose just 5-10.
- It is important to switch up the hashtags in every post to avoid being seen as spam.
- Avoid gimmicky hashtags such as #likeforlike or #FollowBack, and other hashtags that have been used over 1M times.
Be warned though, Instagram has been known to “disable” aka shadowban accounts that use too many hashtags that are not relevant to the post. What this means is that your post may not show up in timelines-people would have to directly go to your account to see your posts. So, make sure you are using hashtags that represent what the user is looking at or are relevant to the brand.
The best way to find hashtags to use is by looking to see which hashtags your audience or favorite accounts are already using. If you’re thinking about creating your own hashtag, remember that the narrower the scope of the hashtag, the more engaged the users tend to be.
Take Advantage of All the Tools on Instagram
Since Instagram was founded in 2010, there have been many improvements. Businesses that pay for the service get detailed brand analytics and staging for their posts on the platform. Instagram also puts a wide range of filters, special effects, and photo editing tools at your fingertips.
Here are some of the most popular options in use today:
- Low-Fi adds bright colors and strong shadows, so it’s perfect for pictures of food.
- Valencia gives photos a faded appearance for a subtle antique look and an emphasis on pastels.
- X-Pro II adds high contrast, a golden tint, vignette edges, and brighter colors. It works well for portraits or landscapes.
Creative Instagram App Tools:
- Layout is a collage creator from Instagram directly. Download the app to create engaging collages from photos you’ve taken on your mobile device. Layout also has a handful of creative tools, such as the traditional Instagram filters.
- Boomerang is Instagram’s native app that allows you to create super bite-sized videos that are essentially like GIFs moving forward and backward. Creating bite-sized “videos” out of burst photos, these pieces of content are great for storytelling about your brand or products.
Consider Creating Instagram Stories for Your Small Business
Beyond your feed, Instagram also has the ability to add live video and Instagram stories that last 24 hours. Instagram stories are a great way to share real-life updates about your business in real-time and not worry about production as much. Since the post deletes after 24 hours, it is a fun way to engage with sales and things that you may not feel comfortable posting for the world to see forever, but for those to see right now for an authentic touch.
Instagram stories allow you to utilize features that encourage audience engagement like emoji stickers, emoji slider, question and poll stickers, and quiz stickers, just to name a few.
Trust Your Business’s Social Media Presence to Premier Digital Marketing
With these convenient apps, and easy-to-implement tips, paired with your ability to tell a story through photos, your business can produce eye-catching, professional-looking posts on Instagram.
For those businesses that would prefer to trust their social media presence to the experts, Premier Digital Marketing is a full-service social media agency with vast experience working with national and local brands. Contact us today to learn more about how we can utilize Instagram to increase your company’s brand awareness and expand your customer base.