What is Instagram Marketing? A Practical Guide in 2020

This practical guide on “What is Instagram Marketing in 2020” will add new perspectives to your knowledge of this popular social app. Launched in 2010 and acquired by Facebook in 2012, Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking app that has seen exponential growth over the last 10 years. With a global rank of 5 and 1 Billion+ monthly active users on its platform, Instagram is second only to Facebook in global popularity & reach. According to SimilarWeb, active users spend an average 53 minutes per day on Instagram. Instagram is a hugely popular network and it’s something that you should not let go of in 2020.

Why should you try Instagram Marketing in 2020?

Your objective as an individual can be getting more followers and becoming an influencer. As a business you may be looking for more customers. Instagram Marketing provides amazing branding opportunities as well as customer acquisitions. The best part about Instagram is high engagement with visual content. One of the primary reasons why Instagram is popular is its focus on visual content. One doesn’t have to read much text,  but look at images and videos. You may have seen this trend on Facebook as well. Facebook is pushing more towards video content. If you’re on the video ads, you’ll see that it costs less than a banner ad. This is because Facebook is pushing for more video content on its platform. Because of images, Instagram’s engagement with brands is 10x higher than Facebook. Because people love visual content, they tend to stay longer on Instagram. 

If you are not using Instagram Marketing in 2020, either trying to gain a following, or driving customers to your business, then you are losing out on a big chunk of revenue. You’ll see so many Instagram influencers promoting various products. Not just influencers, even the popular actors and actresses, associate themselves with a brand and get paid a huge amount just for promoting the brand. 

How to set up your account on Instagram?

Let’s start first with the username. When you are choosing a username, you have to think of your niche first. Let’s say you want to create an account about Cats, so if your username has the main keyword as “cat”. Then it will be much more beneficial for you. Keywords play an important part in Google search engine rankings. Similarly if you want more followers, if you want to be found by a new audience, then you have to optimize your profile for keywords. Hashtags play an important part, and keywords are equally important. You have to write down a list of keywords that are related to your niche. Primarily, the concept of optimizing your profile is similar to search engine optimization. 

How to optimize your Instagram Bio?

You have to understand that Instagram provides one particular place where you can promote a link. And that is your bio. You cannot promote website links in Instagram apart from your bio. So that becomes prime real estate for a marketer. Because you want to drive customers, prospective customers, from Instagram to your landing page or any other place where you want them or where you can monetize. Understand that the bio indicates what the channel is all about. With just a few keywords you can define what your Instagram page is all about. So anyone who comes on to the  page, will instantly know, “okay, this channel is about XYZ”. Include an email address here for collaboration or business inquiries. Let’s say you have a good following and a company wants to contact you. They can easily find your email address and contact you for collaboration. 

Providing a link of your website on the Instagram bio is equally important. This will increase the chances of people visiting your website. From the Creator Studio (available for Business pages), one can also see how many visitors clicked on your website link and visited your website. 

How can you monetize your Instagram account?

Unlike YouTube you cannot show ads on Instagram. You won’t be able to monetize your page through Google AdSense. One way to make money, is either by selling your own products or by affiliate marketing by selling someone else’s product. The second way is promoting a particular product by brand collaboration as an Influencer. (More on Influencer Marketing in a future post)

The Right Content Strategy for Instagram Marketing in 2020

#Hashtags

Check out the number of posts for the hashtag “travel”, (millions, right?) the right hashtags maximise your post’s reach and popularity. One of the best ways to find hashtags is going through your competitor’s posts, looking at what hashtags they are using and then making a notepad file or Evernote file and copy-pasting all the hashtags that your competitors are using. And then using a few of the hashtags from that particular list on your post and then track which hashtags are giving you the maximum engagement. Hash tags can be in various styles like location-specific, lifestyle-specific, brand-specific and so many other categories but if you go through all of them, you’ll get confused. So if you’re just starting out, my recommendation is to go through all the other accounts that are already getting good engagement on Instagram and learn from them.

Using the right hashtags, finding the best time to post, Content Strategy is an important step in the overall growth of your Instagram page. Without the right content strategy your page might fail, and Instagram Marketing will not give you positive results. And I see a common trend among people who want to scale their Instagram page and yet are not consistent. Consistency is extremely important in Digital Marketing. Even if you are not some kind of influencer, even if you’re a brand, consistency is what will make you memorable and keep your brand refreshed in the minds of people you want to target. 

Consistency

Let’s say you’re a YouTuber, if you are not uploading videos consistently then people will forget you and move to the next alternative they have. If you want to grow on any channel, be it YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, or any other channel where you want to create an audience, make sure you’re consistent. Make sure you are helpful, talking to your audience, engaging with your audience, and creating content that your audience actually wants. 

High-Quality Images

The third point is extremely important, creating high-quality images and not being lazy about it. People still think that creating high-quality images is extremely difficult. But they don’t know about the free websites on the internet, which make the whole job of creating high-quality images very easy. Websites like Pixabay, Pexels, Storyblocks and Flickr have high-quality images that can be downloaded for free. Storyblocks has a nominal subscription fee and Flickr has copyrighted material too, so stay alert when you download these images.

Emotional Angle

Targeting a particular emotion through your images, you’ll see much more engagement on your Instagram posts. Instagram is not about putting any image, you also have to be very strategic about it. You should know what type of content is suitable for your audience, and what type of content will bring an emotional response from your audience. 

On Instagram, one of the important parameters is attracting attention. If you have the attention of people, you’ll drive more engagement, and if you’re driving much more engagement, then Instagram will give you organic boost, and you’ll get much more people to see your posts. 

Competitors

Look at your competitor’s hashtag strategy, look at their timing strategy, look at their posting strategy, look at their content strategy and then try to drive some inferences from that. Then try to replicate that in your strategy and see which particular hashtag or which particular timing, or which particular type of content is giving you the most engagement. At the end, the goal is all about engagement. Because if your posts are getting more engagements, then Instagram will boost your page organically, and it will be showing your post to a much larger audience, and you’ll be able to gain those many followers. So look at your competitors, make a complete list of hashtags, and test it in your own Instagram strategies. 

Learn more about Instagram on this Wikipedia page.

Browse through our post on Google Ads in 2020 and get a step-by-step guide on how to create a new campaign.