How to Build Your Brand through Instagram – Strategies in 2018

Instagram – the one platform on social media you do not want to be without. It is actually more influential than people may think, as it remains the number one place where people can share and know new experiences, places, and products.

Why Instagram?

Setting itself among the top growing social media platforms worldwide, the site is not something you can brush off easily. It boasts of more than 700 million users around the world, and it currently has the highest engagement levels of any social networking platform.

In fact, statistics show that 80% of users on Instagram connect voluntarily with a brand. This makes Instagram ten times more influential than Facebook, 84 times more than Twitter, and 54 times greater than Pinterest. If that is not something that sparks your interest, nothing much will.

What do I need to do to build a strong brand then?

The key to a strong presence on the platform is consistency, which will lead to organic growth over a long period. You do not just have a presence on the site, but rather your brand needs to stand out from others. How will you manage to do this, especially on a platform where beautiful pictures and accounts are a dime a dozen?

Create a strategy and stick to it.

Treat your Instagram account like you would a business. You never venture into a business head-first without setting a strategy; you plan ahead for any eventualities and goals.

Make a strategy for your activity on Instagram. You can do this by looking at several pillars, which are objectives, content planning, research on competitors, and fine-tuning. Make sure you know why you want to use the platform in your marketing strategy – do not just open an account for the sake of opening one.

In addition, ensure you can identify customer personas you want to reach, since this helps in creating a strategy. Your content planning includes the content you intend to post, as well as boosting engagement efforts such as hashtags and filters, while the research involves looking at your competitors’ profiles and seeing what works for them. Fine tuning is also important, as you can monitor the levels of engagement and traffic to your site.

Once you establish these rules, you can begin setting your consumer base.

Choosing a theme and style

Do not be random in your presentation. Set a style – this entails the tone, feel and mood of the account, for instance funky, artsy, vintage, bright or minimalist. That style will determine the photos you post, as well as the colors and the filters for each picture.

Your color palette should consist of three to five basic colors, and you will build the rest of your work on them. This sets a certain mood and ‘unique signature’ that your followers expect, and it will encourage them to embrace that brand identity.

The theme on the other hand, is the central part of your posts. To establish this, find out what you want your brand to stand out for, what you enjoy posting about, your brand strength, and so on. The greater your consistency in your pictures, the more someone will be encouraged to check your work out.

Hashtags – utilize them wisely

Nothing promotes your brand better than hashtags can. There are different ones that you can use depending on what the photo is about. These include descriptive, which give information of what is in your photo, expertise hashtags, which state your niche, brands that state popular brands you would like to see your content, and community, which alert people with similar interests within the community to check your account.

However, make sure that the hashtags you use are relevant to your posts. No one enjoys spam, and people will not enjoy your attempts at spamming them with irrelevant hashtags.

Optimal timing is important

Hashtags and photograph filters can only do so much for you. Timing is also important, especially when considering growing your brand seriously.

Target approaches include finding out what has worked for your business before in contrast to failures. Some applications offer you analysis in detail, as well as giving you ideas on the best days and times to post.

Paying for product reviews and/or sponsored posts

Enter Influencer marketing strategies – in layman terms, these are word-of-mouth recommendations. People will likely trust an influencer and follow their opinion, so you can reach out to them and tell them to promote your page whenever possible.

The best way to do this is finding big accounts within your niche area. The criteria to use is the account should have a large following (not less than 10,000 followers) that is actively engaged with them, and there should be an email address in the profile, which indicates that they are open to sponsored posts or shout-outs.

Email them and ask their rates on sponsorship. However, if your product is very unique, sending a sample to them may be more engaging, as they may encourage their followers on instagram to check out your business.

Utilize geotags

Hashtags are useful, but when you combine them with geotags, it is even better. By indicating the location you are visiting, it makes it discoverable by more users, and gives them something to connect to you with. You can even use this tip for making Instagram stories, and you can add hashtags to them.

Ask the audience

All YouTube videos have something in common: they either ask you to subscribe, or they will put the subscribe button just below the video and encourage you to do it. In the same vein, do not be afraid to ask your viewers and followers to subscribe, even if it is on an occasional basis.

People may enjoy your content genuinely, but they sometimes need some encouragement to follow your account. In case you do not want to make it direct, place hints that encourage them to do so. For instance, telling them that there is exclusive content that is coming.

Final thoughts

Running an Instagram account and increasing brand awareness is not a walk in the park; it is a learning curve for many. However, when you use it well for your business, it can give you great benefits and increase your brand visibility.

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