Did you know that Instagram has already got over 1 billion users worldwide? Research shows that people spend an average of 27 minutes per day browsing the platform.
This is a great opportunity to launch an Instagram marketing campaign to promote your brand. Huge expenses are not always needed for successful advertising.
Sometimes, even shoestring budgets are enough. Apart from that, there are hundreds of tips for free-content promotion.
How To Promote Your Brand In 2021
Why promote through Instagram?
With over 1 billion users worldwide, Instagram is among the five most downloaded apps worldwide. 80% of users follow at least one brand, and 60% of them find out about new products directly from social media. Does this ring a bell?
Instagram is a great platform to increase product recognition and get your business into a new marketplace. Also, different types of content may be used, including photos, videos, illustrations, and text.
Note that the platform focuses on visual content. This brings a possibility to represent your products and services from different angles. Users will see all the bright sides of your brand. Season it with some advertising copy and voilà – hundreds of leads will appear in no time!
Keep on reading for several promotion tips!
Instagram users worldwide
Average time spend on Instagram in minutes
What is Instagram marketing?
Any type of business promotion on this platform is called Instagram marketing. The process involves strategies, tactics, advertising, and many other means to achieve the goals of a brand.
A marketing campaign must have:
1. Clear goals.
2. Means to track the results.
3. Strategies for achieving the goals.
4. Campaign messages.
5. Plans and budgets.
6. Tests and performance
In most cases, businesses try to sell products & services, increase engagement, get more followers, and improve brand recognition. All these are individual factors that are only determined by your company.
Users that follow at least one brand on social media
Users that discover new products on social media
Why do you need a business account?
Instagram provides three types of accounts:
What you need is the second option because it provides a whole lot of benefits. Having a business account enables statistics, call-to-action-buttons, and ads. All these are needed to grow your audience effectively.
How to switch to a business account?
Follow our instructions below:
1. Go to your profile page and press the three horizontal lines at the top right corner.
2. Select the “Settings” button.
3. Tap “Switch to professional account.”
4. Select “Business” and follow the prompts.
The whole process takes less than 5 minutes.
How to optimise a business account?
Firstly, it is necessary that you upload an avatar that will be the representation of your brand. The best option is to use your logo. It will increase brand awareness and recognition.
After that, proceed to your account name (not to be confused with a username). Make sure it includes a keyword that might be used by your potential audience to find all related content. This will increase the chance of a user finding your account in the search section.
If you do not know how to choose a keyword, here are some tips:
- Use a special service to find hashtags and related keywords;
- Think of words your clients could use to find products;
- Add words connected with a location.
Further on, create a description for your account. There are different options for what could be written there. Mostly, brands add their slogans, explain what they do, and use hashtags. It is recommended that you use different keywords related to your business. This will improve search results, helping more people to find you.
If you have a website, add it to your profile as well. Tap the “Edit Profile” button and fill in the website section. A pro tip is also adding a call-to-action as the last line in your description. Here’s an example.
Finally, don’t neglect using emojis and line breaks. These are good for structuring the text and adding some life to the words. Check the description in this account for an example.
Create an attractive Instagram profile with content that sells
Imagine that you’re the consumer. You open the feed and see another boring publication that doesn’t make any sense. What would you do? Right, you’d skip this post and proceed to the next one. This obviously isn’t what we want to have with our brand page.
#1 Create interesting and engaging content
All your publications must make sense and have some idea. You can’t just publish a random image and expect it to increase engagement. Will you showcase a new product or create a checklist? Make sure there is a demand for this type of content.
To improve your photos and videos, you may use different software. It is possible to download an application or use an online service. We’ll cover them a bit later.
#2 Make regular posts
If you disappear from the feed for a whole week, you will lose all the attention of your audience. Publishing regularly is one of the ingredients to success. The best way is to publish something at least once a day.
This relates to stories as well. 58% of Instagram users said they were more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories. Such an instrument mustn’t be neglected.
Instagram users more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories
#3 Use carousels, photos, and videos
Of course, you may focus on one type of content. Research shows that organic video posts get 38% more engagement than photos. However, this doesn’t mean that you should abuse one option.
We recommend combining carousels, photos, and videos to have some variety in your account. People get tired of monotonous styles, so be creative and do not forget about making quality content.
#4 Involve user-generated content
When you want to sell something, the best way is to get your audience to share their experience on their own.
A prominent example is Adobe Photoshop’s account that publishes content created by users with its software. After seeing such a picture, there already is a wish to purchase the app and try it out.
Another example is Coursera’s account. If you check it out, you’ll see that the page regularly publishes content with its audience’s stories of success. This highlights the advantages of the platform and shows all the benefits a consumer can get.
#5 Showcase your product in use
Supposing your brand sells mobile phones. What would interest a potential customer? Performance, design, camera, and a ton of other features.
Check out Huawei’s profile and have a look at what they post. The account regularly publishes photos taken with the help of their products. This shows how good the camera is, what features does it have, and other things.
Just don’t overdo it! Keep a balance of product/lifestyle publications.
#6 Optimise your highlights
Highlights in Instagram are those Stories that remain permanently in a profile. They may be used as collections, FAQs, spotlights, and literally any other way you think of.
Canva’s account is a great example of effective highlights. All the material is well-structured, it is easy to navigate through the highlights, and the icons are chosen properly.
Some recommendations would be to add sections for reviews, frequent questions, prices, interactive content, and cool photos.
Try to help your audience get the most from those highlights!
5 tips to promote your Instagram for free
Instagram promotion involves all kinds of methods. We’ll cover the most popular options.
#1 Create balanced content
Do not abuse one style and type.
Let’s imagine that you are a business that makes clothes. You are proud of your product, and this is normal! However, make sure you do not make all your posts just about the clothes.
Think of different content – the product itself, lifestyle shots, short videos, and more. The ratio must be at least 1:3 not to abuse the balance. Check out how Lacoste manages their account. Maybe, this will give you some ideas.
#2 Use hashtags
One of the free options to boost the visibility of your content is by adding hashtags.
However, remember the limits:
- 30 hashtags per post;
- 10 hashtags per story
If you try to add more than that, your content won’t be published.
There is one way to bypass these restrictions.
Prepare a list of 30 hashtags in a notepad and copy it. Right after you publish the content, paste them to the comments. This will make the post visible by these keywords.
#3 Create engaging stories
Operating a shoestring budget and getting great results is a complicated task. However, you do not have to spend thousands of dollars to create quality content.
Some ideas could be creating weekly or monthly topics for your Stories. To create a virus effect, it is best if you create entertaining videos or content like “How to…”
#4 Host Q&A sessions with your audience
Want to get to know your audience more? The best option is hosting Q&A sessions.
All you should do is post a story with the Question Sticker and wait for users to ask something. This is also a possibility to find out what interests your customers and get an insight into what should be improved.
Additionally, you can start an Instagram Live Stream for real-time questions and answers. Sometimes, this is what interests users even more than regular stories.
#5 Collaborate with other brands
Collaboration with other brands is one of the options of Instagram promotion. It usually does not require huge budgets and is possible for free.
What you should do is find a business that is similar to yours, offer them a way to collaborate, and get your audiences to know each other. The most popular choice is to use a live stream on Instagram.
Also, brands often create products like ebooks, podcasts, newsletters, and other things together. Think of any option that would bring mutual benefits and conquer the market!
Increase in engagement when video posts are being used instead of photos
Instagram advertising: types of ads
A more direct approach to Instagram marketing is launching an advertising campaign.
We’ll cover the types of ads and how to choose the proper option.
Instagram Stories are the cheapest and most effective way to cover a broad audience.
Approximately 1.7 billion accounts use this feature daily. Therefore, with proper targeting, you’ll get a good boost for your profile.
Instagram accounts that use stories daily
Image and video ads
Another option is publishing advertisements in the feed. This includes a single picture or video. Your content will show up as a regular post but with a call-to-action button. It could be used to get more subscribers, leads, and sales.
This is the most efficient type of Instagram advertising. With their help, you can show more than one image or video. It is the best way to give your target audience a clear message or showcase the best products from your store.
Carousel ads let you post up to 10 different photos or videos with unique links for each. Use these to lead users to the item’s page on your website or account for the best results.
Collaborating with influencers
An influencer is an Instagram blogger who is popular among a certain group of users. The audience size can be 1000 subscribers or 100,000 – this doesn’t matter as long as these are your potential customers.
Collaborating with influencers is a great way to promote your brand and build a loyal client base. 63% of marketers work with at least 10 of them on every campaign. We’ll cover where to find the accounts you need and how to work with them.
Finding the proper influencers
Supposing your business is a beauty brand. Most likely, you will try to find the most popular beauty blogger and buy an advertisement or try to collaborate with them in any way.
However, you must remember that not every popular influencer has the audience you need.
- Some may cover the younger generations.
- Others may cover the older generation.
Some of the ways are to use separate software for influencer analysis or ask the owner to send you a screenshot from the statistics page. Also, you might want to manually check the accounts of people who write comments to get a broader view of the situation.
Choosing the audience size
Do you need a super-popular blogger or a micro-influencer? Research shows that 82% of consumers are more likely to buy a product that is recommended by the latter.
A smaller audience is usually more loyal and pays attention to details. Also, this makes it easier to target certain locations and people with common interests.
Consumers that are more likely to buy a product through a micro-influencer instead of a celebrity
Setting the collaboration terms
There are different types of collaborations with influencers. The most common ones are:
- Sponsored content;
- Gifting product samples;
- Making the influencer the face of your brand;
- Ambassador programs.
It is hard to tell which of these options is the most effective one because it all depends on your products. Our recommendation is to test different options and see whether they bring any results.
Video content and its use on Instagram
Publishing videos in your Instagram profile is a must-have. Research shows that video posts receive twice as much engagement than other post types.
If you’ve followed the news, you must’ve heard that the Instagram video length is already 1 minute. Longer videos may be posted on IGTV or shortened and divided into several pieces.
IGTV for longer videos
With IGTV, creators can upload long videos of high-quality. This feature was created with the intention to become Youtube’s competitor, although most users underestimate its potential.
The main advantage of IGTV in comparison with regular feed posts is that the maximum video length is 60 minutes. Such limitations already let you publish a wider variety of content without worrying about cutting the videos. Besides, the automatic captions are available in 16 languages.
Although IGTV had a recent decline in engagement, this only brings you an additional chance to conquer the market without any major competition. Brands underestimate this instrument and don’t produce proper content, so that is why users aren’t interested in it.
If you create quality content using emotional triggers and powerful marketing messages, you will definitely conquer the hearts of your viewers.
Instagram Live for streams
IG Live is a great tool to grow user engagement, customer loyalty and increase your statistics organically. This feature lets you communicate directly with subscribers.
Some ideas for streams are:
- Behind the scenes topics;
- Q&A sessions;
- Collaboration with other brands;
- Showing a new feature, service, product, and more!
Monitor your competitors and follow the best practices of other brands for the highest results.
Find your own style and hone your style!
5 tools to boost your Instagram profile
While you may promote your account without additional software, this won’t be a very effective choice. We’ll cover the best tools to boost your profile.
Layout is an application that helps you make collages and test different layouts for your profile. It is a cool tool when you have to put several photos in one or plan the way your content will look in advance.
Snapseed is an application for editing photos. It has got 29 tools and filters, exposure adjustment, cropping tools, colour balance tuning, and a whole lot of other features. It is a must-have when working with static visual content.
Fastreel is a tool for editing videos in your browser. Create your own content or use the templates. You can make slideshows, cute, mute, merge, compress videos, add subtitles, and do many other things.
Insights is a tool with advanced analytics for your account. All main performance stats like PPC, SEO, traffic, and others are shown in one report. The service also provides automatic scheduled reports in case you forget to create them manually.
Combin is an Instagram marketing and content planning solution. It helps you schedule posts, manage several accounts simultaneously, track activity and growth, communicate with your audience, and more.
Related multimedia tools & resources:
- Multimedia resources (AZ directory – images, graphics & design, audio & music, video, animation, themes, plugins, code, apps, tools, education, jobs, buy & sell, communities, freebies)
- Free stock photo websites (AZ directory, overviews, reviews)
- Best photo editing online apps
- Video marketing software (AZ directory and overviews)
- Modern & free web design icons
- SproutSocial – Instagram stats
- DigitalMarketing.org – how much time does the average person spend on social media?
- Forbes – the 10 most downloaded apps of 202
- AdEspresso – The 57+ Instagram Statistics You Need to Know in 2020
- PixLee – What is an Instagram username?
- Hootsuite – 44 Instagram Stats That Matter to Marketers in 2021
- Brid TV – Video vs. Image Ads: Why Videos Perform Better Than Images
- 99Firms – Instagram Stories Statistics
- Linqia – The State of Influencer Marketing 2018
- HubSpot – What Will Influencer Marketing Look Like in 2021?
- SearchEngineJournal – Instagram Video Posts Receive Twice the Engagement of Other Post Types [STUDY]
- WebMarketSupport – How To Create Strong Relationships With Emotional Marketing
- WebMarketSupport – Simple & Effective Customer Loyalty Strategies You Can Use Today!
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Marketing & Business Catalogs
- Supreme Lead Generation Tools & Software
- High-Class Marketing Automation Software
- Best Keyword Tools in 2021 and Beyond
- Best Email Marketing Automation Services
- Free tools to generate ideas for content
- Affiliate marketing index (informational articles, how-to’s, guides, resources, networks, forums, and more)
- Affiliate marketing pricing models
- Affiliate marketing statistics
- Affiliate websites (examples/types)
- A-Z List of Affiliate Marketing/Business Related Forums
- Advertising/Affiliate networks (AZ directory and overviews)
The Bottom Line
Now you know how to promote your brand in 2021. As you can see, there are many free and paid options to grow a loyal audience.
Test out things to find the best approach for your brand, read our marketing guidelines, and conquer the market.
Ann is a content manager at an international software company making intuitive yet powerful video-editing software. Ann has been in the industry of digital marketing for 3+ years already. Her main interest lies in the field of business growth through social media.